NCAA BK

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Athletes and auctions Sports figures auctioning big-ticket memorabilia, including Gold Gloves, World Series rings and game-worn uniforms. /cbk/lists/athletes-sports-figures-auctioned-big-ticket-memorabilia-world-series-rings-cy-young-awards-jerseys-101612 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/11/12/PI_20131112025841974_136_102.JPG
The mob and sports The mafia, the mob has held sports influence in fixing games, setting point spreads dating back to Chicago Black Sox up to Tim Donaghy, with a history that includes Jimmy Hoffa, Whitey Bulger, Tony Soprano and the Russian mafia in the NHL /cbk/lists/mafia-mob-sports-influence-fixing-games-point-spreads-chicago-black-sox-tim-donaghy-jimy-hoffa-whitey-bulger-071113 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/07/11/071113-Sports-Hoffa-Capone-DG-PI_20130711235258415_136_102.JPG
Greatest rivalries in sports We list the best rivalries in all of sports. /cbk/lists/Greatest-rivalries-in-sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/04/19/041911-NHL-Benoit-Pouliot-Andrew-Frerence-Fight-JW_20110419092525320_136_102.JPG
Tattoos of athletes and their fans Tattoos of athletes and their fans /cbk/lists/chris-andersen-kevin-durant-david-beckham-lionel-messi-athlete-and-sports-fan-tattoos-062813 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/06/29/062813_NFL_Patriots_Aaron_Hernandez_PI_CH_20130629010622472_136_102.JPG
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CBK 99 43 Top Coach of the Year candidates 31597950 Steve Alford, New Mexico Steve+Alford%2C+New+Mexico+ CBK

With all the preseason hype surrounding UNLV and San Diego State, the nation didn’t really notice New Mexico until the Lobos defeated Connecticut 66-60 to win the Paradise Jam in November. The Mountain West is competitive and just a little crazy, but Alford’s 16th-ranked Lobos have been consistent in league play and sit in first place at 10-2 (23-4 overall).


Despite the attractive record, I don’t see the Lobos as a No. 1 or No. 2 seed. That’s because three of their losses were stunning. South Dakota State beat the Lobos 70-65 in Albuquerque, Saint Louis held them to 46 points, and then there was that dreadful 55-34 loss at San Diego State.

 


Alford gets a little bit of everything out of junior guard Kendall Williams, one of those guys who could become a big pain for opponents in the NCAA tournament

 


Honorable mention: Mark Few, Gonzaga; Billy Donovan, Florida; Dana Altman, Oregon; Brad Stevens, Butler; Travis Ford, Oklahoma State; Andy Kennedy, Ole Miss; Keith Dambrot, Akron; Larry Eustachy, Colorado State; Greg Lansing, Indiana State; Bill Self, Kansas; Rick Byrd, Belmont; Mike Krzyzewski, Duke; Buzz Williams, Marquette.

(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) - AP Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/02/22/022113-Best-Coaches-Gallery-SW-3_20130222002453757_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/02/22/022113-Best-Coaches-Gallery-SW-3_20130222002453757_107_80.JPG
CBK 99 43 Top Coach of the Year candidates 31597947 Kevin Ollie, UConn Kevin+Ollie%2C+UConn CBK

The won-loss record here doesn’t match our other finalists. That’s not the point. Few, if any, first-year coaches have taken over a major program with so many negative odds to work against. Jim Calhoun retired at the last minute, and Ollie was handed a team that had a decimated roster and faced a postseason ban passed down by the NCAA and the Big East.


The Huskies (19-7, 9-5) have a chip on their shoulder, and the postseason ban is working as motivation. Ollie has a chance to win 20 games in his first season, with a team that is built around guards Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright and burdened by an ineffective frontcourt. Ollie already has been given a well-deserved contract extension and the future looks bright again at UConn.

 


"This team is never going to be forgotten — by the fans and by me, especially — for what they endured and the struggle they endured," Ollie said after an overtime victory over South Florida. "They’re very gifted. With them not even being involved (in the infractions) and for them to play like this, I’ve got a special group. I’ll never, never forget them."

(AP Photo/Fred Beckham) - AP Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/02/22/022113-Best-Coaches-Gallery-SW-5_20130222002453755_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/02/22/022113-Best-Coaches-Gallery-SW-5_20130222002453755_107_80.JPG
CBK 99 43 Top Coach of the Year candidates 31597948 Sean Miller, Arizona Sean+Miller%2C+Arizona CBK

It’s not easy replacing a legend, and Miller had a significant mess to clean up when he replaced Lute Olson. Miller seemed like the right guy for the job and he has been. The No. 12 Wildcats (23-4, 11-4) have returned to their perch as the top program in the Pac-12.


Miller is getting the job done with a blend of experience, that magnificent recruiting class he put together, and a transfer, Mark Lyons, who was itching to prove himself in a new environment.

 


They’ve won some close games and maybe the record is a little better than it should be, but Miller is getting it done. Arizona is a contender for the national championship.

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski) - AP Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/02/22/022113-Best-Coaches-Gallery-SW-1_20130222002453754_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/02/22/022113-Best-Coaches-Gallery-SW-1_20130222002453754_107_80.JPG
CBK 99 43 Top Coach of the Year candidates 31597949 John Beilein, Michigan John+Beilein%2C+Michigan CBK

After losing at Indiana as the top-ranked team, the Wolverines then had to return home and face Ohio State. In many ways, that game against the Buckeyes was a must-win for Michigan, with tough games (and losses) at Wisconsin and Michigan State following. Michigan prevailed over OSU in overtime with a controversial no-call at the end, but Beilein was cool, calm and collected in his TV interview immediately after the game.


