Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski. North Carolina’s Roy Williams. Butler’s Brad Stevens. Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan. All very good to great to legendary (Coach K) college basketball coaches. But according to a panel of ten analysts compiled by Basketball Times, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo is better than all of them.
Izzo received six of the panel’s ten first-place votes to be voted the nation’s best college basketball coach. Krzyzewski received the four remaining first-place votes and finished as the “second best.” One panelist explained his reasoning behind naming Izzo the best:
“He’s a great coach. Give me two teams with equal talent in a must-win game, with only 24 hours to prepare, and I’ll pick Izzo to coach them. And he’s a genuinely good guy. He’s grounded. He remembers his roots. He’s thoroughly approachable. That’s where I give him the nod over K.”
Head of the nail, meet the hammer.
Basketball Times also ranked college basketball’s best programs in the nation. Michigan State finished seventh behind Duke, North Carolina, Gonzaga (nah), Davidson (come on), Wisconsin and Butler. The factors for ranking the best programs included winning percentage, NBA players, graduation rates, academic reputation and “program cleanliness.”
Davidson has won three NCAA Tournament games (all in 2008) since 1969. But boy are they clean!