Cuonzo Martin

Assigned Reading: Cuonzo Martin finds a new home in Berkeley

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The most surprising coaching change this offseason was also the least surprising.

When Cuonzo Martin made the decision to accept a job as Mike Montgomery’s replacement at Cal after a surprising run to the 2014 Sweet 16, it was completely expected in the sense that Martin and Tennessee were at a place where they needed to part ways but a total surprise given the fact that literally no one saw that particular move coming.

The issues that Martin had to deal with during his time with the Vols are no secret: despite the fact that he made Tennessee the best team in the SEC that wasn’t coached by a surefire hall of famer the fans wanted him gone for, really, no reason other than the fact that he wasn’t Bruce Pearl.

It got so bad that even his players supported his decision to up and leave in the middle of the night without telling anyone. They knew it was time for him to go and wholeheartedly supported him, which should give you a bit of an idea just how bad things had gotten there.

But here’s the craziest part: Martin holds no ill will towards his former school, as he described in this terrific column from Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com:

Was it hard? Yes, it was definitely hard; Martin won’t deny that. But he went out of his way to make sure I understood that there were “a lot of wonderful people in Knoxville,” and he insisted that he’s pulling for his successor, Donnie Tyndall, before explaining that he thinks the administration and fans will rally around their new coach because their new coach has two things going for him:

1. He’s not following Pearl.
2. He’s a lot more like Pearl than Martin could ever be.

“The fan base got used to Bruce, and then they brought in somebody opposite of Bruce, so it was hard,” Martin said. “But, I think, now Donnie can just be Donnie. The slate is clean.”

I can’t picture myself being so supportive after the way things ended for him.

WATCH LIVE: Davidson battles Duquesne on NBCSN

Davidson's Jack Gibbs (12) tries to drive past Iowa's Mike Gesell during the first half of an NCAA tournament college basketball game in the Round of 64 in Seattle, Friday, March 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
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Two teams try to make a move up the standings in the Atlantic 10 as Davidson travels to Duquesne. This game can be seen live on NBCSN at 12:30 p.m. EST.

The Wildcats (12-8, 4-5) have dropped consecutive games to VCU and George Washington as they try to rebuild some momentum. Junior guard Jack Gibbs leads the way for Davidson as he’s one of the country’s most prolific scorers at 25.3 points per game.

Duquesne (15-7, 5-4) is riding a three-game winning streak as they’ve played much better since a four-game losing streak at the start of conference play. The perimeter duo of Derrick Colter and Micah Mason is one of the best in the Atlantic 10 and facing Gibbs and Davidson should be a fun matchup in the backcourt.

CLICK HERE to watch this game on NBC Sports Live Extra Saturday afternoon.

BUBBLE BANTER: Today’s key bubble games

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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HERE IS THE FULL SCHEDULE OF BUBBLE GAMES TODAY. THIS POST WILL BE UPDATED THROUGHOUT THE AFTERNOON AND NIGHT.

Florida State (KenPom: 40, RPI: 38) at Wake Forest, 12:00 p.m.
George Washington (KenPom: 82, RPI: 49) at VCU, 12:00 p.m.
Cincinnati (KenPom: 33, RPI: 65) at Memphis, 12:00 p.m.
Temple (KenPom: 92, RPI: 74) at UCF, 12:00 p.m.
Saint Joseph’s (KenPom: 57, RPI: 37) at Fordham, 2:00 p.m.
New Mexico at San Diego State (KenPom: 68, RPI: 57), 4:00 p.m.
Pacific at BYU (KenPom: 58, RPI: 54), 4:00 p.m.
No. 25 South Carolina (KenPom: 53, RPI: 30) at No. 8 Texas A&M 4:00 p.m.
Clemson (KenPom: 49, RPI: 73) at Virginia Tech, 4:00 p.m.
Cal (KenPom: 43, RPI: 39) at Stanford (KenPom: 102, RPI: 63), 4:00 p.m.
Valparaiso (KenPom: 23, RPI: 36) at UIC, 4:00 p.m.
Butler (KenPom: 42, RPI: 61) at St. John’s, 4:30 p.m.
No. 23 Arizona at Washington (KenPom: 74, RPI: 51), 4:30 p.m.
Auburn at Georgia (KenPom: 71, RPI: 62), 5:30 p.m.
Mississippi State at LSU (KenPom: 55, RPI: 72), 6:00 p.m.
Vanderbilt (KenPom: 52, RPI: 31) at Ole Miss, 8:00 p.m.
Colorado (KenPom: 56, RPI: 23) at Oregon State (KenPom:84 , RPI: 41), 8:30 p.m.
Georgetown (KenPom: 60, RPI: 70) at Seton Hall (KenPom: 32, RPI: 44), 9:00 p.m.
Saint Mary’s (KenPom: 30, RPI: 54) at San Diego, 9:00 p.m.
Gonzaga (KenPom: 35, RPI: 71) at Pepperdine, 12:00 a.m.