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Tracking the Unbeatens: Only 12 teams remain without a loss on the season

Karl Towns (Getty Images)

Karl Towns (Getty Images)

Andy Lyons

Karl Towns (Getty Images)

Karl Towns (Getty Images)

Andy Lyons

Every Monday from now until every team in the country has a loss on their resume, we will be Tracking The Unbeatens, and predicting when, exactly, that unbeaten streak will end.

Kentucky (9-0): The Wildcats are the best team in the country through the season’s first three weeks, having rolled through the first half of their marquee non-conference games by smacking around Texas, Providence and Kansas. Their next three games: North Carolina at home, UCLA in Chicago and Louisville on the road.

  • Next Game: Dec. 13 vs. North Carolina
  • First Loss?: Dec. 27 at Louisville

Duke (8-0): The Blue Devils worked past their toughest non-conference matchup of the year, as they knocked off Wisconsin at Wisconsin. They look like the clear-cut, second-best team in the country right now.

  • Next Game: Dec. 15 vs. Elon
  • First Loss?: Jan. 17 at Louisville

Arizona (8-0): The Wildcats survived a visit from Gonzaga over the weekend, as T.J. McConnell sparked a late comeback in an overtime win. Scoring is still a major issue for this team, but you won’t find many that can defend and rebound like the Wildcats.

  • Next Game: Dec. 9 vs. Utah Valley
  • First Loss?: Jan. 22 at Stanford
Virginia Cavaliers v Maryland Terrapins

Justin Anderson (Getty Images)

Getty Images

Virginia (9-0): Virginia got through their toughest week of the non-conference by knocking off Maryland and VCU on the road. Is that their springboard towards being the second-best team in the ACC?

  • Next Game: Dec. 18 vs. Cleveland State
  • First Loss?: Jan. 3 at Miami

Louisville (7-0): The Cardinals passed their first team of the season last week as they knocked off Ohio State at the Yum! Center. Montrezl Harrell and Terry Rozier have been as good as advertised, but we are still waiting to see if they will ever get consistent support.

  • Next Game: Dec. 9 vs. Indiana (NYC)
  • First Loss?: Dec. 9 vs. Indiana (NYC)

Villanova (8-0): The Wildcats have had an impressive start to the year, particularly when you consider their best players have arguably been Dylan Ennis and Daniel Echefu. But their two marquee wins, over VCU and Michigan, don’t look quite as impressive now as they did two weeks ago.

  • Next Game: Dec. 9 vs. Illinois (NYC)
  • First Loss?: Dec. 9 vs. Illinois (NYC)

Washington (7-0): The Huskies have wins over UTEP and at home against San Diego State, which are both good wins but not necessarily the kind of performance that will make you believe that this group can contend in the Pac-12. That said, the addition of shotblocker Robert Upshaw has changed this team on the defensive end. I’m buying U-Dub.

  • Next Game: Dec. 14 vs. Eastern Washington
  • First Loss?: Dec. 20 vs. Oklahoma (In Las Vegas)

Colorado State (8-0): It may be too early to count out San Diego State, but if Colorado State isn’t the best team in the Mountain West right now, they’re not far behind. Want to convince me? Win at Colorado on Wednesday.

  • Next Game: Dec. 10 at Colorado
  • First Loss?: Dec. 10 at Colorado

Northern Iowa (8-0): The Panthers are the best team in the Missouri Valley not named Wichita State, but it looks like this is the year that they can push the Shockers for a league title. They’ve already won at Stephen F. Austin, beaten Richmond at home and knocked off Northwestern and Virginia Tech at a neutral court.

  • Next Game: Dec. 10 at Denver
  • First Loss?: Dec. 13 at VCU

Seton Hall (7-0): Isaiah Whitehead has been terrific for the Pirates of late, and Sterling Gibbs has been the program’s best scorer, but this group’s best win is still just George Washington at home. Win Tuesday and we’ll talk.

  • Next Game: Dec. 9 at Wichita State
  • First Loss?: Dec. 9 at Wichita State

TCU (8-0): The Horned Frogs made a statement last week as they went into Oxford and knocked off Ole Miss. They should enter Big 12 play unscatched, and they already are the league’s only undefeated team.

  • Next Game: Dec. 9 vs. Furman
  • First Loss?: Jan. 7 at Kansas State

Incarnate Word (5-0): The Cardinals have played four non-Division I teams. They did beat Princeton at Princeton, though.

  • Next Game: Dec. 8 at UTEP
  • First Loss?: Dec. 8 at UTEP

There seven potential meetings between undefeated teams the rest of the season, although it seems unlikely that we will get more than one.

  • Kentucky at Louisville, December 27
  • Villanova at Seton Hall, January 3
  • Duke at Louisville, January 17
  • Duke at Virginia, January 31
  • Louisville at Virginia, February 7
  • Arizona at Washington, February 13
  • Seton Hall at Villanova, February 16