Skip to content

The 10 longest NCAA tournament droughts

Bob Donnan / USA TODAY Sports

Sign up now for theScore $100k Team Tourney Challenge, and you'll be the first to know when you can enter!

Northwestern seemingly assured itself of its first NCAA tournament berth thanks to an epic last-second win Wednesday over Michigan, and will no longer be the lone Power 5 school to have never experienced March Madness.

However, the following schools don't appear to be as lucky this year when it comes to ending extremely long NCAA tournament absences:

10 Longest Droughts

School Bids Last Appearance Drought (years)
Dartmouth 7 1959 57
Tennessee Tech 2 1963 53
Columbia 3 1968 48
Bowling Green 4 1968 48
Seattle 11 1969 47
Rice 4 1970 46
VMI 3 1977 39
Duquesne 5 1977 39
Toledo 4 1980 36
Furman 6 1980 36

The droughts for nine of those schools look likely to extend another year, but there's still hope for one.

Furman is tied for first in the SoCon with a 14-4 conference record, the same as East Tennessee State (24-7) and UNC Greensboro (23-8). Their overall record is not as good at 21-10, but the Paladins are 2-2 against those two schools, with a win against each.

A 36-year drought could very well come to an end with a conference tournament win, though the same cannot be said for fellow SoCon member VMI, sitting in last place at 6-23 overall and 3-15 in-conference.

Ivy League schools Dartmouth (6-19) and Columbia (11-14) are not the same caliber as a Princeton or Harvard, while Tennessee Tech is 12-20 in the Ohio Valley conference.

Bowling Green is tied for second last in the MAC, while Toledo is not much better, sitting just one spot ahead of the Falcons.

Rice has had a good season, as it is 20-9 overall and 10-6 in conference play. However, Middle Tennessee (25-4) and Louisiana Tech (21-9) are both more likely to win the Conference USA crown.

Bringing up the rear in the Atlantic 10 is Duquesne, who is tied with Saint Joseph's, while Seattle is 13-15 overall and 5-8 in the WAC.

Now that Northwestern has broken through, maybe that magic will extend to a school currently enduring one of the 10 longest March Madness droughts.

The 10 longest NCAA tournament droughts
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox