With Florida’s 79-59 loss to Michigan in the Elite Eight, the Gators fell a win short of the Final Four for the third straight season.
Give Florida coach Billy Donovan credit. He’s mentioned how those outside view the tournament in terms of pinnacles. But he’s consistently maintained that whether you lose in the first round, the Elite Eight or even the national title game, there’s always disappointment or feeling of a goal left unfulfilled.
But let’s put into perspective how hard it is for a team to reach the Final Four. Donovan has led the Gators to three Final Fours (2000, 2006, 2007) in 17 seasons at UF (19 seasons overall). For perspective, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, a Naismith Hall of Famer, just reached his fourth Final Four in 37 seasons at Syracuse.
Here’s a look at coaches who have been to four or more Final Fours and how many seasons it took them to reach their fourth:
Mike Krzyzewski, Duke — 11 Final Fours total, reached fourth in 10th season at Duke, 15th overall
Rick Pitino, Louisville — 7 Final Fours total, reached fourth in 8th season at Kentucky, 19th overall
Roy Williams, North Carolina — 7 Final Fours total, reached fourth in 15th season at Kansas, 15th overall
Tom Izzo, Michigan State — 6 Final Fours total, reached fourth in 10th season at Michigan State, 10th overall
Bobby Knight, Indiana (retired) — 5 Final Fours total, reached fourth in 16th season at Indiana, 22nd overall
John Calipari, Kentucky — 4 Final Fours total (two vacated), reached fourth in 3rd season at Kentucky, 20th overall
Jim Boeheim, Syracuse — 4 Final Fours total, reached fourth in 37th season at Syracuse, 37th overall
Jim Calhoun, Connecticut (retired) — 4 Final Fours total, reached fourth in 25th season at Connecticut, 39th overall