With the Betting on march madness right around the corner college basketball fans are getting amped up to start betting on March Madness. When it comes to college basketball, coaching is almost everything and some coaches are both habitually good and incredibly bad when it comes to postseason performance.
Here are some coaches that you should trust your money with as well as some to fade heavily.
Tom Izzo-Michigan State Spartans-Buy
While the Spartans aren’t exactly a force this season, they will be in the NCAA Tournament and coach Izzo will have them prepared. Michigan State has experienced tremendous success under Izzo since taking over the program in 1995. The Spartans are an incredible 52-22 in the tournament under Izzo and have made the Final Four eight times while winning the title in 2000.
While this is certainly not Izzo’s most talented team, you can always count on Michigan State to play hard, defend and rebound the basketball. This year is no different. They are a relatively safe play during the first weekend.
Fran McCaffery-Iowa Hawkeyes-Fade
Coach McCaffery is the easiest fade in college basketball when it comes to the NCAA Tournament. While McCaffery has experienced a great deal of success in the regular season having won nearly 500 games in his career, it has not resulted in postseason success. Coach has just six wins in ten tournament appearances.
The fiery head coach has led four different programs to the NCAA Tournament and in ten tries has failed to make it out of the first weekend once. Iowa has come out of the first round victorious in each of their last four appearances under McCaffery but have lost by an average of nearly 15 points per game in the second round each time. This season, the Hawkeyes boast one of the best scorers in the nation in Keegan Murray but he doesn’t get a ton of help. Look for Iowa to be a popular upset pick when the bracket is released.
Kelvin Sampson-Houston Cougars-Buy
This may be recency bias considering coach Sampson led the Cougars to the final four last season but he has been successful in the tournament for years. Sampson has a winning record of 19-17 in March resulting in two sweet sixteens, two elite eights, and two final fours. Since 2007 coach Sampson has lost in the first round just once and has yet to lose in the first round as the coach of Houston.
It is a little shaky to back Houston heading into this tournament given the fact that they are without leading scorer Marcus Sasser and double digit scorer Tramon Mark. However, the Cougars are an experienced team with four seniors leading the way and have not really skipped a beat this season since losing two of their stars.
The Cougars are currently a top-15 team in both offensive and defensive adjusted efficiency and are demons on the offensive glass. Houston ranks sixth in the nation in offensive rebounding percentage and are top 50 in the nation in second chance conversion rate. They have a very meticulous slow it down, grind it out style which has proven successful in recent seasons during the tournament.
Rick Barnes-Tennessee Volunteers-Fade
Similar to McCaffery, Barnes is a tremendous regular season coach who stacks wins like cord wood. However, despite 25 tournament appearances, only 24 of his 748 victories have come during postseason play. In fact, since 2008, a Rick Barnes led team has only made it out of the first weekend once and that was the 2019 Vols team.
While this season could yield better results given the fact that this Tennessee team in a defensive dynamo, they are heavily dependent on two freshmen scorers. While Kennedy Chandler is a likely one and done candidate, freshman point guards are a red flag when looking for teams to wager on.
Many people scoffed when Barnes was shown the door at Texas but the program felt like more postseason success was warranted. Between 2002 and 2008 Coach Barnes had a nice run making two sweet sixteens, two elite eights and a final four. Since then however, there have been a lot of one and done performances.