These are the only Power 5 teams to have not made the NIT or NCAA tournament in the last four years.
The NCAA landscape changes extremely fast from year-to-year, but for a few teams, the losing stays constant. There are 51 teams in the five major conferences of college basketball (ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC), and 42 of them have made either the NIT or NCAA tournament during the tenure of this year's true seniors. Which nine remain? One didn't win a single conference game this year, one ended the season on a 17-game losing streak and one hasn't posted a winning record since 2006.
The last time Auburn played in a postseason tournament, the United States was in the midst of the financial crisis and “Right Round” by Flo Rida was the number one song on Billboard's Hot 100. In 2009, they won two games in the NIT tournament before falling to Baylor 74–72 in the quarterfinals. This year, they finished 11–20 and were blown out by Tennessee in the first round of the SEC tournament.
The Golden Eagles' futility made headlines when they became the first major conference school in 40 years to lose every conference game in both football and basketball in the same year. They went 7–25 this season and lost in the first round of the ACC tournament. Their most recent major postseason tournament appearance came in 2011, when they lost in the second round of the NIT tournament to Northwestern.
In 2012, the Bulldogs made it to the NIT tournament before falling to Massachusetts in double overtime of the first round. Since then, they also haven't had a winning record, though this season, they posted their best conference record (7–11) since they made the NIT.
Though the 'Cats have been on an upward trajectory the last couple of seasons, they have faltered during conference play year after year. Their last appearance was a 2012 NIT berth, in which they beat Akron in the first round before losing to Washington. Since then, head coach Chris Collins has been brought in to right the ship, and in 2016 won 20 games, tying a school record.
In the last three years, the Nittany Lions have been incredibly average, going exactly 50–50. The last time they appeared in the NCAA tournament was in 2011, when they lost to Temple on a buzzer beater in the first round of the tournament. Head coach Patrick Chambers recently announced that they would decline any bids to the CBI or Vegas 16 tournaments following their 16–16 season.
The last time the Scarlet Knights were in a postseason tournament was 2006, when they made the NIT. After defeating Penn State in the first round, they lost by nine to Saint Joseph’s in the second round. They finished that season with a record of 19–14, which is also the last time they had a winning record during the regular season.
The Horned Frogs went 12–21 this year and recently fired their head coach, Trent Johnson, after his fourth year. During his tenure, TCU only won eight conference games. TCU hasn't just been in a tournament drought recently—their most recent tournament appearance was the 2005 NIT, where they made it to the quarterfinals before being defeated by Maryland.
Long gone are the days of Tim Duncan, when the Demon Deacons went as far as the Elite Eight. They haven't made a tournament since making the NCAA tournament in 2010, when they were dismantled by John Wall and Kentucky in the second round. This year marked Wake Forest's second-straight losing season and sixth since its last tournament berth.
On Jan. 3, there might have been some hope for the Cougars, coming off a victory over UCLA and holding a 9–5 record. Instead, they lost the last 17 games of their season to finish 9–22. They have been to the CBI more recently, but 2011 was the last time Washington State made a major tournament. They made it to the Final Four of the NIT tournament before getting demolished 75–44 by Wichita State.