The NCAA tournament separates the pretenders from the contenders. The pretenders are lucky to make it out of the first round, while the contenders are the ones that make runs in the tournament.
Over the years, there has been a share of true contenders that still managed to get knocked out of the tournament.
For example, look at what happened to the Kansas Jayhawks.
They were, no doubt, the deepest and most experienced team in the tournament. However, Northern Iowa was the better team that day and sent the Jayhawks home.
But there are also a lot of last year's pretenders that have turned into contenders in their own right. The following list illustrates this progress.