The Washington Times - January 21, 2009, 11:43PM

OK, there’s no dose of James Fenimore Cooper. That was just a tease.

Instead, this is more a nod to Wake Forest, which will go down as the last unbeaten team of 2009 even though it lost tonight to Virginia Tech.

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Recent history suggests it will still be a good year for the Demon Deacons.

Only one final unbeaten since 1995 failed to make the second weekend of the NCAA tournament. That was Clemson in 2007, which happened to not even make the tournament at all.

Otherwise, it’s an imposing group that features a couple champions (1999 Connecticut and 2006 Florida) and three finalists (1998 Utah, 2005 Illinois and 2008 Memphis). Not bad company.

Dino Gaudio’s team still has plenty to prove. But for now, Wake can rightfully be mentioned in the same breath as these teams since 1994 (much thanks to collegerpi.com for the data to mine through to uncover this answer):

Year Team First loss
Opponent NCAA
2009 Wake Forest
Jan. 21
Virginia Tech
TBD
2008 Memphis Feb. 23
Tennessee Finalist
2007 Clemson Jan. 13
at Maryland
2006 Florida Jan. 21
at Tennessee
Champion
2005 Illinois March 6
at Ohio State
Finalist
2004 Saint Joseph’s
March 11
vs. Xavier
Regional final
2003 Duke Jan. 18
at Maryland
Regional semis
2002 Duke Jan. 6
at Florida State
Regional semis
2001 Stanford Feb. 3
UCLA Regional final
2000 Syracuse Feb. 7
Seton Hall
Regional semis
1999 Connecticut Feb. 1
Syracuse Champion
1998 Utah Feb. 1
at New Mexico
Finalist
1997 Kansas Feb. 4
at Missouri
Regional semis
1996 Massachusetts Feb. 24
Geo. Washington
Final Four
1995 Connecticut Jan. 28
at Kansas
Regional final
1994 
UCLA Jan. 30
at California
First round

Patrick Stevens