With Indiana facing certain sanctions from the NCAA for the next several years, the Hooisers were still able to land Tom Crean. Roy Williams left the Kansas Jayhawks for North Carolina in 2003. Kansas was able to replace him with Bill Self, from Illinois, who just recently turned down Oklahoma State to stay at Kansas.
It makes you wonder, what are the Top 10 coaching jobs in college basketball? We here at Drinking the Forty consulted with some of the finest basketball experts in the country to find out. Hey, if ESPN can pull random people off the street and call them experts, then we can too.
Here is our Top 10, based on a program’s national persona, recent success, fan base, facilities, history and tradition, and potential for future success.
#8.) Michigan State Spartans
Over the past decade the Spartans have defined the gritty and tough style of the Big Ten. They always look unimpressive until the tournament rolls around and then they make a run. This is because of what Tom Izzo has been able to accomplish during his tenure in East Lansing.
With two national championships (1979, 2000) and six final four appearances, Michigan State has created a rich basketball tradition that Tom Izzo has restored and carried on. Over the past seven years, the Spartans have been near the top of the Big Ten each year, compiling 154 wins and a .667 winning percentage.
With eight former players currently in the NBA, Michigan State has created a tradition of top talent moving on to the next level. Also, the consistency of the program has allowed it to garner recognition across the country as an elite program.
While the school continues to try and reach the next level with their football program, the basketball program has remained the pride of the Spartans for the last decade. Tom Izzo is a regional icon in the Midwest, and it is a testament to the program that they have been able to keep him in the green and white. Michigan State is one of the toughest places to play and the Spartans enjoy fantastic fan support, and travel extremely well.
While recruiting is tough to such a northern, cold location, Michigan State is a player in the Midwest and much of the North. As long as Tom Izzo mans the sidelines, Michigan State will continue to overachieve and be in contention come March. It is with this success and future that Michigan State comes in at number eight.
#9.) Connecticut Huskies
#10.) Arizona Wildcats