My pal @AnyGivenLundy posed an interesting question Friday.
How unusual is it for a men’s basketball team such as Oregon State University’s to participate in the NCAA tournament one season and go winless in league the next.
The Beavers were a No. 7 seed last year in Coach Wayne Tinkle’s second season when they went 19-13 overall and 9-9 in the Pac-12.
This season OSU has struggled mightily. The Beavers are 4-23 overall and 0-14 in the conference with four games left. OSU hosts Utah on Saturday, visits the Bay Area schools next week and closes the league season March 4 with a Civil War home game against Oregon. Stanford is 4-9 in league and perhaps represents the best chance the Beavers have of winning a league game (the Cardinal defeated OSU 62-46 on Jan. 19 at Gill Coliseum).
So the question is: When was the last time that a power five conference team had an 0-fer league season? And did any teams participate in the NCAA tournament the year before they went winless in league.
I tracked records back to the turn of the century. The Beavers appear to be the outlier here. No one else in the Pac-12 or the other power five leagues — Atlantic Coast, Southeastern, Big 12 or Big Ten — has gone winless in league a year after an NCAA bid.
In fact, no team in the ACC, the Big Ten or the SEC has gone winless in conference play from the 2000-1 season through last year.
Two Big 12 teams, TCU in 2012-13 and Texas A&M (2003-04) were winless in league, but neither school participated in March Madness the year before.
The Beavers were 0-18 in the 2007-08 season under Jay John and Kevin Mouton, but did not participate in the NCAA tournament in the previous year.
I don’t have any particular insights regarding what lies ahead, but this decline is pretty historic.