Teams That Will Not Make the Final Four Next Season

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The logo for the 2022 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Final Four semifinal is seen on a basketball. (Photo by JAMIE SQUIRE / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

The NCAA Tournament is one of the wildest postseason events in all of sports. Over the course of 67 games, every conference is represented in a single-elimination tournament. Elite teams lose to schools most fans have never heard of, and athletes who didn’t get a single offer from a school in the Power 5 become campus legends over the course of a few weekends.  

Everyone wants to know which teams are going to push the needle and make it to the Final Four, but 64 of the 68 teams are not that lucky. Add in the teams that didn’t make it to the NCAA Tournament at all and you have a lengthy list of disappointed fan bases.  

With that in mind, here are four teams that won’t make it to the Final Four this season. These teams are usually competitive, but they will all struggle to reach this milestone for a variety of reasons. Let’s start with the SEC.  

Auburn Tigers 

Auburn made the Final Four in 2019, and they have seen plenty of talented players come through the program since. However, the Tigers seem to go through highs and lows over the years. They are a strong program that lacks consistency.  

Auburn has a solid recruiting class, but they lost out on some top prospects. They also lost Jabari Smith, who has a great chance of being the first player taken in the 2022 NBA Draft. The Tigers also lost Walker Kessler, who has a chance of going in the first round of the draft.  

Bruce Pearl is a great coach, and the Tigers will be a solid team, but there is no realistic way to expect them to make it back to the Final Four in 2023. They will be competitive in the SEC and should easily make it to the NCAA Tournament, but they will be one of the 64 teams that fail to make it to the national semifinal.  

Auburn has +5500 odds to win the national championship, and I see little value with that bet.  

Villanova Wildcats 

Villanova has a strong track record, and they have +4000 odds to win the national championship. Plenty of people think that they will be competitive this year, and they easily could be. However, I still see them missing the Final Four simply because they lost their head coach.  

Jay Wright abruptly retired this offseason, and his impact cannot be understated. He helped the Wildcats consistently recruit talented players and sent plenty of ballers to the NBA. He was going to be the best head coach in college basketball after the retirement of Coach K, but his own retirement left a question mark for this team.  

Kyle Neptune is a solid hire, and he has a history with the Wildcats. Still, you can’t expect him to fill in the shoes of Wright. The gap in talent between those two coaches will be noticed on the court.  

I like the offseason moves Villanova has made, and they will have a solid roster. Still, I don’t see how they make it to the Final Four in the first year without Jay Wright. Even with recent history of coaches replacing legends and succeeding early, I don’t see a world where Neptune takes the Wildcats to the Final Four.  

Kentucky Wildcats 

This is a risky prediction, but I would fade the Wildcats this year for a few simple reasons. Kentucky usually comes into every season with a ton of hype, and this year is no different. However, they haven’t reached the Final Four since 2015.  

The SEC will once again be brutal, and Kentucky does not have the best recruiting class from 2022. They retain some talent, but this team lost in the first round of last year’s NCAA Tournament. With no recent success in the postseason, I find it unlikely for this year to be any different.  

Kentucky will have plenty of hype, and they will probably be a high seed in the NCAA Tournament, but I don’t see them winning the tough games to make it to the Final Four.