Raphielle Johnson

Raphielle has been writing about college sports for more than a decade for multiple outlets, including NBC Sports. Focuses have included game recaps, columns, features and recruiting stories. A native of the Northeast, he now calls Pac-12 country home. Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
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College Basketball’s 2019 Coaching Carousel

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College basketball’s coaching carousel has started for the 2019 offseason as we’ll see numerous changes in the coaching ranks over the next several months.

To help keep track of all of the movement, CBT has created this page to monitor all of the movement.

As the offseason continues, and new hires are made, we’ll update this list every time a coaching change is made.

Be sure to follow our Twitter account @CBTonNBC for the latest college basketball news and notes.

HIGH MAJOR OPENINGS

ALABAMA

OUT: Avery Johnson and Alabama agreed to part ways after Alabama missed the NCAA tournament this season. Johnson spent four seasons with the Crimson Tide, but they made just one NCAA tournament in that time.

IN: The Crimson Tide made the first major splash of the 2019 offseason with the hiring of Buffalo’s Nate Oats. Oats is an interesting fit in Alabama. He is from Wisconsin, played and coached at the Division III level in the state and spent 11 years coaching high school ball in Michigan before heading to Buffalo. He’s never coached outside of the Great Lakes region. And now he’s taking over Alabama?

ARKANSAS

OUT: Mike Anderson is out with the Razorbacks after eight years and three NCAA tournament appearances. The Razorbacks join an aggressive group of SEC schools looking for head coaches despite recent tournament appearances.

IN: After a successful stint at Nevada, Eric Musselman has made the move to the SEC as the new head coach of the Razorbacks. Musselman led the Wolf Pack into national prominence with three NCAA tournament appearances and a Sweet 16 last season.

CALIFORNIA

OUT: Three days after Wyking Jones received word that he would get one more season in Berkeley, athletic Director Jim Knowlton changed his mind and fired Jones after just two seasons as the head coach. Jones was promoted after Cuonzo Martin left Cal to take over at Missouri. There isn’t much talent on the Cal roster, but there is plenty of it in California.

IN: It looks like former Georgia and Nevada head coach Mark Fox is going to be getting this gig. It’s not a terrible hire. Fox had plenty of success in Reno, and he does have a really good reputation in coaching circles. There was some new blood that deserved a shot, but they could have done worse.

CINCINNATI

OUT: The UCLA coaching search took forever but it finally landed a coach in Mick Cronin. Although Cronin didn’t make deep NCAA tournament runs, he weathered the Bearcats’ transition from the Big East to the American by taking the program to nine straight NCAA tournament appearances. Cronin’s hire at UCLA may draw criticism, but there is little doubt that he’s a huge part of keeping Cincinnati one of the most consistent programs in the country.

IN: The Bearcats did not promote assistant Darren Savino, as many thought and expected them to do, instead hiring John Brannen, who has spent the last four seasons with Northern Kentucky after six years on staff at Alabama.

NEBRASKA

OUT: Nebraska finally did the inevitable, firing Tim Miles after seven seasons with the program. Miles has been the head coach of the Cornhuskers since 2012, racking up a 116-114 record and a 52-76 mark in Big Ten play. He reached the NCAA tournament in his second season in Lincoln, but failed to get back. In 2017-18 season, Nebraska finished 22-11 and went 13-5 in the Big Ten, becoming the first school from that conference to miss out on the NCAA tournament after winning more than 11 games in league play.

IN: Fred Hoiberg was hired to replace Tim Miles, and it’s a pretty great fit. Nebraska is not all that different from Iowa State in terms of the fanbase, the recruiting base, their standing within the conference, etc. Hoiberg should be able to get the same kind of player, play the same style and win some basketball games.

NEVADA

OUT: Eric Musselman is moving on to Arkansas after helping take Nevada to the NCAA tournament three times — including a Sweet 16 run in 2018. Helping the program reach a national level, Musselman did an effective job of recruiting transfers and stud freshmen to make the Wolf Pack the top program in the Mountain West.

IN: The Wolf Pack worked quickly, replacing Musselman with former UCLA and New Mexico head coach Steve Alford, who had much more success in Albuquerque than the did in Westwood.

ST. JOHN’S

OUT: Chris Mullin is stepping down as the coach of the Red Storm after four seasons at the helm. A legendary player at St. John’s in the ’80s, Mullin was never able to recapture the magic of his playing days as the team’s head coach. St. John’s only made one NCAA tournament appearance during Mullin’s four years as they went from 12-0 to barely making the Big Dance in 2018-19.

IN: The search did not go quite as well as people in and around New York would have liked, but the Johnnies ended up with a decent — albeit somewhat out of left field — hire as they brought in Mike Anderson, who had been fired by Arkansas.

