North Carolina – Roy Williams : A+++
When you win the national title you can get nothing less than an A+++. That’s what Roy Williams did at North Carolina this season to win his third national championship. He got his Heels to commit to defense, and to win 6 straight NCAA games – even without always playing their best game. This wasn’t his most talented Tar Heel team, but they ended the year as the nation’s best.
Georgia Tech – Josh Pastner : A+
How Josh Pastner coached this Georgia Tech to 21 wins and a NIT championship game appearance is a minor miracle. He was the ACC’s COY after winning 8 ACC games, when some seriously thought 0 ACC wins was a distinct possibility. Pastner did a great job maximizing the talent he did have and has Georgia Tech fans as excited about basketball as they’ve been in years.
Virginia Tech – Buzz Williams : A
Think of the 2016-2017 season as the return of Virginia Tech basketball. The Hokies were pre-season picked to finish tenth in the ACC, but Buzz Williams had them finish 3 spots higher than that. The Hokies won 22 games, and made the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2007. Virginia Tech lost one of their best players Chris Clarke to injury in February, but still made the NCAAs.
Louisville – Rick Pitino : A-
Rick Pitino turned Louisville into a 25 game winner and #2 seed in the NCAA tournament despite facing multiple injury issues with his Cardinals throughout the year. The Cardinals finished 2nd in the ACC during the regular season. Losing to Michigan in the 2nd round of the Big Dance, was a sour way to end the season, but overall it was solid year.
Florida State – Leonard Hamilton : A-
Leonard Hamilton was one of the toughest coaches to grade this year. The Noles could look like a Final 4 team one minute, and dreadful looking the next. In the end you have to look at the whole body of a season, and Florida State won 26 games and finished 2nd in the ACC in the regular season. This was a team was pre-season picked to finish 8th in the ACC. Despite an ugly 2nd round NCAA loss to Xavier, it really was one of the best seasons in FSU basketball history.