Which two teams have gone the longest without losing on the same day? You might not care but regardless, I feel I have an obligation to tell you. Your indifference only motivates me to continue to track this fact with the intensity of 1000 red suns. If you’re new here, you can check out past editions of this post like the one before last season and the one that started it all in November 2012. After reading those, if you don’t care, then you may want to see a doctor and make sure your heart is functioning, because it might not be.
As it happens, the answer to this question is the same as it was last year at this time. The last time Ohio State and Kansas lost on the same day was February 19, 2005. I don’t know how rare it is for the top streak to survive a full season since this is only the third year I’ve done this, but I expect it’s rare. I can say that with confidence because the reigning pair now has nearly a two-year advantage over the next-longest streak. I can also say that with confidence because of the ten-longest streaks entering last season, just two survived. Here is that list from a year ago…
1. Ohio State/Kansas (2/19/05)
2. Duke/Kansas (3/6/05)
3. Fairfield/Kansas (2/25/06)
4. Kentucky/Memphis (11/23/06)
5. Duke/Robert Morris (2/1/07)
6. Duke/Weber State (3/15/07)
7. Fairfield/New Mexico (12/4/07)
8. Kentucky/Weber State (12/8/07)
9. Harvard/Purdue (12/22/07)
10. Belmont/Minnesota (1/5/08)
Ohio State and Kansas made it through last season’s schedule with just one scare. On February 1st, the Buckeyes started the day by hanging on for a 59-58 win at Wisconsin. That was important because later in the afternoon, Kansas would get beaten fairly easily by Texas. Other than that, it was smooth sailing for our respective partners in streaking. They even worked it out during conference tourney time, with Kansas falling in the Big 12 tourney semis on a Friday while Ohio State lost in the Big Ten tourney semis on the subsequent Saturday.
As we begin the season, it’s been over nine and a half years since an Ohio State fan and a Kansas fan could commiserate about their respective team’s losses on the same day. They’ve shared 130 game dates and combined for 45 losses in those cases, but at least one of the teams has won every time.
Let’s check out what this season has in store for the streak by looking at the common dates on the schedules of the two teams and the chance of the streak surviving each date.
Ohio St. Kansas Chance 11/14 UMass-Lowell (H) UC Santa Barbara (H) 100% 11/18 Marquette (H) Kentucky (N) 91% 11/28 James Madison (H) Tenn/Santa Clara (N) 99% 12/10 High Point (H) Georgetown (A) 97% 12/13 Morehead St. (H) Utah (H) 99% 12/20 North Carolina (N) Lafayette (H) 99% 12/22 Miami OH (H) Temple (A) 99% 12/30 Iowa (H) Kent St. (H) 99% 1/10 Indiana (A) Texas Tech (H) 96% 1/13 Michigan (H) Oklahoma St. (H) 93% 1/17 Iowa (A) Iowa St. (A) 75% 2/14 Michigan St. (A) Baylor (H) 88%
There is a legit shot that the streak makes it a full decade. Of the 12 shared dates, there’s only one where neither team is at home. That would be January 17, a particularly scary one when Ohio State travels to Iowa and Kansas will be at Iowa State. An odd quirk is that the teams only share one more date between then and the end of the regular season.
Of course, they’re bound to share dates during conference tournament time and they may play on the same day in the NCAA tournament as well. But based on the regular season data, there’s almost exactly a 50 percent chance these teams enter their respective conference tournaments with the streak in tact.
Here’s the list of the ten-longest streaks to start the season. I’ve found it especially useful in mixed company to break the ice. Other than the top streak, it’s mostly the usual matches involving a successful team from a top conference and a successful mid-major. Well, except for the Duke/Savannah State pairing. Savannah State has lost 93 games over the past six seasons, but somehow, never on the same day as Duke since early December of ‘08. The world truly makes no sense sometimes. Here’s hoping that streak makes it to the top for next season.
1. Ohio State/Kansas (2/19/05)
2. Fairfield/New Mexico (12/4/07)
3. Ohio State/Weber State (2/2/08)
4. Ohio State/Vermont (2/17/08)
5. Manhattan/Memphis (2/23/08)
6. Robert Morris/Vermont (11/21/08)
7. Duke/Savannah State (12/6/08)
8. Memphis/Murray State (12/20/08)
9. Iona/Ohio State (12/27/08)
10. Gonzaga/Richmond (12/31/08)