TEMPLE

OUT: Fran Dunphy, a stalwart in Philadelphia hoops, is in the final stages of his coaching career, as he will step down at Temple after the season.

IN: This was decided before the season started, but he will be replaced by Aaron McKie, a Philly native and Temple alum that has spent five years as a member of Temple’s staff.

TEXAS A&M

OUT: The Aggies moved on from head coach Billy Kennedy following the conclusion of the SEC tournament.

IN: The worst kept secret in college basketball is finally official: Buzz Williams will be the next head coach at Texas A&M. This is a great hire and a great fit. The SEC got tougher today.

UCLA

OUT: The first coaching carousel move of this offseason happened way back in December when Steve Alford was fired. Although UCLA isn’t the job it used to be, it remains one of the best and most storied programs in the country. It also might be the most fascinating coaching search in the nation since the Bruins wasted a three-month head start on the rest of the country.

IN: Following a long and drawn-out search, Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin is heading West. After the Bruins attempted to land Kentucky’s John Calipari and TCU’s Jamie Dixon, they ended up with Cronin, a coach who led the Bearcats to only one Sweet 16 in 12 seasons. With UCLA fans and alums hoping for national titles will Cronin be enough for their high standards? Only time will tell.

UNLV

OUT: Marvin Menzies three-year tenure as the head coach at UNLV is over, and it will be fascinating to see who that administration tabs to be the guy to try and take that program back to the heights of the 1990s. There have been some big names that have popped up, from Thad Matta and Rick Pitino to Tyronn Lue and Jason Kidd.

IN: Replacing Menzies will be South Dakota State head coach T.J. Otzelberger. As the head coach of the Jackrabbits, Otzelberger led the program to multiple NCAA tournament appearances while coaching one of the nation’s best players in Mike Daum.

VANDERBILT

OUT: The Commodores and new athletic director Malcolm Turner opted to move on from head coach Bryce Drew after only three seasons. Drew led Vanderbilt to an NCAA tournament appearance while also recruiting two McDonald’s All-Americans to the school last season. But the program struggled to a 9-23 season and 0-18 mark in the SEC.

IN: Vandy has signed Jerry Stackhouse, a former NBA player that has some experience coaching in the AAU ranks, to replace Bryce Drew.

VIRGINIA TECH

OUT: Buzz Williams is heading to Texas A&M after helping lead the Hokies back into national relevance. Williams led Virginia Tech to three straight NCAA tournament appearances — including the program’s second-ever Sweet 16 appearance in 2019.

IN: After Seton Hall’s Kevin Willard turned down the job, Virginia Tech moved quickly to hire Wofford’s Mike Young. Leading the Terriers to five NCAA tournament appearances and seven postseason trips in the past decade, Young is coming off of a season in which he led Wofford into the Round of 32 from the mid-major ranks.

WASHINGTON STATE

OUT: One day after its season ended with a loss to Oregon in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament, Washington State has parted ways with head coach Ernie Kent. Kent spent five seasons in Pullman, posting an overall record of 58 wins and 98 losses. Against Pac-12 competition the Cougars were just 22-68 during Kent’s tenure, with the program’s best conference mark being a 7-11 record during the 2014-15 season (Kent’s first at the school). Washington State is considered by many on the west coast to be one of, if not the worst job in the high-major ranks.

IN: Signing a six-year deal, former San Francisco head coach Kyle Smith is the next head coach at Washington State. Smith has been a Division I head coach for nine seasons, the last three coming with the Dons. After taking Columbia to multiple CIT appearances, Smith had three straight 20-win seasons with San Francisco.

THE REST

APPALACHIAN STATE

OUT: Jim Fox’s tenure at Appalachian State came to an end this year. He was never able to get things going in the right direction, finishing below .500 every season and mustering just one finish in the top five of the Sun Belt. That came in 2017-18, when the Mountaineers finished 9-9 and tied for 5th in the league.

IN: App State hired away former Wofford assistant Dustin Kerns from Presbyterian, where he had the best season in program history in his second year.

BELMONT

OUT: A legend has moved on. Rick Byrd retired after spending 33 seasons as the head coach of the Belmont Bruins, ushering them from NAIA into being one of the best mid-major programs in the country. This will be a sought-after job in the mid-major ranks.

IN: Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander has been tabbed as the man to replace Byrd. Alexander spent 16 years as an assistant coach at Belmont from 1995-2011 so this is an expected move as well. As head coach of the Bison, Alexander led the program to three straight 20-win seasons and an NCAA tournament appearance last season before an NIT runner-up finish this season.

