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Sweet 16 Open Thread


I am sure you are all rooting for Oregon against Michigan and its Trump voters. Regardless, we can all agree that it’s great that Duke and its seemingly endless supply of privileged white players lost.

To start the conversation, here’s a question generated out of a conversation with a friend recently. Who is the best college hoops coach since John Wooden? This conversation started as the 2nd best coach of all time, but then I imagine it’s probably Adolph Rupp. And it’s hard to know based on a distant era of all-white teams and the like. So since Wooden. Coach K? Dean Smith? Boeheim? Knight? Pitino?

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  • tsam

    “do i LOOK like i ordered the tilapia?”

    No, you don’t look that crazy to me. Who eats that disgusting shit anyway?


    That is all.

    • busker type

      Them’s fightin’ words!

      • tsam

        The Gozaga ones or the worse-than-improperly-cleaned-catfish ones?

        • busker type


          • tsam

            Looks like I’m going eat the Gonzaga ones. Soft, weakass motherfuckers.

            • busker type


            • Bill Murray

              Zags win as the ‘Eers get two offensive rebounds but can’t get a 3-pointer to tie in the last 15 or so seconds

              • Taking terrible 3s was a terrible move. Just get a layup and then foul.

                • JKTH

                  It seemed like Carter couldn’t even get by his man. Just a shitty end to the game all around.

  • Other people will probably load their comments up with issues like program sustainability and character building and graduation rates, but for my money the most entertaining teams (and by that standard, the best teams) in the last 40 years have been Tark’s Running Rebels and Westphal’s Loyola Marymount teams.

    There, I’ve said it. Tear me apart.

    • Bill Murray

      Loyola Marymount were great to watch. They played at Utah in the NCAAs when I was at Utah and one of my friends was the urine sample gatherer for post-game drug testing. It took one LMU forward about 45 minutes after the game to get back enough fluid to make a sample despite more or less constant drinking of water. This was after LMU beat Wyoming 119-115 in 1988

    • Ithaqua

      Coming into this thread, I was going to say “Tark the Shark”, but you’ve basically beaten me to it.

  • JKTH

    Jim Calhoun? K had more success but he was building off a more historically successful program.

    • efgoldman

      Jim Calhoun?

      If you’re going there, it has to be Gino Auriemma, doesn’t it?

      • Brien Jackson

        I think that’s a tough comparison because the talent pool in high school girls basketball is much thinner. Geno built essentially a self-sustaining dynasty that gets pick of the litter every single year with no real competition yet.

        • randy khan

          Well, he doesn’t always get all the best players. But more to the point, college coaching consists of recruiting and coaching the team you recruit. So discounting Auriemma because he’s really good at recruiting seems peculiar.

          • Scott Lemieux

            The issue isn’t that he’s “really good at recruiting”; it’s that the women’s league is at a very noncompetitive stage. It would be impossible for him to dominate the contemporary men’s league in anything like that way because nobody could. When you’re evaluating coaches and players, the competitive balance of the league matters a lot.

            • randy khan

              So on one level you’re right – the women’s talent pool is somewhat diluted for a variety of reasons, including that a lot more girls play soccer than basketball and somewhat fewer (although it’s getting closer) girls play sports than boys.

              On another level, though, this analysis makes a lot of assumptions. Even if, for argument’s sake, there are 5 A++ players each year in WCBB versus 20 in MCBB, 10 A+ players versus 30, and 15 A players versus 50, there’s still a fair amount of talent to go around, the competition is stiff for that talent, and you have to figure out which players are A++ and which are merely A (or, worse, look like A+ or better but actually are B). And if the pool is shallow, the premium on getting a top player is much higher – literally a Brittany Griner or an Elena Delle Donne can change your team and if another team gets her you may not have a replacement.

              Also, in actual practice, he’s not that dominant a recruiter. Here’s how Auriemma has done, according to the ESPN recruiting rankings, in the last four classes:

              2016 – 1 top 20 player (#3). 5 other teams had 2 or more
              2015 – 2 top 20 players (#1 and #6). 4 other teams had 2 each
              2014 – 2 top 20 players (#14 and #17). 4 other teams had 2 each
              2013 – 0 top 20 players. 2 teams had 3 each; 2 others had 2 each

              Based on eyeballing the lists, several teams ended up with as many or more top 20 and top 10 players in that time frame as Connecticut.

              By the way, the player who just set the NCAA scoring record was ranked 26th in the class of 2013, and while she plays for the Huskies, it’s not the ones in Connecticut.

              • Brien Jackson

                Do you think he’d dominate the mens game as he has the women’s?

                • randy khan

                  I don’t know.

