Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Bracket - Coaches With Most Past March Madness Success

Here is the quick reference of brackets with the links to this and each of the other brackets.

The final bracket to present is based on coaches with the greatest history of March Madness success pulling out the games when teams are fairly evenly matched. I start out sorting each team's coach by the furthest run they have made in the tournament. Here is that breakdown:

National Champs (6) – Baylor ( Scott Drew), Connecticut (Dan Hurley), Kansas (Bill Self), Kentucky (John Calipari), Michigan St. (Tom Izzo), and Virginia (Tony Bennett).

Runner-up (3): Gonzaga (Mark Few), North Carolina (Hubert Davis) and San Diego St. (Brian Dutcher).

Final 4 (5): Auburn (Bruce Pearl), Florida Atlantic (Dusty May), Houston (Kelvin Sampson), Marquette (Shaka Smart) and Oregon (Dana Altman).

Elite 8 (5): Auburn (Bruce Pearl), Florida Atlantic (Dusty May), Houston (Kelvin Sampson), Marquette (Shaka Smart) and Oregon (Dana Altman).

Sweet 16 (9)

1st Round Win (11)

Have not won an NCAA Game (29)

Then I rank them within their groups - picking John Calipari as No. 1 from the six with national titles because he is the only coach besides Rick Pitino to also take three different schools to the Final 4. In a few cases I leap frog out of a group. For example, Bruce Pearl's longest run was to the Final 4, but he has not only clearly had the best success of the five Final 4 coaches, but not only did he do that with an Auburn team missing its best player, but he has taken Milwaukee and Tennesse teams ranked around 40th to the Sweet 16.

Therefore I rank him 6th overall in March Madness success, ahead of the three who had Runner-up teams and two of the coaches with National Champs. 

I rank even the 29 coaches who have yet to win a tournament game, with a number who have taken small schools to near upset.

Here is the final ranking, and when I apply this to each of the teams this year I end up with Calipari winning another title with Kentucky with Baylor's Scott Drew just missing his second title in four years. Despite ranking Pearl slightly ahead of Drew overall, I believe Drew coming off the title just three years ago lets him get the Bears just past Auburn before falling to Kentucky.

And that is our last bracket for your consideration in 2024.

