68 coaches and 68 schools. Some have tradition and others we don't really know. Which coaches give their schools a big advantage and which ones are still learning how to win in March?
A coach can give his team the confidence, strategy and provide the difference between winning or going home. Who can become this year's Brad Stevens and raise his coaching profile?
After only winning 11 games in his first two seasons at Saint Peter’s, Dunne has turned things around in his fifth season.
The Peacocks had a 20-13 regular season record and a fourth place finish in the MAAC. They won the MAAC tournament to earn their first NCAA Tournament berth since 1995.
The Bison struggled under Paulsen their first two seasons. They turned it around this year, winning the Patriot League regular season and tournament titles. Paulsen led the Bison to a 25-8 record and their first NCAA Tournament appearance since advancing to the second round in 2005 and 2006.
Joyner comes from a family of basketball coaches. His father and uncle are both successful Division II coaches. The Pirates will be making their first NCAA Tournament appearance under Joyner, but their fourth in the last 11 years.
Hampton is most well known for upsetting second seeded Iowa State in the 2001 tournament. The Pirates became only the fourth No. 15 seed to win a tournament game. They are the last No. 15 seed to win a game in the tournament.
Jackson is leading the Hornets into the NCAA Tournament for the second time. They lost in the opening round (play-in game) to Morehead State in 2009. They have won two tournament and two regular season SWAC titles during Jackson’s tenure.
Hill took over for Tad Boyle after Boyle left for Colorado following a 25-8 2010 season. Hill led the Bears to a 20-10 record this season and the Big Sky regular season and tournament championships. This is Hill and the Bears' first appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Berry has led the Blackbirds to a 27-5 record and the Northeast Conference regular season and tournament championships this season. LIU will be making their first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 1997. This has been LIU’s most successful season since 1951.
The Blackbirds were a college basketball power under legendary coach Clair Bee from 1932-51.
Shields is in his eighth season in Little Rock where he has posted a 132-111 record. Despite two 20-win seasons under Shields, the Trojans are making their first postseason appearance since back-to-back NCAA trips in 1989 and 1990. UALR is best known for upsetting Notre Dame in 1985 and as the alma mater of five-time NBA Champion Laker Derek Fisher.
Young has gradually led the Terriers to the top of the Southern Conference. They are 47-21 the last two seasons and they earned their second consecutive NCAA Tournament bid. They have won the Southern Conference regular season and tournament each of the past two seasons. They gave Wisconsin a scare before falling 53-49 in the first round last year.
After a third place regular season finish, Lansing led the Sycamores to the Missouri Valley Tournament title. They defeated regular season champion Missouri State in the final. Lansing and ISU finished 20-13 in his first season, their best season since 2001. This is also their first 20-win season since ‘01 and their first NCAA Tournament trip since that season.
Brooks Thompson is in his fifth season with the Roadrunners posting a 77-76 record. He became a college coach after a stellar collegiate playing career at Texas A&M and Oklahoma State. UTSA has gone 57-37 the last three seasons under his leadership. They are making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2004.
Chambers has led the Terriers to a 41-28 record in his first two seasons. They lost in the semifinals of the College Basketball Insider Tournament last season. This will be their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2002.
Biedenbach was a two-time first team All-ACC as a player at North Carolina State in the 1960’s. After posting a 37-19 record his first two years at Asheville, the Bulldogs have been mostly mediocre since. They will be making their second NCAA Tournament appearance this season. UNCA lost in the first round in 2003.
In his seventh season in Happy Valley, DeChellis has finally led the Nittany Lions to an NCAA Tournament. Behind point guard Talor Battle, they had a great run to the Big Ten Tournament championship game. The Lions lost in the final to the NCAA Tournament’s top overall seed Ohio State.
De Chellis led the Nittany Lions to the NIT in 2006 an 2009. They won the NIT in ‘09. DeChellis lost in the first round in his only NCAA Tournament appearance while at East Tennessee State in 2003. This is only his second winning season at Penn State.
Tyndall has led the Eagles to three straight 20-win seasons. They will be making their second NCAA Tournament appearance in the last three seasons. After defeating Alabama State in the play-in game, the Eagles were eliminated by the tournament’s top overall seed Louisville two years ago.
Louisville and Morehead State will matchup again this season. The Eagles could be a team to watch in the 2011 Tournament. They have the top rebounder in the nation, Kenneth Faried.
Morehead State competed in the College Basketball Invitational in 2010, making it three straight postseasons for the Eagles. Tyndall has a 94-69 career record at Morehead.
