Over the years of March Madness, we have heard plenty of common phrases about the game being about 3 point shooting, being about defense, and being about senior leadership. All of those have been proven, and all of those have been debunked. Realistically, much of the March Madness series in College Basketball is about coaching.
Head Coaches make a large impact in the NCAA Tournament. It’s quite a grind to get your team through six high level college basketball games and win them all. 2017 NCAA Tournament is loaded with elite level coaches. Let’s take a look at some of the top college basketball coaches and their resumes.
Closing in on 1,100 career coaching wins. Started the season with 1,058, and this is his 42nd season. The Blue Devils are heating up at the right time, and are going to be tough to beat season after season. Coach K has been to the Final Four 12 times in his career, and 5 of those he left with the big shiny trophy.
The head coach at Syracuse should be back in the mix. Known most commonly for his 2-3 zone started slow this season, but have heated up in the end of January and early February. The Orange are battle tested at the top of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Mr. Boeheim has more than 900 wins on his resume. Boeheim made his 5th trip to the Final Four in 2016, and is seeking his second national title.
The leader of the West Virginia Mountaineers started the season with 806 wins, and is going to leave the season with more than 830 wins. The Mountaineers are fighting with Kansas and Baylor for supremacy out of the Big 12 conference. Huggins is the lone coach on this list that has yet to win a national title. Huggy Bear went to the Final Four in 1992 with Cincinnati and 2010 with West Virginia.
In just 28 seasons coming into this year, the general for the North Carolina Tar Heels had 804 wins. By the time this season is over, he will be in the Top 15 of wins for college coaches all time. The Tar Heels are as athletic as ever, and can really score the basketball. Roy Boy will be seeking his 9th trip to the Final Four. He went to the Final Four 4 times with Kansas, and never won a title. With North Carolina, he has gone four times, winning the title twice.
The Louisville Cardinals are one of the best defensive teams in all of college basketball. The question will be, can they score, but we know in March, teams that play defense always have a chance. Pitino came into the season with 745 career wins in 31 seasons. Pitino is seeking to get back to the Final Four for the first time since 2013. Pitino has won two national titles, one with Kentucky and one with Louisville.
The head coach at Kentucky has been at UMass, Memphis and Kentucky and has won over 640 career games heading into the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats are young again, but this team is dangerous. Calipari is looking for his second national title. He has been to the Final Four six times, with three different programs.
The leader at Kansas started his 24th season as a head coach, and he will finish this season, with over 630 career wins. Kansas has been at or near the top of the rankings all season long. Coach Self is seeking his third trip to the NCAA Final Four. Self went to the Final Four with Kansas in 2008, and took down a national title, and the Jayhawks went back in 2012 falling a little short.
The defending national champion head coach at Villanova has a talented group again. Josh Hart and Jalen Brunson are as talented as a guard combination as any team in the country has. The Wildcats are one of the favorites in 2017. The Wildcats of course won the title in 2016, and Coach Wright also made it to the Final Four in 2009 with Villanova.