The Best Teams To Never Win NCAAs

The Best Teams To Never Win NCAAs

Who are the highest scoring teams to never win the NCAA tournament?

Sep 26, 2017 by Wrestling Nomad
The Best Teams To Never Win NCAAs
The team race at the NCAA tournament in Cleveland this March will almost certainly come down to two schools: No. 1 Penn State and No. 2 Ohio State. Based on their individual rankings and excluding bonus, they project to 125 points and 117 points, respectively.

At first glance, those seem like remarkable numbers, and they are. We are virtually assured of seeing one of the best teams ever that won't end up winning. But where do they stack up all-time?

What we're focusing on today is the group of teams to score over 100 points and still fall short at the national tournament.

First, let's take a look at the team with the most points to NOT win the national tournament. Despite hosting the tournament, putting four in the finals, and scoring 125.5 points, the 2001 Iowa Hawkeyes still wound up 13 points behind Minnesota. Yes, that would be the Gophers team with 10 All-Americans and no finalists. You will also see that the highest-scoring third-place team of all time was in that tournament, as well.

Year School Points Place AAs
2001 Iowa 125.5 2nd 7
2013 Oklahoma State 119.5 2nd 7
2012 Minnesota 117.5 2nd 7
2001 Oklahoma State 115.5 3rd 6
1997 Oklahoma State 113.5 2nd 7
1982 Iowa State 111 2nd 8
2013 Minnesota 110.5 3rd 8
2017 Ohio State 110.0 2nd 6
2000 Iowa State 109.5 2nd 5
1982 Oklahoma 109 3rd 6

Some more stat-heavy, nerdy-type stuff going on here: Last year's Ohio State team became the eighth team to put up over 110 points and finish in second or worse. Right above the Buckeyes you'll see two teams who had eight All-Americans but only took home silver or bronze as a team. There are two more teams that put up over 100 points, had eight All-Americans, and still fell short. That would be the 1990 Arizona State team and last year's Oklahoma State squad -- mind boggling.

It wasn't long ago, but it can be hard to remember just how close the 2013 team race was. We already mentioned Minnesota having eight AAs, the most of any team that year, and finishing third. Oklahoma State had seven AAs, went 6-1 in medal matches and finished with 119.5 points. All that was good for though was the second most points to never win, as Penn State won the title with only five AAs, but all five were finalists.

The year before was historic in that four teams put up over 100 points, with the runner-up being the team with the third most points ever to not win. Below is the complete list of all 25 teams to put up over 100 points and not win NCAAs, which includes the runner-up 1997 Oklahoma State Cowboys. That team was second to Iowa's record-setting 170 points, in turn setting the record for most combined points between the first and second place teams. Also note that there are seven instances in which three or more teams hit the 100 point barrier.

We'll be sure to check back at the end of the year to see if the runner-up scored 126 points or more. You can see every team to ever score 100 points here.

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