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7 of the 11 longest consecutive NCAA Tournament streaks are in major jeopardy

In a season where nothing seems sacred, it's only right that more than half of the 10 longest consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance streaks in college basketball are at risk of being snapped.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The "nobody is safe" mantra is one that college basketball fans have been able to utilize on a night-to-night basis since the beginning of the 2015-16 season. As we inch closer and closer to Selection Sunday, it's becoming apparent that the maxim also applies to the bigger picture as well.

Eleven programs entered this season with streaks of five or more consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. Here they are:

1. Kansas (26)
2. Duke (20)
3. Michigan State (18)
4. Gonzaga (17)
4. Wisconsin (17)
6. Louisville (9)
7. Ohio State (7)
8. San Diego State (6)
9. VCU (5)
9. Cincinnati (5)
9. North Carolina (5)

The three names on the top (yes, even Duke) and the one on the very bottom appear to be safe, but every single other name on that list is in danger of not being there one month from now.

Here's a look at the perennial March characters who have some work to do in order to renew their roles for another year:

Gonzaga (20-6, 12-2)

Last Missed Tournament: 1998

Streak: 17

It's easy to make the case that Gonzaga was college basketball's biggest loser this past weekend. In desperate need of a resume-boosting victory, the Bulldogs took a 69-60 loss to No. 16 SMU.

Mark Few's team currently sits atop the West Coast Conference standings at 12-2 and owns a typical Gonzaga overall record of 20-6, but its best wins are still over the relatively pedestrian trio of Washington, Connecticut and Tennessee. Unless the Zags win the WCC tournament (where they will likely be the prohibitive favorite), there's no guarantee that they'll hear their name called on Selection Sunday for an 18th straight time.

Wisconsin (16-9, 8-4)

Last Missed Tournament: 1998

Streak: 17

The Badgers have clawed their way back into the NCAA Tournament picture with seven consecutive victories, the most notable of which was their 70-57 road upset of No. 2 Maryland on Saturday. Still, after a dismal first half of the season, there's work to be done if Greg Gard wants to get Wisconsin into the dance and make his case for being the program's permanent head coach.

Half of Wisconsin's final six games of the regular season will come on the road against teams currently ranked in the top 20 -- Iowa, Michigan State and Purdue.  If Nigel Hayes and company can win one of those and take care of business in their other three games -- at Minnesota, vs. Michigan and vs. Illinois -- then the Badgers should be on the right side of the bubble. The defending national runners-up will also be a trendy pick to make a deep run in the dance.

Louisville (19-6, 8-4)

Last Missed Tournament: 2006

Streak: 9

The only guarantee on the list. Louisville's self-imposed postseason ban means the Cardinals will be left out of the Big Dance for the first time since they went to the NIT in 2006, which was also the first year they were a member of the Big East Conference.

Ohio State (16-10, 8-5)

Last Missed Tournament: 2008

Streak: 7

The Buckeyes have been on the wrong side of the bubble for weeks now, but three games left against top-10 teams -- two against Michigan State and one against Iowa -- leave folks in Columbus with hope. Ohio State does have a neutral court win over Kentucky that is looking better every day, but they desperately need a couple more to back that up if they want to extend their consecutive tournaments streak to eight.

San Diego State (19-7, 12-1)

Last Missed Tournament: 2009

Streak: 6

The Mountain West has been considered a likely one-bid league for the bulk of this season, but if the conference does send a team as an at-large representative, it will be San Diego State. Steve Fisher's team hopes it doesn't have to come to that.

The Aztecs have lost just once in Mountain West play -- a 58-57 defeat at Fresno State on Feb. 10 -- but they don't have anywhere near the non-conference resume to fall back on that they've had in recent seasons. SDSU does have a 14-point win over Cal in the Las Vegas Invitational, but they also have ugly losses to Arkansas-Little Rock, Grand Canyon, and San Diego.

If San Diego State's only loss between now and Selection Sunday comes in the Mountain West title game, then the Aztecs would seemingly have a shot at an at-large bid. But even in that scenario, it would be an anxious Sunday night inside Viejas Arena.

VCU (18-7, 10-2)

Last Missed Tournament: 2010

Streak: 5

VCU's at-large status took a massive hit when the Rams dropped back-to-back games at home against George Washington and then on the road at sub-.500 Massachusetts. They might need to pull off the road upset of either GW or Dayton in the last three weeks to be on the right side of the bubble heading into the Atlantic 10 Tournament.

Cincinnati (19-7, 9-4)

Last Missed Tournament: 2010

Streak: 5

Mick Cronin's team would almost certainly have a bid if the tournament began today, but they have a deceptively tough schedule at the end of the regular season that they need to adequately navigate if they want to keep things that way. That road starts Thursday night at Tulsa, and continues on with home tilts against SMU and UConn, as well as dangerous away games against Houston and East Carolina. A dismal non-conference strength of schedule will come into play if UC stumbles two or three times between now and the postseason.