Coach Ok could possibly be leaving quickly, however not less than he made it this far.
Retiring Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski might coach his final NCAA Event sport Thursday evening if his No. 2 seed Blue Devils (30-6) can’t get by No. 3 seed Texas Tech (27-9) on the Chase Middle in San Francisco (9:39 p.m., CBS).
However don’t guess on it. If he wins, he will probably be an excellent 100-30 in NCAA Event video games since his first one on March 18, 1984, in Pullman, Washington, when Duke fell to Washington, 80-78. The century mark can be a pleasant spherical quantity to sit down on together with 35 NCAA Tournaments and 5 fats nationwide championships. He already has 22 extra NCAA Event wins than the subsequent closest in historical past, which is 77 by Roy Williams, who retired from North Carolina final 12 months.
Might Coach Ok get to a thirteenth Remaining 4 and break his tie at 12 for No. 1 all-time with John Picket? He’ll should get by both No. 1 seed Gonzaga (28-3) or No. 4 seed Arkansas (27-8), who additionally play Thursday in San Francisco (7:09 p.m., CBS).
So, he’ll be lacking from the Dance fully subsequent 12 months. It gained’t be the identical.
However this 12 months, what’s lacking is College Ok.
The No. 2 seed Kentucky Wildcats performed Thursday evening in Indianapolis (simply 189 miles from Lexington), and nobody’s seen ’em since. No. 15 seed Saint Peter’s blocked Kentucky from advancing to the second spherical, which within the Bluegrass is barely Purgatory, with an 85-79 win in extra time.
That marks the third straight 12 months Kentucky has not gained an NCAA Event sport, and this system is NOT on probation. The Wildcats didn’t go to the Dance final 12 months after a 9-16 and 8-9 season — this system’s worst since a 3-13 and 1-6 mark within the Southern Convention in 1927. They might have gone in 2020 at 25-6 and 15-3 SEC champions, however COVID canceled all the pieces. COVID or no COVID, that’s three years with out an NCAA Event win.
The final time Kentucky went so lengthy with no bracket budge was from 1988 by way of 1991, which included a 13-19 and 8-10 season in 1988-89 underneath Eddie Sutton and two straight years of postseason ineligibility due to NCAA probation earned throughout Sutton’s period.
“Unhappy day,” coach John Calipari mentioned after the loss to St. Peter’s. “And I’ll simply say one factor. You’ve got an eight-point lead with three minutes to go, you win the sport. I’m upset for our followers, as a result of I do know they’re right here en masse, and so they have been shellshocked like all of us have been. So simply upset.”
Thank goodness, former Kentucky guard Rex Chapman of CNN didn’t inform him to “relaxation in peace.” Calipari will probably be again. He does have two five-star prospects coming in — No. 1 capturing guard Cason Wallace of Richardson, Texas, and No. 2 small ahead Chris Livingston of Oak Hill Academy, Virginia, plus nonetheless many LSU transfers he can entice.
Counting his final three years as Memphis’ coach from 2005-08, Calipari went to 5 Elite Eights and 5 Remaining Fours from 2006 by way of 2019 with a nationwide championship in 2012 and nationwide runner-up finishes in 2018 and 2014. That’s an excessive amount of elite consistency to not return to it.
Talking of consistency, Gonzaga is in its seventh straight Candy 16 with two nationwide runner-up finishes and 4 Elite Eight appearances underneath coach Mark Few. But when anybody can pull an upset on Gonzaga, aside from Coach Ok, it will be Arkansas coach Eric Musselman, a defensive wizard since his days teaching within the NBA.
Musselman is a win away from his second straight Elite Eight at Arkansas, and search for him to be there and better within the close to future. Arkansas has the No. 2 class within the nation for 2022 behind solely Duke with 5 signees, together with the 6-5 No. 1 level guard Nick Smith of Sherwood, Arkansas and the 6-7 No. 7 small ahead Jordan Walsh of Branson, Missouri.
Talking of consistency regardless of no consistency on the high, LSU simply reached its sixth NCAA Event since 2006 underneath six coaches. These have been interim coach Kevin Nickelberry in 2022 (not retained), Will Wade in 2021 (fired in 2022), interim coach Tony Benford in 2019 (not retained), Johnny Jones in 2015 (fired in 2017), Trent Johnson in 2009 (left for TCU in 2012) and John Brady in 2006 (fired in 2008). Since Dale Brown took LSU to 10 straight NCAA Tournaments from 1984-93, solely Brady has gone to back-to-back Huge Dances — in 2005 and ’06.
New LSU coach Matt McMahon simply took Murray State to its third NCAA Event out of a doable 4 years.
Greatest Quote of the NCAA Event So Far:
“I’m not apprehensive about distractions, as a result of we’ve been coping with COVID for 2 years. That, I’m not apprehensive about. The NCAA Event is each child’s dream.” — Saint Peter’s coach Shaheen Holloway after beating No. 7 seed Murray State, 70-60, on Saturday in Indianapolis to achieve the Candy 16. The Peacocks (21-11) play No. 3 seed Purdue (29-7) on Friday (7:09 p.m., CBS) in Philadelphia.
Greatest Second of the NCAA Event So Far:
Michigan coach Juwan Howard embracing Tennessee guard Kennedy Chandler after Michigan’s 76-68 win on Saturday in Indianapolis. At first, Howard form of midway hugged Chandler as a result of Howard’s son Jett and Chandler performed basketball collectively as younger youngsters. However when Chandler dropped his head into Howard’s chest bawling, Howard knew he wanted extra and gave him a full on embrace and held it.
And what a spread of feelings for Howard, who was suspended 5 video games simply final month for hanging Wisconsin assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft within the face throughout a extra heated receiving line following a 77-63 loss on Feb. 20.
“I gave him (Kennedy) phrases of encouragement,” Howard mentioned. “It confirmed his emotion, that he cares. As coaches, you respect that.”
So instantly, March Insanity can turn out to be March Unhappiness.
“It’s robust for me,” Chandler mentioned. “I really like him. He informed me to maintain my head up, and ‘You performed your coronary heart out.’ That’s what he informed me.”
Candy 16 Schedule (All occasions jap)
No. 4 seed Arkansas (27-8) vs. No. 1 seed Gonzaga (28-3), 7:09 p.m., San Francisco, CBS
No. 11 seed Michigan (19-14) vs. No. 2 seed Villanova (28-7), 7:29 p.m., San Antonio, TBS
No. 3 seed Texas Tech (27-9) vs. No. 2 seed Duke (30-6), 9:39 p.m., San Francisco, CBS
No. 5 seed Houston (31-5) vs. No. 1 seed Arizona (33-3) 9:59 p.m., San Antonio, TBS
No. 15 seed Saint Peter’s (21-11) vs. No. 3 seed Purdue (29-7), 7:09 p.m., Philadelphia, CBS
No. 4 seed Windfall (27-5) vs. No. 1 seed Kansas (30-6), 7:29 p.m., Chicago, TBS
No. 8 seed North Carolina (26-9) vs. No. 4 seed UCLA (27-7), 9:39 p.m., Philadelphia, CBS
No. 11 seed Iowa State (22-12) vs. No. 10 seed Miami (25-10), 9:59 p.m., Chicago, TBS