BYU

OUT: After 14 seasons as the head coach at BYU, Dave Rose is stepping down. Rose went to the NCAA tournament eight times in his first ten seasons as the head coach of the Cougars, but in the last four years, BYU has mustered just three trips to the NIT. The name popping up here is Mark Pope, who played in the NBA and has been at Utah Valley State for the last four years.

IN: It took longer than expected, but BYU finally has the name they wanted all along in Utah Valley State’s Mark Pope. A former BYU assistant who spent a handful of years in the NBA, Pope has led the Wolverines to back-to-back 20-win seasons and three straight CBI appearances.

BUFFALO

OUT: Following four successful seasons, head coach Nate Oats has been hired at Alabama. Leading the Bulls to three NCAA tournament appearances in four seasons as coach, Oats led Buffalo to a top-25 mark this season and back-to-back appearances in the NCAA tournament’s Round of 32.

IN: Associate head coach Jim Whitesell will take over the Bulls as he’s been with the program since 2015. A former head coach at Loyola (IL) for seven seasons, Whitesell has a 109-106 record at the Division I level with no NCAA tournament appearances.

CAL POLY

OUT: After 10 years at the helm, Cal Poly is moving on from head coach Joe Callero. Peaking in years three-through-five with two 18-win seasons and an appearance in the 2014 NCAA tournament, Callero never got the program back on track during his final five seasons. Finishing with a 6-21 record and 2-12 mark in the Big West this season, the Mustangs will be looking for only their fourth different head coach since the program transitioned into Division I in 1994. While Cal Poly hasn’t been particularly successful, they have allowed coaches plenty of time to build things their own way.

IN: Cal Poly hired Fullerton assistant coach John Smith, who has ties to the junior college scene in California.

ELON

OUT: Matt Matheny was at Elon for 10 years, seeing them make the move from the SoCon to the CAA, but he was never able to get it going at the school. The Phoenix had just one second above .500 since the move in 2014 and in 10 years, he made it to just one postseason — a 2013 trip to the CIT.

IN: The Phoenix have hired Mike Schrage, who has spent the last two years on Chris Holtmann’s staff at Ohio State. Schrage has connections in the state of North Carolina after spending eight years on staff at Duke.

FAIRFIELD

OUT: Moving on from head coach Sydney Johnson after eight seasons, Fairfield will try to make a move up the MAAC with its new hire. Finishing 116-147 during his tenure at Fairfield, Johnson led the Stags to three CIT appearances — most recently in 2016-17. Johnson had some early momentum with a 22-win season and third-place finish in the MAAC in year one, but Fairfield never achieved those heights again. The Stags finished 9-22 and 6-12 in conference play in 2018-19.

IN: Longtime Stony Brook assistant coach Jay Young will be the next head coach the Stags.

GEORGE WASHINGTON

OUT: After three seasons as the head coach of the Colonials, the school announced on Friday that Maurice Joseph will not be returning to the program next season. MoJo was put in a difficult spot, taking over the program on an interim basis in September of 2016 after head coach Mike Lonergan was fired. He earned a contract with the success they had that season, but he was unable to build on it.

IN: GW moved quickly, hiring Jamion Christian away from Siena. Christian is a Virginia native that spent five seasons coaching at Mount St. Mary’s in Maryland before spending one season at Siena. This is a hire that should work out quite well for GW.

GEORGIA STATE

OUT: Ron Hunter left Georgia State after five seasons in Atlanta to take over at Tulane, who fired Mike Dunleavy after just three seasons in New Orleans.

IN: Rob Lanier, who has spent the last the five years as Rick Barnes’ associate head coach, will be the man that replaces Hunter. Lanier also had two different stints on Barnes’ staff at Texas, and helmed Siena from 2001-05.

HOWARD

OUT: Head coach Kevin Nickelberry resigned after nine years with the program. Howard made a CBI appearance in 2019 as Nickelberry was 96-194 during his tenure.

IDAHO STATE

OUT: The contract of head coach Bill Evans will not be renewed as he went 71-141, with a 46-83 mark in Big Sky games. Evans was the head coach for seven seasons, winning Big Sky Coach of the Year in 2016.

IN: Idaho State has hired Ryan Looney away from Point Loma, a Division II program in California that is coming off of a trip to the Division II national title game with the best player in the Division II ranks, Daunton Hommes, on his roster.

KENNESAW STATE

OUT: Veteran head coach Al Skinner announced his decision to step down after the 2018-19 season on Feb. 21 in an official announcement from the school. Skinner spent four seasons with the Owls, never finishing above fourth place in the Atlantic Sun. Kennesaw State bottomed out with a 6-26 mark this season as Skinner was 41-84 in four seasons at the school. Formerly head coach at Boston College and Rhode Island, Skinner once made seven NCAA tournament appearances in nine years with the Eagles, but he hasn’t coached a tournament team since 2009.

