INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — John Calipari, whose Kentucky team is the first in 24 years to reach the Final Four undefeated, has been selected The Associated Press’ coach of the year.
The Wildcats were the talk of the college basketball this season in winning the Southeastern Conference regular season and tournament championships. They were ranked No. 1 the entire season and were a unanimous choice for 12 weeks.
Many thought Kentucky had so much talent that it would be hard to instill a team-first attitude. Calipari started the season with two five-man units he substituted in groups. It worked well enough that eight players in the rotation are averaging between 5.6 and 11.0 points a game.
Calipari is the third Kentucky coach to win the award, which started in 1967. Eddie Sutton won in 1986 and Tubby Smith in 2003.
Calipari received 40 votes Friday from the 65-member national media panel that picks the weekly Top 25.
Tony Bennett of Virginia was second with nine votes while Mike Brey of Notre Dame got five.
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