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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

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Evolution of the Unbeaten Map (Courtesy: Joey Loose/@jloose128 on Twitter) Evolution of the Unbeaten Map (Courtesy: Joey Loose/@jloose128 on Twitter)

One Map to Rule Them All

SDSU men’s basketball fans have become enamored with the unbeaten map, which has gone viral on social media.
By Ryan Schuler

“San Diego State was the entire map, so it was pretty cool.”

Joey Loose never imagined he would see this type of reaction: his creation on the Jumbotron at Viejas Arena and signs in the student section bearing his Twitter handle “@jloose128 is map king!”

Loose, an alumnus of Valparaiso University and college basketball blogger for Fansided, is the creator of the unbeaten map.

It is a geographic map of the United States showcasing unbeaten teams as holding land. As teams continue their undefeated seasons, their land increases as other unbeatens suffered defeats.

And for the first time in program history, No. 4 ranked San Diego State University is the last standing undefeated team in the nation and now literally the only college on the map.

The map has been shared far and wide on social media. It has appeared on t-shirts, and when shown on the Jumbotron at Viejas Arena, the sold-out crowds cheer with thunderous applause.

“It's one thing to have a Twitter page like or retweet your maps, but it's another thing to see your map up on the big board at a packed house at SDSU,” said Loose. “The chants, the shirts, the posters; it's all surreal.

Loose originally began making the imperialism map on the college basketball subreddit in November 2017. For the imperialism map, the entire country is divided among the college basketball programs. When you defeat a team, you win their land and the land they have gained from past victories. When you lose, the victor takes your land. 

“At the end of that season, I started to think about other interesting things I could do with mapmaking, thus how the unbeaten map was born.” 

Loose began creating the unbeaten map in November 2018, and it instantly became a hit as fans and team pages began liking and retweeting the map as their land grew bigger. And as SDSU’s land grew bigger, fans clamored for the map.

“I had no idea that something like this season would happen with one fanbase so in love with the map,” said Loose.

The map even caught the attention of Brian Dutcher, SDSU head men’s basketball coach.

“When Auburn went down, we started getting pictures of the map,” Dutcher said during his Jan. 16 press conference. “San Diego State was the entire map, so it was pretty cool.”

As the Aztecs continue their unbeaten streak, the map continues to be at the forefront.

“It’s been an awesome experience, and I just hope the Aztecs keep winning so it continues,” said Loose.