Longest power conference March Madness championship droughts

Power conference teams have traditionally dominated at the NCAA Tournament. Which Power 6 league has the longest championship drought?

NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament- Championship
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament- Championship / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages
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Although Cinderellas have made plenty of noise at the NCAA Tournament over the years, the big boys usually end up getting the glory in the end. Teams from the six traditional power conferences (the ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12) have combined for 63 national championships out of a potential 84 NCAA Tournament titles.

Not all conferences are created equal, however, as a lot of the Pac-12's glory dates back to UCLA's dynastic run under John Wooden in the 1960s and 1970s while a national talking point on Selection Sunday every year revolves around the Big Ten's current title drought. Which power conference has gone the longest without cutting down the nets in March Madness?

Which power conference has the longest March Madness drought?

Despite all the media attention on the Big Ten's drought, the Pac-12 has actually gone the longest without winning a national championship. The last Pac-12 program to win it all was Arizona back in 1997, a 27-year drought that may extend much longer if a current program can't win it this year with the conference set to break apart after the academic year, leaving just Washington State and Oregon State to try and rebuild the legacy of the Conference of Champions.

The Big Ten isn't far behind the Pac-12 as it has been 24 years since Tom Izzo's Michigan State Spartans won it all in 2000. The conference has had plenty of opportunities to end this drought, getting seven teams to the national title game since then, but none have succeeded in cutting down the nets.

The SEC has quietly built a 12-year title drought of its own dating back to Kentucky's stampede through the 2012 NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats are also the last SEC team to reach the championship game when Calipari returned in 2014, so the conference as a whole has work to do.

The ACC has won a lot of titles over the past two decades but is currently riding a five-year drought since Virginia won it all in 2019. There have been plenty of ACC teams in the Final Four over the past 25 years but it remains to be seen how blue bloods like Duke and North Carolina will fare without legendary head coaches Mike Krzyzeswki and Roy Williams.

The Big 12 is on a modest two-year drought after Kansas won it all in 2022. The Big East is the active national title holder as UCONN won the title last season.


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