Considering the All Time Wins Record

Obviously many Tar Heel fans have a vested in interest in Dean Smith’s record being broken by Bobby Knight. My own personal opinion is that it was inevitable the record would be passed and as time passed Dean would be relegated further down the list. So getting to terribly upset over the record being broken is simply not a constructive exercise. Am I a little agitated that Knight is the one to break it first? Yes, simply because for all of Knight’s accomplishment on the court which included one more national championship than Dean, Knight is also a bully. This is obviously an individual who lacks the self control to refrain from kicking his own son, throwing a chair on the court, assaulting a police officer in Puerto Rico, treating journalists paid to ask questions as though they are beneath contempt, and being a general jerk for the sake of being a jerk. Whereas Dean was one to step aside and eschew the attention of the moment, Knight has been one to bring negative attention to himself. It also should be noted Dean was far more consistent over the course of his final 27 seasons with 20 wins seasons in each of them and 23 straight NCAA Tournament appearance. UNC also went to 13 straight Sweet Sixteens during that span. By and large UNC teams were consistently better from season to season under Dean than Indiana teams were under Knight. So as far as I am concerned Knight can have the record, I’ll take Dean Smith with all of his class and upstanding behavior as well as the consistent winning which aside from the number of NCAA titles exceeds what Knight did over the same span. Besides it took Knight five more seasons to get to the mark than it did Dean. Sounds like Dean was far more successful on average than “the General.”

I also would like to mention that ESPN’s hypocrisy in covering the record being broken is beyond the pale. First of all they use the label “winningest men’s Division I coach” in reference to the record when two years ago they practically foamed at the mouth when Tennessee women’s coach Pat Summit passed Dean Smith’s total to become the “all time winningest coach in college basketball” Here is my confusion. If Knight is set to become only the all time “men’s” leader then isn’t Pat Summit the all time “women’s” leader? Wouldn’t that mean she did not actually break a record when she hit 880? The point is ESPN is willing to use the gender specific designation when referring to this record but when it suited their own marketing campaign for women’s basketball they abandoned it to create an absolutely false milestone.

Secondly, ESPN was so busy telling us two months ago that Knight was the epitome of all evil for tapping the chin of a player to force him to pay attention and now they are so busy being over backwards to spin his career as being one of the greatest in history. Of course based on win total it is but in reference to the various controversies they fall silent opting to promote any and every accomplishment, including a 1979 NIT title which Rick Majerus talked about during two different segments as though it was another NCAA title. I was under the impression that the NIT was where those who could not make the NCAA Tournament went to play. And if that was not bad enought during the UNC-Rutgers game Terry Gannon and Len Elmore spent 80% of the game talking about Knight. It think it is apparent these talking points came from Bristol since Gannon and Elmore are primarily ACC based announcers and would not normally be so caught up referring to another coach so often during an ACC broadcast unless told to do so. It was downright disgusting the degree to which ESPN is plugging the record even to the point they spend so much time during a different game talking about it.

Obviously the hype machine at ESPN cannot be quelled which can only mean that when Mike Krzyzewski gets ready to pass Knight some of use may actually take our own lives before it actually happens.

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7 Responses to Considering the All Time Wins Record

  1. rob says:

    I understand you like Dean better than Bobby, but as for pure coaching, Dean under-achieved as a coach in comparison. Dean had far better talent than Bobby. Bobby won championships with only one true star (Thomas in 81). Dean’s 2 championships were both won on flukes. G’town with freddy brown throwing the ball to wrong player and Webb calling timeout with none left. two of the biggest blunders in NCAA history. Dean was GIVEN 2 championships, he could have none with all those HOF players. Give Dean Bobby’s talent and he has 0 championships. Give Bobby Dean’s talent and he may have 10 championships. There is no comparison in who is the better coach. Bobby over Dean all day.

  2. Michael Cowherd says:

    Rob, you think Dean was GIVEN 2 championships? Thats strange, last time I checked Dean just barely missed on 8 occasions to win the national championship… lets have a look.