Williams is leading the Gauchos to the NCAA Tournament for the third time and second in a row during his tenure. It is the school’s fifth appearance overall. They lost in the first round in both of Williams's appearances. Williams is 217-169 in 13 years at UCSB. He previously led California-Davis to the 1998 Division II national championship.
After coaching LeBron James in high school, Dambrot landed at Akron as an assistant for the 2001-2002 season. Dambrot was promoted to head coach for the 2004-05 season. The Zips have posted a 162-74 record during his tenure. They were eliminated by Gonzaga in the first round in their only other NCAA appearance under Dambrot in 2009.
Byrd has led Belmont since 1987. He has overseen their transition from NAIA to NCAA Division I. The Bruins will be playing in their fourth NCAA Tournament in the last six seasons. They also advanced to the CIT Quarterfinals in 2009. Byrd has led Belmont to winning seasons in eight of the last nine years, including six in a row. Byrd has led Belmont to a 220-149 record in 12 years of Division I basketball.
Kampe has guided the Golden Grizzlies since 1985. He has guided their transition from Division II where they made the D-II Tournament their last four years to Division I and the Summit League. The Griz have won at least 23 games for the last three seasons. This will be their fourth appearance in the D-I NCAA Tournament. Their only win was over Alabama A&M in the 2005 play-in game.
Johnson was part of one of the greatest eras in Princeton basketball. As Pete Carrill and Bill Carmody’s point guards from 1993-97, Johnson helped lead the the Tigers to the first two of three straight NCAA Tournament appearance from 1996-98. The highlight of that was an upset of defending NCAA champion UCLA in the 1996 first round.
Johnson has a 63-51 career record and will be making his NCAA Tournament debut. The Tigers are returning to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004.
One of the most consistent coaches in college basketball. Utah State will be playing in its 12th straight postseason in 2011. They will be making their eighth NCAA Tournament appearance in that time. Morrill has a career record 523-240 including 324-102 at Utah State. His only NCAA Tournament win came in 2001. Morrill has eight career NCAA Tournament appearances, including one with Montana in 1991. His record is just 1-8.
After a slow start at Richmond, Mooney has led the Spiders to their third straight 20-win season and second consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Spiders were eliminated in the first round in 2010. Mooney has a 128-98 career record. He is 110-86 at Richmond after finishing 18-12 in one season at Air Force.
Brownell has led Clemson into the NCAA Tournament in his first season. He previously led North Carolina-Wilmington and Wright State into the NCAA’s. Brownell is still looking for his first NCAA Tournament victory. He lost twice in the first round at UNCW and once a Wright State. Brownell has a career record of 186-96.
Cronin has led Cincinnati to the NCAA in his fifth season. It's the Bearcats first NCAA Tournament appearance since Bob Huggins's last season in 2005. Cronin has an 85-75 career record. He lost in both of his previous NCAA Tournament appearances at Murray State.
Williams is leading Marquette to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in as many years as he has fronted the Golden Eagles. They have a 1-2 NCAA Tournament record in that span. Overall he has an 81-53 career record.
Taylor won his first NCAA Tournament game in his fourth try in 2010. He is leading ODU to the NCAA’s for the third time in his tenure. He previously led Montana to the NCAA Tournament twice in the 1990’s. Taylor has a 1-4 career record in the dance. Taylor has a 356-175 career record.
Smart is rising in the college basketball coaching ranks. Like Jeff Capel and Anthony Grant before him, Smart is likely to use VCU as a stepping stone to a bigger school. Smart has posted a 50-20 record in his first two seasons and won the College Basketball Insider Tournament in 2010.
Rose led BYU to its first 30-win season in school history in 2010 and has followed it up with his second this season. The team he inherited in the fall of 2005 was coming off of a 9-21 season. In five years in Provo, Rose has led the Cougars to a 157-44 record. In four NCAA Tournament appearances, Rose is 1-4.
Fox has led Georgia to the NCAA Tournament in his second season. He advanced to the NCAA’s in his first three years at Nevada. The Wolfpack made the second round in two of those three years. Fox had a 2-3 NCAA Tournament record at Nevada.
O’Neill joins an elite fraternity by taking his third different school to the NCAA Tournament. O’Neill led Marquette to the NCAA Tournament in 1993 and ‘94, Arizona in his lone year of fronting the program there in 2008 and now USC in his second season. At Marquette, he led the Golden Eagles to the 1994 Sweet 16. That 1994 trip to the Sweet 16 included O’Neill’s only two tournament wins. He is 2-3 all time in the NCAA Tournament.
