In college basketball, there is no bigger weekend than the Final Four weekend. Unfortunately, some schools, including notable ones, have never been represented in the final three games of the NCAA Tournament. Here, we list the top college basketball programs that never made it to the men’s NCAA Tournament Final Four.

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The Cougars lead all men’s college basketball with 29 NCAA Tournament appearances, but haven’t reached the Final Four. They have made three Elite Eights, the last being in 1981.


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The Musketeers have 28 NCAA Tournament appearances, but they haven’t reached the Final Four. Xavier has been a hotbed of head coaching development for the past 20+ years, most recently with Skip Prosser, Thad Matta, Sean Miller, Chris Mack and now Travis Steele.


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Former head coach Norm Stewart has been called one of the best basketball coaches who never made it to the Final Four. The Tigers are scheduled to play in 27 NCAA tournament appearances, although one of those appearances, in 1994, was vacated by the NCAA. The school was last selected to the Elite Eight in 2009.


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The Vols have a successful track record in both men’s and women’s basketball, but they never reached the men’s Final Four in 22 games. In fact, their only Elite Eight came in 2010.


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Utah had made 21 NCAA tournament appearances before this year, but only reached the Elite Eight in 1939 and 1970. The Aggies went to the last big dance of 2019.


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Crimson Tide has had a lot of success in football, but has yet to see a Final Four in men’s basketball after 21 appearances — despite the 1987 appearance being canceled by the NCAA. The school did make it to the Elite Eight in 2004.


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The Blue Jays had only one Elite Eight appearance in 21 NCAA tournament games prior to 2020 in 1941. They haven’t made the Sweet 16 since 1974.

Boston College

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Boston College has been underwhelming lately, but it does have a history of basketball success. The Eagles were selected to the Elite Eight in 18 NCAA tournament games in 1967, 1982 and 1994.

Miami (OH)

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Miami has 17 NCAA Tournament appearances, the last of which was in 2007. The Redhawks have never surpassed Sweet 16.

Murray State

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The racers have 17 NCAA Tournament appearances in their history but have never made it to the Sweet 16.


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The Sun Devils have played in 16 NCAA Tournaments, one appearance (1995) was vacated by the NCAA, and they have made 3 Elite Eights in their history. The last time was in 1975.


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Tulsa played in the NCAA Tournament in 2016, the school’s 16th appearance. In 2000, Bill Self’s “Elite Eight” performed solo.

Weber State

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The Wildcats have reached the Sweet 16 twice in 16 NCAA tournament appearances. The last time they won a game in the tournament was in 1999, when North Carolina was upset about it.

new mexico

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New Mexico has played in the NCAA Tournament 15 times, including a three-game winning streak in 2012-14. Still, the school has never surpassed Sweet 16, not even that far since 1974.


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The Blazers have made some strides in the NCAA Tournament in their 15 games, but they’ve only reached the Elite Eight once in their history.


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Vanderbilt’s 15th NCAA Tournament appearance in 2017. In 1965, the Commodores had only one Elite Eight.


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Davidson played 14 times in the NCAA Tournament, including seven in the 21st century. The Wildcats reached the Elite Eight three times, including Stephen Curry in 2008.

Texas A&M University

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The Aggies have appeared in 14 NCAA Tournaments and reached the Sweet 16 five times, including in 2018.


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Ohio State recently reached the Sweet 16 in 2012, and its one Elite Eight appearance came in 1964. However, it has failed to reach the Final Four in 13 NCAA tournament appearances.


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Pepperdine has played in the NCAA Tournament 13 times in its history, but has consistently won only five games.

old dominion

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The Monarchs have made it to the NCAA Tournament 13 times but have never reached the Sweet 16. Their last appearance was in 2019 as the No. 14 seed. They lost in the first round to third-seeded Purdue.

San Diego

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The program made six straight appearances, then failed to get there in 2016, but returned in 2018, losing in the first round. The Aztecs reached the Sweet 16 in 2011 and 2014 and have been in 12 NCAA tournaments.

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George Washington

George Washington

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The Colonists have 11 NCAA Tournament appearances, but only one in the Sweet 16. Their golden age came under coach Mike Jarvis in the 1990s, making four appearances and one more after his departure in 1999.