          • Phil Perspective

            Auriemma certainly does get the best players, especially since Summitt is no longer coaching at Tennessee. Do you ever look at the scores of their games? Even in the NCAA Tournament they’re boatracing 3 and 4 seeds by 40, constantly.

      • JKTH

        Since all the coaches Loomis named are men’s coaches, I figured it was limited to the men’s game.

        • randy khan

          He didn’t say that, and I don’t see why it should be.

          • JKTH

            Then I’d go with Auriemma. Regardless of the differences between men’s and women’s college, he may end up doubling up the next closest coach (Summitt) in terms of number of championships before it’s all said and done.

  • MyNameIsZweig

    On the one hand, both my parents are Michigan alums.

    On the other hand, the University of Michigan (spread across multiple campuses) has failed to hire me for various jobs on no fewer than six separate occasions.

    On yet another hand, most of the Oregon fans I know here in San Francisco are insufferable about their Oregon-ness.

    Can I just root for the asteroid?

    • JKTH

      It’s never a bad time to root against the Big 10.

    • tsam

      On the one hand, a HOOK. On the other hand…


      I think I need a nap.

    • I do not understand why there are so many Oregon fans in the Bay Area, so say nothing of why they are so assertive about it.

      • tsam

        Spokane is loaded with Steelers fans. They’re all the methy-looking, loudmouth assholes. Must be the rapist quarterback and asshole coach who pushes cheap ass helmet to helmet hits? Of course that could be any coach. Must be the rapist part.

        • Burning_River

          To be fair, the Steeler’s fans who live in eastern Ohio are approximately the same.

  • tsam

    So since Wooden. Coach K? Dean Smith? Boeheim? Knight? Pitino?

    K makes sense. So do the others. Needs Roy Williams and maybe Tom Izzo.

    Need metrics. Otherwise it’s Mark Few.

    • Bill Murray

      I’d say it needs a definition of greatest coach. Metrics would end up with most wins or most championships etc.

      One I would put out there who was great in the sense of being able to devise a way to get the in-game match-ups to favor his team was Rick Majerus. He wasn’t a great recruiter as most of his talent weren’t top recruits and he was quite verbally abusive at practice but man could he figure out how to set the game up to put his players in the best positions to do what they did best and capitalize on their skills.

      I would put Dean Smith light years of any of the other named, post-Wooden, coaches as a human being, but that probably is not a big criterion for being a top coach

      • tsam

        All good points

    • nemdam

      As much as everyone hates them, I don’t see how you can’t pick Coach K. His success in March dwarfs almost every other coach. Not even close in my book.

    • AlanInSF

      Does need metrics, but, just eyeballing it, hard not to choose Coach K. His record would be astounding even if he always had top level talent across several positions, but he seldom did. I’m not a Duke fan, but I saw so many great UNC teams and Maryland teams not do what Duke has done.

      • Bill Murray

        what years after about 1988 did Duke not have top level talent at multiple positions?

        • AlanInSF

          “Seldom” was the wrong word, but I don’t think Duke consistently has had the level of talent or the depth of programs like Kansas, UNC, or Kentucky. The 2010 team was talented, but Seth Curry, the Plumlees, and Tyus Jones doesn’t scream “national championship.” Far better Kentucky teams have gone out in the second round.

        • Thlayli

          How many NBA superstars have come out of Duke? Grant Hill, who else…? Laettner was a journeyman, Battier was a role-player, etc.

          • Karate Bearfighter

            Kyrie Irving, Elton Brand, Luol Deng, Jabari Parker, Carlos Boozer … I mean, you can argue about what constitutes a superstar, but except for Parker, all of those guys have been to multiple all-star games — and Parker’s on his way.

    • vic rattlehead

      No circle jerk is complete without Boeheim. I think he’s the only one who gets his knob schlobbed more than K.

      • tsam

        Knight is in sole possession of the record for most undeserved slobbery praise from ESPN douches. He’s also one of the biggest assholes on the planet and needs a severe ass beating.

        • mathguy

          Please someone make this happen.

    • AdamPShort

      A bit surprised given that “more with less” seems to be the prevailing standard that Izzo isn’t getting more of a look here. Michigan State has had some great players but their results have been consistently better than their talent level throughout Izzo’s tenure. I vote for him. Secondarily i vote for anybody except Coach Jesusezwski

  • MaureenDowdsLudes

    Best? Or most successful? Because the best is obviously Nolan Richardson.

  • Scott P.

    Pitino has taken four different college teams to the NCAA tournament, including inheriting an 11-20 Providence team and taking them to the Final Four two years after he started there.

    • AlanInSF

      OTOH, Coach K has won 5 national championships.

