Most March Madness appearances without an NCAA Tournament win

Getting to March Madness is great but the excitement is even higher if you can win a game once you get there. Which programs have the most NCAA Tournament appearances without a win?

Iona v Connecticut
Iona v Connecticut / Patrick Smith/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

Getting to the NCAA Tournament is an impressive milestone for a college basketball program. Only 68 teams earn an invitation to March Madness during a given year, which makes the odds of winning an NCAA Tournament game even more difficult.

Those odds obviously increase if you hear your name called more often on Selection Sunday, giving a program plenty of bites at the apple if they can win their league enough or earn an at-large bid to March Madness. Which programs have gone to the NCAA Tournament the most without getting a victory?

Most NCAA Tournament appearances without a win

Team

Conference

NCAA Tournament Appearances

Most Recent Appearance

Iona

MAAC

16

2023

Boise State

Mountain West

9

2023

Eastern Kentucky

Atlantic Sun

8

2014

Colgate

Patriot

7

2024

LIU

NEC

7

2018

Louisiana-Monroe

Sun Belt

7

1996

Nebraska

Big Ten

7

2014

South Dakota State

Summit

7

2024

The program with the most NCAA Tournament appearances without a win is Iona, which has gone dancing 16 times out of the MAAC. This streak does have a bit of an asterisk as Iona did win an NCAA Tournament game in 1980 but had to vacate the win after learning that its star player, forward Jeff Ruland, had signed with an agent prior to the dance. The Gaels may lay claim to being March Madness' most snakebitten team with its first five losses coming by a combined 11 points, including a buzzer-beater by Syracuse in 1998, and blowing the largest lead in NCAA Tournament history when they fell to BYU in the 2012 First Four.

The next-longest drought belongs to Boise State, which has made nine unsuccessful trips to the NCAA Tournament. The Broncos appear well-situated to earn an at-large this year, giving them an opportunity to pick up their first victory in their tenth try.

Another mid-major on this list is Eastern Kentucky, which has gone winless in eight NCAA Tournament appearances. The Colonels haven't gone dancing since 2014 so they won't have a chance to get off the schneid this year.

Five other programs are tied with seven winless NCAA Tournament trips, including Nebraska and South Dakota State. The Cornhuskers may get a chance to get off this list if they earn an at-large trip to March Madness while the Jackrabbits punched their ticket to the dance by winning the Summit League Tournament earlier this week.


It's been a long time since any of these teams won in the NCAA Tournament, but it doesn't have to be that way for you when you sign up with FanDuel. All you have to do is sign up, deposit $10 or more and then bet $5 or more on any team to win. If your team wins, you'll get $200 in bonus bets! Sign up with FanDuel with this link today.

manual