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March 3, 2011
Harvard ranks first among all American colleges in many different categories. NCAA tournament participation isn't one of them.
The Crimson made their lone NCAA tournament appearance in 1946 and rarely have come within sniffing distance of March Madness since. The Ivy League doesn't hold a postseason tournament, so the league's regular-season champion earns the conference's automatic NCAA bid. Harvard finished third in the Ivy League standings last year, but that marked the first time since 1996-97 that the Crimson had posted a winning conference record.
More than six decades of frustration could end this season.
The Crimson (21-5, 10-2 Ivy League) head into the final weekend of the regular season second in the Ivy League standings, a half-game behind Princeton (22-5, 10-1). The teams meet Saturday at Harvard.
Harvard isn't the only Division I program that has a legitimate chance to end a long NCAA tournament drought this season. We've put together a list of schools that haven't earned NCAA bids since the turn of the century but who currently rank first or second in their conference or division.
Considering each team's rotten luck in trying to make the NCAA tournament this century, it's only fitting our list includes 13 teams (listed alphabetically).