list of the top 16 teams never to win the title since 1980:
1. Houston, 1983-84. How did these guys not win? Just check out the names, including two NBA Hall of Famers: Akeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, Larry Micheaux, Benny Anders, Byron Franklin, etc. (Way to leave Drexler in the game, Guy Lewis.)
2. Kansas, 1997. Already went into length on the Paul Pierce/Raef LaFrentz buzzsaw that got buzzed by Arizona.
3. Michigan, 1992-93. How many people remember that the Fab Five never actually won a title?
4. Duke, 1999. These guys truly were a step above the rest of the country from the start of the season until the fateful last night when they fell in the Tropicana Dome against UConn.
5. Arizona, 2001. More names: Gilbert Arenas, Richard Jefferson, Jason Gardner, Michael Wright, Luke Walton, Loren Woods. What's interesting here is which guys have made it in the pros and which haven't.
6. North Carolina, 1998. Let's see: Vince Carter, Antawn Jamison, Ed Cota -- and not title. Utah???
7. UConn, 2006. It still feels weird to write that this team lost to George Mason with a Final Four berth on the line. Alums: Rudy Gay, Josh Boone, Hilton Armstrong, Marcus Williams, Denham Brown.
8. Virginia, 1981. Kids today just don't know how dominant Ralph Sampson was at the collegiate level.
9. LSU, 1990. This set of luminaries started the season No. 2 with a roster that included Shaquille O'Neal, Chris Jackson, Stanley Roberts, VernelSingleton, Wayne Sims and Maurice Williamson. So of course, as reader Kenny Morgan, of New Orleans, points out, the Tigers fell to Georgia Tech in the second round of the NCAAs after leading by 25 at the half.
10. Cincinnati, 2000. Oh what might have been had Kenyon Martin not broken his leg in the C-USA tourney against Saint Louis. Perhaps the most frightening team of the 2000s -- Pete Mickeal was a heck of a player, too, and Steve Logan, DerMarr Johnson and Kenny Satterfield made for a sweet supporting cast.
11. Indiana, 1993. A lot of folks in the Midwest still think the Hoosiers would have won it all if Alan Henderson hadn't been hurt.
12. Illinois, 2005. One of the great teams of our time in the team sense. I would have had the Stylin' Illini higher if I didn't think they had already exceeded the sum of their parts so well.
13. St. John's, 1985. Chris Mullin, Walter Berry, Bill Wennington: not a bad team that Louie Carnesecca assembled. The Big East was loaded in '85 with three Final Four teams.
14. Syracuse, 1990. No title with three first-round draft picks (Derrick Coleman, Billy Owens, Leron Ellis) and a really good college player in Stevie Thompson, as reader Kevin Bartner of Atlanta notes.
15. Oklahoma, 1988. Another scary team that was destroying teams until being taken down by Kansas in the title game. Alums: Stacey King, Harvey Grant, Mookie Blaylock, Ricky Grace and former WATN subject Dave Sieger.16. Illinois, 1989. The Flyin' Illini is part of the state mythology by now, and there's a good reason for that.