NCAA Final Four: Top 5 Championship Runners-Up

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NCAA Final Four: Top 5 Championship Runners-Up
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Dee Brown (11) helped lead Illinois to a 37-2 record.

Winning isn't everything, right?

Try telling that to the teams that came oh-so close to obtaining NCAA basketball glory. Each year a champion is crowned, and each year one team walks back to the locker room wondering what could have been.

To capture the NCAA tournament title, a team has to string together six straight victories. Winning the title separates the "great" from the "very good" teams. Some of the best teams in college basketball history suffered just one or two losses all year, but they failed to seize the NCAA championship plaque. One of these teams even set the national record for wins in a season (the record has since been vacated—hint, hint), but each one of them failed to come away victorious on that magical Monday night that wraps up March Madness. 

This list ranks the best teams that reached the finale of the Big Dance but failed to come out on top. If Kentucky were to lose to Kansas on Monday night in New Orleans, you could make a strong argument that the Wildcats would crack this list—perhaps as the top team. 

Winning may not be everything, but it sure as hell doesn't make losing any easier.

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