Sure, No. 7 Michigan (23-4, 10-4) is loaded with talent, especially in the backcourt. That doesn’t always guarantee success. Beilein is dealing with the sons of former NBA players and that isn’t always easy. Egos don’t seem to be a problem on this team, and that’s a credit to Beilein. He has been a winner every place he has coached and has adjusted some of his basic offensive and defensive philosophies to fit this team, which is having the school's best season since 1992. A masterful job.

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File) - AP Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/02/22/022113-Best-Coaches-Gallery-SW-4_20130222002453756_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/02/22/022113-Best-Coaches-Gallery-SW-4_20130222002453756_107_80.JPG
CBK 99 43 Top Coach of the Year candidates 31597951 Jim Larranaga, Miami Jim+Larranaga%2C+Miami CBK

The casual fan might turn on the TV and remember Larranaga as the guy from George Mason and the 2006 Final Four. But now he is much more than that. Miami may be the best story in college basketball. No one expected the Hurricanes (22-4, 13-1) to be a top-10 team, much less No. 2 in the nation. There is a lot of talent on this squad, but Larranaga must be credited with bringing out the best in his players, blending them and overcoming injuries.


When Larranaga was an assistant at Virginia from 1979-86, he made it his goal to become a head coach in the ACC. Miami gave him that opportunity.

 


"I saw a league going through a transition period," he told Greg Cote of The Miami Herald. "If we were able to recruit well, we could do some damage in this conference. It seemed like an opportunity to come in and succeed very quickly."

 


He had it right, didn’t he? Most preseason predictions had Miami finishing fourth or fifth in the ACC and sneaking into the NCAA tournament. Right now the Hurricanes look more like a Sweet 16 or Elite Eight team. Who knows, maybe Larranaga’s dream job will take him back to the Final Four.

(AP Photo/Steve Cannon) - AP Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/02/22/022113-Best-Coaches-Gallery-SW-2_20130222002454758_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/02/22/022113-Best-Coaches-Gallery-SW-2_20130222002454758_107_80.JPG
CBK 99 43 Top Coach of the Year candidates 31597952 What gives? What+gives%3F CBK

Sorry, Coach K. Duke put together a strong case for you, then lost 90-63 at Miami and fell at Maryland. Bill Self's Kansas team lost at TCU during a three-game skid and still looks shaky. Rick Pitino took Louisville to No. 1, then lost three straight. Billy Donovan’s Florida team still doesn't have a signature win, and we won't even talk about John Calipari, Roy Williams or Ben Howland.


It’s crazy, and there's still time for those and other coaches to make a better case. Right now, we look past the usual suspects and present our top five Coach of the Year candidates and honorable mentions. — Ken Davis, Scout.com

Each week during the college basketball season, Ken Davis gives you the most important things from the weekend, power rankings, five weekend games to watch and more.

Mark Dolejs - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/11/15/111511-CBK-Duke-Mike-Krzyzewski-gallery_20111115133025441_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/11/15/111511-CBK-Duke-Mike-Krzyzewski-gallery_20111115133025441_107_80.JPG
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http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/11/12/PI_20131112025841974_136_102.JPG Athletes and auctions Sports figures auctioning big-ticket memorabi... Sports figures auctioning big-ticket memorabilia, including Gold Gloves, World Series rings and game-worn uniforms. Turns out you can own some pretty hefty pieces of sports history . . . but you’ll need a pretty hefty wad of cash to get in on the action. Nov 12, 2013 7:02 AM ET 1 14 /cbk/lists/athletes-sports-figures-auctioned-big-ticket-memorabilia-world-series-rings-cy-young-awards-jerseys-101612
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/07/11/071113-Sports-Hoffa-Capone-DG-PI_20130711235258415_136_102.JPG The mob and sports The mafia, the mob has held sports influence... The mafia, the mob has held sports influence in fixing games, setting point spreads dating back to Chicago Black Sox up to Tim Donaghy, with a history... Whitey Bulger a Bruins fan just the latest proof that crime's ties to our sports stretch far beyond Vegas & bookies. Jul 12, 2013 10:27 PM ET 1 14 /cbk/lists/mafia-mob-sports-influence-fixing-games-point-spreads-chicago-black-sox-tim-donaghy-jimy-hoffa-whitey-bulger-071113
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/04/19/041911-NHL-Benoit-Pouliot-Andrew-Frerence-Fight-JW_20110419092525320_136_102.JPG Greatest rivalries in sports We list the best rivalries in all of sports. We list the best rivalries in all of sports. From feuding schools to battling nations, check out our list of the greatest rivalries in sports. Jul 7, 2013 3:11 PM ET 1 14 /cbk/lists/Greatest-rivalries-in-sports
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/06/29/062813_NFL_Patriots_Aaron_Hernandez_PI_CH_20130629010622472_136_102.JPG Tattoos of athletes and their fans Tattoos of athletes and their fans Tattoos of athletes and their fans Tattoos of athletes and their fans. Jun 29, 2013 12:14 PM ET 1 14 /cbk/lists/chris-andersen-kevin-durant-david-beckham-lionel-messi-athlete-and-sports-fan-tattoos-062813