Whether it was moving on to the Sweet Sixteen or just missing the NIT, every coach had their ups and downs throughout the 2010-11 season.
Now that the year is over, it's time to dig into the score books and decide which coaches had a great season, and which coaches will be sitting on the hot seat come next winter.
This was a season to mail in for Tom Crean and the Hoosier faithful with their last place finish in the Big Ten.
The Hoosiers started off 6-0, but those teams had the caliber of their intramural league champions, which probably shot them in the foot in the end. Once they entered conference play, Tom Crean only led his team to three wins, with their best one against Illinois, and dropped the last nine games of the season.
Don’t expect Crean to be here next year though with his two dominant recruits coming to play for the crimson and cream.
While McCaffery didn’t have a stellar season with his Hawkeyes, he did outdo himself with a blowout win over Michigan State and a late upset against Purdue.
The pre-conference season didn’t do him any favors either by scheduling little teams and losing to them, like the South Dakota State Jackrabbits (real team).
McCaffery may have a rough time next season with a couple of three-star recruits coming in and losing him starting guard in Cully Payne.
A season that looked very promising at first turned into an absolute disaster when the Gophers dropped their last t10 of 11 games. Beating North Carolina and Purdue were both big wins, but not nearly huge enough to cover up their falling out of the Top 25 rankings.
As the old saying goes, “you can’t win ‘em all,” but you can’t lose 12 conference games with a smile on your face either.
Tommy, Tommy, Tommy. What on earth went wrong?
With a preseason ranking of No. 2 in the nation, the Spartans managed to make this season into the number one debacle in the nation. Players leaving and being dismissed, losing two games to their in-state rival, and just driving the Izzone crazy with their lackluster play made this the worst season in recent Michigan State history.
For many other teams, an NIT bid would deem the season a failure, but not for the Wildcats this year. Being the only team in the Big Ten without a NCAA Tournament bid, it had to be somewhat exciting to be mentioned in the discussion for a quick second.
One downfall for Northwestern was they failed to put up big wins, other than one against Illinois.
It wasn’t a terrible year, but it also wasn’t a great year for Weber.
Other than the first three games of the Big Ten schedule, the Illini couldn’t string two wins in a row which led to their 9-9 season. Illinois also started off the tournament with a win over UNLV, but lost to the Kansas Jayhawks in the second round.
Considering the talent that Bruce Weber had to work with, the season was a slight disappointment.
Even with star point guard Talor Battle, nobody expected Coach DeChellis to bring Penn State to the NCAA Tournament. What really inflated the Nittany Lions bubble to be big enough was the end of the season where they went all the way to the Big Ten Tournament final where they were defeated by OSU.
Even after a heartbreak lose to Temple in the final second, the Lions still put the “Happy” in Happy Valley.
Going 9-9 in your conference has never looked so good, but when you beat your in-state rival that has made a chew toy out of you the last decade, it’s a pretty big deal.
Beilein really impressed the nation by doing all of his damage with no seniors on the team and most of them being pure-shooters. Despite the lack of a real threat in the post, the Wolverines appeared in the big dance and plan on keeping their dance shoes on for another couple years.
Overall the Badgers had a very successful season. Bo Ryan gave Wisconsin a 13-5 Big Ten season and didn’t lose a single game to a non-tournament team.
Analyst and fans got a little skeptical in the end, especially when they only put up 33 points against Penn State, but the Badger’s hoop squad pulled it together to put themselves in the Sweet Sixteen.
Here’s another great team that had no losses against non-tournament teams but had a skid late in the season.
The Boilermakers beat Ohio State by the biggest margin this year (13 points) and beat every conference foe at least once throughout the year. Painter’s season seemed to take a topple during their second round upset against VCU, but saying they made the Final Four softens that loss up enough to call this season a great one.
No surprise here with Thad Matta and his tenacious Buckeyes having the most successful season in the whole Big Ten.
The Buckeyes were the unprecedented No.1 seed in the nation throughout most the season and taking the Big Ten title. Senior leadership, a powerful post presence and lockdown defense gave OSU the best seed in the tourney, but disappointment arose when the young Kentucky Wildcats knocked them out in the Sweet Sixteen.
Again, seeing the team you lost to playing in the Final Four softens the blow and gives Thad Matta the most successful coaching season in the Big Ten.