We have officially dropped under the 300 team threshold after today’s tournament games. 295 teams are left. All the eliminated teams are listed here.
Of the 48 teams on the futility list, 21 are included in the eliminated teams already and will move into another year looking for their first tournament. Lipscomb had a legitimate shot after earning the #2 seed in the Atlantic Sun, but they got knocked off by North Florida on the Bisons’ homecourt tonight. Also notable, is Army, who lost at #1 Bucknell in Patriot League quarterfinal action. Of the longest current droughts of the never beens, only The Citadel, William & Mary, and Northwestern still have a shot to take their name off the list (and the latter seems like a safe assumption).
Tomorrow we’ll continue action with the Missouri Valley, Big South, MAAC, and OVC. In addition though, four more tournaments will start. The Southern Conference will begin, and we’ve already mentioned The Citadel’s position. VMI (39 years) and Furman (36 years) have made the tournament, but are riding significant streaks. Chattanooga leads the way with 11 appearances.
The Horizon League features two teams that have never made the field, however, Northern Kentucky is eligible for just the first time. Youngstown State has not made the tournament since joining Division I in 1981.
The Colonial of course features William & Mary mentioned above, but Elon is also on the list of no tournaments since joining Division I in 1997. Towson has made the field twice, but not since 1991 for the second longest drought in conference. Northeastern has the most appearances with 8.
Finally, in the West Coast Conference, all the teams have made it. BYU has the most trips at 29, however 4 others are also in double digits (Zags, San Francisco, Pepperdine and Santa Clara). Loyola Marymount is carrying the longest drought with no trips since 1990. Gonzaga is tied for the fourth longest active streak of appearances, with 18 trips in a row.
In all, 18 tournament games tomorrow as we slowly build the crescendo and start handing out some automatic bids.