Adelaide have survived a late scare in a tense nine-point win against North Melbourne, which leaves the Kangaroos needing a miracle to reach the AFL finals.
Even Roos coach Brad Scott doesn't believe his side's season can be saved following Adelaide's 12.14 (86) to 11.11 (77) win on Sunday at Adelaide Oval.
The finals chances of the 10th-placed Kangaroos are miniscule - they're a win behind eighth-placed Geelong and ninth-placed Port Adelaide entering the last round.
North need Geelong to lose at home by a massive margin to lowly Gold Coast, Essendon to down Port - and the Roos must also thrash St Kilda.
"We are building and I think we are doing a lot of things right but we're not quite where we want to be yet," Scott said.
"Even if results had gone our way and we managed to get over the line today, I would still be well aware of the things we need to improve."
North trailed Adelaide by 37 points late in the third term before an unheralded late surge - they kicked four goals in five minutes to trail by three points with six minutes remaining.
But Adelaide hung on, with Eddie Betts taking a spectacular high mark with seconds to go and converting after the final siren.
"The guys had spent a lot of energy setting up the lead. I didn't plan on using it all but we sort of did at the end," Crows coach Don Pyke said.
North paid dearly for a slumbering period: after booting the initial two goals, Adelaide kicked eight of the next nine majors to seize control.
The Crows kicked 4.4 to 0.3 in the second quarter for a 28-point halftime lead and extended their advantage to 37 points in the third before North's late charge.
Adelaide's reigning club champion Crouch was superb, his 35 handballs an AFL record.
Rory Sloane (29 possessions), Rory Laird (41 touches) and Wayne Milera (23 disposals) were influential while Josh Jenkins kicked three goals.
North's Trent Dumont was his side's leading disposal winner with a career-high 33, Shaun Higgins collected 29 touches and Majak Daw was outstanding in defence.
Roo forward Jarrad Waite slotted three goals and Shaun Atley and ruckman Todd Goldstein two each.
But spearhead Ben Brown was kept goal-less by Andy Otten and now trails Richmond's Jack Riewoldt by two majors in their battle for the Coleman medal.