With the 84th edition of the NCAA Tournament over and the Connecticut Huskies back on top of the college basketball world, the last month featured an exhilarating slate of games for many fans to enjoy. However, certain fanbases sit at home every year longing for their team to participate in meaningful postseason action. We take a break from Georgia sports betting updates to give you the worst-performing schools in NCAA Tournaments.
Using sports-reference.com/cbb, BetGeorgia.com created a point system to identify the saddest college basketball programs in March since the 2009-10 season. The point system awarded one point per NCAA Tournament appearance and one point for each round made (note: just reaching the First Four only netted teams a point for a tournament appearance, not a round made).
Who Are The Worst NCAA Tournament Schools?
For research and fairness purposes, BetGeorgia.com limited the sample to teams from the nine most reliable multi-bid conferences (the Power 5, Big East, American Athletic, Mountain West and Atlantic-10). These are the worst performers from those leagues over the last 14 seasons:
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Bulldogs Have Been in The Dog House
The Peach State has turned into one of the nation’s top producers of high school basketball talent, but that has not particularly benefited the state’s major college programs. Both Georgia and Georgia Tech have just two tournament appearances each since 2010 and the two schools have won a combined one game in those four trips.
The Bulldogs secured a 10 seed in 2011 behind the leadership of eventual second-round NBA Draft picks Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie but fell to the University of Washington by three points in their first-round matchup. Four years later, Georgia returned to the tournament as a 10 seed once again, this time facing off against Michigan State in the round of 64. They ultimately lost that game by seven and have gone just 120-135 overall since then, with no winning seasons since 2018.
Tournament Woes Stings Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech’s recent history reads similarly to their rivals in Athens. The Yellow Jackets claimed a 10 seed in 2010 led by a trio of future NBA players in Gani Lawal (hey, two career NBA minutes still counts), Derrick Favors and Iman Shumpert. That team initially defeated Oklahoma State by five in a rematch of the 2004 national semifinals before dropping their second round game to second-seeded Ohio State by nine. It would be 11 years before Georgia Tech reached the tournament again.
The 2021 Yellow Jackets earned an automatic bid as a nine seed after winning their first ACC Tournament title since 1993. While that squad featured three 15+ point per game scorers (Moses Wright, Jose Alvarado and Michael Devoe) it was not enough to power them past Loyola-Chicago, which prevailed by 11 in their opening round meeting.
Is There Hope for Georgia Going Forward?
Given the current state of both Georgia and Georgia Tech’s rosters and the increase in offseason player movement, projecting when each program will have the talent to compete for their next tournament bid is a tricky proposition. Georgia went 16-16 this past season under first-year head coach Mike White, a 10-win improvement from Tom Crean’s final year in 2022, but the Bulldogs still finished 11th in the SEC.
Now, Georgia may have to replace their top three scorers as they head into the 2023-24 season, leading to loads of uncertainty about their functional depth. Kario Oquendo announced his intention to transfer following the season and is supposedly down to Auburn, Nebraska, Oregon and Utah as his destination, while Braelen Bridges has chosen to forgo his optional COVID fifth year. Terry Roberts also declared for the NBA Draft, though the Bulldogs leader in points, assists and steals could still pull his name out and come back to school.
If Roberts elects not to return, Georgia will have five players back who played at least 400 minutes last year (Justin Hill, Jusaun Holt, Jabri Abdur-Rahim, Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe and Frank Anselem) but no one who averaged over 22.3 minutes per game as currently constructed. The Bulldogs are bringing in 247Sports Composite top 100 recruits Dylan James and Mari Jordan, but without transfers that is the extent of their projected rotation right now. With this lineup, college basketball analytics site BartTorvik.com currently rates Georgia as the 120th best team in the country for next season, though that number would rise to 100 if Roberts is back in the fold.
Georgia Tech is hoping a coaching change will reinvigorate the program this season. The Yellow Jackets fired Josh Pastner following the team’s exit from the ACC Tournament after seven seasons and a 109-114 record. The school then promptly hired Boston Celtics assistant and former Pacific coach Damon Stoudamire to replace Pastner.
Stoudamire looks like he will retain most of the key pieces from this year’s 15-18 team, however Georgia Tech may have a significant weakness inside. All five of 2023’s top seven that appear set to return to Atlanta (Miles Kelly, Dallan Coleman, Lance Terry, Jalon Moore and Deivon Smith) stand 6-foot-7 or shorter and key transfer Kowacie Reeves also only comes in at 6-6. The potential exists for the Yellow Jackets to field one of the more interesting guard/wing rotations in the ACC but fixing their rebounding and interior defense issues could prove challenging.
They signed 6-11 NC State transfer Ebenezer Dowuoma last Monday, but he only played 10.9 minutes per game for the Wolfpack, averaging 1.7 ppg and 1.9 rpg. While he played more than double that in 2021-22, his per-minute productivity was on a similar level, though he does sport a career 7.7 percent block rate which no doubt enticed Georgia Tech as it sought rim protection. The Yellow Jackets presently sit at 75th in Torvik’s 2023-24 projections.
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