The Washington Times - January 22, 2009, 12:37AM

A little bit earlier, I rolled out an old chart of the last of the unbeatens.

Seemed like a good idea, given Wake Forest’s loss to Virginia Tech tonight.

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But what about those spoil sports? What happens to them?

It’s a great question, and one worth exploring in this chart featuring every team to knock off the final unbeaten since 1994 (postseason is NCAA tournament unless otherwise noted):

Year Team Record
Postseason
2009 Virginia Tech
13-5 TBD
2008 Tennessee 31-5 Regional semis
2007 Maryland 25-9 Second round
2006 Tennessee 22-8 Second round
2005 Ohio State
20-12 None
2004 Xavier 26-11 Regional final
2003 Maryland 21-10 Regional semis
2002 Florida State
12-17 None
2001 UCLA 23-9 Regional semis
2000 Seton Hall
22-10 Regional semis
1999 Syracuse 21-12 First round
1998 New Mexico
24-8 Second round
1997 Missouri 16-17 None
1996 George Washington 
21-8 First round
1995 Kansas 25-6 Regional semis
1994 California 22-8 First round

That’s not a bad record; other than probation-addled Ohio State in 2005, only two non-tournament teams have taken out the final unbeaten. The last first-round flameout in the bunch was in 1999.

It’s a trend that bodes well for Virginia Tech, which still feels the pain of last year’s NCAA tournament snub. A road victory over a team likely to remain in the top 50 (and possibly top 25) of the RPI could carry the Hokies very, very far come March.

Farther, perhaps, than they went a season ago.

Patrick Stevens