Three candidates, you’d have to believe:
Tremendous turnaround (biggest in program history, I assume) and a generally well-coached team makes him the obvious leader in the clubhouse. Predicted to finish bottom four in the B1G...and now a #5 seed in the NCAA Tourney. A magical season.
Pitino successfully took his dads strategy (athletes athletes athletes) and made an offense work out of super-athletic guys heaving the ball at the hoop.
Michigan was struggling mid-season, struggling with all the things that this team was supposed to struggle with (toughness, defensive intensity)...and then a switch clicked and this team vrooooooom off and running into a nice 7 seed. How much credit should Beilein get for Walton Jr.’s hero-ball work and Wagner turning into an All-B1G type player? Probably a decent amount. His offensive system fit both of their skill sets perfectly and allowed them to flourish.
Also much much credit to Coach Beilein for helping his team manage the plane crash issue and pushing the right buttons during the B1G Tourney. Calling time-outs at the right time, giving extended minutes and responsibility to Duncan Robinson...and keeping the team focused.
Loves his team and the team loves and respects him. Sold Northwestern hoops to a couple high-level recruits and they bought in. Gave the program something to market on the hoops side. A tremendous job.