Non-conference play in men's basketball isn't completely over — we still have the Big 12 /SEC challenge in late January, plus a few other stray inter-conference matchups this winter — but for all intents and purposes, non-conference play is over.
So I decided to look at the results of every non-conference game — all 2,424 of them played through Jan. 6 — to calculate every conference's winning percentage in non-conference play and break down each conference's record against the other 31 conferences. You can click or tap here to see the complete spreadsheet.
Here are 15 interesting takeaways from that data I compiled:
1. The Big East leads all conferences with an 80.1 percent winning percentage, ahead of the Big 12 (76.5%), Big Ten (75.7%), ACC (75.3%), Pac-12 (74.2%), AAC (70.5%) and SEC (70.4%).
2. The Big Ten has beaten the highest number of conferences — 30. The one conference that a Big Ten team hasn't beaten this season? That would be the Mountain West, which shouldn't necessarily be a surprise given the geography of the two conferences and the fact that a significant portion of the Big Ten's non-conference games were against the ACC and Big East (in the Gavitt Tip-Off games). The Mountain West is actually 2-0 against the Big Ten thanks to San Diego State's win over Iowa and New Mexico's victory against Wisconsin.
3. Which conference has been beaten by the fewest conferences? That's the Big 12, which has only lost to nine other conferences — seven of which are the Big Ten, Big East, ACC, SEC, Pac-12, AAC and A-10. That distinction goes to the Big 12 in part because the conference has just 10 member institutions rather than the 14 or 15 that the rest of the top conferences have, but the Big 12 also boasts the second-best non-conference winning percentage.
4. Non-Division I teams are just 6-419 against DI opponents this season, which comes out to a 1.4 percent win percentage. Three of those six losses were by teams in the MEAC.
5. The Southland has a Division I-high 38 wins against non-DI opponents — 10 more than Conference USA. This means that 27.5 percent of the Southland's non-conference schedule came against non-DI teams.
6. The SWAC is the only conference that hasn't beaten the MEAC. That's because the two conferences, which are ranked No. 31 and No. 32 nationally, according to kenpom.com, haven't had any of their teams play each other.
7. Only three conferences haven't played a non-Division I opponent in the regular season — the AAC, ACC and MAAC.
8. There's a tie for highest win total by one conference against another — the MAC's 17 wins against the Horizon League and the WCC's 17 wins against the Big West. Once again, that makes sense geographically.
9. Somewhat surprisingly, the AAC is winless against the Big Ten and Big East this season. The Big Ten is 4-0 against the AAC and the Big East is 3-0. However, the AAC has 10 wins against the SEC, its third-highest win total against a single conference this season, behind only the SWAC (12 wins) and Southland (11).
10. The Big Ten and Big East are knotted 8-8 through 16 non-conference games this season so even though the Big Ten won the 2019 Gavitt Tip-Off games 5-3 this season, the two conferences are even thus far. Other competitive series include the Big Ten leading the ACC 11-9, the SEC 5-3, and the Big 12 and A-10 4-3; the Big 12 leading the Pac-12 5-4; the ACC and the Big 12 tied with three wins apiece against each other.
11. The Pac-12 has at least 10 wins against a national-best five different conferences — 14 wins against the Mountain West and Big West, 12 wins against the WCC, 11 against the Big Sky and 10 against the SWAC. There are only 22 individual head-to-head conference matchups across 32 conferences in which one side has at least 10 wins against another. The AAC, SEC and WCC each have at least 10 wins against three different conferences.
12. Some potentially surprising head-to-head records at the Big East's 11-3 record against the Big 12, the Big West's 7-6 record against the Mountain West, the MAAC's 9-5 record against the Patriot League and the NEC's 8-7 record against the Patriot League.
13. The win that stands out the most is Florida A&M's win at Iowa State. The MEAC ranks 32nd nationally, while the Big 12 ranks second, according to kenpom.com.
14. Seventeen conferences have at least one win against multiple of the top seven conferences (Big Ten, Big 12, Big East, ACC, SEC, Pac-12 and AAC).
15. The single-most lopsided series are the SEC's 13-0 record against the Southland, the AAC's 12-0 record against the SWAC, the Pac-12's 11-0 record against the Big Sky, the SEC's 10-0 record against the OVC and the Pac-12's 14-1 record against the Big West.