Reports: Ben Howland to be fired by UCLA (UPDATED)

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(UPDATE: As of Sunday night, it’s now official. Ben Howland has been fired by UCLA.)

According to multiple reports, Ben Howland has been notified that he is going to be fired as the head coach of UCLA.

Alex Kline of the Recruit Scoop was the first the news, but Adam Zagoria and Yahoo! Sports have since confirmed the news. An official announcement is expected either Sunday or Monday. This was the worst kept secret in college basketball. Howland, who had taken UCLA to three Final Four and who won the Pac-12 regular season title this year, was an unemployed coach working.

This move creates all kinds of intrigue heading into the next month, however.

Not only is the UCLA job now open, but the USC job is as well. USC isn’t a bad place to be, but the best selling point that it had over the last two months was that Howland, who had alienated seemingly everyone in Southern California, was the head coach.

Now it looks like he’s gone, and the guy that everyone thought USC was going after — Jamie Dixon — has reupped with Pitt.

Who eventually gets that USC job will be interesting, but it may depend on who UCLA is able to land. And seeing as there is an opening at one of the Blue Bloods, expect a lot of high-profile names to pop up. Shaka Smart, Brad Stevens, Billy Donovan, Mark Few.

You want an under the radar name?

How about Tad Boyle at Colorado. He’s proven that he can coach, taking the Buffaloes to back-to-back tournaments, and he’s done so by being able to recruit Southern California.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.