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USC Countdown: Trojans 1 of 4 unbeaten teams left in college basketball

Trojans Wire logo Trojans Wire 12/30/2021 Matt Zemek
© Provided by Trojans Wire

Thank you, Auburn! The Alabama-based Tigers beat the LSU Tigers on Wednesday night, giving Will Wade’s team its first loss of the college basketball season. This reduced the list of unbeatens in Division I men’s basketball to four. USC is on that list.

The Trojans are waiting for their COVID-19 complications to lift, so that they can resume Pac-12 play and pursue their first conference championship since 1985 under then-coach Stan Morrison. Meanwhile, their wait means that they aren’t losing any games. Other teams are.

The “Final Four” of unbeatens has USC, Colorado State, Baylor, and Iowa State.

Guess what? Baylor and Iowa State play this Saturday, meaning that on the evening of January 1, USC will be one of only three unbeatens in college basketball. Colorado State’s next scheduled game is next week, so the Rams — who have had a COVID-19 pause of their own — won’t lose this upcoming weekend. They aren’t playing, either.

Yes, being the last unbeaten team in college basketball doesn’t mean all that much in and of itself, unless a team is unbeaten late in March, as Gonzaga was last season. That means a team is in the Final Four and is on the doorstep of a national title. Let’s be real: USC won’t get that far this season. The 1971 team, the best USC has ever had, lost only two games all season, but lost its first game on Feb. 6, 1971.

All of that aside, it’s a fun talking point and a source of great publicity for a USC program which continues to recruit well and build momentum from its Elite Eight run. Andy Enfield has this program headed in the right direction, without question.

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