IN: It took a while to get it done, but Kennesaw State finally replaced Al Skinner by going out and hiring Amir Abdur-Rahim.

LIPSCOMB

OUT: Head coach Casey Alexander is going to Belmont — where he was a former assistant coach under Rick Byrd for 16 years. Alexander led the Bisons to an NIT runner-up finish, NCAA tournament appearance in 2018 and three straight 20-win seasons as replacing him will be difficult.

IN: Veteran Division II head coach Lennie Acuff is the choice for Lipscomb. With a career 554-325 record over stops at Alabama-Huntsville, Berry and Belhaven, Acuff has a winning track record throughout a long career. It’ll be intriguing to see how Acuff acclimates to the Division I level.

MARYLAND-EASTERN SHORE

OUT: UMES made the decision to move on from Clifford Reed.

IN: UMES hired Jason Crafton, who was on staff with the 76ers last season, as their head coach. He spent the previous six seasons as the head coach at Nyack College.

MERCER

OUT: Bob Hoffman is out as Mercer’s head coach after 11 years at the helm, according to a release from the school. Most famous for guiding the Bears to the Round of 32 with an upset win over Duke in 2013-14, Hoffman never figured things out once Mercer transitioned from the Atlantic Sun into the SoCon the following season. Mercer is taking a risk with this decision as Hoffman led the program to six postseason appearances in seven seasons before a bad 2018-19 campaign ended in an 11-19 record. Hoffman achieved a 209-164 overall record during his tenure with the program.

IN: Purdue assistant coach Greg Gary has been tabbed as the new head coach at Mercer. An assistant coach at the Division I level for 25 years, Gary has spent the past eight seasons with the Boilermakers after multiple stints at Duquesne and time with South Florida, Tulane and McNeese State.

MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE

OUT: After a 6-26 seasons that saw the Delta Devils go 4-14 in the SWAC, MSVU opted to make a move on Andre Payne.

IN: Former NBA guard Lindsey Hunter was hired to take over MVSU.

MONTANA STATE

OUT: Brian Fish was at Montana State for five years but never finished better than sixth in the Big Sky despite the fact that he has had Tyler Hall on the roster for the last three years. That’s not good. The timing for this was awful, however — Fish lost his daughter last month.

IN: Cal State Fullerton assistant coach Danny Sprinkle is making the move to Montana State, where he played four seasons from 1995-1999. Sprinkle helped lead the Bobcats to the program’s last NCAA tournament appearance in 1996 as a freshman guard.

MORGAN STATE

OUT: Todd Bozeman is out at Morgan State after the program opted not to renew his contract. In 13 years with the Bears, Bozeman led the program to an NIT appearance and back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances in 2009 and 2010. But Morgan State hasn’t achieved a winning season since 2012-13 as the program has fallen on tough times. Bozeman was 195-218 during his stint, and he’s the winningest coach in program history.

NIAGARA

OUT: The Purple Eagles announced their decision to move on from head coach Chris Casey in an official release. In six seasons at Niagara, Casey was only above .500 one time, finishing with a solid 19-14 record and CIT appearance in 2017-18. But the Purple Eagles reverted back to a 13-19 record this season as Casey finishes his tenure with a 64-129 record.

IN: After a couple of years of seeing his name pop up during the coaching carousel, John Beilein’s son, Pat Beilein, finally has a Division I coaching gig. He was hired by Niagara to replace Chris Casey.

NORTHERN KENTUCKY

OUT: Leaving for the Cincinnati head job is John Brannen. In four seasons leading the Norse, Brannen did an impressive job of taking the newly-minted Division I program to the postseason. Twice going to the NCAA tournament and also making an NIT appearance, Brannen started a strong foundation for the future.

IN: Darrin Horn is back in the head-coaching game after spending a few seasons as an assistant at Texas under Shaka Smart. Formerly head coach at Western Kentucky, and then South Carolina, Horn should be familiar with how recruiting works with the Norse since he’s already recruited the state of Kentucky when he was with the Hilltoppers.

OHIO

OUT: Saul Phillips is out at Ohio after five seasons in the MAC. Coming to the Bobcats after taking North Dakota State into the Round of 32, Phillips never found similar success with Ohio. The Bobcats had back-to-back 20-win seasons in Phillips’ second and third season, reaching the CBI in 2016, but Ohio has not improved in years after back-to-back 14-17 seasons. With Ohio sending recent head coaches onto the high-major ranks in John Groce (Illinois) and Jim Christian (Boston College), Phillips turned out to be a disappointing hire. Phillips finishes 81-77 at Ohio with an underwhelming 40-50 mark in MAC play.

