Fran’s postseason success isn’t great, but it’s not that bad
Many will point to the lack of tournament wins that Fran McCaffery has had with the Iowa basketball program, and they have a point.
He has taken the Iowa basketball team to three NCAA tournaments in his eight seasons (and likely a fourth this year), but has just a 2-3 record to show for it. In both the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 seasons, the Hawks advanced just one game before losing while they bowed out of the 2013-2014 tournament after their first game.
Steve Alford, however, took the Hawks to just three tournament appearances in eight seasons and had a 1-3 record to show for it, advancing past the first round just once.
The king here is obviously Tom Davis who took the Hawks to 9 NCAA tournaments in 13 seasons. Out of those nine though, Davis failed to get the Hawks past the second round six of those times. The other three tournament appearances culminated in two sweet sixteen visits and one elite eight visit. Davis’ overall tournament record is 13-9.
This is noticeably better than Fran McCaffery’s, but realistically, Fran’s best chance to advance beyond the second round was the 2015-2016 team led by Jared Uhtoff. That team, however, underperformed significantly down the stretch.
If you are to take out Fran’s first two seasons (and assume they will make it this year), Fran’s tournament appearance rate is 57% (4 of 7), just a few notches below Davis’ mark of 67%. Now, you may be wondering why we keep removing two year’s from Fran’s career at Iowa and not from the other coaches, and the difference is that the other coaches took over programs that were successful the year before whereas Fran took over one of the worst teams in the Big Ten.