Sharpen your sports wits with The Blade’s “Sharp 7,” a weekly trivia quiz designed to test your knowledge on a variety of subjects in the sports world. Today’s focus is on NCAA men’s basketball tournament bids.
1. Let’s start with an easy one: Before this year’s bids were announced, which Division I conference had earned the most NCAA tournament bids?
2. Entering this season’s NCAA tournament, which five schools have the longest string of consecutive tournament appearances? Hint: These five schools began this season as the only ones with active streaks in double digits — and one of the five saw their run of tournament appearances end this year.
3. Four schools that were in Division I when the NCAA Tournament was first held in 1939 have never earned a single bid to “The Big Dance.” What four schools fit these criteria?
4. What Division I school that has played in a previous NCAA Tournament has the longest current streak of missing the tournament since its last appearance? Hint: Stop snickering, Toledo fans, because it’s not Bowling Green.
5. Speaking of the Falcons, Bowling Green’s last appearance in the NCAA Tournament came in 1968. What two other schools also have not played in the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament since playing in the 1968 event? Hint: One is an Ivy League school, the other is currently in the Western Athletic Conference.
6. Of the 50 United States, two have never had a college from their state play in the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament. What are the two states?
7. The birthday “kicker” for March 12: What former Eastern Michigan men’s basketball standout was born on this day in 1966? He led EMU to its first NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament bid in 1988, then had a 15-year NBA career.
1. The Atlantic Coast Conference has earned 381 bids to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament entering this season, nearly 100 more than the Big Ten Conference in second place with 298.
2. Kansas entered this tournament with the longest active string of consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances with 29, followed by Duke (23), Michigan State (21), Gonzaga (20) and Wisconsin (19). Wisconsin was the only one of those five to see its string end.
3. The four schools that played Division I men’s basketball when the NCAA Tournament was created in 1939 and are still looking for their first bid are Army, The Citadel, St. Francis (N.Y.) and William & Mary.
4. Dartmouth played in the NCAA Tournament seven times between 1941 and 1959, making the Final Four in 1942 and the championship game in 1944. But the Big Green have not made the tournament since 1959, and its 59-year absence after missing the tournament this year is the longest for a Division I schools that has played in the tournament before.
5. Joining Bowling Green as Division I schools who have not played in the NCAA Tournament since making an appearance in 1968 are Columbia and Seattle. In defense of Seattle, the school did not play Division I basketball from 1980 to 2009.
6. The two states that have never had one of their colleges play in the NCAA Tournament are Alaska, which does not have a Division I men’s basketball team, and Maine, which only has one. And the University of Maine did not play Division I hoops before 1962.
7. Former Eastern Michigan men’s basketball standout Grant Long was born on March 12, 1966. After leading EMU to its first Division I NCAA Tournament berth in 1988, he played in the NBA for Miami, Atlanta, Detroit, the Vancouver-Memphis franchise, and Boston.
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