Kent out at OregonOregon has let go of Ernie Kent after 13 years as men’s basketball coach at his alma mater. "You may find a better basketball coach, but I don’t think you’ll find anybody that has the passion and love that I have for this university,” said Kent, who had to pause for several moments to fight back his emotions. Oregon went 16-16 overall and 7-11 in the Pac-10 this past season, finishing with a 90-74 quarterfinal loss to California in the conference tournament. Kent leaves as the winningest coach at Oregon, with a 235-173 overall record. But Oregon has slipped in the past two seasons, going 24-39 and finishing 10th and ninth, respectively, in conference play.
Obama fills out his bracketPresident Barack Obama predicts Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky and Villanova will make the men’s basketball Final Four. Obama filled out a bracket for ESPN for the second straight year. This time, he’s also making picks for the women’s tournament, selecting Connecticut, Notre Dame, Stanford and Tennessee. ESPN will reveal the full brackets today. His interview about the men’s tournament will air during the noon SportsCenter, with the discussion of the women’s tourney broadcast Friday during the 9 a.m. show. Last year, Obama correctly picked North Carolina to win the national championship. His bracket ranked 903,125th overall, just above the 80th percentile in the ESPN’s online contest.
Missouri’s Bowers postpones wrist surgeryInjured Missouri forward Laurence Bowers will postpone surgery on two torn wrist ligaments until after the Tigers’ NCAA Tournament appearance. Bowers disclosed the injury’s severity as Missouri, a 10th seed in the East region, prepares for a first-round NCAA matchup Friday against seventh-seeded Clemson in Buffalo, N.Y. He originally called the injury a sprained wrist and wore a splint in Missouri’s first-round loss to Nebraska in the Big 12 Tournament last week. Bowers spent most of the season as a reserve. He has started the past four games in place of injured forward Justin Safford, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and faces off-season surgery.
DePaul ready to make coach one of Big East’s richestDePaul is serious about restoring a once-proud program and is prepared to make its next men’s basketball coach one of the richest in the Big East. Athletic director Jean Lenti Ponsetto says whoever gets the job could have a salary that "would definitely be in the top half and it would be comparably close to the very top” in the conference. It’s a sign that DePaul is ready to make a big push after getting knocked around the past few years. Ponsetto says DePaul has several candidates who are currently head coaches in successful programs. No one has interviewed for the job. DePaul lost its final 13 games this season to finish at 8-23.
After trying season, Smith rewarded with NCAA bidIn 19 seasons as a coach, Tubby Smith has won a national title and taken his team to the NCAA Tournament 16 times. His latest trip may be his most satisfying yet. Despite losing his two best recruits to legal entanglements and his starting point guard to an academic suspension, Smith has guided Minnesota to the 11th seed in the West Region. The Golden Gophers will play sixth-seeded Xavier in the first round in Milwaukee on Friday. In an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday, Smith calls this the most challenging season of his career. His father died before the season. After an up-and-down regular season, the Gophers defeated Penn State, Michigan State and Purdue to reach the Big Ten Tournament finals and earn at at-large NCAA bid. BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Kent out at Oregon