HOUSTON — This year's NCAA Tournament Final 4 is one of the most unique in the sports history, featuring no McDonald's All-Americans, no one, two, or three seeds, and only one program (UConn) and one coach (Miami's Jim Larranaga) who has been here before.
The lack of blue blood programs and top seeded teams doesn't diminish the quality of the programs who are still dancing, and the head coaches who got them there.
Locked on College Basketball hosts Andy Patton and Isaac Schade decided to rank the four coaches - Larranaga, Brian Dutcher, Dan Hurley, and Dusty May - based on preseason expectations, how they got their team this far, and overall body of work.
Below is a look at their ranking, but for more analysis on the teams and coaches ahead of this weekend's games, check out the full episode here.
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1. Jim Larranaga (Miami Hurricanes)
It's nearly impossible to rank anyone ahead of Larranaga, who is closing in on 700 career wins and has been to the NCAA Tournament 11 times - more than the other three Final 4 coaches combined.
Larranaga's 2006 George Mason team had perhaps the most impressive Final 4 run in NCAA Tournament history, and his work turning Miami from ACC cellar dweller to a program making the Elite 8 in back-to-back seasons, and now a frontrunner to win the national title, is nothing short of incredible.
2. Brian Dutcher (San Diego State)
Dutcher is finally finding success in the big dance, having made it four of the five seasons there has been an NCAA Tournament in his six year run at San Diego State. His team was on pace to earn a two seed in 2020, so while he doesn't get credit in the record book it's likely they would have found success then as well.
Dutcher has led the Aztecs to a first place finish in three of his six seasons in the Mountain West, and his career 76.5% winning rate is miles ahead of everyone else in this group.
3. Dan Hurley (UConn)
It's a close call between Hurley and Dutcher, as Hurley's UConn team has won a whopping 65.5% of their regular season games, a difficult feat in a strong Big East conference.
However, this is Hurley's first time in the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament despite five years at UConn and eight previous head coaching seasons - two at Wagner and six at Rhode Island.
Still, the job he has done to dismantle teams like Saint Mary's, Arkansas, and Gonzaga deserves a lot of praise - and his team is currently the betting favorite to bring a title back to Storrs.
4. Dusty May (Florida Atlantic)
May's spot at the bottom has nothing to do with the job he has done with the Owls - as it has been nothing short of spectacular. He took over a program and steadily improved their record in each of his five seasons at the helm - going 8-10 in his first two years of conference play before posting a combined 30-9 record in Conference USA the past two seasons.
And he entered the tournament with no postseason experience, but proceeded to lead this team to one of the most improbable Final 4 runs in NCAA Tournament history - and should have no shortage of high level suitors should he look to move up to the Power-6 level.