Wednesday afternoon the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced the four finalists for this year’s Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year award, and the list is made up of three one-seeds and one two-seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament.
Kentucky’s John Calipari, whose team has won all 34 of its games to date, is on the list as are Villanova’s Jay Wright, Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan and Virginia’s Tony Bennett. Calipari, Wright and Ryan all coach teams that are one-seeds in the NCAA tournament, with Bennett’s Cavaliers being the two-seed in the East.
All four coaches finished atop their respective conferences during the regular season, with Bennett’s Cavaliers and Wright’s Wildcats doing so for a second consecutive season. In the case of Virginia, they became the first team located outside of the state of North Carolina to accomplish this feat in ACC history.
And three, Calipari, Wright and Ryan, followed up their regular season conference title with a conference tournament crown. The Atlanta Tipoff Club will announce the winner at its annual awards brunch April 5 in Indianapolis.