No. 3 Mike Anderson – Head Coach Arkansas
In his fifteen head coaching seasons, Mike Anderson’s teams have never had a losing record. After coaching at UAB, Anderson built a strong basketball program over five seasons at Missouri. In his last three seasons with the Tigers, Anderson led his teams to the NCAA Tournament. In those three seasons, Anderson’s teams averaged over 25 wins each season.
In 2011 Anderson returned to Arkansas, where he was an assistant coach for Nolan Richardson for 17 years. Anderson has struggled to regain the glory Arkansas knew with Head Coach Nolan Richardson.
Anderson led the Razorbacks to the NCAA Tournament in 2015. This season Arkansas closed strong, winning eight of its last 10 games and advancing to The SEC Tournament Final before losing to Kentucky. 247 Sports rates the 2017-18 recruiting class as No. 31 in the nation.
Arkansas is a No. 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament and faces Seton Hall.
No. 2 Michael White – Head Coach Florida
Following a coaching legend is never easy. After four seasons as Head Coach of Louisiana Tech, Michael White was hired to succeed Billy Donovan at Florida. With all the success Donovan and the Gators shared, the last “Billy D” season, Florida only won 16 games.
In two seasons led by White, Florida has 45 wins. Going back to Jan. 25 this season, Florida has gone 10-3, despite losing its starting Center to an ACL injury in mid-February.
The injury and the Vanderbilt Commodores were all that kept Florida from the SEC’s top team in 2016-17. Vanderbilt beat the Gators three times, including edging the Gators 73-71 in Gainesville the last game of the regular season.
Michael White is a young coach. He has much yet to prove. His next class of recruits is only ranked at No. 29 by 247 Sports. This season, Michael White and the Florida Gators split with Kentucky and for much of the season looked like the best team in the league.