The loss Iowa handed to Michigan State doesn’t just mean it’s the Spartans losing for the first time this season; it also means there’s going to be a new number one, probably. Meanwhile, Oklahoma, Xavier, South Carolina and SMU remain the only undefeated teams left in this college basketball season.
Iowa upset the Spartans in a 83-70 win and improved to 10-3 while sending Michigan State to lick their wounds, losing for the first time after 13 consecutive wins to start the season. The loss means it’ll either be Kansas (who beat UC Irvine 78-53) or undefeated Oklahoma, the number 2 and 3 teams, that get to be number one when the next rankings come out, unless they mess up along the way: The Jayhawks and Oklahoma actually clash on January 5, with the conference season about to get underway.
Oklahoma, the #3 overall team, are 11-0 so far this season. Their most recent win is against Harvard, and begin their conference play against #11 Iowa State. Their only game against a ranked team (at the time of the game) was an impressive 78-55 beatdown of then #9 Villanova.
Xavier are number 6 at the moment following their 12-0 start, starting their conference play on January 31 with a tough game against Villanova on the road. Their only win over a ranked team came against then #24 Michigan, beating the Wolverines 86-70.
SMU, one of the two very surprising names on this list, are 12-0, already winning their first game in the American conference against Tulsa. They are number 17 and rising fast, with a game against number 22 Cincinnati coming up soon to determine whether they’re really as good as their undefeated record suggests.
Last and maybe least among undefeated teams are South Carolina, with the Gamecocks going 11-0 so far and have two more games before their SEC schedule begins. They are ranked at 24 at the moment, but their game against Memphis on January 3 just might be their most difficult test so far. They have only one game against Kentucky this season, and it doesn’t happen until February.