When it comes to the Sweet 16 of this year's NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, there's no room for newbies.
Only one coach with a team in this week's regional semifinals is experiencing a Sweet 16 for the first time.
That would be Utah's Larry Krystkowiak, whose Utes just happen to meet Duke and Coach Mike Krzyzewski, the man with the most Sweet 16 trips ever — 22.
Nine of the 16 have reached at least one Final Four. Five of the 16 have won national titles — Krzyzewski (four), Louisville's Rick Pitino (two), North Carolina's Roy Williams (two), Michigan State's Tom Izzo (one) and Kentucky's John Calipari (one).
Notice a trend here? Experience matters. Age counts.
Seven of the 16 are 60 or older. Coach K is the elder statesman at 68, followed by Wisconsin's Bo Ryan at 67 and North Carolina's Williams at 64. Louisville's Pitino and Oklahoma's Lon Kruger are each 62. West Virginia's Bob Huggins is 61. Michigan State's Izzo is 60.
All are familiar with this part of the draw. Williams is making his 16th Sweet 16 trip. This is four straight for Pitino, a Louisville record, and 13th overall. Izzo has been there seven of the past eight years. Ryan is making his seventh trip.
Then there's the nomadic Kruger, the first in tourney history to coach four different schools (Kansas State, Florida, UNLV and now OU) out of the first weekend.
As for Huggins, the next coach with a crack at unbeaten Kentucky, this is his seventh Sweet 16, but his first since 2010, the same year his Mountaineers stunned Calipari's Cats in the East Regional finals.
Huggins is a different coach now, however, employing a trapping defense that forced 40 turnovers in WVU's two Midwest Region wins last weekend, proving you can teach an old dog new tricks.
Speaking of new tricks, there's not a Brad Stevens in this group. The former Butler coach was 33 years old when he took the Bulldogs to the first of their two national runner-up finishes before taking his advanced stats to the NBA's Boston Celtics.
Only two Sweet 16 coaches are younger than 50, and those two own a direct connection. Chris Mack, 45, was a Xavier assistant before becoming head coach six years ago when Sean Miller left for Arizona. Xavier is making its third Sweet 16 appearance under Mack; Arizona its fourth under the Miller, who is 46.
The rest are 50-somethings, even the aforementioned Krystkowiak, a nine-year NBA veteran who turned 50 in September. UCLA's Steve Alford also is 50 and is making his first Sweet 16 trip since 1999 at Southwest Missouri State.
Meanwhile, the same week Mark Gottfried's successor, Anthony Grant, was fired at Alabama, the 51-year-old N.C. State coach engineered his second Sweet 16 trip in four years.
At age 52, Gonzaga's Mark Few has his best chance of finally reaching an Elite Eight in now his fifth Sweet 16.
Wichita State's Gregg Marshall also is 52 and has produced a three-year run in which he guided the Shockers to the 2013 Final Four, they were undefeated entering the 2014 NCAA Tournament, and they just beat cross-state rival Kansas on Sunday to earn a 2015 Midwest semifinal slot.
As of late Saturday night, the tourney's sentimental favorite might be Notre Dame's Mike Brey, who, after his team beat Butler in overtime, announced that his 84-year-old mother passed away that morning from a heart attack. Brey turned 56 on Sunday. This is his first Sweet 16 since 2003.
Then there's the tournament's actual favorite, Kentucky, coached by 56-year-old Calipari, who has now reached (at least) the Sweet 16 in five of his six years in Lexington. His NCAA Tournament record at Kentucky: 20-3. His UK record in Sweet 16s: 4-0.
As for age, one last thing: Kentucky's Adolph Rupp won his fourth and last NCAA title in 1958 at age 56, the same age as Calipari.