Only 16 teams remain at this point in the 2023 NCAA Tournament, with 16 head coaches at the helm. We ranked the tournament’s remaining coaches, giving extra weight to their teams’ performances throughout the 2022-23 season and tournament.
1. Tom Izzo, Michigan State
Izzo has done it again. The King of March has led a Michigan State team that became a symbol of hope for a school struck by tragedy to the Sweet Sixteen for the fifth time this decade. MSU was a bubble team, middling in the Big Ten, and is now the only remaining team from their conference.
2. Jerome Tang, Kansas State
First-year head coach Jerome Tang led Kansas State to the Sweet Sixteen after the Wildcats were picked to finish last in the Big XII ahead of the season. He wasn’t working with much, but finding and utilizing Markquis Nowell’s star power as well as giving Keyontae Johnson his second shot at the sport have paid off big-time after last year’s 14-17 season.
3. Eric Musselman, Arkansas
Musselman’s team had its ups and downs this season, but they are dominating March. After taking down No. 1 Kansas, Arkansas has now reached its third consecutive Sweet Sixteen. He’s certainly a character, but what would this sport be without characters?
4. Jim Larranaga, Miami
Miami had a very solid year and are playing their hearts out this tournament. A big win over Indiana has them flying into the Sweet Sixteen, and this Canes team just might be his best yet.
5. Mark Few, Gonzaga
He still has Drew Timme after all these years, which certainly doesn’t hurt, but Few’s ability to keep the Zags atop their conference so consistently is impressive. They outlasted a good TCU team and have arguably less talent in Spokane this season than they have in years past. The lack of a title shouldn’t undermine his consistency.
6. Kelvin Sampson, Houston
Sampson is on the hunt to lead the Cougars to their first ever national title. His past certainly has its blemishes, and while Houston is something of an ugly team to watch, they have remained in the top ranks on offense and defense this season, leading the nation in average scoring margin. They have become the team to beat in the AAC.
7. Nate Oats, Alabama
For all of Oats’ off-court issues this season, no one can deny that Bama is one of the best teams in the sport right now, if not the best. Their high-scoring offense and depth make them the favorite to win it all right now.
8. Rick Barnes, Tennessee
Barnes’ Tennessee team was an absolute monster during the regular season, despite having less raw talent to work with than he’s had in previous years. Even after the loss of Zakai Zeigler, Tennessee soundly beat Duke. Their physical style of play wears down more talented opponents, and they don’t let up
9. Mick Cronin, UCLA
Cronin’s UCLA defense has been a terrifying unit this season, and they fared very well in the Pac-12. Though Arizona beat them in the tournament, just one of those two teams is still in the Sweet Sixteen. Cronin is in the process of returning UCLA to its former glory.
10. Greg McDermott, Creighton
McDermott’s Bluejays have been a force to be reckoned with in this tournament, taking down Baylor without a second glance. Perhaps underseeded at No. 6, they’re showing the nation just how good the Big East really was this year. This is McDermott’s second Sweet Sixteen.
11. Dusty May, FAU
May kept FAU highly-ranked this season, even creeping into the AP Top 25. He will likely be a target for some bigger programs in the years to come.
12. Sean Miller, Xavier
Miller, like a few other coaches on this list, has had his issues in the past, but Xavier has shown tenacity and talent in this tournament that other teams may not have been able to pull off. In his first season in Cincinnati, a Sweet Sixteen is nothing to scoff at.
13. Brian Dutcher, San Diego State
Dutcher’s Aztecs were a fearsome unit in the Mountain West this season, and avoided a solid Charleston team before beating a Furman team with their sights set on the Sweet Sixteen. Those lower seeds can often be more dangerous than an opponent in your area, and they avoided two major potential upsets with their stolid defense.
14. Danny Hurley, UConn
Hurley’s UConn team is a legitimate national title contender at this point. He faces another interesting character in Musselman in the Sweet Sixteen, and we wonder if Hurley’s famous temper will fly.
15. Rodney Terry, Texas
Terry took over for Chris Beard partway through Texas’ season and didn’t skip a beat, leading the team to a Big XII championship and a No. 2 seed when things could have gone very, very wrong the other way.
16. Mitch Henderson, Princeton
Henderson himself was part of a Princeton team that pulled off a major March Madness upset — against reigning champion No. 4 UCLA back in 1996. This Princeton team is disciplined, balanced, and just plain good.