pat-summitt

Pat Summitt ends career as best college hoops coach ever

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After 38 years on the Tennessee sideline, Pat Summitt’s coaching career came to an end Thursday. The legendary women’s college basketball coach – and the all-time wins leader at any level, men or women – was chipper, cracking jokes and seemed content with her decision.

When you’ve had a run like hers, it’s probably easier than most.

“It was really a great ride for me,” Summitt said. “It has been a privilege to make an impact on the lives of 161 women who have worn orange. I am so proud of them the Lady Vols student athletes and the honor to see them graduate and become successful young women.”

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It was the proper capstone to a Hall of Fame career, one in which Summitt will still be around the Lady Vols program as head coach emeritus. Some off-court potential remains for Summitt, but this was it.

So. Here’s the question: Is she the best coach in college basketball history?

Take a look at these ridiculous numbers:

  • Record: 1,098-208 (84.1 win %)
  • Eight national titles
  • 18 Final Fours
  • 32 SEC regular-season and tourney titles combined
  • Never missed an NCAA tournament (29 straight and 27 Sweet 16s)
  • Won 47 consecutive games over three seasons
  • Not to mention every player who stayed four years graduated

Only a few coaches can compare to that in terms of excellence. (I’m not sure any coach can match Summit’s impact on her sport.) She’s been so good, even Bob Knight and Dean Smith fall short. I’d place these four as her competition:

John Wooden

  • Record: 664-162 (80.4 win %)
  • 11 national titles
  • 12 Final Fours
  • 19 regular-season conference titles (did not have league tourney)
  • Won 88 consecutive games over four seasons

Adolph Rupp

  • Record: 876-190 (82.2 win %)
  • Four national titles (one NIT title)
  • Six Final Fours
  • 40 SEC regular-season and tourney titles combined

Mike Krzyzewski

  • Record: 927-289 (76.2 win %)
  • Four national titles
  • 11 Final Fours
  • 25 ACC regular-season and tourney titles combined

Geno Auriemma

  • Record: 804-129 (86.2 win %)
  • Seven national titles
  • 13 Final Fours
  • 37 Big East regular-season and tourney titles combined
  • Won 90 consecutive games over four seasons

Wooden has the most titles. Summitt the most wins and Final Fours. Auriemma the best win percentage, Rupp the most combined titles.  At this rate, Auriemma seems likely the surpass Summitt in titles and Final Fours, but it should be noted he’s only a year younger than Summitt.

Right now, it’s tough to argue anyone’s done more than Summitt. She’s the best in the women’s game and probably in college hoops. But check back in 10 years. We’ll see where Auriemma and Coach K end up.

But what do you think? Who’s the best college coach of all time?

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.

BUBBLE BANTER: All of the action on the fringe of the NCAA tournament

Fred VanVleet
(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
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Tonight’s bubble action. This post will be updated as the games are completed.

Cincinnati at UCF, 7:00 p.m.
Pitt at No. 12 Miami, 7:00 p.m.
No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.
Ole Miss at Florida, 9:00 p.m.
Georgia at No. 22 Kentucky, 9:00 p.m.
Arkansas at Mississippi State, 9:00 p.m.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: A Big 12 and a Big Ten showdown

Denzel Valentine
(AP Photo/Al Goldis)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.

The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.

We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR

  1. Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
  2. Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
  3. Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
  4. Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
  5. No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
  • No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.