It’s been 28 years since the Tulane Green Wave last tasted the glory of March Madness, with this year’s team being the first to finish the year above .500 since 2013.
In Year 5 of the Ron Hunter era in New Orleans, the Green Wave posted a 20-11 mark, going 12-6 in American Athletic Conference play, but found themselves on the outside looking in when March Madness brackets were announced last month.
Still, Tulane posted the program’s 12th 20-win season in the Green Wave’s 113-year history and the program’s first in a decade, showing some signs of progress for the program entering the 2023-24 season.
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Top March Sadness Schools
With March Madness fully wrapped up and the champion crowned, it was a fun month full of games for many fans to enjoy. However, there were some fanbases sitting on their couch longing for meaningful games in March.
Utilizing College Basketball Reference, LouisianaBets.com created a point system to determine the saddest college basketball programs in March since 2010. The point system awarded 1 point per NCAA Tournament appearance and 1 point for each round made (i.e. 7 points for winning Championship to 0 points for First Four).
For research purposes, we kept the pool of NCAA Men’s teams to Power 5 conferences (Big Ten, SEC, ACC, Big 12, Pac-12), plus the American Athletic, Big East, Atlantic 10 and Mountain West.
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How Tulane Landed Atop March Sadness Rankings
The Green Wave find themselves in unenviable company, being one of nine teams to make zero Big Dance appearances since 2010.
In Tulane’s case, the program has seen the last 13 years as one of more lows than highs, with three teams during that span that finished .500 or better.
The Green Wave last qualified for a postseason bracket in 2014, when they lost to Princeton (56-55) in the opening round of the College Basketball Invitational.
The only other postseason appearance Tulane made between 2010 and 2023 was their 2013 berth in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT), where the Green Wave beat South Alabama (84-73), before falling to Bradley, 77-72, in the event’s second round.
Whether 2024 can be the year that the Green Wave start making waves remains to be seen, though there is a reason for optimism in how Tulane got four players on the AAC’s all-conference teams.
Between first-team All-AAC member Jalen Cook, second-teamer Jaylen Forbes and third-team member Kevin Cross (in addition to AAC Sportsmanship Award winner Sion James), there’s a solid base level of talent that Hunter can build around in the year ahead.
If Hunter can do that, then Tulane will enter what should be a wide-open AAC with a shot at breaking through the March Madness glass ceiling, earning the Green Wave their first NCAA Tournament berth since 1995.
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