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Good year to post `0' in league

Stanford and Utah made runs deep into the season before taking their first losses of the season. Bethune-Cookman may have needed an extra five minutes last Saturday, but its win over North Carolina A&T was its first of the season.

With the thought of unbeaten or winless seasons gone for another year, there are still 11 teams with a chance of having a zero in their conference won-loss record.Through Thursday's games, five teams still had yet to lose a league game, while six teams had yet to win a conference matchup. Two teams made it through last season on each side and three of those four are in the same situation this season.

Princeton, Arizona, Nicholls State, College of Charleston and Texas Christian all have perfect league records.

Princeton, of the Ivy League, and College of Charleston, of the Trans America Athletic Conference, were the only teams to go unbeaten in league play last season.

On the 0-side this season are Sacramento State, Ohio State, Texas A&M, Drake, Southeastern Louisiana and San Jose State.

Last season, Drake, of the Missouri Valley Conference, and Brigham Young, of the Western Athletic Conference, were the only winless conference teams.

GETTING AT-LARGER: This is the time of the year when college basketball becomes a sport centered on terms like RPI, at-large berths and seeding.

One of the best discussions usually centers on which teams from mid-major conferences have a chance at making the NCAA tournament field if they don't in their league's tournament and the accompanying automatic bid.

The one's to keep an eye on as the regular season winds down include - with RPI ranking in parentheses: Illinois Chicago ; Detroit ; Princeton ; Illinois State ; Santa Clara ; Iona ; and Gonzaga .

Princeton, with its Top Ten ranking, is a step above the others as far as national recognition is concerned, but the teams from the Midwestern Collegiate Conference - Illinois Chicago and Detroit - may be the most interesting.

Illinois Chicago, coached by former Illinois assistant Jimmy Collins, is 19-4 with a 2-1 record against the RPI's top 25, having split with Detroit and beaten Michigan State. The Flames are 1-2 against teams ranked 25-50, beating Illinois State and losing to Illinois and Marquette. Their schedule strength is ranked 59th of the 306 Division I teams.

Detroit, coached by former Michigan assistant Perry Watson, is 21-3 with a 2-2 record against the RPI's top 25, having split with Illinois Chicago, beaten Michigan State and lost to Michigan. The Titans are 0-1 against teams ranked 25-50, losing to Cincinnati. Their schedule is ranked 139th.

The MCC is ranked 10th among the conferences by the RPI.

FLYING FROGS: Texas Christian's 21-4 record and current 10-game winning streak have all but sewn up the school's first NCAA bid since 1987. The Horned Frogs have been offensive, very offensive, in the way they've gone about things.

TCU, the only team to average more than 100 points per game, has broken the 100-point mark 14 times this season.