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Adam Morrison
AP Photo/Paul Sakuma

Ladies and gentlemen, the NCAA Tournament is here. It’s arguably the greatest three weeks in all of sports, and this year is expected to be as crazy as ever. So buckle up and get ready for an unforgettable ride.

It all starts out with 68 teams, but only one will prevail and win the national championship. That’s what makes March Madness so special. However, with that said, there is a lot of heartbreak to be had, too. Nobody likes to lose in the Big Dance, but it’s more than likely going to happen.

There are several ways to lose a college basketball game, but here are the seven worst ways for your favorite team to get knocked out of the NCAA Tournament:

1. At the Buzzer

Everyone loves a good buzzer-beater. We are all suckers for them and it’s a big reason why we watch each and every year. They are always fun to see, too, except if your team is on the losing end of one. How do you think North Carolina felt losing to Villanova at the buzzer of the 2016 national title game? That had to have been the worst feeling in the world for players, fans, and everyone else alike. These moments are the best for some and the absolute worst for others.

2. Losing to a Double-Digit Seed

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Hey, Virginia. This one is for you. Losing at any point in the NCAA Tournament sucks, but it’s definitely worse if your team gets upset by a double-digit seed. There is just no way to avoid the jokes you will hear for days, weeks, months, or even years after it happens. What makes it even worse is CBS is the king of finding crying fans. Nobody is safe.

3. Missing a Last-Second Shot 

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The blood pressure always spikes if your team is in an intense battle on the hardwood. It happens all of the time. It’s just impossible to describe the sheer disappointment of getting so close to winning, only to see your star player miss a shot in the final seconds. It’s a gut-wrenching way to lose.

4. Making a Dumb Mistake

Although this is one of the least likely to happen on the list, there are blunders like Chris Webber calling a timeout in the 1993 Final Four that nobody will ever forget. Emotions definitely run high during March Madness and losing a game because someone couldn’t keep their act together is certainly a tough pill to swallow.

5. Getting Blown Out by Over 20 Points 

Unless your favorite team is a No. 15 or No. 16 seed, you will almost always have at least a chance to win. However, it’s a pretty awful feeling if your team just gets drilled by a squad that was just infinitely better on that given day. Sometimes the ball just doesn’t bounce your way. Other times it looks like the losing team should have just stayed on the bus. Either way, having to sit through a blowout is as helpless as it gets.

6. Losing in Overtime

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Man, this one is terrible. Your favorite team plays so hard for 40 minutes and then couldn’t get over the hump in overtime? What a nightmare. It just doesn’t seem right or fair for a team to end their season after losing in overtime, but that’s what this time of year is all about. Survive and advance.

7. The Refs

There is no statistical data to prove how bad officials have messed up NCAA Tournament games over the years, but every losing team’s fans always have some sort of excuse. Don’t act like you’ve never once questioned a call during a tight game, either. Not everyone completely loses their minds over refs, of course, but leaving this off the list would be pretty dumb because it happens a lot. Just go on Twitter after your team loses to see exactly what it’s like.

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Author placeholder image About the author:
With over 10 years of sports writing experience, Brett has covered some of the top local, regional, and national sporting events in the Heartland for both print and digital platforms. He is a graduate of Kansas State University and resides in Austin, Texas.
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