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Northwestern’s Chris Collins named coach of the year semifinalist

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Collins is joined by some hallmark names in college hoops

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Northwestern David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

EVANSTON — Northwestern men’s basketball coach Chris Collins has been named one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Men’s Coach of the Year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Friday.

In his fourth season, Collins has Northwestern on the brink of its first NCAA Tournament bid, sitting at 21-9 (10-7 Big Ten) with one regular season game remaining. The 21 overall wins is a school record and the team’s 10 Big Ten wins is the most since 1932-33. The last time Northwestern achieved a winning season in Big Ten play was the 1967-68 campaign.

Collins is joined by Scott Drew (Baylor), Mark Few (Gonzaga), Bob Huggins (West Virginia), Tim Jankovich (SMU), Sean Miller (Arizona), Rick Pitino (Louisville), Bill Self (Kansas), Mike White (Florida) and last year’s winner Jay Wright (Villanova).

Left off this list is Rick Pitino’s son, Richard Pitino of Minnesota. A strong candidate for Big Ten Coach of the Year, the younger Pitino and Collins have the strongest case to take home the conference’s award, which will be announced in the coming weeks.

The four finalists will be announced March 16.

Northwestern hosts No. 16 Purdue on Sunday in the regular season finale.