On Wednesday, Jason King of Bleacher Report put out an interesting list of who he thinks will end up being the next person to coach at some of the most prestigious programs in the country.
Most of the list is about what you would expect. Brad Stevens is mentioned at both Duke and Indiana. Sean Miller’s name is tossed into the mix at a couple of schools, as is Billy Donovan’s. Buzz Williams to Texas and Tony Bennett to Wisconsin are easy picks to make, as is Richard Pitino at Louisville and Mike Hopkins at Syracuse.
But the most interesting name that popped up in King’s breakdown was that of Tim Miles, who made Nebraska relevant in hoops for the first time in recent memory. Not only did King pick him as a potential successor to Tom Izzo at Michigan State, he said that Miles would be a fallback plan for — get this — Kentucky should they miss out on the likes of Donovan and Sean Miller.
And here’s the thing: I think that would work out well. Tim Miles can flat out coach. There’s a reason that he wins wherever he goes, and Kentucky will certainly like that.
But what will make Miles a perfect fit is his ability to connect with a fan base off the court. He’s a master when it comes to social media, whether he’s meeting fans for lunch, helping fans propose or taking selfies on the court with a fan after a big win.
He knows how to connect with a large, passionate fan base. And while basketball in Lincoln isn’t quite what it is in Lexington, Husker fans still pack Pinnacle Bank Arena on a nightly basis and it’s not just because they are finally winning games there.
We’re still a ways away from any of this coming to fruition, but it is an interesting discussion to have, especially when it seems like John Calipari’s names pops up in the conversation for every NBA job that comes open.
Tonight’s bubble action. This post will be updated as the games are completed.
Cincinnati at UCF, 7:00 p.m.
Pitt at No. 12 Miami, 7:00 p.m.
No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.
Ole Miss at Florida, 9:00 p.m.
Georgia at No. 22 Kentucky, 9:00 p.m.
Arkansas at Mississippi State, 9:00 p.m.
GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.
The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.
THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.
We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR
- Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
- Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
- Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
- Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
- No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
- No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.