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Sunday UCLA Coaching Madness Open Thread

An open thread tracking the indecisive madness inside UCLA's athletic department and the decision to fire or not to fire Ben Howland, as well as the end of the Tournament's first week.

Come on UCLA, just put Ben out of his misery.
Come on UCLA, just put Ben out of his misery.
Andy Lyons

When it comes to Dan Guererro and the UCLA Athletic Department, history already seems to be repeating itself. Barely a year ago, it was leaked that Rick Neuheisel was going to be fired immediately after the 50-0 loss to Southern Cal - which was then publicly denied by Morgan Center - which then was followed two days later by Neu's firing.

Now it is Ben Howland's turn to get jerked around by Dan and his crew in Morgan Center. Last night, several media sources reported that Howland had been informed that his services were no longer required in Westwood. Later in the evening, UCLA issued a press release stating that Ben had not (yet) been fired.

While the folks inside the athletic department twiddle their thumbs, waiting for the right time to break the news to Ben, three of the coaches that any competent search effort should include saw their seasons end. With Round of 32 losses by Butler, Gonzaga and VCU; Mark Few, Brad Stevens and Shaka Smart have finished their on-the-court responsibilities for the year and can begin talking to other schools with a clear conscience.

Going by the Neuheisel precedent, my expectation is for another day or two of uncertain-certainty about Ben Howland's termination, before the PR effect finally becomes too much for Dan Guerrero to take. That gives us today to sit back and enjoy some Bill Self Basketball. Gametime and TV broadcasters for today's games are below:

  • Iowa State (10) v. Ohio State (2) - 9:15 a.m. (CBS)
  • Temple (9) v. Indiana (1) - 11:45 a.m. (CBS)
  • North Carolina (8) v. Kansas (1) - 2:15 p.m. (CBS)
  • Minnesota (11) v. Florida (3) - 3:10 p.m. (TNT)
  • Florida Gulf Coast (15) v. San Diego State (7) - 4:10 p.m. (TBS)
  • La Salle (13) v. Ole Miss (12) - 4:40 p.m. (TruTV)
  • Illinois (7) v. Miami (2) - 5:40 p.m. (TNT)
  • Creighton (7) v. Duke (2) - 6:40 p.m. (TBS)
This is your open thread for today's March Madness action, and for the Madness underlying our coaching search.