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Power Ranking the NCAA's Best Coaches

The Committee of Two ranks the old guys who pace the sidelines

Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

This week, Wisconsin Badger head coach Bo Ryan bid adieu to the sweet sound of sneakers squeaking in the gym, the roar of the crowd, the lows of defeat, and the joy of victory when he announced his retirement from coaching, effective immediately.

While Bo may have never won a national championship, he was undoubtedly one of the game's great coaches. Don't believe me? Bo's career collegiate coaching record of 747-233 (76.2%) puts him amongst the game's elite. Additionally, Wisconsin never missed the tourney under Bo, making 14 consecutive trips to the Dance which culminated in last year's National Championship game appearance (UW will most likely miss this year barring an Angels in the Outfield type of miracle).

There are a lot of parallels that can be drawn between Bo Ryan and Mark Few's programs. Wisconsin, much like Gonzaga, is never considered part of the exclusive blue blood program club. And as such, he was never able to recruit the premier talent atop the ESPN100 or Rivals prospect lists. Nevertheless, he consistently molded overlooked high schoolers into winning basketball players. Bo Ryan was one of the few coaches who showed you could win and have sustained success doing things the right way. Mark Few is another, and Gonzaga is lucky to have him.

As the college game says goodbye to Bo, I thought I would do a special edition of the Slippery Power Rankings and rank the remaining current coaches.

On to the rankings! (Coaching record at current school only is in parentheses)

Honorable Mentions: Greg Marshall, Mike Brey, Lon Kruger

No. 11 - Jay Wright, Villanova (315-151, 67.6%)

I had a tough time deciding on the bottom few spots of these rankings. Wright and the Villanova Wildcats have had the run of a watered down Big East in the last few years, so it's easy to forget that Nova's Final Four run in 2009 came at a time when they had a much tougher schedule. However, Wright hasn't been able to get his teams past the Sweet 16 since then, and some high-profile upsets in the last few years have only increased the scrutiny. He's not in danger of losing his job, but of all the coaches that made the Committee's Top 11, his position is the most tenuous.

No. 10 - Tony Bennett, Virginia (140-65, 68.3%)

Bennett has turned UVA into a legitimate power since taking over in 2009. Despite contending against some of the nation's best in the ACC, Virginia has snagged the last two ACC regular season titles and posted consecutive 30-win seasons. The Cavaliers are maybe the least fun team to play against thanks to their tough brand of defense. While Bennett's teams will never be confused with the Golden State Warriors in terms of flash and sexiness, defense travels, or so they say. As a Wisconsin native and the son of a former Badger coach, there are strong rumblings that Bennett is being eyed to replace Bo at the end of the season.

No. 9 - Mark Few, Gonzaga (445-106, 80.8%)

Gonzaga's 95 wins over the last three full seasons are the most wins by any program over the same period. Everyone throws stones at Gonzaga and Coach Few for the conference they play in, but you usually don't get criticized unless you're good. Some may question his in-game coaching, and others point to the lack of a Final Four appearance as a reason to dismiss his credentials, but Mark Few's record speaks for itself and puts him in the upper echelon of the game's truly elite coaches.

No. 8 - Sean Miller, Arizona (172-53, 76.4%)

Miller has been tremendously successful at Arizona, and previously Xavier. While Miller has yet to advance to the Final Four, he's already mastered advancing out of the first weekend as his last six tourney appearances have resulted in at minimum, a trip to the Sweet 16. While some may argue that he doesn't always get the utmost out of the talent at his disposal, Sean Miller-coached teams almost never lose to teams they shouldn't. If you look back at his coaching record, his team has never been eliminated from the tournament by a team seeded lower than third, and his regular season losses usually come at the hands of really really good teams.

No. 7 - Jim Boeheim, Syracuse (966-333--although some, err 108, of those wins are vacated--74.4%)

His coaching career may be ending in a whimper thanks to the extensive punishments handed down earlier this year, but Boeheim has had quite a run since taking over at Syracuse in 1976. Jimmy B announced he would be retiring in 2018, and he would have undoubtedly hit the 1000-win mark if not for a decade long lack of compliance. I won't take away the 108 wins the NCAA vacated because those games actually happened in real life, and Boeheim actually managed to win them. So Jim, if you're reading this, you're almost a 1000-game winner in my book.

No. 6 - Bill Self, Kansas (359-79, 82%)

The Jayhawks have OWNED the Big 12 during Bill Self's tenure. Self has won 11 consecutive Big 12 Championships, putting him two away from tying the legendary John Wooden's record for consecutive league titles. An array of Big 12 talent (think Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, and of course Michael Beasley) has taken a shot at Self and the Jayhawks throughout his tenure, but no one has been able to enter the Phog and live to tell about it.

No. 5 - Rick Pitino, Louisville (375-127, 74.7%)

While he doesn't deserve a spot in the rankings for his off-the-court activities, Pitino's teams always seem to oscillate between a range of good-to-great. After foolishly (and I mean FOOLISHLY) trying to incorporate his heavy full-court press schemes in the NBA, Pitino returned to the collegiate ranks to prey on poor teenage point guards with suspect handles. Defensive efficiency has always been the calling card of his teams (Top 5 in KenPom defensive efficiency the last five years), so when his teams can find enough offense, they're usually in the conversation for a national title.

No. 4 - Roy Williams, North Carolina (339-103, 76.7%)

Good ol' Roy won two national titles in the mid-2000s and has been coasting ever since...Not really, but kinda. It's too bad there aren't as many Hansbrough's as there are Plumlees. I don't mean that. We don't need any more Hansbrough's in college basketball.

No. 3 - John Calipari, Kentucky (199-37, 83.7%)

Recruiting is a big part of being a college coach, and Calipari is the best at it. Coach Cal is maybe the most polarizing name on this list as his accomplishments are rarely ever attributed to his coaching acumen. But, I don't think Cal gets enough credit for essentially molding new teams into a cohesive unit year after year, as the faces are constantly changing in his program. A lot of pressure comes with creating one-year windows to win a national title with each group of phenoms on their way to the NBA. I know, I know, no one is crying for Coach Cal.

small violin

No. 2 - Tom Izzo, Michigan State (506-199, 71.8%)

He doesn't often get the elite talent like the two coaches he's sandwiched between, but that just underscores why he's at #2 on my list. Some might say the Spartans had a bit of a lull in between Izzy's national championship 15 years ago, and his recent success over the last few years. But, Izzo has taken seven teams to the Final Four and has shown he does his best coaching when the calendar turns to March. Ask yourself, when was the last time you remember a Michigan State player taken at or near the top of the NBA draft? MAGIC JOHNSON in 1979. While Draymond Green (2nd round pick) is now crushing it in the NBA, Jason Richardson (5th pick in 2001) was the last Spartan taken in the lottery portion of the draft. Astonishingly, no Spartans were drafted from 2007 to 2011, and none in the first round from 2007 to 2013. Izzo has been able to maintain success without highly regarded NBA prospects littering his rosters. That should be the end of the "Tom Izzo is not an elite coach debate."

No. 1 - Mike Krzyzewski, Duke (953-252, 79.1%)

Say what you want about The Rat, but his success and longevity is undeniable. Coach K is one of the most well-respected coaches in all of basketball, professional or otherwise. He's been coaching at Duke since before I was born, and he'll probably still be coaching there long after I'm dead. 5 National Championships. 12 Final Fours. 6,823,194,267 Plumlees. 1 Christian Laettner. #micdrop

Farewell, Bo! Enjoy doing the things old people do (see below)!