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Surprise undefeated teams

SPECIAL TO ESPN.COM

As the second phase of the college season is under way with conference play, who would have believed Mississippi and Vanderbilt would be undefeated. You could comprehend Memphis, Kansas, North Carolina and maybe Washington State sitting unblemished, but no way Mississippi and the Commodores.

Let's give a salute to coaches Andy Kennedy and Kevin Stallings for developing the mindset of what it takes to get to the winner's circle. Okay, I could hear all the pundits screaming about the many cupcakes they devoured along the way. My friends, many thought Mississippi would succumb to Clemson, but it did not happen and look at how well the Tigers played against No. 1 North Carolina on Sunday night!

The Rebels also have wins over New Mexico (Steve Alford's team is 14-2 this season), Winthrop and DePaul. How many people know about Dwayne Curtis and Chris Warren, two of the key members of Ole Miss' lineup? Former Florida Gator guard David Huertas has been a factor for Kennedy's club.

Mississippi, off to its best start in school history, has a major test against Tennessee this week. Most people wouldn't have thought this game would feature two ranked teams!

Vanderbilt also has several impressive W's alrady. It was not easy to defeat Massachusetts last weekend, falling behind 14 points in the first half. The Commodores have wins over Wake Forest and Georgia Tech of the ACC, as well as Bradley and Utah State.

Shan Foster has been the team's PTP'er and he put up 32 big ones against Massachusetts, one shy of his career best. Foster hit eight trifectas in the win.

AJ Ogilvy out of Australia has been one of the top diaper dandies in SEC play so far. He's averaging almost 20 ppg. and eight rpg. while shooting over 65 percent from the field. He's another reason Vandy is sitting at 15-0.

That's right my friends. In SEC country, Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee are not among the unbeatens. It is Vanderbilt and Mississippi with the big zero in the loss column, baby!

Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in December 1979. Send him a question for possible use on ESPNEWS.