Rnk    Team                        Coach           Best         Ranked based on best runs or at least almost winning R1
1KentuckyJohn Calipari1 - ChampKY 2012 title; only he and Pitino have led 3 schools ot Final 4
2KansasBill Self1 - ChampNational titles in 2008 and 2022.
3Michigan St.Tom Izzo1 - ChampNat'l title 1979 and last title for any Big Ten team in 2000
4ConnecticutDan Hurley1 - ChampNat'l title 2023 domination, all double digit wins.
5OregonDana Altman4 - Final 42017 Final 4, 2016 Elite 8, three Sweet 16s
6AuburnBruce Pearl4 - Final 4Tough call 2019 Final 4; low ranked teams Sweet 16 (Milwaukee 2005) and Elite 8 (TN 2010 for 3rd Sweet 16.
7BaylorScott Drew1 - ChampNational title 2021
8VirginiaTony Bennett1 - ChampNational title 2019.
9GonzagaMark Few2 - 2nd National Runner-up 2017 and 2021.
10San Diego St.Brian Dutcher2 - 2nd Stunning National Runner-up 2023.
11North CarolinaHubert Davis2 - 2nd National Runner-up in first season 2022.
12Texas A&MBuzz Williams8 - Elite Elite 8 Marquette 2013 for 3rd straight Sweet 16, then Sweet 16 Va Tech 2019.
13HoustonKelvin Sampson4 - Final OK Final Four 2002, Houston 2021.
14PurdueMatt Painter8 - Elite 2019 Elite 8, Suite 16s 2022, 2018, 2017, 2010, 2019
15Florida AtlanticDusty May4 - Final Stunning Final 4 in 2023
16MarquetteShaka Smart4 - Final Stunning VCU Final 4 in 2010
17NevadaSteve Alford16 - Sweet Sweet 16s SW MZ St 1999, UCLA 2014, 2015, 2017
18TCUJamie Dixon8 - Elite 8Pittsburgh 2009, Sweet 16s 2007 and 2004
19CreightonGreg McDermott8 - Elite 8Elite 8 in 2023
20TennesseeRick Barnes8 - Elite 8Texas 2008 Elite 8
21TexasRodney Terry8 - Elite 8Texas 2023 Elite 8
22Long Beach St.Dan Monson8 - Elite 8Gonzaga 1999 Elite 8
23AkronJohn Groce8 - Elite 8 Sweet 16 shocking Ohio 2012
24IllinoisBrad Underwood32- win2022, 2021, Stephen F Austin 2014, 2016
25AlabamaNate Oats16 - Sw16Sweet 16s in 2021 and 2023
26DukeJon Scheyer32- win1st year 2023 crushed Oral Roberts
27WisconsinGreg Gard16 - Sw16Sweet 16s first 2 seasons 2016, 2017
28Iowa St.T.J. Otzelberger16 - Sw16Shocking Sweet 16 in 2022
29ArizonaTommy Lloyd16 - Sw16Sweet 16 in 1st season 2022
30McNeese St.Will Wade16 - Sw16Sweet 16 LSU 2019
31ClemsonBrad Brownell16 - Sw16Sweet 16 in 2018
32NebraskaFred Hoiberg16 - Sw16Sweet 16 in 2014
33Saint Mary'sRandy Bennett16 - Sw16Sweet 16 2010
34NorthwesternChris Collins32- winWon 1st round both NCAAs - 2017 & 2022
35ColoradoTad Boyle32- winon 1st round in 2012 and 2021
36YaleJames Jones32- winWon first round in 2016
37DaytonAnthony Grant32- winVCU won 1st round in 2007
38DrakeDarian DeVries32- winwon first round in 2021
39Mississippi St.Chris Jans32- winwon first round with New Mexico State 2022
40Texas TechGrant McCasland32- winNorth Texas won first round 2021
41New MexicoRichard Pitino32- winMinnesota won first round 2019
42UABAndy Kennedy32- winMississippi won first round 2013
43N.C. St.Kevin Keatts64 -close NC-Wilmington 2016 almost stunned Duke, 85-93, then 2017 almost stunned Uva 71-76, NC State 2023 led Creighton 2nd half
44VermontJohn Becker64 - close In 2022 almost stunned Arkansas, 71-75, in 2019 almost stunned FSU 69-76,
45ColgateMatt Langel64 - close in 2022 came close vs Wisconsin 60-67, in 2019 lost to TN 70-77
46CharlestonPat Kelsey64 - close in 2022 almost stunned Nat's runner-up SD State 57-63; with Winthrop 2021 held Nova to 63-73 and 2017 held Butler to 64-76
47Grand CanyonBryce Drew64 - close for Valpo in 2015 almost stunned Maryland 62-65, and respectable 2013 loss to Michigan St. 54-65
48FloridaTodd Golden64 - close for San Francisco in 2022 took Murray St. to overtime, 87-92
49Boise St.Leon Rice64 - close in 2023 lost 67-75 to Northwestern, and 2022 lost to Memphis 53-64
50OaklandGreg Kampe64 - close in 2011 almost stunned Texas 81-85,
51South Dakota St.Eric Henderson64 - close in 2022 played Providence close, 57-66
52South CarolinaLamont Paris64 - close for Chattanooga 2022 lost heartbreak to Illinois 53-54
53DuquesneKeith Dambrot64 - closeAkron 2009 lost 64-77 to Gonzaga
54Utah St.Danny Sprinkle64 - Lostfor Montana St in 2023 lost to K-State 65-77
55BYUMark Pope64 - Lostin 2021 lost to UCLA 62-73
56Colorado St.Niko Medved64 - Lostin 2022 lost to Michigan 63-75
57W.KentuckySteve Lutz64 - Lostfor Texas A&M-CC in 2022 won playin then lost to Alabama 75-96
58Morehead St.Preston Spradlin64 -Crushin 2021 lost ot West Virginia 67-84
59LongwoodGriff Aldrich64 -Crushin 2022 lost to Tennessee 56-88
60HowardKenny Blakeney64 -Crushin 2023 lost 68-96 to Kansas
61Montana St.Matt Logie64 - Debut1st season, 1st appearance
62WagnerDonald Copeland64 - Debut2nd season, 1st appearance
63SamfordBucky McMillan64 - Debut4th season, 1st appearance
64GramblingDonte Jackson64 - Debut7th season, 1st appearance
65Saint Peter'sBashir Mason64 - Debut11th season at 2 schools, 1st appearance
66James MadisonMark Byington64 - Debut11th season at 2 schools, 1st appearance
67StetsonDonnie Jones64 - Debut13th season at 3 schools, 1st appearance
68Washington St.Kyle Smith64 - Debut14th season at 3 schools, 1st appearance

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