As college basketball heads into February, a stunning three teams remain unbeaten. To get a sense of how rare this is, three teams have never posted 20-0 records or better since Indiana, UNLV and Rutgers did it in 1976, according to ESPN Stats & Information (originally written by ESPN’s Eamonn Brennan). Ken Pomeroy has now calculated that there is a 51 percent chance one team will go unbeaten for an entire season (which has not happened since the ’76 Hoosiers did it). It’s hard to believe the odds are now in favor of another such run.
• Contrary to what one might think, big success on a national scale doesn’t always mean financial gain for programs. According to forbes.com, Wichita State, which is undefeated and was one of the last four teams standing in the NCAA tournament a year ago, actually lost money in the wake of its Final Four run. Team expenses for Wichita State — which usually brings in about $1 million of revenue each year, Forbes reports — were up 16 percent because of travel costs and incentives for coach Gregg Marshall, and the prize money (lump sums aren’t handed over to programs; it’s a six-year rolling period instead) wasn’t enough to cover the deficits. Yikes.
• The men’s Final Four site finalists for 2017-2020 were announced Monday, and Minneapolis got a nod. The other six finalists are Atlanta, Indianapolis, North Texas, San Antonio, Phoenix/Glendale and St. Louis.
• Virginia’s BPI (ESPN’s version of weighted rankings) hasn’t been anything special for most of the winter — falling to as low as No. 55. But after winning six of seven games against ACC teams in January, the Cavaliers had the best BPI for the month, according to ESPN Stats & Information. They’ve bumped all the way up to No. 20.