College basketball’s 25 losers of the past 25 years

  • Myron Medcalf, ESPN

    • Personnel WriterSep 8, 2023, 09:00 AM ET Close Covers college basketball
    • Joined in 2011
    • Graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato

The males’s college basketball offseason offers an opportunity to reflect not simply on the previous season, however analyze the sentimental moments throughout the history of the game. However sometimes those discussions are complicated by a limitless timespan. How can you compare players or groups from the 1980s to players or groups from the past few years? The game has actually altered– dramatically– and that makes it difficult to have any fruitful conversations.That’s why we have actually chosen to release a series that focuses just on the past 25 years of college basketball. Any team, player, coach or moment from 1998-99 through 2022-23 is qualified. The rest? That’s someone else’s problem.After going through the top 25 players, top 25 “What if?”minutes and top 25 private

efficiencies, we rely on the 25 biggest dissatisfactions of the previous 25 years.Editor’s Picks 2 Associated This list of individual groups is varied. We have groups that entered the season

with a lot of hype and stumbled in the

first weekend of the NCAA tournament. There are squads that never ever even earned an invite. Others simply failed to discover a rhythm after preseason excitement. There may have been impressive accomplishments amongst those seasons, however we’re not focusing on them.Full disclosure: You will see North Carolina, Kansas, Kentucky and Duke on this list multiple times. Are we badgering those programs? No. But if you’re a blue

blood, you got to win like one. Talent and eminence increase expectations. It’s simply the way it is.Here’s our list:1. 2022-23 North Carolina Tar Heels The Tar Heels were ranked No. 1 in the AP preseason poll last October– a status made after Armando Bacot and other crucial players from the 2022 nationwide runner-up team returned

to Chapel Hill. All signs indicated another go to the Last 4. Yet, Hubert Davis completed his second season at the helm with a 20-13 record and lost out on an at-large berth to the NCAA competition, making history as the first preseason No. 1 that failed to get a bid. The top total seed in the 2018 NCAA competition had won 23 of its past 24 games when it entered its first-round matchup versus 16-seed UMBC. However instead of a simple win, Virginia ended up being the first front runner to lose to a 16-seed. The truth that Tony Bennett’s

squad lost by 20 points( 74-54) in a real David vs. Goliath match just amplified the gravity of the upset. Virginia, though, won the nationwide title a year later on. Reigning Wooden Award winner Zach Edey was the greatest force in college basketball last season, and he became part of a team that played a top-25 defense on its way to securing a No. 1 seed in the 2023 NCAA tournament. The Boilermakers’first-round opponent, 16-seed Fairleigh Dickinson, had received the competition by default due to the fact that Merrimack, the team that beat FDU in the one-bid NEC’s tournament championship, was still transitioning to Department I and therefore disqualified to play in the postseason. Tobin Anderson’s group was also ranked No. 315 on KenPom before the postseason and viewed as one of the worst teams to play in the NCAA tournament. Which’s what made Purdue’s 63-58 upset loss to the Knights in the preliminary– signing up with the aforementioned Virginia team as the 2nd 1-seed to lose to a 16-seed– such a spectacular advancement.4. 2014-15 Kentucky Wildcats The Wildcats humiliated most of the groups they dealt with. John Calipari’s squad beat Kansas by 32 points and North Carolina by 14. Future NBA All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns anchored a Kentucky team with 4 lotto picks in the 2015 NBA draft, while Devin Booker, the

Phoenix Suns star, came off the bench as

a freshman. The Wildcats had actually won every game– 38 in a row– when they fulfilled Wisconsin in the Final Four, after directly getting away Notre Dame in the Elite Eight. However the Badgers killed Kentucky’s dream, and Calipari’s run at a 2nd national title, with a 71-64 upset. This stays one of the most talented groups in college basketball history without a national championship. It’s also the last time Calipari made a look in the Final Four.5. 1998-99 Duke Blue Devils Mike Krzyzewski’s team had 4 lottery draft picks(Elton Brand, William Avery, Trajan Langdon, Corey Maggette). Chris Carrawell, a key player on that team, would win ACC player of the year honors a year later, while Shane Battier would win the Wood Award the season after that. However the mix

of talent in 1998-99 that won 32

straight games stopped working to measure up to the hype– the Blue Devils were 9.5-point favorites– in its 77-74 loss to UConn in the 1999 championship game game. 6. 2021-22 Kentucky Wildcats Oscar Tshiebwe won the 2022 Wooden Award after balancing 17.4 points, 15.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game for the 2-seed Kentucky team. Although 15-seed Saint Peter’s had won 7 successive games entering its first-round NCAA tournament matchup with the Wildcats, it had lost 6 games to sub-200 groups on KenPom throughout the regular season. The game seemed a huge inequality. Then Shaheen Holloway

