Observations: Roy Williams can join elite company with two more wins

Roy Williams has led North Carolina to two national titles and a third would put him alongside an extremely special list of coaches.

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Only John Wooden, Mike Krzyzewski, Adolph Rupp, Bob Knight, and Jim Calhoun have won three or more national titles and Williams can join that group if the Tar Heels can find a way to be the last team standing on Monday night in Houston.

This North Carolina team isn’t as talented as the squads that won national titles in both 2005 and 2009, but it’s definitely starting to trend in that direction.

The Tar Heels have won six of their last seven games by double-figures and beat Notre Dame last Sunday in the Elite Eight by 14 points when the Irish shot 50.0 percent from 3-point range.

North Carolina is 80 minutes away from cementing Williams’ place in history among the best to ever coach the game.

Mikal Bridges is an X-Factor for Villanova against Oklahoma

The red shirt freshman played stifling defense on Perry Ellis in last Saturday’s Elite Eight win over Kansas and he’ll no doubt be called upon to play a huge role on Saturday against Oklahoma.

Bridges possesses great length, regularly gets deflections, and does a plethora of things that don’t show up in the box score.

It will be interesting to see how Jay Wright uses him defensively against the Sooners.

Will Bridges use his length on the perimeter against Buddy Hield or will Wright try to emulate the game plan against Kansas and keep him inside against Ryan Spangler?

Either way, this kid is a huge key to Villanova having a chance to advance on Saturday because of his intangibles.

Jarrett Allen is the wild card in the spring recruiting period

The 6-foot-10, 225 pound big man has several college coaches salivating for his services next season and will have an immediate impact where ever he winds up.

A McDonald’s All-American, Allen is considering Kentucky, Kansas, Notre Dame, Texas, Houston, and North Carolina.

And no one truly knows where this kid is going to be wind up.

An Austin native, Allen would immediately give Shaka Smart a key interior piece following the losses of Conner Lammert, Prince Ibeh, and Cameron Ridley.

At Notre Dame, Allen would replace Zach Auguste up front while at Houston he could potentially push the Cougars into next year’s Top-25 — seriously.

Kentucky, Kansas, and North Carolina all remain legitimate options because of their cache and brand power.

The school that gets Allen is going to get a ready made front court guy.

Who that school is though is still very much in question.

Ed Cooley fits at Providence as well as any coach fits at any school

The Rhode Island native signed a long-term contract extension this week to remain a “Friar for life” and the marriage between the two sides has been as in-sync as peanut butter and jelly.

Cooley’s vibrant personality and ability to attract high level talent has made the Friars’ program a national brand which has resulted in three consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament.

Prior to Cooley’s arrival in 2011, Providence last played in the NCAA Tournament first round in 2004 and hadn’t won a game in the NCAA Tournament since 1997.

That changed a few weeks ago when the Friars came back to beat USC in the first round.

With Cooley at the helm, Providence assured itself of consistent relevancy on an annual basis and that’s all you can ask for if you’re a fan of this program.

Now comes the hard part for the Friars: replacing both Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil (if he stays in the NBA Draft).

Athletic directors need to have a contingency plan

And a contingency plan for that contingency plan.

We’ve seen many athletic directors make coaching changes or have their coaches move on to other opportunities because they thought that they could get someone better to do that particular job.

As more and more time passes, it’s becoming clear that these administrators don’t always have a true sense of reality.

If you know you have a splash hire in tow then it’s easy to see why an athletic director would make a change.

If not, change for the sake of sake of change isn’t always a good thing.

Roy Williams will have plenty to smile about with two more victories.(USATSI)
Roy Williams will have plenty to smile about with two more victories. (USATSI)

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