Where does Bruce Pearl rank among head coaches competing in this season’s NCAA Tournament?

Where does Bruce Pearl rank among head coaches competing in this season’s NCAA Tournament?

There are many solid basketball programs from the SEC in this season’s NCAA Tournament, and most of that is due to high-caliber coaching.

The conference has eight representatives in this season’s tournament, and most of them could stay around for an entire weekend or two. Auburn is a team that earned a trip to the postseason by grabbing the No. 9 seed in the Midwest Region and will be entering the tournament with an experienced, prosperous head coach in Bruce Pearl.

Ahead of the NCAA Tournament, CBB Review ranked all 68 head coaches of postseason teams based on: career coaching record, record at current school, tournament success, and recency. Based on that criteria, Pearl is the 14th-best coach in the field and the second-best in the SEC. Pearl trails only John Calipari in this ranking and is ahead of other solid coaches in Alabama‘s Nate Oats, Arkansas‘ Eric Musselman, and Buzz Williams of Texas A&M. He has something that the previous three coaches don’t.

Pearl made a Final Four in 2019, which pretty much ends any argument here between him, Oats, Barnes, and Musselman. He’s got both the accomplishments and very recently. Pearl turns 64 on March 18, so the question for him his will he ever get a shot at a second Final Four?

Auburn’s first draw will be the No. 8 seed Iowa Hawkeyes, who are led by 13-year head coach Fran McCaffery. According to CBB Review, McCaffery checks in at No. 26 on the list. To round out Auburn’s pod in the Midwest Region, Houston’s Kelvin Sampson is No. 5 and Northern Kentucky’s Darrin Horn is No. 58.

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Story originally appeared on Auburn Wire