Fran McCaffery has a lot more on his mind than Iowa’s first NCAA tourney game since 2006. The Hawkeyes open the NCAA tourney Wednesday night vs. Tennessee, but, in the hours leading up to tip, McCaffery will have traveled to Dayton, Ohio, back to Iowa City, and to Dayton again.
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This is fun. CBSSports.com ranked the playing careers of the NCAA tournament coaches. No. 1 is no surprise at all: Tulsa coach Danny Manning. But, there are some surprises. For example, former Indiana star and current UCLA coach Steve Alford is just No. 5. Anyway, Iowa’s Fran McCaffery paces the six Big Ten coaches. See a Big Ten-centric breakdown of the site’s ranking in this post.
I have made no secret of my affinity for John Beilein. I love the fact he paid his dues by coming up the back roads of his profession, grinding his way up the ladder. He’s a terrific coach who knows how to win in March. The secret to his success? It’s right here.
Five Big Ten teams are seeded sixth or higher in their respective regionals in the NCAA women’s tourney, it was announced Monday night. Iowa (No. 6), Michigan State (No. 5), Nebraska (No. 4), Penn State (No. 3) and Purdue (No. 4) all earned bids to the field, marking the 15th time in the last 21 years the conference has sent five or more teams to the tourney.
NCAA tourney predictions are all over the internet today. But few are as comprehensive as fivethirtyeight.com‘s forecaster that calculates the chance each team has of reaching each round. The site reached its results by “taking into account a composite of power rankings, pre-season rankings, the team’s placement on the NCAA’s 68-team S-curve, player injuries and geography.
March is when schools and coaches earn their reputations. The stakes are high, the chips are down and the pressure is on. Which Big Ten teams are feeling the most urgency to deliver big results in March? Glad you asked. My March Pressure GAUGE will tell us.