‘s Peacocks pulled off an 85-79 upset, a success that commenced with the team’s run to the Elite 8 and extended UK’s Last Four drought.Michigan State’s 2008-09 season ended with a journey to the championship game against North Carolina. The 2009-2010 season concluded with a Last 4 run. Future Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green(Big 10 Sixth Man of the Year), Kalin Lucas(All-Big Ten first string)and Durrell Summers(11.6 PPG)– essential players for both those groups– returned for this 2010-11 season. However the Spartans(19-15 )failed to duplicate the magic a 3rd time, instead finishing as a 10-seed that lost to UCLA in the preliminary of the NCAA tournament. 8. 2009-10 Kansas Jayhawks Sherron Collins (15.5 PPG) led a Jayhawks squad that included eight players who would ultimately play in the NBA. Not surprisingly, Expense Self’s team won 27 of its very first 28 games and secured a 1-seed in the NCAA tournament. But that talented group didn’t even make the 2nd weekend of the competition, falling 69-67 to Ali Farokhmanesh(he struck a late, game-sealing 3-pointer)and Northern Iowa in the second round.9. 1999-2000 UConn Huskies As the season started, UConn was considered as a team that could win its 2nd consecutive championship game– a projection backed by the group’s AP preseason No. 1 ranking. Khalid El-Amin(16.0 PPG, 5.2 APG ), a hero of the group’s 1999 national title win, had actually returned and seemed placed to direct the Huskies back to the Last Four. However the group ended up tied for 4th location in the Big East, was a 5-seed and lost to 4-seed Tennessee by double digits(65-51 )in the 2nd round of the

NCAA competition.10. 2004-05 Kansas Jayhawks Wayne Simien averaged 20.3 PPG and 11.0 RPG for a team that was ranked initially in the preseason and anticipated to do better than the previous year’s Elite Eight look. But as a competition 3-seed, it suffered a 64-63 loss to 14-seed Bucknell in the first round, falling short of the expectations for Simien, a first string AP All-American, and 5 of his teammates who eventually reached the NBA.11. 2000-01 North Carolina Tar Heels The retirement of Expense Guthridge, famous coach Dean Smith’s long time assistant, opened the door

for Matt Doherty to lead UNC throughout the 2000-01 season. The pressure on Doherty, a former Tar Heel, was extreme. A No. 6 preseason ranking just contributed to the examination. The group would catch a share of the ACC title and protect a 2-seed in the NCAA competition, however a second-round loss to 7-seed Penn State would set off a series of relocations that would lead to Doherty’s resignation 2 years later.Top stories of the week from Get unique access to thousands of premium articles a year from top writers. – New college football bowl projections”- Clay’s projections for the NFL season “- Can Liverpool resist Salah interest?”More ESPN +material”12. 2008-09 Notre Dame Fighting Irish The Combating Irish were ranked ninth in The Associated Press Top-25 preseason poll. Led by Luke Harangody (23.3 PPG, 11.8 RPG), a second-team AP All-American, the Irish appeared to be a group with legitimate Last 4 hopes. However it finished 17-3( 8-10 in

the Big East)and failed to get an at-large bid, ending the season in the NIT.In Billy Donovan’s final year in Gainesville, the Gators were led by a strong group of upperclassmen, including Dorian Finney-Smith(13.1 PPG, 6.2 RPG ), a year after a go to the
Last 4. The Gators began as the No. 7 team in the preseason top-25 poll however fell from the rankings a month into the season. The Gators ended their year with a 16-17 record after a second-round loss to Kentucky in the SEC competition and would not get invited to either the NCAA tournament or the NIT.Twenty-two years back, Dajuan Wagner scored 100 points in a high school game, solidifying his status as the No. 1 prospect in the 2001 recruiting class, per ESPN. Just 13 players had accomplished that task in a high school game, so his performance appropriately raised the expectations around what was then John Calipari’s

