Dave Sez: Best NCAA Tournament Coaches

Great work by Dave Sez regarding the Best NCAA Tournament coaches of all-time. (Link)

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Given how close he came to being NC State’s basketball coach, it’s interesting that John Calipari has the exact same record as Jim Valvano

I just can’t get over what Jimmy V’s record might have looked like if:
(a) Rick Hartzell doen’t kill the Pack in 1989 with (Billy Packer’s words) “the worst call in NCAA Tournament History”, and
(b) V had the opportunity to have coached Fire & Ice (and Googs) into the NCAA Tournament in the early 90s.

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26 Responses to Dave Sez: Best NCAA Tournament Coaches

  1. Rick 02/09/2007 at 11:24 AM #

    I just finished reading V’s book.
    In it he states the ref sent him a note apologizing for that traveling call. And it is the worst call ever made.

    I also would love to think about what V couuld have built here had he once again focused on basektball. He could have been one of the greats. He had a feel for the game like no one else.

  2. TNCSU 02/09/2007 at 11:31 AM #

    As I had just graduated in ’89, can someone refresh my memory on the “call.” Which game was that/circumstances, etc.?


  3. Rick 02/09/2007 at 11:46 AM #

    My memory is a little hazy but here goes.

    Against Georgetown to get into the Final Four with a minute or two left…
    We were down 3 and Corch drives the lane and gets hammered but by Morning but makes the shot. I think it would have been his 5th foul. Instead of a three point play they wave off the basket and give it to GT.

  4. choppack1 02/09/2007 at 11:47 AM #

    That’s interesting. What I find most fascinating is the “best coach never to reach a Final 4” – Dr. Tom Davis. If that doesn’t drive the point home that any coach worth keeping is going to have some significant tournament success I don’ know what does. Calipari as the best not to win a title – see the last point.

    Let’s face it Tom Davis didn’t exactly set the world on fire, and he’s the “best coach not go to the FF.” Calipari – who has, well, let’s just say a shady past, is the best not win a national title.

  5. choppack1 02/09/2007 at 12:13 PM #

    Rick’s got it right – we were making a patented run w/ 2 minutes or less left. We’re down by 2 or 3, Corch drives to the basket, and makes shot, whistle blows and it looks like 5th foul on Alonzo Mourning. They call a walk on Corch instead – awful call, by subhuman officials.

  6. TNCSU 02/09/2007 at 12:13 PM #

    I DO think I remember it now!!!

    I personally don’t take much stock in winning percentage as an indicator of Best Tournament Coaches — maybe partially, but many of these coaches — Dean, Wooden, K, were/are consistent 1 or 2 seeds which means it would have to be a “huge” upset if they DIDN’T get to the Sweet Sixteen. Having Calipari (1 final four) in front of Bobby Knight (3 Nat’l champs)? Same with putting Calipari up there with Great Coaches of major conferences — he’s virtually ASSURED of a twenty win season at Memphis, and probably a 1-3 seed, but I doubt he’ll win many/if any National Championships.

  7. kool k 02/09/2007 at 12:27 PM #

    The Georgetown game was in the Sweet 16. The Hoyas would go on to lose to Duke in the regional finals. Duke lost to Seton Hall in the Final Four, and that Steve Fisher Michigan team with Glen Rice playing like Teenwolf won the title.
    That was also the same year the Pack won the regular season title and got blown out by Bob Wade’s 8th seeded Terps on ACC Friday.

  8. gannon 02/09/2007 at 12:33 PM #

    “…and that Steve Fisher Michigan team with Glen Rice playing like Teenwolf won the tilte”…. that’s just classic! Love the teenwolf reference.

  9. gopack968 02/09/2007 at 1:04 PM #

    Under “A Few Thoughts” in the article:

    “Cheaters do prosper! The following coaches (or their programs, wink, wink) got busted for improprieties at some point: Larry Brown, Steve Fisher, Joe B. Hall, Jerry Tarkanian, Rollie Massimino, John Calipari, Jim Valvano, Denny Crum, Frank McGuire, Nolan Richardson, Adolph Rupp, Eddie Sutton, Jim Harrick, Wimp Sanderson, Lefty Driesell, Kelvin Sampson and Norm Stewart. And that’s just off the top of my head. I’m probably missing some (no, I don’t think the Roy Williams one counts).”

    Just damned frustrating that this is still a common mis-perception about NC State and the Valvano era. Guess we just have to live with it…

  10. BoKnowsNCS71 02/09/2007 at 1:13 PM #

    Maybe someone should asterisk some of these numbers. Maybe for pre-64 and post 64 team NCAAT years.

    Take for example Lefty. He had great teams but at the time only one team from the ACC could go to the dance — the ACCT Champion. Like in 74 — eeven undefeated — we had to win the tournament. to get to play on. Lefty and about 4 all Americans go only an invite to the NIT.

    Considering that — what Dean and John Wooden did was pretty amazing. Just at thought.