Dunphy has made 12 trips to the NCAA Tournament at Temple and Penn. At Temple, Dunphy won back-to-back Atlantic Ten Championships in 2009-10. In 21 seasons as a head coach, Dunphy has won 11 conference championships. The only thing keeping him from being higher on this list is his 1-12 NCAA Tournament record.
Hamilton has led both Miami and Florida State to the NCAA Tournament. He has a 3-5 NCAA Tournament record and led the Hurricanes to the 2000 Sweet 16. Hamilton and the Seminoles have lost in the first round in each of the last two NCAA Tournaments.
Pastner is making his first appearance as a head coach in the NCAA Tournament. Despite that, he gets ranked this high because of his experience as a player and an assistant coach. Pastner was on the 1997 national champions at Arizona. They reached the Elite Eight the following year.
Former Arizona boss Lute Olson hired Pastner as an assistant for the 2003 season. The Wildcats advanced to two Elite Eights during his tenure assisting Olson. He joined Memphis for the 2009 season and the Tigers advanced to the Sweet 16.
After John Calipari left for Kentucky following the 2009 season, Pastner was hired as head coach. In two seasons, he has posted a 49-19 record.
Brey took over at Notre Dame for the 2000-2001 season and led the Fighting Irish to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1990. The Irish will be making their seventh NCAA Tournament appearance in Brey’s 12 seasons in South Bend. They have advanced to one Sweet 16 and three second rounds in that time. Overall Brey has a 5-8 career NCAA Tournament record. He also took Delaware to the NCAA Tournament twice.
Stallings has led both Illinois State and Vanderbilt into the NCAA Tournament. He is 5-6 in six tournament appearances. The Commodores advanced to the 2004 and 2007 Sweet 16’s under Stallings. In 17 seasons as a college head coach, Stallings has led his teams at Illinois State and Vanderbilt to six appearances each in the NIT and NCAA.
In four NCAA Tournament appearances, Turgeon has never lost a first round game. He has a 5-4 career NCAA record and led Wichita State to the 2006 Sweet 16.
Painter has led both Southern Illinois and Purdue to the NCAA Tournament. After second round appearances in his first two trips with Purdue, he has led the Boilermakers to the last two Sweet 16s. Painter has a 6-5 career NCAA Tournament record.
Mike Anderson employs the 40 minutes of hell style made famous by former Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson. Anderson has led UAB and Missouri to the Sweet 16. He has a 7-5 career NCAA Tournament record and has appeared in one Elite Eight and two Sweet 16s.
When Beilein led Michigan to the 2009 NCAA Tournament, the Wolverines became the fourth school that Beilein had led the to Big Dance. He has a 7-5 career tournament record in five tournament appearances.
He led West Virginia to the 2005 Elite Eight and 2006 Sweet 16 before leaving for Michigan. Beilein also made NCAA Tournament appearances with Richmond and Canisius. Beilein led the No. 14 seeded Spiders to an upset of No. 3 seed South Carolina in 1998.
Larranaga led George Mason to the 2006 Final Four. The No. 11 seeded Patriots were the most improbable Final Four team since No. 9 seeded Penn accomplished the same feat in 1979. The Patriots have advanced to four NCAA Tournaments under Larranaga where they have a 4-4 record. He has also led them to three NIT’s and CIT postseason tournament in 14 years in Fairfax, VA.
Mack led Xavier to the Sweet 16 in his first year in 2010. Mack has a 50-16 record and a 2-1 NCAA tournament record in two years at X.
Romar has resurrected the Husky Basketball Program. They have become one of the Pac-10's elite teams in the last decade. Romar has led Washington to five NCAA Tournament appearances. They have advanced to the Sweet 16 in three of the last six years. Romar has a 7-6 overall NCAA record and he also led St. Louis University to the 2000 NCAA Tournament.
Martin has led the Wildcats to two NCAA Tournament appearances in his three seasons in Manhattan. They have a 4-2 NCAA record during his tenure and advanced to the Elite Eight in 2010. He advanced out of the first round in both of his appearances.
Pearl began his NCAA run of success at Division-II Southern Indiana. The Screaming Eagles won the 1995 national championship. He moved on to Wisconsin-Milwaukee where the Panthers made two NCAA Tournament appearances. Their run to the 2005 Sweet 16 helped land Pearl the job at Tennessee.
