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Wayne Cavadi | NCAA.com | January 22, 2022

Here are the remaining undefeated DII men’s basketball teams — and their path to a perfect season

DII men's basketball predictions for the 2021-22 season

We are about two full months into the 2021-22 DII men’s basketball season. With fewer than a handful of teams remaining with a perfect record, we were curious what the road ahead looks like and which of these teams have the best chance to go undefeated.

Just two teams — Lubbock Christian and Nova Southeastern — remain undefeated. Before we dive into each team and its schedule, let’s start with a historical perspective.

There have been 64 DII men's basketball championship seasons completed, minus the 2020 tournament which was cut short by COVID-19. Of those 64 national champions, a mere five have gone undefeated. That’s roughly 8% of all national champions in history, so clearly this is no easy task. It becomes even more daunting when you compare it to DII women’s basketball, where four of the last seven national champs completed the season undefeated.

All-time undefeated seasons in DII men's basketball

Year Team Record Conference
2019 Northwest Missouri State 38-0 MIAA
2009 Findlay 36-0 GLIAC
1996 Fort Hays State 34-0 RMAC
1993 Cal State Bakersfield 33-0  CCAA
1965 Evansville 29-0 Indiana Collegiate Conference

No remaining team is afforded some odds-altering factor based on conference tradition. One of the conferences — the ICC — no longer exists. That's how long it's been since the first undefeated champion.

Of the five previous undefeated national champions, three — Northwest Missouri State, Cal State Bakersfield and Evansville — had won a championship prior to its undefeated season. Findlay won its division six of the seven seasons leading up to its perfect championship season and was an established DII powerhouse, so it felt like something special was on the verge of happening.

RECENT UNDEFEATED TEAMS: Northwest’s dominating 2019 | Findlay’s buzzer-beating finale

Fort Hays State seems to be the outlier, the lone dove that surprised the world and the model these four need to follow. Of the two remaining undefeated teams, neither have been to a championship game, never mind won one. In fact, Nova Southeastern, made its first NCAA DII tournament appearance in program history just two years ago. 

Additionally, the number of undefeated teams remaining halfway through seems to be shrinking. Eight teams remained undefeated at the start of January in 2017 and 2019 (when the Bearcats most recently did it), and nine teams were still perfect on Jan. 1, 2018. The 2019-20 season saw just two and this year saw five, until Cal State San Marcos took down Chico State to whittle our list down to four on Jan. 13 and Upper Iowa knocked off 16-0 Minnesota Duluth on Jan. 15. Most recently, Cal State San Bernardino eliminated Cal State San Marcos 74-64 in overtime on Jan. 22 to get our list to two. (Note: 2020-21 stats can't be used with so many teams beginning their season in January).

TOURNEY TIME: Everything you need to know about the DII men's basketball tournament

So, completing a season undefeated in DII men’s basketball is a rarity, and may be getting rarer. Let’s look at each team remaining and some of the obstacles they will have to overcome to remain perfect until March.

(Future opposition winning percentage per NCAA.org.)

Lubbock Christian | Record: 17-0

Big games remaining: UT Tyler (Jan. 15: W, 74-69), DBU (Feb. 5), West Texas A&M (Feb. 10)
Future opposition winning percentage: .594

The Chaps have proven they can beat the best with wins over nationally ranked Colorado School of Mines, West Texas A&M and Hawaii Hilo while knocking off a Texas A&M-Commerce team on Jan. 13 that was receiving votes in the poll. Unfortunately, the road doesn’t get much easier in a loaded Lone Star Conference.

Odds to run the table: Due to the LSC level of play and tough remaining schedule: Extremely slim.

HISTORY: Every DII men's basketball champion

Nova Southeastern | Record: 16-0

Big games remaining: Florida Southern (Jan. 15, W: 83-73; Feb. 12), Tampa (Jan. 22, W: 84-75), Barry (Feb. 2), Embry-Riddle (Feb. 26)
Future opposition winning percentage: .553

The Sharks play in the South Region, so there tends to be some very strong tournament contenders on an annual basis on their schedule. Nova Southeastern opened 2022 with a pair of top 25 showdowns and came out victorious by double digits in both. This offense is really peaking, leading DII with nearly 100 points per game.

Odds to run the table: The best of the remaining two, but still slim.

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