IN: The Bobcats officially announced on Selection Sunday that they have hired Jeff Boals away from Stony Brook. Boals is a former team caption for Ohio, leading them to the 1994 NCAA tournament. He spent years as an assistant in the area, including an eight-year stretch at Ohio State, before taking over Stony Brook. This past season he led the Sea Wolves to a 24-8 record.

PRESBYTERIAN

OUT: Former head coach Dustin Kerns has moved on to Appalachian State after two seasons with the program. Kerns led a turnaround for the Blue Hose as they finished 2018-19 with a 20-16 mark and CIT appearance after an 11-21 first season.

IN: Presbyterian turned to a familiar face to lead the program. Former player Quinton Ferrell has been named the new head coach after spending five seasons as an assistant coach at College of Charleston. Ferrell led the Blue Hose to a Division II NCAA tournament appearance and two 20-win seasons as a player.

SAN FRANCISCO

OUT: Head coach Kyle Smith signed a six-year deal to become the new head coach at Washington State after three straight 20-win campaigns with the Dons. Smith helped San Francisco to back-to-back CBI appearances in his first two seasons as he was 63-40 with the school.

IN: Promoted to new head coach is associate head coach Todd Golden. A former Auburn assistant and player at Saint Mary’s, Golden takes over for his former boss, Kyle Smith. Golden should be familiar with the WCC from his days as a player and assistant as he’s a rising star in the coaching world.

SAINT JOSEPH’S

OUT: Saint Joseph’s made the decision to fire Phil Martelli after 24 seasons as the head coach. The Hawks have missed the last three NCAA tournaments, although the program was plagued by injuries during that stretch. It’s the end of an era in Hawk Hill, as Martelli had been with the program for 34 years.

IN: The Hawks announced that they have hired former 76ers assistant coach Billy Lange to take over for Phil Martelli.

SIENA

OUT: Jamion Christian left Siena after just one season, taking over at George Washington after Maurice Joseph was fired.

IN: The Saints made the sensible decision to replace Christian, promoting assistant coach Carmen Maciariello to head coach. He’s a local kid that graduated from Siena and spent the first year of his coaching career as the DBO at Siena.

SOUTH DAKOTA STATE

OUT: Head coach T.J. Otzelberger is heading to UNLV as the Jackrabbits will need to find a new head coach. Otzelberger leaves South Dakota State after a 70-33 mark in three seasons that included two NCAA tournament appearances.

IN: The Jacks promoted from within, bumping Eric Henderson up to head coach. With Mike Daum and David Jenkins moving on, he is going to have a bit of a rebuilding job on his hands.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS

OUT: Following a quarterfinal exit from the Missouri Valley Conference tournament, head coach Barry Hinson announced in his postgame press conference that he was leaving his post at Southern Illinois. It hasn’t been made clear if Hinson is resigning, or being fired, as he said, “It is time for me to step away,” during an emotional press conference. In seven seasons at Southern Illinois, Hinson went 116-111 — twice winning 20 or more games in a season. But the Salukis never made the postseason as the once-proud Valley program has struggled to find its footing since six consecutive NCAA tournament appearances earlier this century. Hinson has also spent time at Oral Roberts and Missouri State as he’s fifth all-time in Missouri Valley Conference wins.

IN: Southern Illinois officially announced the hiring of Loyola associate head coach Bryan Mullins. A member of the SIU Hall of Fame as a four-year player from 2006-09, Mullins helped the Salukis to two NCAA tournament appearances — including the Sweet 16 in 2007 as the team’s point guard. The 32-year-old Mullins is an exciting hire for the Salukis as he’s received a lot of praise for his rise at Loyola. Mullins is also the program’s all-time leader in assists and steals as he’ll have local recruiting credibility that the program lacked a bit under Barry Hinson.

SOUTHERN MISS

OUT: Doc Sadler has resigned his position as head coach, the school announced in a release. Spending five seasons with the program, Sadler did an admirable job turning around a Golden Eagles program gutted by NCAA sanctions due to former coach Donnie Tyndall’s widespread academic fraud. Sadler’s teams at Southern Miss improved all five seasons, culminating in this season’s respectable 20-13 finish and CBI appearance.

IN: The Golden Eagles hired Jay Ladner, who had spent the past five seasons as the head coach at Southeastern Louisiana, to replace Sadler.

SIU-EDWARDSVILLE

OUT: The Cougars decided not to renew the contract of previous head coach Jon Harris, as they’ve officially named assistant coach Brian Barone as interim head coach. Harris was an underwhelming 31-88 in his four seasons at the helm. Barone has been an assistant with the program for two seasons as his interim tag is based on pending approval from the school’s Board of Trustees. Since transitioning into Division I in 2008-09, SIU-Edwardsville has never won more than 12 games in a season.

