Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin, Purdue, and Oklahoma Headline this week's Sunday Mailbag

There were a lot of storylines this week after 4 of the top 5 teams lost to unranked teams. Check out this weeks Mailbag for more key storylines from this week in NCAA Basketball

Jan 13, 2024; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers guard AJ Storr (2) dribbles the ball down
Jan 13, 2024; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers guard AJ Storr (2) dribbles the ball down / Kayla Wolf-USA TODAY Sports
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In your estimation, which coaches are already on the hot seat because of their underperforming teams? - Ed Helinski (@MrEd315)

I love these questions because everyone always wants to know, and they are things that we all speculate on. Full Disclosure, I am not Trilly Donovan, and I have no inside knowledge into what coaches may be on the hot seat, but I am going to provide some names who look like their tenure’s are coming to an end based upon expectations and teams just flat out underperforming. 

Heading into the season we all knew Kenny Payne, Ben Johnson, Fred Hoiberg, Juwan Howard, Kevin Keatts, Jerry Stackhouse, Mike Boynton, Mike Hopkins, and Jerod Haase were coaches who entered the season desperately needing to win to keep their jobs. Hoiberg and Johnson should be off the list especially if they continue to win games and make a push for the NCAA tournament. Mike Hopkins is still up in the air given that Washington is a bubble team but is much improved.

Payne, Stackhouse, and Boynton are all likely gone after the season. Those teams are not performing well at all. Louisville is a dumpster fire. Oklahoma State has not performed well under Boynton at all and he is not working out. Stackhouse saw a ton of players leave the program last year, was never able to replace them, and the Commodores have battled injuries all year. They are currently one of the worst power five schools in the country and outside of a miracle run he is likely going to be let go as well.

That leaves us with Juwan Howard, Kevin Keatts, and Jerod Haase from the originals. Howard is done at Michigan and that one I am surprised has not happened, yet the Wolverines are bad and have quit on their coach. There is not much he can do to save his job now as it has not worked out and the fight with Greg Gard, the fight with his strength coach, and his star player being suspended don’t help the situation especially with how good that program was and how good they can be. Keatts is up in the air. The Wolf Pack have made the tournament and are in the mix this year but likely won’t make it. That is hard to justify keeping him especially when comparing it to North Carolina and Duke.

Haase is the true wildcard. He is a magnificent recruiter, and they are starting to win more now that they are in league play. The Cardinal are nowhere near the postseason and even with the win over Arizona they still have some bad losses. Haase has had some great teams on paper and has never been able to put it all together, but does Stanford want to break in a new coach as they head to a new league the ACC?

We know about the coaches who were on the hot seat at the start of the year and where they stand but what about the ones who are new to the list?  Mick Cronin has made his way on the list because I think he has mentally checked out in Westwood. The team doesn't care, he doesn't care and even if he doesn't get fired, he will leave on his own and take the Louisville job. Johnny Dawkins at UCF really needs to win a lot towards the end of the year to save his job. The win over Kansas will help but they did get beat by 30 against Kansas State. UCF will likely be looking for a new coach at the end of the season.

Mike Davis at Detroit Mercy is going to have a hard time convincing Detroit Mercy he should keep his job. He couldn't make the tournament with the most electric scorer all of us had ever seen with his son Antoine. The Titans are currently winless and likely won’t get a win this year. The Lorenzo Romar experiment is not working at Pepperdine and he is probably out. Finally Shane Burcar at Northern Arizona needs to win games and not finish near the bottom of the Big Sky. They made a run to the league title game last year but that wasn’t enough.

Josh Eilert at West Virginia and Saah Nimley at Charleston Southern are interim coaches and those administrations are going to be searching for new coaches unless there is a drastic turnaround at both programs. I don’t know who would be a frontrunner for either of those jobs but they will likely have new coaches next year.