Donovan, Marshall among top coach finalists
Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - Florida's Billy Donovan and Wichita State's Gregg Marshall are among the finalists for the Naismith Coach of the Year award.
Also selected were Virginia's Tony Bennett, Michigan's John Beilein and SMU's Larry Brown.
Donovan guided Florida to the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament with a 32-2 record that includes a 26-game winning streak entering Thursday's action. He was the SEC's top coach after leading the Gators to an unbeaten record in the conference.
Marshall's Wichita State squad is 34-0 and is the first team to enter the NCAA Tournament unbeaten since UNLV in 1991. The Shockers reached the Final Four last year and are a No. 1 seed in this year's tournament.
Bennett also has Virginia as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1983 after the Cavaliers finished 28-6 overall and won both the ACC regular-season and tournament titles. The Cavs were 16-2 in the ACC and won the conference tourney for the first time since 1976.
Beilein led Michigan to a 25-8 record and an outright Big Ten regular-season title for the first time in 28 years. The Wolverines, who lost to Louisville in last year's NCAA Tournament championship game, are a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Brown is named a finalist for the award despite his Mustangs being left out of the NCAA Tournament. In just his second season at SMU, Brown has guided the team to a record of 24-9, including a win in the first round of the NIT, already a nine-win turnaround from last year.
Bennett and Brown are former winners of the award. Bennett won in 2007 with Washington State, while Brown captured the honor in 1988 when his Kansas team won the NCAA title.
This year's award will be announced on April 6 in Dallas.
03/20 12:05:14 ET