IN: Brian Barone, who has spent the last two years as an assistant with SIUE, was named the interim coach last week after Harris was fired.

STETSON

OUT: The Hatters opted to move on from head coach Corey Williams. Spending six years at Stetson, Williams never found his footing with the Atlantic Sun program, as the Hatters never finished above seventh in the league. Williams, a former standout at Oklahoma State, was previously an assistant at Florida State under head coach Leonard Hamilton as he finished with a 58-133 mark during his Stetson tenure.

IN: Donnie Jones is the new head coach at Stetson after spending the past few seasons as an assistant coach at Wichita State and Dayton. A former head coach at Marshall and UCF, Jones is 133-128 during his coaching career.

STONY BROOK

OUT: Jeff Boals has left Stony Brook to take over Ohio, where he is an alum and a former team captain. The Sea Wolves are coming off of a 24-8 season, after Steve Pikiell helped build that program into one of the better programs in the America East.

IN: The Seawolves replaced Boals by promoting assistant coach Geno Ford to the head coaching position. Ford has 10 years of head coaching experience, including seven at the Division I level with Kent State and Bradley.

TENNESSEE TECH

OUT: After 17 years with the program, head coach Steve Payne is stepping down. Spending eight years as the head coach, Payne guided the Golden Eagles to two postseason appearances (CIT and Vegas 16) during his tenure while achieving four winning seasons. Consistency eluded Payne, however, as Tennessee Tech never had back-to-back winning campaigns. Finishing 8-23 overall and 12th place in the Ohio Valley Conference this season, Payne leaves with a 118-134 career mark. Before becoming head coach, Payne also spent nine seasons with Tennessee Tech as an assistant coach.

IN: Former Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey is taking over at Tennessee Tech after recently spending time as an assistant coach at Alabama. Pelphrey also spent time as a head coach at South Alabama as he’s made two NCAA tournament appearances in nine seasons.

TROY

OUT: After six seasons, Troy has decided in a change-of-direction by letting go Phil Cunningham. The Trojans made one NCAA tournament appearance with Cunningham in charge during the 2016-17 season as they had a 22-win season and a surprising run in the Sun Belt conference tournament. But Cunningham never made a postseason appearance outside of that as he was 80-111 during his time in charge.

IN: Longtime UT Arlington head coach Scott Cross, who spent last season as an assistant at TCU, will reportedly be the next head coach at Troy. This is a terrific hire — it was a head-scratching decision when Cross was fired last year.

TULANE

OUT: The Mike Dunleavy experiment died on Saturday afternoon, as the former NBA head coach saw his tenure in New Orleans come to an end after a 4-27 season. The Green Wave did lose three starters to injury and saw two players leave the program last season and wind up in the NBA, but 4-27 is 4-27. It’s not a great job in a league where it will be hard for them to get into the top half of the conference.

IN: Tulane made a really nice hire by going out and getting Ron Hunter from Georgia State. Hunter reached three NCAA tournaments in five seasons with the Panthers and has proven to be able to get players, particularly transfers from larger programs looking for a fresh start.

UMKC

OUT: Kareem Richardson’s tenure with the Kangaroos has come to a close. He spent six seasons at the school, but after an 11-21 season came to an end in the WAC quarterfinals, the program opted to make a change. He is the only coach that has taken UMKC to the postseason.

IN: Billy Donlon, who is the former head coach at Wright State, was named UMKC’s head coach. He has also spent time on staff at Northwestern and Michigan.

UTAH VALLEY STATE

OUT: Mark Pope is heading to BYU after leading the Wolverines to some solid success. With three straight CBI appearances and back-to-back 20-win seasons, Pope is going to be very tough to replace for Utah Valley State.

IN: Mark Madsen, a former Stanford player and longtime part of the Los Angeles Lakers organization — as a player and as a member of the coaching staff — was hired to replace Pope.

WILLIAM & MARY

OUT: The Tribe announced a move to replace 16-year head coach Tony Shaver. Compiling a 226-268 record during his tenure, Shaver made two trips to the NIT with William & Mary while also advancing to the CAA Tournament finals four times. Finishing 14-17 this past season, William & Mary made that last NIT appearance in 2015.

IN: William & Mary announced the hiring of George Mason assistant coach Dane Fischer as the program’s new head coach. Fischer has also spent time as an assistant at Rider and Bucknell as he’s known for his recruiting prowess and emerging respect as a rising coach to watch.