  • wjts

    Who is the best college hoops coach since John Wooden?

    I don’t know a whole lot about college ball, but I suspect it’s Peter C. Basketball, who I believe led Toulouse University’s Fighting Albigensians to a record six BasketBowl wins.

    • AlanInSF

      The Languedoc Golden Cathars beg to differ.

      • Bill Murray

        They are on a crusade to be the best led by their Coach Tomas de Hoopemada

      • HenryW

        I’m afraid that Amalric’s Fighting Bishops slaughtered them.

    • tsam

      This answer is obviously correct as fuck.

  • GHorn

    Calipari……..because I live in Louisville KY.

    • Downpuppy

      I’m impressed by the way Calipari took the NBA 1 year delay rule and just flat out went pro.

    • No Longer Middle Aged Man

      Also because it would annoy little Ricky.

      Geno Auriemma, though he fails badly in terms of sending players to the NBA.

  • HenryW

    Geno Auriemma.

    As for Duke, I propose we just refer to them from this point forward as “The Ferrets.” Certainly fits Krzyzewski and Allen and Hurley.

    • Pat Summitt deserves a solid mention, as well.

      • AlanInSF

        …and Tara VanDerveer

        • randy khan

          She’s awfully good, but not in the same group as those two.

    • randy khan

      I think the conversation pretty much starts and ends with those two. It’s really a pity that Alzheimer’s ended that rivalry.

  • vic rattlehead

    Rooting for Press Virginia in solidarity (a good friend went to WVU). I’m sure to be disappointed. I always am.

  • MAJeff

    Geno Auriemma? Pat Summit?

    • Ithaqua

      Women’s college basketball – and if you look at their records, it’s hard to dispute their greatness.

      • randy khan

        Loomis just said college hoops, so I’d say you have to count them.

    • Marek


  • Linnaeus

    Go Blue!

  • Docrailgun

    There’s no Duke, no Oklahoma, no OK State, no Minnesota… the only reason to watch would be for UNC.

    The best coach of all time is Coach K.

    • vic rattlehead

      There’s no Duke

      That’s why I’m still watching!

  • Marek

    I’m hoping for an all-Husky game (UConn v. UDub).

    Are the men playing, too?

  • Colin Day

    In one weekend, South Carolina men’s team won more NCAA tournament games (2) than they won over the previous 43 years (0).

  • elm

    Honorable mention for Jim Valvano?

    • Dennis Orphen


  • Linnaeus

    Great game, tough loss for my Wolverines.

    • Certainly Oregon gave them plenty of opportunities, including for whatever reason not giving away those extra fouls at the end.

  • Jordan

    Close enough:

    Who you got for NBA MVP?

    I think Harden, but Westbrook, Kawhi and Lebron all got serious cases

    • JKTH

      I’d go with Harden too.

      • snarkout

        Gotta be Harden, and I’m in Cleveland.

        • Jordan

          Thats very fair-minded of you!

          On a one-year deal, I’d definitely take Lebron over anybody in the league.

    • Lord Jesus Perm

      Gotta be Russ given the talent level of his teammates. It would go against NBA precedent for him to get it but I’d pick him. Harden 2nd, then Bron and Leonard in any order after that.

      Honestly, I think John Wall should be getting some love though.

      • Jordan

        Ya, in a more normal year I think Wall would be in the “discussion” or whatever. This year its … wow.

        Its impossible for me to be completely unbiased, but I wouldn’t be all that angry if it was Westbrook. Interestingly enough, guess who plays tomorrow?

  • revrick

    Jim Calhoun. He took a team that had been a joke of the Yankee Conference (a joke conference ), and raised it to powerhouse status in the Big East, and he did it without stocking the team with McDonald’s All Americans, like a certain overrated ACC coach has done, not to mention that coach’s reputation for working the refs and getting more favorable rankings.

  • JKTH

    Carter’s singlehandedly keeping West Virginia in the game. Their offense is really ugly.

    • This whole game is really ugly

      • keta

        “That’s how you build character, you win ugly games.”

        – the commentator guy on my teevee

        • tsam

          Those guys were infuriating. That was a seriously ugly game. Watching GU shoot the ball standing flat footed in the paint while triple teamed, then looking shocked at getting blocked and stripped was .. not fun.

  • FlaMark

    Billy Donovan is 20x the coach Roy W is for what he did at UF a football school. Roy W? GTFO

    I’d say Coach K then Dean then Al McGuire

  • CrunchyFrog

    I tell you, minor league baseball is really missing a HUGE marketing opportunity. I mean, it’s minor league, right? No one pays attention. Did you ever see a minor league game on a sports cable channel? Ever see a minor league score on a national sports ticker listing? NEVER. You see little league, but not minor league.