    True the accomplishments of all are accurate — but had there been no expansion — a few would not on this list at all.

  11. redfred2 02/09/2007 at 1:43 PM #

    Totally agree. It is night and day to what it was back then. Like the thread header says, you didn’t go through a few comparatively easier rounds before running into legitimate competition. Just like making the tournament now as compared to back then, those win/loss percentages from back in those days should be separated from today’s tournament records. What the teams and coaches did back then deserves much more credit than going by the lesser and watered down version of today’s NCAA tournament standards. No comparison.

  12. kool k 02/09/2007 at 2:00 PM #

    “There are three rules that I live by: never get less than twelve hours sleep; never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city; and never get involved with a woman with a tattoo of a dagger on her body. Now you stick to that, and everything else is cream cheese.”

    Not exactly “Don’t give up, Don’t Ever give up”. Nontheless, a motivating force indeed.

  13. StateFans 02/09/2007 at 2:37 PM #

    GTown game was Sweet 16. Not Final 8 (to get to Final Four). Final 8 would have been vs Duke (whom we had already defeated)

  14. forst8 02/09/2007 at 3:00 PM #

    I don’t hate many people but to this day, I hate Rick Hartzell because I didn’t believe then and I don’t believe now that a ref can make a call that bad without there being some ulterior motive. I think he made the call on purpose to control the outcome of that game.

  15. choppack1 02/09/2007 at 3:08 PM #

    I’m with you forst8. They really ought to allow officials to be interviewed after these games. I would have loved to have heard his explanation for that one. What was really fishy is the other official supposedly said he was going to call a charge on Corchiani.

  16. OldMan 02/09/2007 at 3:13 PM #

    Why isn’t Norm Sloan on the list?

  17. noah 02/09/2007 at 3:26 PM #

    I didn’t think Corchiani got fouled on that drive to the bucket, but he didn’t walk.

    Georgetown ran the shotclock down and nailed a three-pointer on their next possession.

    After the game, V was totally spent. He looked awful. That was the year that he had to endure the book controversy and he was really in terrible shape. A cheerleader ran in before the press conference and gave him a peck on the cheek and then dashed out. V gave one of those slump-shouldered, aw-shucks grins that was just totally Jim Valvano and said, “I take it all back. It was all worth it!”

    Funny moment. My dad went to a WPC meeting shortly after that and Valvano was the first speaker. He started his talk by saying, “Lemme say something first…….(long pause)……IT WAS A TERRIBLE CALL! IT WAS THE WORST CALL I’VE EVER SEEN! WHAT WAS HE THINKING???” And then he started his talk.

    The next game for Georgetown was the Dook game where Phil Henderson completely facialed, teabagged, hogswalloped, fuzznuggled, and swizzle-knickered Alonzo Mourning with a drive and dunk that would have made a perukemaker a hogenhine and ecstasized the crowd.

  18. kool k 02/09/2007 at 3:51 PM #

    As horrible as that call was and gut wrenching as the loss was to Georgetown…the game before…against Iowa…Mr. Ice himself put on a clinic…I can’t recall the exact total, but it was over 40…want to say the Hawkeyes had BJ Armstrong and Roy Marble, Double OT thriller!

  19. noah 02/09/2007 at 3:54 PM #

    It was exactly 40.

  20. burnbarn 02/09/2007 at 4:40 PM #

    i was at that game!! Amazing performance and Iowa had some nice players too, but Ice would not be denied.

  21. noah 02/09/2007 at 5:03 PM #

    Iowa had BJ Armstrong, Roy Marble and Ed Horton. Horton had 32 and 12 rebounds, Marble had 24 and Armstrong had 20.

    After the game, Horton said they were just trying to rip Monroe’s arm off. And he was still hitting everything.

    Monroe had 40, Corch and Brian Howard had 16, and Chuckie Brown had 14 points.

  22. packfanstk 02/10/2007 at 12:00 PM #

    I got to find that Iowa game and make it the next one I transfer to DVD.

  23. wayofthemaster 02/10/2007 at 11:15 PM #

    I’ll never forget that Iowa game. It still is one of the best games I have ever watched. I was so nervous I thought I was truly going to have a heart attack. I was fourteen.

  24. packfanstk 02/11/2007 at 9:51 PM #

    Wanna see the worst call in NCAA Tournament History? I just posted it on youtube. I had all three of our 1989 games on one videotape, and I put the South Carolina and Iowa games on DVD. I had room for the last five minutes of the Georgetown game. I got sick to my stomach all over again watching it. What’s really crazy is that Billy Packer called the exact move that Corchiani made just seconds before he did it. The disbelief in his voice at the call is obvious. While Musburger is saying “No basket!” Packer is yelling “OH JEEEEZ!” As I write this youtube is still processing the video, so I have no link for it yet. If you want to look for it yourself, just go to youtube and do a search for packfanstk.

  25. packfanstk 02/12/2007 at 8:12 AM #

    OK, here’s a link now.

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