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Madness Open Thread: Brad Stevens Staying at Butler

Several media outlets, including the Indianapolis Star have reported that Brad Stevens has turned down an offer to become UCLA's next basketball coach, deciding to remain at Butler. In a boost to whichever coach does come to Westwood, Kyle Anderson does not plan to declare for this spring's NBA Draft.

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Events surrounding UCLA's coaching search and college basketball are moving fast. After reports yesterday confirmed that Butler coach Brad Stevens was UCLA's first choice to replace Ben Howland, rumors and parcing of tweets and text messages have littered the media today. The Indianapolis Star is the latest media outlet to report that Stevens has decided to stay home.

Brad Stevens has turned down the UCLA basketball job and will remain the coach at Butler, according to several sources familiar with the situation.

The Indy Star has taken a pretty fair angle on the Stevens to UCLA talk over the past couple of days; unlike much of the mainstream sports media, they have not displayed any animus toward our program. While I hate to rely too much on these sort of sources, this article together with other signs that have arisen over the past few hours makes it look like the goal of Brad Stevens to UCLA is dead.

With Stevens out of the picture, it is time to keep looking at the alternatives, starting with tonight's games. Two of the remaining elite (but long shot) coaches whose names have come up will be in action this evening. The schedule and TV broadcast for tonight's game (all times Pacific):

  • Oregon (12) v. Louisville (1), 4:15 pm (CBS)
  • Michigan (4) v. Kansas (1), 4:37 pm (TBS)
  • Michigan State (3) v. Duke (2), 6:45 pm (CBS)
  • Florida Gulf Coast (15) v. Florida (3), 6:57 pm (TBS)

Supposedly, Steve Hartman has been strongly pushing a Rick Pitino to UCLA link on the Loose Cannons this afternoon on AM570. Have not had the chance to listen myself to confirm, but anyone who can shed light on that or any other coaching developments would be great.

Whoever does take the job can plan on at lease one of the past season's freshman class staying around to helpbuild his tenure in Westwood.

UCLA freshman Kyle Anderson "does not have plans to declare" for the NBA Draft at the April 10 NBA advisory committee deadline.

"At this time, (he) is returning to UCLA," Kyle Anderson Sr., his father, told the Orange County Register via text message on Friday.

This is your open thread for this evening's Tournament games and UCLA coaching search news.