Pac-12 M5: 03.28.13 EditionPosted by AMurawa on March 28th, 2013
- Arizona helps get the Sweet Sixteen underway tonight when it faces Ohio State before what is expected to be a largely pro-Arizona crowd at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. While there are plenty of non-monetary reasons why this is a huge game, a big weekend in Los Angeles for Arizona head coach Sean Miller could pay big dividends as he is promised a bonus of $50,000 for an Elite Eight appearance and an additional $175,000 for a trip to the Final Four. All that on top of a $2.2 base salary? Hey, it’s good work if you can get it.
- One of the main storylines in that Arizona/Ohio State match-up tonight is the relationship between Thad Matta and Sean Miller. Their friendship goes back to 1994 when they were both assistant coaches at Miami (OH) under Herb Sendek (quick sidebar: isn’t it amazing how deep Sendek’s coaching tree is? Eight former Sendek assistants are current Division I head coaches, guys ranging from Matta and Miller to John Groce, Jim Christian, Ron Hunter, Archie Miller, Larry Hunter and Mark Phelps) and continued when, after Matta earned the head coaching spot at Xavier, he hired Miller to join his staff for three seasons. Matta eventually moved on to Ohio State, Miller took over the head position at Xavier, and now, almost 20 years after they first met, they will match wits for just the second time ever as head coaches. The first time? The 2007 Round of 32. The stand-alone game on Saturday afternoon, Xavier had advanced out of the #8/#9 game to get top-seeded Ohio State and Greg Oden. And with three minutes left, the Miller-coached Musketeers were on the verge of closing out the heavily favored Buckeyes. A late three by Ron Lewis completed a fantastic Buckeyes comeback and sent the game to overtime, where the favorites wound up pulling away.
- How does Oregon stick close to Louisville tomorrow night? Pacific Takes asked four different bloggers and the consensus was that staying red hot is priority number one, but taking care of the ball against Louisville’s pressure, crashing the boards with reckless abandon, and turning the game into a down-tempo defensive rock-fight are among the other suggestions. We’ll have our take on that game later in the day, so check back to see RTC’s prescription for a Ducks win.
- Bruin Nation got around to listing its possible candidates for the UCLA head coaching job and it is predictably hilarious (seriously, the first dude names Rick Pitino as like his seventh choice as a “short-term solution” – good thing they aren’t setting their sights too high). Elsewhere on the Bruins coaching front, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar threw his hat into the ring on Tuesday night on the Jimmy Kimmel show. And, while we’re mentioning that, I’d also like to take this opportunity to throw my hat into the ring. Why not? Everyone else is doing it. This thing has just started; the absurdity to which this story climbs probably knows no bounds.
- Up in Pullman, the expectation had been that since there has been no announcement to the contrary, Ken Bone will return as Washington State’s head coach next season. But, it wasn’t until Tuesday that Bone actually met with athletic director Bill Moos to discuss the future of the program. And the prognosis is… that Bone will return for his fifth season at the helm. Bone’s still got three more years on his contract and $2.55 million in guaranteed salary, money that would have been due in the form of a buyout were Bone to have been fired. And, Cougfan.com has five reasons why this was the correct decision all along, in case you were wondering.