Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Despite upsets, four of the six active Hall of Fame coaches are still in the Big Dance
By ADAM ZAGORIA
Despite a slew of first- and second-round upsets that knocked high-profile coaches like Roy Williams, Tom Izzo, Tony Bennett and Sean Miller out of the NCAA Tournament, there are still a host of legendary coaching names remaining.
Four of the six active Naismith Hall of Fame coaches advanced to the Sweet 16: Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim, Kentucky’s John Calipari and Kansas’ Bill Self.
Together, those four men have won eight NCAA championship, with Coach K accounting for five of those. Three of the four — Coach K, Boeheim and Self — are in the Midwest Region.
The other two active Hall of Famers are Williams and Izzo. North Carolina, the reigning NCAA champion, was blown out by Texas A&M on Sunday, while Michigan State lost a nail-biter to Syracuse.
“Listen, it never ends happy for all but one team,” Izzo said. “I’ve been in the finals. I got beat and felt bad. I’ve been in the first round of the Final Four and got beat and felt bad, and in the Elite Eight and got beat and felt bad. And the Sweet 16. And a couple of years ago I was in the first round and felt bad. That’s never going to change. But that’s not going to define who we are. What’s going to define who we are is what these kids went through this year and how they handled it. And that’s what’s going to define us.”
Old friends Krzyzewski and Boeheim will now tangle in a Sweet 16 matchup on Friday in Omaha, Neb. That will be a showdown between the two winningest coaches in the history of Division 1 men’s college basketball: Coach K now has 1,099 wins — one more than former Tennessee women’s coach Pat Summitt — while Boeheim has won 1,027 games, according to sports-reference.com. (Boeheim’s official NCAA record excludes 101 vacated wins for which he was penalized by the NCAA in 2015). In their only previous NCAA Tournament matchup, Coach K and Duke beat Boeheim and Syracuse in the 1998 Sweet 16.
“We’re excited and honored to be going to Omaha,” Coach K said of the Midwest Regional following his team’s 87-62 blowout of Rhode Island on Saturday “That’s such a good thing for our team and we’re proud of it, and have a week to get ready.”
Duke remains the favorite to win it all, per Bovada.
While Coach K and Boeheim each have over 1,000 career wins, there are seven additional remaining coaches with at least 500 wins, led by West Virginia coach Bob Huggins, who ranks 12th all-time with 773 victories. Calipari ranks 19th all-time with 720 wins (including the 2012 NCAA championship), while Self is 28th with 652 (including the 2008 crown).
Huggins headlines a list of coaches still in the NCAA Tournament who could end up in the Hall of Fame in the coming years. Villanova’s Jay Wright (540 wins), who is seeking his second NCAA title; Michigan’s John Beilein (538), who has never won a title but reached the 2013 title game against Louisville; and Gonzaga’s Mark Few (535), who reached last year’s championship game, are among those who could make the Hall of Fame down the line.
Here is a list of the winningest active remaining coaches and where they rank all-time:
No. 1 – Mike Krzyzewski (Duke)- 1,099 wins
No. 2 – Jim Boeheim (Syracuse) – 1,027
No. 12 – Bob Huggins (West Virginia) – 773
No. 19 – John Calipari (Kentucky) – 720
No. 28 – Bill Self (Kansas) – 652
No. 52 – Jay Wright (Villanova) – 540
No. 53 – John Beilein (Michigan) – 538
No. 54 – Mark Few (Gonzaga) – 535
No. 55 – Leonard Hamilton (Florida State) – 526
No. 99 – Bruce Weber (Kansas State) – 437
No. 233 Matt Painter (Purdue) – 320
Here are the active leaders among coaches who are out:
No. 7 – Roy Williams (UNC) – 842
No. 27 – Rick Barnes (Tennessee) – 661
No. 33 – Lon Kruger (Oklahoma) – 619
No. 35 – Jim Larranaga (Miami) – 603
No. 43 – Tom Izzo (Michigan State) – 574
No. 49 – Bob McKillop (Davidson) – 554
No. 64 – Kelvin Sampson (Houston) – 508
No. 67 – Steve Alford (UCLA) – 502
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.