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2011 March Madness: Ten 2010 Tournament Teams That Won't Be Dancing This Year

Doug BrodessCorrespondent INovember 22, 2010

2011 March Madness: Ten 2010 Tournament Teams That Won't Be Dancing This Year

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    All 10 of these teams were dancing this past year.

    But it will be a different story come Selection Sunday in March 2011.

    Rather than getting ready to head to some distant regional location, these teams will be either (1) preparing for a home N.I.T. opener and/or (2) wondering what went wrong.

    Some teams experienced coaching changes. Some had heavy player departures. Some had both.

    Either way, these teams will be on the outside looking in.

    Disclaimer: ACC supporters may not like this list at all!

Cal Bears

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    Cal Bears

    2009-10 Record: 23-10

    Pac-10 At-Large

     

    Nobody in the Pac-10 lost more than the Bears did from their last season’s conference championship team.

    Mike Montgomery replaces four of his five starters, as well as most of his team’s points (83 percent), shooting (89 percent) and boards (64 percent) from a year ago.

    The departed senior foursome of Jerome Randle, Patrick Christopher, Theo Robertson and Jamal Boykin accounted for 5,796 points during their Cal careers, with Randle finishing as the school's all-time scoring king with 1,849 points.

    The Bears can try to build from the inside-out with 6-foot-8, 250-pound junior power forward Harper Kamp and 6-7, 265-pound center Markhuri Sanders-Frison.

    Junior guard Jorge Gutierrez will provide some solid back-court experience.

    Gutierrez, Kamp, and freshman Gary Franklin are averaging double-figures as the Bears have won their first two games of the new season.

    Montgomery has led his past 12 college teams to the NCAA tournament. I doubt that streak moves to 13.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

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    Wake Forest Demon Deacons

    2009-10 Record: 19–10

    ACC At-Large

     

    First-year coach Jeff Bzdelik is going to have problems getting the Deacons into the revised 68-team field.

    Wake Forest only return starter (C.J. Harris) from last year's team, and lost Tony Woods, the projected starter at center, after he left school following legal problems.

    Bzdelik won't be without any talent. He was able to preserve Wake's recruiting class, which Scout.com rated No. 13 in the country.

    The Demon Deacons have already struggled early in this new season. They have lost two of their first four games (against Stetson and Virginia Commonwealth). 

Houston Cougars

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    The Cougars will be going a new direction under first-year Head Coach, James Dickey, the former Texas Tech coach.

    The Cougars' top two players from 2009-10 (Aubrey Coleman and Kelvin Lewis, who combined for 40-plus points per night), both graduated.

    Last year's starting sophomore point guard, Desmond Wade, transferred last spring.

    Athletic power forward Maurice McNeil (6' 9" 225 pounds) is off to a good start, averaging a double-double, and the Cougars have started this season with a 3-1 mark.

    Their single loss to Louisiana Tech, however, creates questions of things to come.

New Mexico State Aggies

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    New Mexico State Aggies

    2009-10 Record 22–11

    WAC Tournament Winner


    Last year, New Mexico State came close to pulling off a huge upset in the first round of the NCAA tournament, nearly beating Final Four finishing Michigan State.

    Two explosive guards, Jahmar Young and Jonathan Gibson, are gone, leaving NMSU coach Marvin Menzies with a backcourt void.

    While the Aggies return nine lettermen from last year's squad, including Troy Gillenwater, they have struggled early this season, losing three of their first five games.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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    Notre Dame Fighting Irish

    2009-10 Record 23–11

    Big East At-large

     

    Mike Brey has stated that his team can compensate for the loss of standout players like Luke Harangody and Tory Jackson. Easier said than done.

    Senior forward Scott Martin is an important part of this year's team. He hasn't played in a game in two seasons, losing one as a transfer from Purdue and another to injury.

    Martin has already missed action this year. Back spasms forced Martin to skip Wednesday's game against Chicago State.

