Coaches to Bet
March 18, 2013
By Mike Rose
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Editor's Note: Don't miss out on Mike Rose's tournament selections this March.
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Top ATS Teams and NCAA Tournament Coaches
The 2013 NCAA Tournament is here! Before you start to fill out your brackets and place bets on the dance, check out this list of the top NCAA Tournament coaches who are leading their teams to wins and covers consistently in the big dance.
Tom Izzo, Michigan State Spartans – Has there been a better picture of consistency in the dance than Izzo? He only went 1-2 against the spread in last year's dance, but he is 11-7 ATS in the NCAA Tournament since 2008, and that includes two runs to the Elite Eight. The last time MSU was knocked out of the tourney in the first round was back in 2006 when a little school named George Mason went on a magic run to the Final Four.
Brad Stevens, Butler Bulldogs – How's 17-5 ATS in your last 22 postseason games? That's what Butler's record is since the second round of the NIT in 2006, and in there includes a nice run in the CBI last year as well. The Bulldogs of course, have been to a pair of National Championship Games under Stevens, and it's a miracle that he is even still coaching with the boys at Hinkle Fieldhouse. This is shaping up to be another great Butler team this year.
Shaka Smart, VCU Rams – How could we talk about Stevens without talking about Smart? This is another one of these coaches that passed up the big bucks to continue to try to grow his mid-major program, and it has really paid off. The Rams are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games here in the NCAA Tournament, and that's thanks to their patented HAVOC defense, which this season, forced nearly 12 steals and over 17 turnovers per game.
Jim Larranaga, Miami Hurricanes – This is a new experience for Larranaga, as he is used to playing the underdog role with George Mason. However, Larranaga jumped to Miami this year and took over a program that was set to potentially fall into shambles with NCAA sanctions potentially coming. Instead of folding, Larranaga led his team to the ACC regular season and tournament titles, going 20-9-1 ATS in the process. On top of that, the former George Mason boss was 3-1 ATS in his four first round games, which is a good sign for "The U" in Austin on Friday against Pacific.
Bo Ryan, Wisconsin Badgers – The Badgers have made back to back good runs to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament, and they are 5-1 ATS to show for their work in those games. This has never been a team that has had great shooters, but stout defenses have been the key. Ryan has been the orchestrator of all of this, and he is sure to be on the prowl for another run to the second week of the tourney this year as well.
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