21. James Madison (13-0)
Until they blink, it’s hard not to include and mention James Madison, who really shocked the world on opening night against Michigan State and have played well ever since. They remain among the unbeaten teams and probably have the easiest road to an undefeated regular season, with the Sun Belt a little easier road than normal.
James Madison won seven games away from home, including five on the road, but were happy to follow up Christmas with a game at home. The Dukes began conference play with an 82-65 home victory against Texas State with another fantastic offensive performance. As has been the case all season, T. J. Bickerstaff played fantastic, with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Terrence Edwards Jr. added 17 of his own.
You can’t ask much more out of a team that’s 13-0, especially when one of those was on the road against a then-Top 5 team. You won’t see anyone else but Sun Belt teams on this schedule until we get the bracket in March, so what more can we really learn from the Dukes? They entered Sun Belt play as the nationally ranked favorites with a target on their backs, so we’ll see how they handle that pressure, including a pair of road tests next week.