    Tim Abromatis, second team All-Big East preseason selection, is shooting a mere 30 percent from the field and 16.7 percent (4-of-24) from three.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

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    Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

    2009-10 Record: 22–12

    ACC At-large

     

    Is it ever a good sign when an ACC school loses a game to a team from the Atlantic Sun Conference by 17 points?

    With embarrassment, Georgia Tech can answer that because they have already lost a game this season to Kennesaw State.

    Coach Paul Hewitt is needing to figure out what to do about the loss of front-court players Derrick Favors, Gani Lawal and Zach Peacock.

    On top of that, the Yellow Jackets are really struggling to shoot the ball.

    Georgia Tech shot just 28.8 percent (17 for 59) in a 52-39 opening victory at home against Charleston Southern

    They made only 35 percent (21 for 60) of their shots against Kennesaw State and were 4 for 14 on 3-pointers.

    Iman Shumpert, a 6' 5" guard, is one of the few bright spots, averaging 15.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.

    What will happen when Tech plays more legitimate opponents? How will they do in the ACC? Both of those could be scary questions to answer.

UTEP Miners

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    UTEP Miners

    2009-10 Record: 26–6

    Conference USA At-large

     

    You'd think that the Miners would be in good shape, with having a player like senior shooting guard Randy Culpepper leading the way.

    Culpepper was named to the preseason watch list for the John R. Wooden Award.

    Alongside Culpepper, the Miners have three-year starting point guard Julyan Stone and Jeremy Williams, a versatile 6-7 swingman.

    The question is what kind of inside game can Coach Tim Floyd put together?

    They have lost their post dominance when Derrick Character and Arnett Moultrie; both left the team after last season.

    The Miners have already lost a home game to Pacific this season. In that game, Culpepper was held scoreless in the second half.

    If Pacific can shut down the Miners, won't Conference USA opponents be able to do the same thing? We shall see.

Maryland Terrapins

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    Maryland Terrapins

    2009-10 Record: 23–8

    ACC At-large

     

    Coach Gary Williams didn't look too excited when his Terrapin team squeaked out an opening night home victory in the last seconds against College of Charleston.

    Since then, Maryland has lost games against Pittsburgh and against Illinois.

    To say that Maryland has a significant rebuilding job is a huge understatement. They lost three senior starters (Greivis Vasquez, Landon Milbourne and Eric Hayes) who combined for 4,476 points, 1,465 rebounds, 1,359 assists, and 315 starts in their four-year careers.

    It's great to have a player like big-time power forward, Jordan Williams, to build around, but coach Gary Williams is having to play a large number of untested returnees and freshmen.

Northern Iowa Panthers

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

     

    Northern Iowa Panthers

    2009-10 Record: 30-5

    Missouri Valley Tournament Winner

     

    A year ago, the Panthers were one of the darlings of the Dance, first beating UNLV, and then taking down No. 1 seed Kansas.

    To top things off, they almost beat Michigan State in the third round.

    The new season isn't going quite so well. The Panthers have already lost two of their three games: a 22-point blow-out against Syracuse and a close defeat against Milwaukee.

    UNI will miss the big bodies and experience of 7-footer Jordan Eglseder and Adam Koch. UNI can't replace their scoring or rebounding stats, not to mention their defense.

    Forward Lucas O'Rear is the two-time MVC Sixth Man of the Year. He should move into the starting lineup, where he will be responsible for rebounding and interior defense

    While the Panthers may not fall too far from where they were last year, the Missouri Valley Conference usually doesn't place too many At-large bids in the tournament, and Wichita State is most likely to win their automatic bid.

Clemson Tigers

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    Clemson Tigers

    2009-10 Record: 21–10

    ACC At-large

     

    Its hard to change coaches and change style of play all at once.

    Clemson is attempting to do that under first year Coach Brad Brownell.

    Clemson established a reputation in recent years for being a pressing defensive club that liked to force the pace of the game and create turnovers.

    Instead, Brownell likes to work from more conventional defensive sets.

    The Tigers have some rebuilding to do with the loss of last year's leading scorer and rebounder Trevor Booker and starter David Potter

    While starting this year 3-1, the Tigers have lost a game to Old Dominion, which may be a preview of some challenges down the road.

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