CHAPEL HILL, NC - NOVEMBER 30: Dexter Strickland #1 of the North Carolina Tar Heels whips a pass around defender Jared Berggren #40 of the Wisconsin Badgers during play at the Dean Smith Center on November 30, 2011 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. North Carolina won 60-57. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
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We're finally into December, which means the heart of the non-conference season is upon us. One of the coolest things about staying up-to-date with college hoops on a nightly basis is keeping an eye on the teams that have a slim chance of finishing the year undefeated. It might be damn near impossible in today's game, but the thought of a team plowing through 35-40ish opponents without a blemish is every bit as mind-blowing as it is captivating.
Thankfully, the guys over at Ballin' Is A Habit have created a weekly feature called The Emery Board to keep tabs on the perfect and the winless programs around the country. An ode to former BYU guard Jackson Emery and his famous comments that the Cougars would run the table (he said this TWICE in two years), this is a neat, convenient way to keep tabs on everything.
Without a doubt, the one surprise team that people are looking at to make history is Harvard, currently 6-0. Tommy Amaker's bunch has already taken care of Florida State, Utah and Central Florida, leaving only Boston College, St. Joe's and a doozy in defending champ Connecticut. Daunting? Sure. But the Crimson will have a legitimate shot of running the table if it can manage to miracle its way past UConn. Most will talk about Ohio State and Kentucky as viable shots to reel off a flawless record, but the one program with the schedule on its side, and probably the best chance at doing this, is straight out of the Ivy League.
* The Rebels needed a pair of overtimes to escape 36-point man Orlando Johnson and his Gauchos (Las Vegas Sun)
* "That’s all coaching, scouting. They’re a rhythm team. We knew if we could break them out of that we could turn them over." (The Spokesman-Review)
* Pitt kept the streak alive and handed Duquesne a loss for the 11th straight year (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Bucky's 5th Quarter)
* And there's Rasheed Wallace, always clownin'. But did he intentionally piss off Ol' Roy? (The Dagger)
* Whoa: Down 17 at half out in San Diego, undefeated Creighton pulled off a signature win (College Basketball Nation)
Minnesota - Without Mbakwe around to own the paint, the Gophers managed to win the rebounding battle, block five shots and go to the foul line more than twice as much as Virginia Tech. There's no denying the big man will be missed, but a win over a tourney-caliber squad in VT is a very, very promising start.
Utah State - The Aggies are extremely difficult to beat at the Spectrum, so it's a tad surprising that Denver was the first team to give USU a home blemish this season. But right now, passing appears to be the main issue. Utah State finished this game with a mere six assists, and ranks near the bottom of the country in dimes per game.
- The UCLA transfer seems to be working out fairly well for the Rebels, no? Even though he eventually fouled out, Moser finished with 34 points, ten boards, three assists and above all, SIX 3-pointers. The 6'8" wing is now averaging 13.3 rebounds per game for the 8-0 Rebels, and is making his move as a national POY contender.
14 - Missed field goals by Jordan Taylor, tying a single game career high (He was 7 for 21 against Penn State last March).
Chace Stanback's game-tying three for UNLV with 1.5 seconds left in OT1