NCAA basketball countdown: No. 39 Xavier

USA TODAY Sports breaks down the projected NCAA tournament field of 68.

      
 

 

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The 10 NCAA Basketball Programs That Have Declined the Most in the Past Decade

For 10 college basketball teams, things have gone severely downhill since the 2003-04 season. After all, not all programs can be as consistently dominant as their blue-blood counterparts.

Just 11 years ago, Georgia Tech played for a national championship. But the Yellow Jackets have a 56-70 record over the past four seasons. Yet that precipitous fall from grace wasn’t even enough for them to earn a spot in the top 10. Not when there are much better candidates within their own conference like Boston College and Wake Forest.

The schools on the following slides are listed in alphabetical order.

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NCAA basketball countdown: No. 40 Miami (Fla.)

USA TODAY Sports breaks down the projected NCAA tournament field of 68.

      
 

 

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NCAA basketball countdown: No. 41 Illinois

USA TODAY Sports breaks down the projected NCAA tournament field of 68.

      
 

 

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NCAA basketball countdown: No. 42 Arkansas

USA TODAY Sports breaks down the projected NCAA tournament field of 68.

      
 

 

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2014 NCAA Tournament Teams from Each Major Conference Least Likely to Return

Some years, a college basketball program puts it all together and secures an elusive NCAA tournament berth. Other schools boast much prouder traditions but get in by the skin of their teeth to continue a recent string.

Every year, however, change is the only constant, and several members of the field of 68 must return to the drawing board to plot another run to the Big Dance.

The ones with difficulties to overcome aren’t your Dukes, North Carolinas or Kentuckys that lose multiple players to the NBA draft early.

They’re the major-conference brethren of those elite programs, the ones that nurture a player through four years of development and simply see his hourglass run out of sand. Or the ones who took a chance on a talented character risk who decided he was pro-ready before anyone else had.

This piece doesn’t attempt to claim that any of the teams profiled therein cannot possibly return to the NCAA tournament. These are, however, the 2014 tournament teams from the game’s nine most renowned conferences that have the most questions to answer before they should be automatically penciled into your bracket.

You’ll also find here each conference’s “next man up,” so to speakthe program that is ready to take the bid that a league rival must fight to avoid giving away.

 

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NCAA basketball countdown: No. 43 Georgia Bulldogs

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O’Bannon plaintiffs won’t appeal ruling in case vs. NCAA

There were aspects of the ruling that fell short of what they had been seeking.

      
 

 

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NCAA head-injury deal’s backers press for court OK (Yahoo Sports)

FILE - In this Aug. 16, 2014, file photo, Arkansas guard Brey Cook (74) wears a Riddell SpeedFlex helmet during a preseason NCAA college football practice in Fayetteville, Ark. With lawsuits and concern regarding concussions hanging over every level of football, the race to develop safer helmets and other equipment has never been more intense. (AP Photo/Gareth Patterson, File)

Attorneys pushing for a judge to give preliminary approval to a proposed $75 million settlement of a class-action lawsuit against the NCAA said Friday that claims it unfairly forces athletes affected by head injuries to forfeit hundreds of millions of dollars are untrue. In a court filing that’s part of what’s likely to be a long approval process about the deal, the attorneys countered opposition lodged last month on behalf of Anthony Nichols, who says he sustained concussions while an offensive lineman for San Diego State from 1989 to 1992. Nichols, who would be among tens of thousands of male and female athletes covered by the sweeping deal, has argued in court documents that the proposal’s benefits to athletes would be paltry compared to what the NCAA gains: legal protection from having to pay out what the filing argues could have been a billion dollars or more in damages. ”Nichols’ claim that hardly anyone will benefit from the program has no basis in fact.” Under the deal, the NCAA would create a $70 million fund to test thousands of current and former athletes for brain trauma and sets aside $5 million for research.


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NCAA basketball countdown: No. 44 Harvard

USA TODAY Sports breaks down the projected NCAA tournament field of 68.

      
 

 

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