Sweet 16 Coaching Rankings
Published on Wednesday, 3/27/13, at 10:15 a.m. Eastern.
By Brian Edwards
Editor’s note: Career NCAA Tournament record in parentheses.
1-Mike Krzyzewski (81-24, 77.1%): Coach K is the premier head coach of the modern era and possibly the best ever (only John Wooden, Adolph Rupp and maybe Dean Smith are even in the conversation with him). He is looking to take the Blue Devils to the Final Four for the 12th time since 1986.
2-Rick Pitino (44-16, 73.3%): If only he had stayed at Kentucky… Nevertheless, Pitino has enjoyed an incredible career and he has his best chance this season to bag a second career national title. He has never lost to Billy Donovan.
3-Tom Izzo (39-14, 73.6%): Always seems to have his team playing its best in March. Izzo has spurned the NBA multiple times and appears to be a Sparty for life. He is hoping to get Michigan St. to its seventh Final Four since 1999. He has a 7-4 record in the Sweet 16 round.
4-Billy Donovan (30-10, 75%): Unlike the names above him, Donovan has become a legend at a football school where basketball had never been successful on a consistent basis. Since 2006, the Gators own an amazing 18-3 record in the NCAA Tournament. Donovan is 5-1 in the Sweet 16 round with the only defeat coming to Gonzaga in 1999.
5-Bill Self (35-13 72.9%): Yes, he has been beaten by the likes of Bucknell, Bradley and VCU during his tenure at Kansas, but let’s also remember that he once took Tulsa (and Illinois) to the Elite Eight. Self is 7-2 in the Sweet 16 round (5-1 at KU) and is looking to get the Jayhawks to their fifth Elite Eight in the last seven seasons.
6-Jim Boeheim (50-28, 64.1%): This is the ‘Cuse’s fourth trip to the Sweet 16 in the last five years and the 17th appearance on Boeheim’s watch. As usual, Boeheim has the horses to win it all. The Orange are gunning for its sixth Elite Eight trip and fourth Final Four during Boeheim’s reign.
7-Thad Matta (22-10, 68.8%): During his nine-year tenure at Ohio St., Matta has now taken the Buckeyes to the Sweet 16 five times and in four straight seasons. His path to Atlanta, where Ohio St. lost to Florida in the 2007 national-title game, looks like a favorable one this weekend.
8-Sean Miller (11-5, 68.8%): Miller has now advanced to the Sweet 16 five times in nine seasons as a head coach. Hello! And if not for Ohio St.’s Ron Lewis burying a deep trey to force overtime in the second round of the 2007 Tournament, Miller would’ve had Xavier in the Sweet 16 that year.
9-Tom Crean: (9-6, 60%): Crean took Marquette to the 2003 Final Four thanks to a little help from Dwyane Wade. He has the Hoosiers rolling with many NCAA Tourney wins in his future.
10-Jim Larranaga (7-5, 58.3%): Nobody will ever forget his run to the Final Four with the 2006 George Mason team. This year’s ACC Coach of the Year could be back in the national semifinals next week.
11-Buzz Williams (7-4, 63.6%): In five seasons at Marquette, Williams has led his team to the NCAA Tournament each year and this is the Golden Eagles’ third straight Sweet 16 appearance. Will he stay if Minnesota or another school offers him more money?
12-John Beilein (10-7, 58.8%): Beilein has taken four schools to the NCAA Tournament. He is seeking his first Final Four appearance. Beilein took West Va. to the Elite Eight in 2005.
13-Gregg Marshall (3-8, 27.3%): Ignore the career NCAA Tournament record because there’s no shame in six first-round exits during his stay at Winthrop, especially since he led it to an upset win over Notre Dame in 2007. Marshall can coach and the Shockers are favored to make the Elite Eight. Will Marshall stay at Wichita St. if other big-name programs come calling in the next week or two?
14-John Giannini: (3-0, 100%): Patience is a virtue. It took nine seasons for Giannini to get LaSalle to the Big Dance, but it has been a roaring success to date.
15-Andy Enfield: (2-0, 100%): Enfield has a former supermodel for a wife and has the most compelling sleeper team in the NCAA Tournament since Davidson in 2008.
16-Dana Altman (4-8, 33%): Altman can bolster his stock in a huge way if he can lead Oregon past Louisville.
**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**
–According to multiple reports Wednesday morning, Northwestern has hired Duke assistant Chris Collins as its next head coach to replace Bill Carmody, who was fired after 13 seasons. The Wildcats have never been to the NCAA Tournament.
–Bovada has released odds for whom will be named the next UCLA head coach:
Shaka Smart 3/1
Josh Pastner 5/1
Mick Cronin 6/1
Jay Wright 7/1
Jeff Van Gundy 9/1
Billy Donovan 10/1
Rick Pitino 10/1
Mike Brown 12/1
Brad Stevens 15/1
—Michigan looks attractive with 12/1 future odds going into this weekend.