Coaches, Trends and Injuries as March Madness Begins

The NCAA tournament is already underway with the First Four, while the full field gets underway on Thursday with 16 games and on Friday with another 16.

Coaching is an important part of a college basketball team’s success. Two coaches that have seen their teams exceed their expectations during the Big Dance are John Beilein from Michigan and Sean Miller from Arizona.

Miller coached at Xavier prior to Arizona. He is 14-2-1 ATS for his career in the NCAA Tournament. Arizona is 6-1 in the NCAA Tournament under the tutelage of Miller. The Wildcats are 6-0 against the spread in their past six NCAA Tournament games.

Beilein has had equal success during the NCAA Tournament. He has a record of 17-5 ATS. Since 2005, he is 15-3 ATS and at Michigan 8-3 ATS. While coaching West Virginia he was 7-0 against the number, according to infomation taken from Bovada, topbet, and betonline.

Jamie Dixon from Pittsburgh has not had the same success as the previous two coaches. His teams continue to be disappointments during March Madness. Over his 10 seasons coaching, the Panthers have a record of 6-15 ATS in the NCAA Tournament.

Other coaches to take note:

Billy Donovan from Florida is 25-16-3 against the number in March Madness.

Shaka Smart the VCU coach is 8-2 against the spread in NCAA tournament action.

Steve Alford for UCLA is 1-7 ATS over his last eight NCAA tournament matchups.

NCAA Tournament Tid Bits

BYU goes to the foul line more than any other team in the NCAA. The Cougars attempted 1,025 foul shots this season.

Louisville is the leader in the field of 68 in scoring margin. The Cardinals are beating teams by 21.2 points per game on average. The second place team, Wichita State is beating teams by an average of 15.9 points per game. Louisville was 19-13 ATS even though they were favored this season by an average of more than 14.5 points.

In 2013, Saint Louis had the best against the spread record in the tournament covering in 20 of 29 games. This season the same Billikens have the worst against the spread record in the tournament at 10-19.

Just three teams since 1998 have won a national championship while have a sub. 500 record against the number: 2004 – UConn, 2012 North Carolina and 2012 Kentucky. This season there are 11 teams in March Madness with losing against the spread records.

Kentucky has the best margin in rebounding in the 68-team field at 9.8 rebounds more per game than its opponents.

The worst margin for the NCAA Tournament in rebounding goes to Eastern Kentucky, who was out rebounded on average per game by 6.1.


Melvin Johnson a guard for VCU and the sixth man of the year in the Atlantic 10 will miss the tournament due to a knee injury.

Joel Embiid, a center for Kansas, has had a bad back and is not expected to play during the Jayhawks first round game.