Assessing’s Calhoun’s place among the all-time greats

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Jim Calhoun couldn’t escape the legacy question this week. That’s what happens when you’re 68 and coaching against guys half your age. Everyone wants to gauge your place in history.

Well, after Connecticut’s 53-41 win over Butler Monday night, it’s time to fully assess Calhoun’s place in the sport. From Ken Davis’ column:

Add a fifth face to college coaching’s Mt. Rushmore because Jim Calhoun is only the fifth coach to win three national championships.

Step back and consider that for just a moment.

John Wooden won 10 at UCLA and they called him the Wizard of Westwood. Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and Kentucky’s Adolph Rupp have four titles attached to their names. And now Calhoun has tied The General Bob Knight with three.

And Calhoun, who took over at UConn in 1986 when the Huskies were perennial bottom feeders in a much smaller Big East Conference, has done this in just four trips to the Final Four. Wooden went to 12. Coach K has gone 11 times, Rupp six and Knight five.

The only blemish on Calhoun’s Final Four record is a semifinal loss to Michigan State in 2009. At 6-1, Calhoun and the Huskies have an .857 winning percentage at the Final Four. That remarkable number now ranks first in NCAA history (based on a minimum three games), ahead of North Carolina State (5-1) and San Francisco (5-1).

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