WOFFORD

OUT: Virginia Tech made a quick move in hiring Mike Young away from the Terriers. Spending 17 seasons as head coach at Wofford, Young made five NCAA tournament appearances in the past decade — including a Round of 32 appearance this season.

IN: Wofford announced on Sunday that they were promoting associate head coach Jay McAuley to head coach. McAuley had spent four years as an assistant on Mike Young’s staff at Wofford in two different two-year stints.

Top overall seed Duke survives No. 9 UCF’s upset bid

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Two days removed from the first NCAA tournament victory in program history, East Region No. 9 UCF had two shots at knocking off top overall seed Duke Sunday in Columbia, South Carolina. But B.J. Taylor’s floater and Aubrey Dawkins’ attempted tip-in both missed the mark in the final seconds, and as a result the Blue Devils pulled out the 77-76 victory.

UCF took a 76-73 lead with 45 seconds remaining, but the failure to cap a key defensive possession with a rebound proved costly. Zion Williamson’s offensive rebound led to a basket and Tacko Fall’s fifth foul with just over 14 seconds to go. RJ Barrett would corral the resulting missed free throw, and his put-back with 11.4 seconds remaining proved to be the game-winning basket.

Williamson finished with 32 points, 11 rebounds and four assists, leading four double-digit scorers on the day. And even with the freshman’s offensive mastery Duke nearly saw its season come to an end, as UCF defended well and also shot the ball well on the other end of the floor.

UCF used multiple looks on defense, from man-to-man to a standard 2-3 zone to a matchup that purposely left Tre Jones and Jordan Goldwire open. Jones and Goldwire (combined 2-for-11 from three Sunday) would both make a three-pointer in the second half, but neither was proficient enough to punish UCF for this approach.

This proved especially problematic for Duke when Cam Reddish was on the bench with four fouls, as the Blue Devils turned to a backcourt tandem that is the team’s best defensively but struggles mightily to shoot the ball.

Reddish (3-for-4; including a huge three with 1:45 remaining) and Barrett (2-for-3) combined to shoot 5-for-7 from three on the day, with Williamson making three of his seven attempts. While future opponents won’t be able to replicate the size that UCF has in Fall, teams can certainly pack it in defensively and force Duke’s non-shooters to prove that they can hit those shots. Johnny Dawkins’ team nearly made Duke pay the price, but two offensive rebounds in the final 30 seconds cost the Knights.

Offensively UCF was proficient, making 48.1 percent of its shots from the field and shooting 9-for-18 from three, with Aubrey Dawkins leading the way. In scoring his 32 points Dawkins shot 12-for-18 from the field (5-for-8 from three), and he also accounted for four assists, three rebounds and three steals. Taylor and Fall added 15 points apiece, with the latter also racking up six rebounds and three blocked shots.

UCF may have revealed the “blueprint” to beating Duke, but it isn’t as simple as allowing them to put up perimeter shots. Knowing the personnel is especially key, as the Knights did a good job of funneling those shots to players Duke would be better served not having shoot. And even with that blueprint UCF was unable to take full advantage itself, which is why Duke is moving on.

“Survive and advance” is the preferred saying this time of year, and Duke managed to do just that.

No. 12 Oregon locks up third Sweet 16 in four seasons

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South Region No. 12 Oregon appeared to be in some trouble during the second half of Sunday’s second round matchup with No. 13 UC Irvine. Dana Altman’s team went more than seven minutes without scoring a point, with the Anteaters going on a 16-0 run to take a two-point lead. But Oregon regained its composure and shooting ability, going on to win by the final score of 73-54.

Payton Pritchard led four double-digit scorers with 18 points while also dishing out seven assists, with Louis King adding 16. The two other double-digit scorers were just as impactful on the defensive end of the floor, as Ehab Amin and Kenny Wooten changed the tenor of the game after UC Irvine’s 16-0 run.

Amin was a pest on the perimeter, racking up three steals to go along with 12 points, five rebounds, and two assists. And if any UC Irvine player managed to get into the paint more often than not Kenny Wooten was waiting, as he blocked seven shots and changed many others. He was a finisher around the basket as well, adding 12 points and nine rebounds to his stat line.

Robert Cartwright led three UC Irvine players in double figures with 14 points, but Russell Turner’s team shot just 5-for-18 from three and the 24-point differential (Oregon finished 13-for-25) was too much for the Big West champions to overcome.

This is the third time in the last four years that the program has managed to get out of the first weekend of the NCAA tournament. But unlike those runs, an Elite Eight appearance as a 1-seed in 2016 and a Final Four as a 3-seed in 2017, this run has been more about a team getting hot at the right time.

