3 Teams Robbed Most by NCAA March Madness Tournament Cancellation

By David Hayes
Rutgers basketball was ranked in the AP Top-25 Poll for the first time since 1979 earlier this season.
Rutgers basketball was ranked in the AP Top-25 Poll for the first time since 1979 earlier this season. / Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

Even though coming to terms with the reality of a cancelled 2020 NCAA March Madness Tournament may not have sunk in for some yet, this month will go down in history as the first March without an NCAA basketball tournament since 1938.

While blue-blood programs like Kansas, Duke and Kentucky will almost certainly return reloaded rosters to next year's NCAA Tournament, there were a handful of refreshing storylines we were waiting to see play out for other less familiar faces in this year's tournament that have now come to a bitter and unresolved end.

Keeping that in mind, here's a look at three of this year's teams that lost out on the most with the cancellation of 2020 March Madness.

3. San Diego State Aztecs (30-2)

It may come as a surprise to some that this year's SDSU Aztecs didn't actually set the program record, nor even its own decade record, for most wins at 30, but they did finish with the highest winning percentage in school history at .938. SDSU was this season's last standing undefeated team after a 26-0 start, but a crushing upset loss to Utah State in the 2020 Mountain West Conference Tournament title game left much to be desired of this year's team come March Madness. Unfortunately, the 2019-20 Aztecs will now most likely never get that chance.

2. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (20-11)

Following a strong two-game rebound to close out the regular season that included a win over then-No. 9 Maryland and a road win over Purdue, Rutgers not only finished with the most Big Ten conference wins in program history, but also with the most conference wins since the 1990-91 season. The Scarlet Knights also cracked the AP Top-25 Poll this January for the first time since 1979, and 2019-20 proved Rutgers' first winning season in the last 14 years. Had this year's NCAA Tournament not been cancelled, the Scarlet Knights all but had their trip back to the Big Dance locked in for the first time in nearly two full decades.

1. Dayton Flyers (29-2)

Referring to this year's Dayton Flyers as a once-in-a-generation team for this program would quite literally be no overstatement. The Flyers won a program-record 29 games, edging their previous top 28-game mark set in 1952. Dayton was also led by a once-in-a-generation talent in star forward Obi Toppin, who currently projects as an NBA Lottery pick in the 2020 Draft. Assuming Toppin is selected in the first 30 picks of this year's draft, he would also become just the third Dayton player selected in the first round in the program's history and its first since Jim Paxson in 1979.

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David Hayes is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David Hayes also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username DavidWHayes. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.