First-year-coach tiers: Who makes the NCAA tournament, who doesn't

Juwan Howard has never been a head coach before, but he has talent to work with at Michigan. Carlos Osorio/AP Photo

It was a busy coaching carousel last spring, a cycle that didn't end for power conference schools until late May and one that didn't completely stop spinning until Cleveland State hired Dennis Gates in late July. By the time the dust settled, 14 power-conference schools had changed coaches -- with 59 total schools replacing their head coaches. Most jobs are not ready-made to be winners in Year 1, but there are some positioned to get to the NCAA tournament quickly -- and others that face multiyear rebuilds.

Looking at the 14 power conference schools that made changes, here's how they stack up in terms of the difficulty of the task ahead.

Tier 1: Should get back to NCAA tournament in Year 1

John Brannen, Cincinnati: Much of this depends on the health of Jarron Cumberland, who has been dealing with a foot injury since last season, but if the returning AAC Player of the Year is good to go, the Bearcats should compete for a conference title and get to the NCAA tournament. That shouldn't come as a surprise, as Cincinnati has heard its name on Selection Sunday in each of the past nine seasons under Mick Cronin. Cumberland and his cousin, Oakland graduate transfer Jaevin Cumberland, are two bona fide perimeter scorers, while Keith Williams and Tre Scott are returning starters. There's going to be a different style at Fifth Third Arena this season, but winning won't change.