Oregon lost Bol Bol in mid-December to a season-ending foot injury, and even though the Ducks won their first two games without the talented freshman it was obvious that things weren’t right. Oregon lost four of its first six conference games, and in February there was a three-game skid capped by a 90-83 loss at UCLA in which the Bruins scored 62 second-half points.

Since then the Ducks have been outstanding on the defensive end of the floor, allowing 60 points or less in eight of their ten wins. There’s still offensive talent on the roster, but without Bol Oregon had to buckle down defensively in order to have any chance of making good on the preseason expectations. It took some time but the Ducks eventually got things right, and the end result is a run that few imagined possible a month ago.

Next up for Oregon will be top-seed Virginia, a program well-known for its work on the defensive end of the floor. This will undoubtedly be a challenge for the Ducks, but thanks to the improved defense they’re more than capable of continuing this run.

WATCH: Johnny Dawkins addresses locker room after loss to Duke

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East Region No. 9 UCF nearly pulled off the upset of this year’s NCAA tournament, but two shot attempts in the final seconds missed the mark in the Knights’ 77-76 loss to top-seed Duke.

Following the game head coach Johnny Dawkins addressed the locker room, thanking his senior class and the team as a whole.

While the NCAA tournament is about determining a champion, it’s moments like this that make the event so special.

2019 NCAA Tournament: Regional semifinal tip times, announcers

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THURSDAY, MARCH 28

WEST (Anaheim): Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Donner, Dana Jacobson

(All times eastern)

7:09 p.m. No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 4 Florida State

9:39 p.m. No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 Texas Tech

SOUTH (Louisville): Brian Anderson, Chris Webber, Allie LaForce

7:29 p.m. No. 2 Tennessee vs. No. 3 Purdue

9:59 p.m. No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 12 Oregon

FRIDAY, MARCH 29

EAST (Washington D.C.): Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson

7:09 p.m. No. 2 Michigan State vs. No. 3 LSU

9:39 p.m. No. 1 Duke vs. No. 4 Virginia Tech

MIDWEST (Kansas City): Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel, Jamie Erdahl

7:29 p.m. No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 5 Auburn

9:59 p.m. No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 3 Houston

Rotation change shows off No. 1 Virginia’s lineup versatility

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South Region No. 1 Virginia had to deal with some pressure as the 2019 NCAA Tournament began, thanks to the team’s surprising exit from last year’s event. After taking care of Gardner-Webb on Friday, Tony Bennett’s Cavaliers extended their tournament stay with an 63-51 win over No. 9 Oklahoma Sunday night in Columbia, South Carolina.

The key was an adjustment that Bennett made to his rotation, inserting Mamadi Diakite into the starting lineup in place of Jack Salt. To defend a team with front court players like Oklahoma’s, sophomore Brady Manek and senior Kristian Doolittle, a more mobile option was needed and Diakite fit the mold. Manek finished with 13 points — all scored in the first half — and Doolittle was limited to eight on 4-for-10 shooting.

Braxton Key and Jack Salt, who combined to score 14 points and grab 11 rebounds, gave Virginia good minutes off the bench as the Cavaliers stymied a team that scored 95 points in its first round win over Ole Miss.

Diakite’s presence gave Virginia the ability to defend Kristian Doolittle with just one man as opposed to having to send help, which would not have been the case with a less mobile big man. Not only did Diakite block three shots, but he also scored 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the way. Not a bad outing two days removed from his 17-point effort against Gardner-Webb.

Ty Jerome added 12 points with three assists and three steals for Virginia, which will play either No. 12 Oregon or No. 13 UC Irvine in next week’s regional semifinals in Louisville.

Virginia can go eight deep — they essentially went seven on Sunday with Salt playing just a handful of minutes — and this lineup has more versatility than last year’s did. The 7-foot-1 Huff is a mobile big who can knock down perimeter shots, and the additions of Key and Kihei Clark have also been important. Those players were all factors at various points this weekend, helping to make up for the fact that Kyle Guy has gone cold from the field.

In Columbia the junior guard shot 4-for-23 from the field in Virginia’s two wins, and that includes an 0-for-10 night from three against Oklahoma. For some teams, having your best shooter struggle to this extent would essentially guarantee a loss. That’s not the case for Virginia, which in addition to its stout defense can now call upon multiple players capable of picking up the slack.

With Virginia out of the first weekend for the first time since 2016, there will be chatter about Tony Bennett’s program getting the proverbial monkey off of its back. And in that regard this team could be similar to Villanova’s 2016 national title team, which also had to deal with the stigma that can come with early tournament exits.

There will still be pressure for Virginia to deal with, especially with a double-digit seed being their opponent in the Sweet 16. But this team has the personnel needed to deal with it, as they showed in the win over Oklahoma.