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8 Schools That Have Somehow Never Made a Final Four

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March Madness is heading down the stretch now that the Final Four field has been set. While a wide range of schools have made the Final Four over the years (VCU, George Mason and Butler come to mind), there are some schools that, historically, you can bet won’t be there.

Here’s a look at some programs that have never made a Final Four. Some have richer traditions on the hardwood than others, but it may still surprise you to know they’ve never made it to college basketball’s last weekend.


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1

Tennessee

 
 

Known more as a football and women's basketball school, the Volunteers have had success in basketball over the years, earning 20 trips to the NCAA Tournament, although they’ve only managed 15 victories. Their best showing came in 2010 when they made it all the way to the Elite Eight.

 
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3

Alabama

 
 

Roll tide? Not so much in basketball. Like SEC rival Tennessee, this is a football school, first, with some success in basketball sprinkled in over the years. The Tide have made 22 tournaments, only once making a regional final. Translation: when they get to the dance, they mainly head for the punch bowl and go home quickly.

 
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3

BYU

 
 

Holy, Jimmer Fredette! From Danny Ainge to Shawn Bradley to Fredette, the Cougars have a whopping 28 tournament appearances with no Final Four on their resume and only three Elite Eight appearances, the last of which came in 1981. Talk about a fan base that’s ready.

 
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4

Missouri

 
 

The Tigers have made the big dance 26 times in its history (although one was vacated), four times advancing to the Elite Eight, but always failing to get over the hump. This is a storied program closing in on 1,600 wins in its history, so you know a Final Four would mean a lot.

 
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5

Boston College

 
 

The Eagles have gone to the tourney 18 times, with a trio of Elite Eight appearances. Moving from the Big East to the ACC in 2005 may have raised the school’s profile, but it’s made the road to the tournament even tougher. BC hasn’t made the tourney since 2009.

 
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6

Xavier

 
 

The Musketeers have made 24 appearances over the years and are always one of those teams you don’t want to play. You may not know a ton about them, but they’re capable of pulling out a tourney win. Unfortunately, their luck doesn’t usually last long. They have two Elite Eights and six Sweet 16s, indicating they’re usually good for a win or two before eventually fading.

 
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7

Minnesota

 
 

This one comes with an asterisk. The Golden Gophers made it to the Final Four in 1997, but that was ultimately forfeited due to violating NCAA rules. This Big 10 school has not been a powerhouse over the years, collecting a dozen tournament appearances, four of which have been vacated.

 
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8

Gonzaga

 
 

The original mid-major darling, you can be excused for thinking Gonzaga has made a run to the Final Four. The Bulldogs have made every tournament since 1999, but have trouble getting far. They surprised everyone with a trip to the Elite Eight in ’99, but have failed to advance that far since.

 

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