Welcome to the fourth annual bad-news icon known as "The 345 teams that will not win the national title." This venerable buzzkill is now 3-for-3, having correctly exempted Villanova from inclusion twice and North Carolina once since the list's beginnings in 2016.
The smart thing to do would of course be to quit now. All that this imposing edifice of oracular infallibility needs to come crashing down is one dark horse like Connecticut in 2014. In fact, that is absolutely going to happen if we keep doing this. It's only a matter of time.
But what the heck, this is just a game in which people put a ball through a hoop. The streak beckons to be extended.
Ineligible (three teams)
Near misses (20 teams)
That was one impressive stretch run, Tigers. You made my laptop look smart after it had been insisting pretty much all season long that there was more than met the eye with a team that, well, lost a ton of games against tough opponents. Then, finally, wins against Mississippi State and, especially, Tennessee ended our bickering and instead brought laptop and user together in a true evaluative kumbaya moment. So, thank you for that. Still, your opponents shoot exceptionally well inside the arc and rebounding continues to be an issue at both ends of the floor.
Let's not lose sight of the big picture. The very fact that a Mid-American Conference team is on a list of "near misses" for a national title is itself the paradigm-altering news here. Nate Oats, CJ Massinburg, Nick Perkins & Co., take a bow!