The Vols have one run to the Elite Eight and two to the Sweet 16 under Pearl. They have not missed an NCAA Tournament in his tenure. Pearl’s career NCAA Tournament record is 10-7.
Bo Ryan began his run of success in the NCAA Tournament at Division III Wisconsin-Plattville. The Pioneers won four D-III National Championships in 1990’s. Ryan has led Wisconsin to one Elite Eight, and three Sweet 16s in nine NCAA appearances.The Badgers have a 12-9 NCAA record in the Ryan era and have made the tournament every year he has been in Madison.
Few succeeded Dan Monson after the Bulldogs improbable run to the 1999 Elite Eight. In 11 NCAA Tournament appearances, Few has a 12-11 record. Under his guidance, the Bulldogs have advanced to four Sweet 16s and have only lost three times in the first round.
Stevens has led the Bulldogs to NCAA Tournament appearances his first three years leading Butler. Last year’s run to the national championship game will be the standard to which all mid-majors will be held. He had a 6-3 career NCAA Tournament record.
Davis was in the unenviable position of replacing Bob Knight at Indiana. Faced with the nearly impossible task of pleasing the IU faithful, Davis led the Hoosiers to their first national championship game appearance since 1987 in his second season in 2002. Davis led Indiana to four NCAA Tournament appearances in his six seasons. He has a 7-4 career record in the Tournament. The run in 2002 was the only time Davis advanced past the second round.
JT III leads the Hoyas into the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time. He also led Princeton to two NCAA’s. Under Thompson, the Hoyas advanced to the 2007 Final Four and the 2006 Sweet 16. JT III has a 7-6 career NCAA Tournament record.
Weber is mostly remembered for leading Illinois to a runner-up finish in the 2005 NCAA Tournament. He also has two other Sweet 16 appearances and a 10-7 record in his seven NCAA Tournament appearances.
Miller has led the Wildcats back the NCAA Tournament after their 25-year streak ended in 2010. While at Xavier, Miller led the Musketeers to four NCAA Tournament appearances. They advanced to the 2008 Elite Eight and Miller posted a 6-4 overall NCAA record.
Before Kruger arrived in Vegas, baby Vegas, the Runnin’ Rebels hadn’t won an NCAA Tournament game since 1991. This was the season that Duke ended UNLV’s dream of an undefeated season in the national semifinals.
Kruger has a 14-12 career NCAA Tournament record, and has been to one Final Four (1994 Florida), two Elite Eights and three Sweet 16s with three different schools.
Dixon stepped in when Ben Howland left for UCLA and has continued to keep the Panthers among the nation’s elite teams. Dixon has a 10-7 career NCAA Tournament record and has led the Panthers to one Elite Eight and two Sweet 16s.
Rick Barnes has risen Texas basketball to national prominence in his 13 years in Austin. This is his 19th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Barnes has a 19-18 career NCAA record. He has led his teams to one Final Four, three Elite Eights and six Sweet 16s.
Before Jay Wright arrived at Villanova, the Wildcats had only won two NCAA Tournament games in the previous 13 seasons. In eight NCAA Tournament appearances at Hofstra and Villanova, Wright has a 12-8 career record. He led ‘Nova to the 2009 Final Four, two Elite Eights and four Sweet 16s.
Lavin returned to the sidelines after an eight year absence with St. John’s this season. At UCLA, Lavin led the Bruins to five Sweet 16 appearances and one Elite Eight in six trips to the NCAA. He has an 11-6 career tournament record. Lavin has often been criticized, but St. John’s is making its first NCAA appearance since 2002.
In 18 NCAA Tournament appearances, Bob Huggins has a 26-18 record. He led Cincinnati to the 1992 Final Four and West Virginia to their first Final Four since 1959 last season. He has also been to four Elite Eights and seven Sweet 16’s.
Matta has led Ohio State to success not seen since Fred Taylor led the Buckeyes to four Final Fours in the 1960’s. Matta has the best winning percentage in Ohio State history and has a 14-8 record in the NCAA Tournament. Matta has appeared in one national championship game and made one Final Four, two Elite Eights and three Sweet 16s.
Howland first made a name for himself when he led Northern Arizona to the 1998 NCAA Tournament. Howland went 63-23 in his last three years in Flagstaff, landing him the head coaching job at Pittsburgh.
He led the Panthers to two Big East co-championship and two trips to the Sweet 16.
