65 Reasons to Celebrate the NCAA Tournament

These coaches don't just know how to get to Bracketville but know how to do some damage once they get here: Mike Krzyzewski (43). NCAA winning percentage: .782. Duke's boss is the winningest coach in NCAA Tournament history, having survived and advanced 68 times. Caveat: Duke has been bounced by a lower-seeded team three years in a row.

Rick Pitino (44). NCAA winning percentage: .756. Nobody in the current field gets his teams to outperform their seeding better than Pitino, who has taken a fourth-seeded Louisville team to the 2005 Final Four and a sixth-seeded Providence team to the 1987 Final Four. Caveat: His young Cardinals could go anywhere from one-and-done to Atlanta.

Tom Izzo (45). NCAA winning percentage: .742. Half of his first eight NCAA Tournament teams advanced to the Final Four, and seven of his 10 tourney teams have won at least one game. Caveat: Two of the past three Michigan State appearances have been one-and-done upsets at the hands of mid-major teams that made a big run (Nevada 2004, George Mason 2006).

Roy Williams (46). NCAA winning percentage: .724. His 42 NCAA wins trail only Krzyzewski, Lute Olson and Bob Knight among active coaches, and his 18 consecutive NCAA appearances trail only Olson's 23. Caveat: Cryin' Roy has been known to tear up much earlier than expected on occasion, with season-ending upset losses to the likes of UTEP, Rhode Island and George Mason in his past.

Tubby Smith. NCAA winning percentage: .700. He's lost only one first-round game, and that was at Georgia back in 1997. Took Tulsa and the Bulldogs to the Sweet Sixteen, and has gotten Kentucky there six times. Caveat: Hasn't gotten Kentucky to the Final Four since 1998, and the Wildcats are looking at the longest Final Four-less streak in school history if they don't make it this year.

Big Questions

Five prominent coaches with losing NCAA Tournament records: Kelvin Sampson (47). NCAA record: 11-12. Four of those 11 victories came in a 2002 Final Four run at Oklahoma, which counts for something. But his past six tournament teams all have been eliminated by a lower-seeded opponent.

Al Skinner (48). NCAA record: 6-7. He's won at least one game in four of five NCAA appearances at Boston College, but has reached only one Sweet Sixteen.

Ernie Kent (49). NCAA record: 3-4. All three victories came with a No. 2-seeded Oregon team in 2002. The other three appearances all were one-and-done, including two losses to lower-seeded teams.

Tim Floyd (50). NCAA record: 4-5. Hasn't been here in a decade, since he was the coach at Iowa State. Only one Floyd team has ever lost to a lower-seeded team. On the flip side, only one Floyd team has ever beaten a higher-seeded team.

Mike Brey (51). NCAA record: 4-5. This record is better than it looks. Brey is 4-3 at Notre Dame, 0-2 at underdog Delaware. But his Fighting Irish teams also have missed the previous three tournaments.

Big Bellwethers

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