    So, understand this, sports fans are human, therefore, like humans most are stupid and gullible. So they should rename it to College Baseball, not minor league. Oh, I know, there are actual college teams. (And they get on TV, unlike minor league, even though they play lower quality ball. Which proves the point I’m about to make). So get a few colleges to sponsor the teams or whatever. The key is to slap the world “COLLEGE” on your product. Suddenly people will pay attention.

    Then pick a slow sports month. August, for example. Create a big tournament of your “College” teams. (Ok, it’s minor league, but they can attend classes exactly as often as Div 1 football full ride players do.) GIve it some marketing pizazz – like “March Madness” but for August. Steal names like “Sweet Sixteen” or “Elite Eight”. Now, no one will give a crap about they players – they don’t for NCAA basketball. Or anything else about the sport – but they will spend huge amounts of time and energy following the events because it has the word “COLLEGE” in it.

    • Colin Day

      But what if minor-league teams are worse than local college teams (remember last year people joking if Villanova could beat the Sixers)? Could the Gamecocks beat the Columbia Fireflies (moar Tebow!)?

    • liberalrob

      The College World Series already exists. It’s in June. It’s been going on since 1947. Where’ve you been?

      • Colin Day

        That doesn’t involve minor-league teams.

  • petemack

    Geno Ariemma. No on else is even close.

  • Brad Nailer

    I was going to say Tay Baker, but then I realized I meant Ed Jucker.

  • hey so
    • hey so

      Also, if we include Women’s, it’s Auriemma.

    • liberalrob

      Izzo is definitely an elite coach.

  • dplunk

    Wait, so the implication is that Coach K shouldn’t get good players if they’re privileged and white because white men are too privileged by society? This argument would have merit if that’s all he was doing, fielding a team full of mediocre white players because his team only serves to continue to further white male privilege. But the notion that this is even remotely what is happening is preposterous.

    I get the Duke hate in the sense that they’re the Yankees of CBB. They win all the time (who would care if they weren’t good) and because they win they’re on tv all the time, which is annoying if they aren’t your team.

    But the angle of the Duke hate that draws on the white players is a bit puzzling to me. The only way I get it is if you think fans latch onto them because of the white players. That’s certainly possible, and maybe why they were put on tv a lot. I tend to think it’s not a big portion of it. I think more casual fans are like me and got attached because they were on tv a lot and were winning a lot (bandwagoning, basically). Maybe I’m being naive but I don’t get the sense Duke is some kind of Pepe thing where there’s a bunch of white dudes who love the team because they’re “white” in some sense.

    Of course, now that I’ve put that on the internet I’m sure some shitbag will see it and make it a thing on reddit or something. And in short order I’ll have to become a UNC fan or something.

    • dplunk

      Talked about this with my gf and there’s certainly a racial aspect of who K recruits. He seems to recruit from a higher socioeconomic background than most, presumably because he wants more well adjusted kids he can handle/coach better. The racial part of that is obvious, in that racism has kept black people out of that higher socioeconomic tier. So even though K may not be actively racist, his criteria has the effect of pulling in more white guys than average.

      And it’s not like there aren’t quality players that don’t meat K’s criteria. Many teams have good players and many teams other than Duke win. So he’s not constrained when trying to find quality players. He’s making an active choice. The issue is whether he’s willing to risk losing a few more games while not taking advantage of the effect of society’s racial constructs in order to provide more equality of opportunity. Or to just keep doing what’s made him wildly successful, even if it doesn’t do anything to try to change racism.

  • liberalrob

    Knight has to be in the conversation. Doesn’t matter that he’s hated, he was successful everywhere he went and had a significant impact on the game itself as the innovator of the motion offense. Love him or hate him, he’s a towering figure in NCAA history.

    Lute Olson had a terrific run at Arizona, turning the Pac-10 doormat into a perennial powerhouse. 23 straight NCAA Tournament appearances.

    Since I haven’t seen him mentioned I have to put in a word for John Thompson, who made Georgetown a force to be reckoned with in the 80’s and 90’s.

    John Chaney made the match-up zone a reason to fear seeing Temple on the schedule. Plus he threatened to kill John Calipari at a post-game press conference for working the refs, which gets him an extra vote from me.

    Boeheim was already mentioned but he deserves a nod.

    And he’s still a work in progress but I have to throw out Bill Self’s name too. Yeah, he’s at Kansas so he has a recruiting advantage, but he was successful at Illinois, Tulsa, and Oral Roberts before that. He’s been a terrific coach.

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