Which teams have never been in March Madness? Tracking first-time NCAA Tournament hopefuls

Here are the 45 teams that have never been in March Madness. Will any of them make the 2022 NCAA Tournament?

One of the joys of March is following schools that have not yet played in the NCAA Tournament and hearing their name called on Selection Sunday.

In 2021, both Hartford and Grand Canyon made their NCAA Tournament debuts while the 2019 Big Dance featured first-time tickets by Gardner-Webb and Abilene Christian.

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If you’re looking to follow along with the teams that have never been in March Madness, you’ve come to the right place.

Several first-time hopefuls have a legitimate shot at a 2022 NCAA Tournament invite.

Bryant and Longwood are the teams to watch.

The Bryant Bulldogs out of the NEC have had their best season in program history. Jared Grasso’s team enters the NEC Tournament with a 19-9 record and a regular-season conference title for the first time ever. His up-tempo group is led by Peter Kiss, the nation’s leading scorer at 25.1 points per game.

Longwood, meanwhile, has had a breakout season over in the Big South. A conference often dominated by Winthrop — Longwood’s primary contender this season — the Lancers are 23-6 overall and dropped just one conference game. Head coach Griff Aldrich, an oil company founder who worked in the private sector for nearly two decades, has rebuilt a Longwood program that ranks 18th nationally in 3-point percentage.

Teams that never been in March Madness

TeamConferenceConference Tournament ResultFirst Season
ArmyPatriotLost quarterfinals vs. Lehigh1903
Bethune CookmanSWACNot eligible for SWAC Tournament1981
BryantNECWon quarterfinals vs. Central Connecticut
Won semifinals vs. Mount St. Mary’s

Won championship vs. Wagner
2011
Central ArkansasASUNWon first round vs. Stetson
Lost quarterfinals vs. Jacksonville
2011
Chicago StateWACLost first round vs. Utah Valley1985
The CitadelSoConWon first round vs. ETSU
Lost quarterfinals vs. Chattanooga
1913
DenverSummitLost quarterfinals vs. North Dakota St.1904
ElonCAALost quarterfinals vs. UNCW2000
GramblingSWACWon quarterfinals vs. Southern
Lost semifinals vs. Texas Southern
1978
High PointBig SouthWon first round vs. Hampton
Lost quarterfinals vs. Winthrop
2000
Incarnate WordSouthlandLost first round vs. Houston Baptist2014
Kansas CitySummitLost quarterfinals vs. South Dakota1990
Kennesaw StateASUNWon first round vs. Eastern Kentucky
Lost quarterfinals vs. Jacksonville St.
2010
LongwoodBig SouthWon quarterfinals vs. N.C. A&T
Won semifinals vs. USC Upstate
Won championship vs. Winthrop
2008
MaineAmerica EastNot eligible for America East Tournament1904
Maryland Eastern ShoreMEACLost quarterfinals vs. N.C. Central1974
UMass LowellAmerica EastLost quarterfinals vs. UMBC1906
New HampshireAmerica EastLost quarterfinals vs. Binghamton1927
NJITAmerica EastLost quarterfinals vs. Vermont2010
OmahaSummitLost quarterfinals vs. South Dakota St.2013
PresbyterianBig SouthLost first round vs. Campbell2011
Purdue Fort WayneHorizonWon quarterfinals vs. UIC
Lost semifinals vs. Northern Kentucky
2003
QuinnipiacMAACWon first round vs. Marist
Won quarterfinals vs. Siena
Lost semifinals vs. St. Peter’s
1999
Sacramento StateBig SkyWon first round vs. Idaho
Lost quarterfinals vs. Montana St.
1992
Sacred HeartNECLost quarterfinals vs. LIU2000
St. Francis BrooklynNECLost quarterfinals vs. Mount St. Mary’s1902
SIUEOVCLost first round vs. Tennessee St.2011
South DakotaSummitWon quarterfinals vs. Kansas City
Lost semifinals vs. South Dakota St.
2011
StetsonASUNLost first round vs. Central Arkansas1972
UC RiversideBig WestLost quarterfinals vs. Hawaii2002
USC UpstateBig SouthWon quarterfinals vs. Charleston Southern
Lost semifinals vs. Longwood
2011
UT MartinOVCNot eligible for OVC Tournament1993
UTRGVWACLost first round vs. Cal Baptist1969
Utah ValleyWACWon first round vs. Chicago St.
Lost quarterfinals vs. Abilene Christian
2010
Western IllinoisSummitLost quarterfinals vs. Oral Roberts1982
William & MaryCAALost first round vs. Northeastern1906
Youngstown StateHorizonLost first round vs. Robert Morris1948

There are also eight active Division-I teams that are not yet eligible for the NCAA Tournament: Bellarmine, Cal Baptist, Dixie State, Merrimack, North Alabama, St. Thomas, Tarleton and UC San Diego.

Header image courtesy of Longwood Athletics.



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