GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Tuesday's victory over Alabama was a significant one for Florida coach Billy Donovan -- and not only because it snapped a two-game losing streak and helped the Gators remain in second place in the Southeastern Conference.
It was UF's 20th victory of the season, and that extended Donovan's streak of consecutive 20-win seasons to 14. That puts him among some elite company in college basketball history.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Donovan is one of only eight coaches in NCAA Division I history who have won at least 20 games in 14 or more consecutive seasons. It's an impressive list, headed by Dean Smith, who won at least 20 games for a record 27 consecutive seasons at North Carolina from 1971-1997. Arizona's Lute Olson is second with 20 consecutive seasons of at least 20 victories.
Some other interesting tidbits about the list:
Minnesota's Tubby Smith won at least 20 games in 17 consecutive seasons from 1994-2010 while coaching four teams: Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky and Minnesota.
Syracuse's Jim Boeheim is the only coach to have accomplished the feat twice. He won at least 20 games in 14 consecutive seasons from 1983-96 and now has a 15-year streak from 1998-2012.
Boeheim and Donovan are two of four coaches who have an active streak of at least 14 seasons. The others are Duke's Mike Krzyzewski (16 seasons and counting) and Kansas' Bill Self (14 seasons and counting).
The eight coaches have combined for 13 national championships and 40 Final Four appearances in their careers.