Tigers when Wagner arrived on school. The squad started the year ranked No. 14 in the AP preseason poll. But Wagner couldn’t save that group, which lost 5 of its last 7 games prior to Choice Sunday and missed the NCAA tournament.Kelly Olynyk protected AP first-team All-American honors as the leader of a squad that completed 7-1 against Power 5 teams throughout the regular season and entered the NCAA competition with a 31-2 record overall. However the Bulldogs, who finished third in adjusted offensive performance on KenPom, squeezed by Southern(64-58) in the first round, prior to suffering a 76-70 loss to 9-seed Wichita State in the second round.16. 2012-13 Kentucky Wildcats Star Nerlens Noel suffered a season-ending leg injury just as the Wildcats began to trend towards making an NCAA tournament berth late in the season. Without Noel, the Wildcats still had future NBA lottery choice Willie Cauley-Stein and other leading employees. John Calipari’s squad, however, could not prevent a free fall in the last stretch, which cost them a trip to the NCAA competition. They finished 1-4 in their last five games, a stretch that included a loss to Robert Morris in the opening round

… of the NIT. 17. 2016-17 Duke Blue Devils Freshman Jayson Tatum(16.5 PPG)and 8 other players on this Duke team would eventually play in the NBA. But they ended up fifth in the ACC and left the NCAA competition as a 2-seed after an 88-81 loss to 7-seed South Carolina in the second

round.Kevin Durant is extensively recognized as the

one of the greatest shooters amongst bigs in NBA history. At Texas, he averaged 25.8 PPG and linked on 40 %of his 3-point efforts in his sole college project. Sadly, the rest of the Longhorns were also young, with 6 underclassmen as their leading scorers. The lack of experience showed in a 25-10 season that ended with a 19-point loss to USC in the second round of the NCAA tournament.Gilbert Arenas( 15.5 PPG) was the star of this team that won a share of the Pac-12 title and earned a 1-seed in the 2000 NCAA tournament, just 3 years after the school had

won a championship game. Nevertheless

, this team missed projections when it lost to 8-seed Wisconsin 66-59 in the 2nd round of the NCAA competition.

Chris Paul made first-team AP All-American honors after balancing 15.3 PPG and 6.6 APG for Wake Forest, a preseason No. 2 group that returned every crucial player from the previous season. The eventual 2-seed Satanic force Deacons also had the most effective offense in college basketball. On The Other Hand, West Virginia, their second-round opponent in the NCAA tournament, had actually finished ninth in the Big East in the very same category. That’s why Wake Forest’s 111-105 loss in double overtime to the 7-seed Mountaineers, after the Satanic force Deacons misused a 13-point halftime lead, was such a surprise.Before the season, Arthur Lee was on the cover of Sports Illustrated with a headline that checked out,” Stanford is No. 1. “That preseason buzz didn’t last. Lee(13.2 PPG)and Mark Madsen (13.1 PPG, 9.0 RPG) led a Cardinal team that made a 2-seed in the NCAA competition however lost to 10-seed Gonzaga 82-74 in the second round.Marcus Smart, Markel Brown, Le’Bryan Nash and Phil Strength were a strong foursome for a preseason AP top-10 group. Yet, the group couldn’t discover its rhythm after late-season stumbles, which included a seven-game losing streak and Smart’s three-game suspension for pushing a fan in a loss at Texas Tech. The chaotic year ended for the 9-seed Cowboys and a first-round loss to 8-seed Gonzaga in the NCAA tournament.23. 2001-02 Duke Blue Devils All signs indicated another trip to the Last Four for the then-reigning nationwide champions. Jay Williams(Wood Award ), Mike Dunleavy (No. 3 pick in the 2002 NBA draft) and Carlos Boozer(a future NBA all-star)had actually returned.

What ended up occurring: The Blue Devils suffered a 74-73 loss to Indiana in the Sweet 16, a disappointing finish for the preseason No. 1 team.24. 2005-06 Duke Blue Devils Yes, another Duke look. This preseason No. 1 team included JJ Redick, who balanced 26.8 PPG and won the Wooden Award, and Shelden Williams, a first-team AP All-American. Heaven Devils started the season with a 27-1 record and linked on 39 %of their 3-pointers. But a 62-54 loss to 4-seed LSU in the Sweet 16 ended the 1-seed’s season sooner than expected.A year after ending up 2nd in the Big Ten title race, Maryland included luxury hire Diamond Stone to a skilled group. Mark Turgeon’s Terps never ever put everything together, though. Following a 22-3 start, they finished 5-6 in their last 11 games, consisting of losing to Kansas in the Sweet 16.

Previous Article
Next Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.