    1966-67 Dean Smith 26-6 12-2 NCAA Final 4
    1968-69 Dean Smith 27-5 12-2 NCAA Final 4
    1971-72 Dean Smith 26-5 9-3 NCAA Final 4
    1976-77 Dean Smith 28-5 9-3 NCAA Finalist
    1980-81 Dean Smith 29-8 10-4 NCAA Finalist
    1990-91 Dean Smith 29-6 10-4 NCAA Final 4
    1994-95 Dean Smith 28-6 12-4 NCAA Final 4
    1996-97 Dean Smith 28-7 11-5 NCAA Final 4

    Anyone who thinks the best team ALWAYS wins the NCAA tournament is fooling themselves, and Dean Smith’s career serves as a testament to that. The cards didnt fall his way 8… thats not even including elite 8s… 8 times. You think Dean was “given” his two championships, thats fine. I think Dean had 8 championships stolen from him.

    And here we go with the talent. What do you think happened? Dean just gave these guys a call and said “come on down, our colors are nice”? No, you moron. Recruiting is a HUGE part of coaching college basketball and no one did it with more class than Dean Smith. So you can say Knight would’ve won more championships if he had Dean’s talent, but its not Dean’s fault talent believed in him and wanted to play for him instead of a dude with major anger issues.

    Last reason why Dean Smith is better than Bobby Knight: class. Need I say more? You can hate on Dean all you want, but you’re never going to have a legitimate reason to.

  3. Tar Heel Fan says:

    UNC was leading both games when said odd plays happened so unless they changed the rules both G’town and Michigan needed to actually execute and score to win the game.

  4. TxTarheel says:

    Knight’s 1976 team wasn’t chopped liver, let’s be honest. Buckner, May, Benson all spent time in the NBA. I don’t question Knight’s results, however his methods leave much to be desired. Much that is positive can be accomplished without berating or belittling others to build oneself up (let the media/ESPN hype machine run that instead).

    UNC’s ’93 squad was all about team…George Lynch is the only one I recall spending significant time in the NBA. (Montross maybe?)

  5. l merrell says:

    The first thing that Webber did when he received the inbounds pass with very little time on the clock was to turn and walk. All sides agreed to this fact. It’s not disputed. Had the walk been called there would not have been a time out called by Webber.
    Had Michigan scored, would the media have made a big deal out of the missed walk, as they have since 1993 about the timeout? No. It would’ve been written off as part of the game.
    Why did Webber bring the ball upcourt anyway? Because, for some reason, Rose, the point guard, was in the frontcourt. With the game on the line Webber should’ve been under the basket for a pass or rebound with Rose bringing the ball up. Michigan was in total disarray with the game on the line in the waning seconds, not the way to beat North Carolina.
    Webber, not being a point guard, was guided by the UNC defense to the right sideline and double teamed, as UNC always tried to do to other teams. It was not an accident that he was in the position he was. Steve Fuller had warned the team thay they were out of timeouts during the break. Webber, in panick and hearing the team scream “no time out, no time out”, called time out.
    Webber was between the sideline and two Carolina players with with no help and a five second call imminent. It would’ve been called and all UNC needed to do was hit free throws. Michigan was already beaten, barring a miracle.

  6. Tar Heel Fan says:

    ^That is mostly correct. The reason Webber brought the ball up was because Pat Sullivan missed the second free throw and Webber grabbed the board. For whatever reason his teammates abandoned him in the backcourt and after almost calling a timeout there he drug the pivot foot then started dribbling. You are correct in that UNC basically allowed him to come down the sideline where ended up in the corner guarded by George Lynch and Derrick Phelps, the two best defenders on the team. Secondary to that, UNC had three fouls to give which means they could milked the final 11 seconds by committing non-shooting fouls or at the very least being extremely aggressive on defense. Any UNC foul at that point would have meant an inbounds pass with MI not having any timeouts. A tall task to overcome.

    And the point that trumps all of that is UNC was leading by two when it happened.

  7. IU fan says:

    I have all the respect in the world for Dean Smith, and will agree that Bobby is a hothead on the court. I say on the court because off the court he was a class act. Yes he was intense, but he also made sure the game was played the right way, and that his players were respectful of others, and that they went to class. You also never heard of him breaking NCAA rules or getting sanctions placed on Indiana like our current coach does. He may have went about it differently, but he coached his players not only to be great players, but great men. They were both great coaches with 5 national titles between them, and an ungodly amount of wins. I know that Knight doesnt care about the records, and im pretty sure that Smith doesnt either. I would hope that myself as a fan of IU and you as a fan of UNC can just be happy that after losing coaching legends and experiencing a few down years, are back to prominence on the national stage.

    Just my two cents from an IU fan.

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