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These 10 Sweet 16 teams could win their first National Championship

One of these 10 teams could leave the "never won a championship" club this year.

Mar 24, 2024; Memphis, TN, USA; Houston Cougars guard Jamal Shead (1) shoots against Texas A&M in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Mar 24, 2024; Memphis, TN, USA; Houston Cougars guard Jamal Shead (1) shoots against Texas A&M in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. / John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
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In 2019, Virginia won their first-ever men's basketball National Championship and officially left the "never won a championship" club. Well, we now have 10 teams that are in the Sweet 16 that are in the said club for the time being, but one could escape.

However, we have six teams that could add another trophy to thier trophy case, one being UConn who won it all last season and is looking to repeat. Some of the teams who have never won a men's basketball National Championship have been so close quite a few times while others have never made it to the Final Four.

So which teams have a chance to win their championship and wave goodbye to the club? Well lucky for you I have the list for you right here.

1. Houston Cougars

Mar 24, 2024; Memphis, TN, USA; Houston Cougars guard Emanuel Sharp (21) and forward J'Wan Roberts
Mar 24, 2024; Memphis, TN, USA; Houston Cougars guard Emanuel Sharp (21) and forward J'Wan Roberts / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Cougars have been close to a National Championship a couple of times losing twice in the big game in 1983 and 1984. They have also made it to the Final Four five times since the tournament started and have not won a National Championship. The Cougars made it to the Sweet 16 last season but were knocked out by 5-seed Miami.

2. Purdue Boilermakers

Purdue Boilermakers center Zach Edey (15) high-fives Purdue Boilermakers guard Myles Colvin (5).
Purdue Boilermakers center Zach Edey (15) high-fives Purdue Boilermakers guard Myles Colvin (5). / Alex Martin/Journal and Courier / USA

With how much of a powerhouse Purdue has been in men's basketball, it surprises me that they have never won or even been to a National Championship. However, it surprises me even more that they haven't been to a Final Four either. This year might be their best chance to make both. The further they have made it in the tournament is the Elite Eight which they haven't made since 2019.

3. Tennessee

March 23, 2024, Charlotte, NC, USA; Tennessee Volunteers players celebrate in the second half.
March 23, 2024, Charlotte, NC, USA; Tennessee Volunteers players celebrate in the second half. / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Volunteers have had a long history in the NCAA Tournament, but they have never won a National Championship or even been to one. They have also never been to the Final Four and only been to the Elite Eight just once in program history in 2010. So the Volunteers could add to history if they win just two more games.

4. Iowa State

The Iowa State Cyclones bench reacts in a second-round NCAA Tournament game between Iowa State and Washington State.
The Iowa State Cyclones bench reacts in a second-round NCAA Tournament game between Iowa State and Washington State. / Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register / USA

The Cyclones have had a shorter history in the NCAA Tournament, and have made it to the Seet 16 a handful of times and the Elite Eight once in 2000. They have never made it to the Final Four and in turn, have never made it to the National Championship.

5. Illinois Fighting Illini

Mar 23, 2024; Omaha, NE, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini forward Coleman Hawkins (33) dribbles the ball up the court.
Mar 23, 2024; Omaha, NE, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini forward Coleman Hawkins (33) dribbles the ball up the court. / Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois is another team with a long history in the NCAA Tournament. They have made it further than most teams with one National Championship appearance in 2005 where they lost to North Carolina. They have not made it to the Sweet 16 since 2005, the season they made thier championship run but came up short.

6. Creighton Bluejays

Mar 23, 2024; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Creighton Bluejays forward Mason Miller (13) shoots the ball.
Mar 23, 2024; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Creighton Bluejays forward Mason Miller (13) shoots the ball. / Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Since the expansion of the NCAA Tournament in 1985, this is just the third time the Bluejays have made it to the Sweet 16; all three times have happened in the last three years. Creighton made it to their first-ever Elite Eight last season and look to meet that again this year and make it to thier first Final Four.

7. Alabama Crimson Tide

Mar 24, 2024; Spokane, WA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide forward Nick Pringle (23) celebrate plays that are made.
Mar 24, 2024; Spokane, WA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide forward Nick Pringle (23) celebrate plays that are made. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama had their best chance last season as a 1-seed to make it to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2004 and even further for the first time ever. However, the Crimson Tide lost to San Diego State in the Sweet 16. The Tide will look to avoid the same fate and make it further than they ever had.

8. Gonzaga Bulldogs

Mar 23, 2024; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Ben Gregg (33) celebrates with his teammate after making a shot on offense.
Mar 23, 2024; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Ben Gregg (33) celebrates with his teammate after making a shot on offense. / Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Gonzaga has always been a team that seems to be in the NCAA Tournament making some sort of run. However, they have never been able to hoist the trophy in the end. The Bulldogs are 0-2 in National Championship games, their most recent loss coming in 2021.

9. San Diego State Aztecs

Mar 24, 2024; Spokane, WA, USA; San Diego State Aztecs forward Elijah Saunders (25) dunks the ball in their second-round game against Yale.
Mar 24, 2024; Spokane, WA, USA; San Diego State Aztecs forward Elijah Saunders (25) dunks the ball in their second-round game against Yale. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Aztecs have been to just one National Championship in program history and it was last season as a 5-seed on a bit of a Cinderella run. Other than that, the Aztecs have only made the Sweet 16 four times including this season, and hope to repeat their run from last year, this time hoisting the trophy in the end.

10. Clemson Tigers

Mar 24, 2024; Memphis, TN, USA; Clemson Tigers guard Joseph Girard III (11) celebrates after beating Baylor in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Mar 24, 2024; Memphis, TN, USA; Clemson Tigers guard Joseph Girard III (11) celebrates after beating Baylor in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. / John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Clemson Tigers have only made it past the Sweet 16 once in program history and that was back in 1980 when they made it to the Elite Eight. The Tigers will hope continue their run and hopefully make it to their first Final Four and possibly even a championship.

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