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Tony Bennett named a finalist for Naismith Coach of the Year

Bennett hoping to repeat as Coach of the Year.

NCAA Basketball: Virginia at N.C. State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

The 15 finalists for the 2019 Naismith Coach of the Year were released today, and Virginia’s Tony Bennett remains in contention for the prestigious award.

Coach Bennett is the reigning Naismith Coach of the Year, winning the award last season after leading the Hoos to a 31-3 record, ACC regular season and tournament titles, and a 17-1 mark in conference play. He also won the award in 2007 at the helm of the Washington State Cougars. Bennett also won the AP Coach of the Year award last season.

This season, the Hoos are 23-2 and tied for first place in the ACC (12-2) with four games to play. Virginia is a favorite to repeat as a 1-seed in the NCAA tournament, and is still in the running to take the top seed in the ACC tournament in Charlotte in less than two weeks.

Tennessee’s Rick Barnes, Texas Tech’s Chris Beard, Michigan’s John Beilein, Gonzaga’s Mark Few, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Louisville’s Chris Mack, Nevada’s Eric Musselman, Buffalo’s Nate Oats, Purdue’s Matt Painter, Houston’s Kelvin Sampson, North Carolina’s Roy Williams, Marquette’s Steve Wojciechowski, and Wofford’s Mike Young all join Bennett in the final 15.

Congrats, Coach!