So how’s that bracket of yours looking after four days of nonstop action?
Yeah, that’s what I thought.
If your bracket is in utter shambles while your friends gloat about how great they’re doing, now you know what it’s like to get left out of the madness of March. Not much fun, is it?
If it’s painful for you to sit out the rest of this tournament because a bracket comeback just isn’t happening, image how these five original D1 teams feel. Each of these schools has never been to March Madness.
Perhaps the most surprising team on the list of original D1 teams never to go dancing is Northwestern. The Wildcats play in a major conference and recruit from many of the same states and regions as its opponents, yet it hasn’t made The Dance despite playing hoops since 1904.
The Wildcats do have reason to hope. They made it to the NIT four years in a row from 2008 to 2012. This year they went on a four-game winning streak in the conference by knocking off tournament-bound Iowa and Indiana.
Things are looking up in Evanston, and it’s only a matter of time before they slip on their dancing shoes.
When you look at some of the legends Army has churned out over the years, it’s amazing they’ve never made it to The Dance.
Bob Knight started his coaching career there, and one of his players, Mike Krzyzewski, also coached at the school before moving on to that other program that is no stranger to March Madness.
The basketball team faces the same shackles as the football team: high academic requirements plus a sports culture that doesn’t place an emphasis on grooming players for the pros.
In the current landscape of college hoops, it’s hard to image Army ever dancing the night away.
Things are even bleaker at another military school never to march into Madness. The Bulldogs have yet to win a regular season or Southern Conference Tournament championship. Going back to 1900, the school has played in only one post-season tournament – the 2009 CIT.
St. Francis has been playing hoops since 1896 and represents the oldest collegiate squad in New York City. The NIT, however, is as far as the school has ever been in postseason play.
But back on March 10 of Championship Week, it looked like the Terriers would finally punch their first ticket to The Dance as the #1 seed in the NEC Tournament. But Robert Morris jumped out early, and when Tyreek Jewell missed two of three free throws with 2.4 seconds left that would have tied the game, St. Francis was left out in the cold once again.
It truly looked like 2015 was the Tribe’s time to shine – especially when Daniel Dixon nailed a three-point shot with half a second on the clock in double overtime to knock off Hofstra in the conference semifinals.
But head coach Tony Shaver’s club lost in the conference finals to Northeastern, 72-61, leaving both him and his squad with yet another terrible ending to an otherwise fine season.
“We’re all heartbroken right now,” Shaver said after the Tribe lost in the conference finals for the fourth time in eight years. “We wanted to put that history stuff to rest, and we didn’t. We’ll live with that. But I do believe if we keep knocking on the door, the door’s going to open.”