Of the 64 teams that begin play on Thursday and Friday, among them will be at least five head coaches who have already carved out quite the legacy in college hoops. North Carolina's Roy Williams, Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, Syracuse's Jim Boeheim, Louisville's Rick Pitino and Connecticut's Jim Calhoun will go down as five of college hoops' all-time greatest, but which one do you consider to be the best?
Williams coached in Kansas from 1988-2003 before heading to his alma matter, UNC, where he also served as an assistant coach from 1978-1988. Williams has a career head coaching record of 640-162 to go with two NCAA tournament championships (2005 and 2009). He was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.
Pitino, who got his coaching career started in Boston as the head coach of the Boston University Terriers in 1978, won his first and only NCAA title in 1996 as the head coach of Kentucky. The current head coach at Louisville, Pitino has five Final Four appearances and a 572-209 overall head coaching record.
Duke's Coach K, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001, has led the Blue Devils to four NCAA Championships and 11 Final Fours in 31 seasons at Duke. He's notched an NCAA-record 77 NCAA tournament victories, while his 898 career victories puts him just five wins away from being the winningest men's basketball coach in NCAA Division I history.
Calhoun, like Pitino, got his first head coaching job in Boston when he took over Northeastern's team in 1972. Fourteen seasons and about 250 wins later, Calhoun moved south to Storrs, Conn., where he's jacked UConn's program into a powerhouse. He's made five Elite Eight appearances and won it all in both 1999 and 2004. He's closing in on 900 career wins with 840 leading into the tourney.
Perhaps no active head coach is more synonymous with his program than Boeheim is with Syracuse. Since 1976, Boeheim has led the Orange to one title and three Final Four appearances during his tenure and owns 855 career wins, good for seventh-most on the men's basketball all-time wins list. In over 30 years at the helm, Boeheim has never posted a losing campaign.
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