After the 2003 season, Howland landed at UCLA. He led the Bruins to the 2006 national championship game where they lost to Florida. The Bruins made the Final Four the two subsequent years. Howland has also led his teams to three Elite Eights and five Sweet 16s. He has compiled an 18-8 NCAA Tournament record. The Bruins went 97-17 in that three years span and also won three Pac-10 Titles. UCLA is 188-81 in his eight years in Westwood.
John Calipari joined a select group when he led Memphis to the Final Four in 2008. He had previously led UMass to the 1996 Final Four. Calipari has been to 12 NCAA Tournaments, advanced to six Elite Eights and seven Sweet 16s.
Self has continued to keep Kansas's status as one of the most dominant programs in college basketball since taking over for Roy Willams following the 2003 season. He led the Jayhawks to the 2008 national championship. That was Self’s only Final Four appearance in his career. He had also advanced to five Elite Eights and seven Sweet 16s in 12 NCAA Tournaments. He holds a 25-11 career record in the NCAA Tournament.
Steve Fisher might be the most unlikely NCAA championship coach in history. His story has been well documented by now. Fisher took over at Michigan for Bill Frieder at the outset of the 1989 Tournament. With no college head coaching experience he led the Wolverines to the national championship.
Three years later, Fisher and his Fab Five lost to Duke in the championship game and they were the runner-up a year later to North Carolina. Fisher has advanced to three Final Fours, four Elite Eights and Sweet 16s and has a 20-9 career NCAA Tournament record. This is Fisher’s 11th trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Fisher will be making his fourth appearance with San Diego State. The Aztecs will be trying for their first NCAA Tournament win in school history. They are 0-6.
Boeheim will be leading the Orange to the NCAA Tournament for the 28th time this season. Boeheim has a 44-26 career NCAA Tournament record, all with Syracuse. In 35 seasons at Syracuse, Boeheim has led the Orange to one national championship, two NCAA Tournament runners-up, three trips to the Final Four, four Elite Eight Appearances and 15 times to the Sweet 16.
Pitino made a name for himself when he led Providence to the 1987 Final Four at the age of 34. Pitino won the 1996 national championship with Kentucky and lost to Arizona in overtime in the following year’s championship game.
Pitino has a 45-19 career NCAA Tournament record. His teams have advanced to five Final Fours and nine Elite Eights and Sweet 16s. He has never lost a Sweet 16 game. This is his 16th NCAA Tournament appearance.
Jim Calhoun’s 21 NCAA Tournament appearances rank third only behind Mike Krzyzewski and Boeheim among active coaches. He led UConn to the 1999 and 2004 national championships. He is one of only four active coaches with multiple championships. Calhoun has a 45-19 NCAA Tournament record and has led the Huskies to three Final Fours, eight Elite Eights and 11 Sweet 16s.
UConn’s five day run in the Big East Tournament to gain the automatic bid is one of the greatest accomplishments in the history of college basketball. The Huskies defeated ranked teams Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Louisville to tie Georgetown with seven titles all time.
Donovan led the Gators to their first national championship game appearance in 2000, losing to Michigan State. He followed that up six years later as the Gators won their first of back-to-back championship. Donovan’s career NCAA Tournament record is 22-8. Donovan has made 10 NCAA Tournament appearances.
Few coaches have been more successful at getting more out of their teams in March than Tom Izzo. In 12 NCAA Tournament appearances, Izzo has won one national championship and was the national runner-up in 2009. He has led the Spartans to six Final Fours, seven Elite Eights and nine Sweet 16s. Izzo has a 35-12 career NCAA Tournament record. Izzo is leading Michigan State to its 14th straight appearance in the NCAA.
At Kansas, many suggested that Williams teams underachieved in March. In his second season at his alma mater Williams shed the moniker of best coach to never win a championship. Williams now has two national championships, has appeared in three title games and he has seven Final Four appearances. Williams has made nine trips to the Elite Eight, 13 to the Sweet 16 and has been invited to the NCAA’s 20 times in 23 seasons as a head coach. Williams is 55-18 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
Second to only John Wooden when it comes to NCAA Tournament success. In an age of parity, Coach K’s numbers are extraordinary. He was won four national championships (1991, 1992, 2001 and 2010), advanced to eight national championship games and 11 Final Fours. The rest of his numbers are 12 Elite Eights, 19 Sweet 16’s and 26 NCAA Tournament appearances. Krzyzewski’s career NCAA Tournament record is 77-22. He is 22 wins ahead of the closest active coach in career tournament wins.