Not easy to be a col­lege coach now

Coach­ing hoops at col­lege level far from easy

The Covington News - - Sports - By Tim Dahlberg

By now you may have seen the video mak­ing the rounds of Michi­gan bas­ket­ball coachKevin Borseth throw­ing a tantrum af­ter his team blew a 20-point lead and lost a game that might have cost it a chance at the NCAA tour­na­ment. If not, watch it, if only for a glimpse into the of­ten tor­tured state of mind of col­lege coaches this time of year.

Borseth stormed into the postgame in­ter­view room the other day, slammed his fist on the podium and went into an an­gry tirade over his team’s lack of re­bound­ing. He was so worked up that the veins on top of his bald head looked like they were threat­en­ing to pop.

Bobby Knight had noth­ing on this guy. About the only thing miss­ing was fly­ing chairs.

The only dif­fer­ence was that this was women’s bas­ket­ball, where this kind of thing isn’t sup­posed to hap­pen.

The real sur­prise is that it doesn’t hap­pen even more of­ten on the men’s side, where peo­ple care so much that en­tire In­ter­net sites are de­voted to the track­ing of teams on the bub­ble, and where jobs and ca­reers of­ten ride on de­ci­sions made by 19- and 20-year-olds in the fi­nal sec­onds of games.

Jim Boe­heim could have been ex­cused for throw­ing a fit of his own af­ter watch­ing his Syra­cuse team re­peat­edly throw the ball away in the fi­nal min­utes to blow a big lead and lose to Pitts­burgh. In­stead, he stood with a look of agony on his face that con­veyed ev­ery bit of hurt in “the most dis­ap­point­ing game I’ve ever been in­volved with” in 32 years at Syra­cuse.

March Mad­ness doesn’t of­fi­cially start for a few weeks, but for most coaches it’s al­ready be­gun. The luck­ier ones look for higher seeds and mo­men­tum go­ing into the play­offs, while the less for­tu­nate just hope they win to get in.

Theusual sus­pects likeUCLA, North Carolina, Kansas, and Duke will all be in the tour­na­ment. So, too, will be the usual group of teams that prob­a­bly shouldn’t be there.

For teams like Cornell just get­ting there is the goal, and of­ten the dif­fer­ence as to whether a coach will get a con­tract ex­ten­sion or a push out the door in the off­sea­son.

No one knows that bet­ter than coaches in small con­fer­ences who will lead their teams into tour­na­ment play this week with noth­ing guar­an­teed past each night’s game.

David­son coach Bob McKil­lop couldn’t even take a break to cel­e­brate his team’s as­cent into the AP Top 25 for the first time in 38 years be­cause the South­ern Con­fer­ence tour­na­ment be­gins in a few­days and even a 20-0 record in the con­fer­ence reg­u­lar sea­son doesn’t guar­an­tee any­thing.

So what hap­pens if the Wild­cats have a bad shoot­ing night and get beat in their con­fer­ence tour­na­ment on a shot at the buzzer that banks off some­one’s head and the NCAA de­cides it can’t take two teams from the South­ern Con­fer­ence?

Not likely, but let’s hope some­body cap­tures it on video.

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