Any ranking prior to the NCAA Tournament this season had no chance to take into account the madness that this March provided. But April has arrived. Now that the nets have been cut and “One Shining Moment” is over, here is a final ranking of the top 10 head coaches from the 2017-18 college basketball season.
- Ryan Odom, UMBC
Odom encouraged his team to believe anything is possible. By becoming the first 16-seed to win a game in the tournament, his Retrievers turned a belief into an inspirational piece of proof that even the most far-fetched dreams can come true.
- Mike Krzyzewski, Duke
Coach K took a team with four freshman starters that faced colossal preseason predictions within one overtime loss to Kansas from the Final Four.
- Bill Self, Kansas
Mr. Consistency appeared in his third Final Four after guiding the Jayhawks to their 14th consecutive regular-season conference title.
- Bruce Pearl, Auburn
Pearl led the Tigers to their first conference title since 1999 and their first trip to the Big Dance since 2003.
- Rick Barnes, Tennessee
Basketball has always played second fiddle to football at Tennessee. If Barnes continues earning the Volunteers a 3-seed in the tournament, that might change.
- Matt Painter, Purdue
After losing All-American Caleb Swanigan from last year’s squad, Painter led the 2-seeded Boilermakers to the Sweet Sixteen.
- John Beilein, Michigan
Beilein was one game away from coaching the Wolverines to their first national championship since 1989. But Villanova made sure that didn’t happen.
- Porter Moser, Loyola-Chicago
Moser’s Ramblers changed the perception of teams from a mid-major conference by marching all the way to the Final Four as an 11-seed with a secret weapon: Sister Jean.
- Tony Bennett, Virginia
According to Mike Rutherford of SBNation.com, Bennett topped the list in January. His team had only two losses in the regular season. Then came UMBC. The ultimate Cinderella busted brackets and Bennett’s chances of topping this list.
- Jay Wright, Villanova
Wright won his second national title in the past three years. Since his team possesses the nets from San Antonio, he possesses the top spot on this list.