Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo! college hoops blog The Dagger has an interesting list of the best college coaches who haven’t won a national title, as well as descriptions of what derailed their best chances at winning them. A few guys with Pistons ties show up in those descriptions.
Will Bynum helped deny legendary coach Eddie Sutton a title by leading Georgia Tech to an upset in 2004:
Georgia Tech denied Sutton his first appearance in the national title game when Will Bynum scored a go-ahead layup in the final seconds in the 2004 Final Four.
Sidenote: That Bynum/Jarrett Jack Georgia Tech team is one of my all-time favorite college teams.
Former Piston Lou Roe was part of a great John Calipari team at UMass:
Marcus Camby and Lou Roe led top-seeded UMass to the 1996 Final Four, but the Minutemen fell 81-74 to a loaded Kentucky team that went on to win the national title.
Mark Macon, a Saginaw basketball great who played for the Pistons for a minute, helped John Chaney and Temple get close a couple of times, but came up short:
The Owls rode freshman star Mark Macon, Chaney’s trademark stingy matchup zone and an experienced senior class all the way to the Elite Eight, but second-seeded Duke ended their run one win shy of the final Four. The Blue Devils’ swarming man-to-man defense took Macon out of his game, contributing to his 6-for-29 shooting night. Of Temple’s five Elite Eight losses under Chaney, it was the Owls’ only one against a non-No. 1 seed. … Macon redeemed himself as a senior when he rang up 35 points in a 1991 regional final against North Carolina, but the Tar Heels escaped with a 75-72 win
And Purdue and Gene Keady couldn’t take advantage of Grant Hill having to sit long stretches, eventually losing to Duke in the Elite Eight:
National player of the year Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson led the 1993-94 Purdue team to a Big Ten championship, a No. 1 seed and Keady’s first Elite Eight appearance, but the junior forward picked the wrong game to score his least points of the season. Harassed by an array of Duke defenders, Robinson scored just 13 point on 6-for-22 shooting in the Regional Finals, enabling the Blue Devils to upset the Boilermakers 69-60. The off night from Robinson was all the more frustrating for Purdue because the Boilermakers had every chance to make their first Final Four. Duke star Grant Hill sat for long stretches of the second half in foul trouble, but Purdue could not capitalize.
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