#Mackwatch is on, with the Chris Mack clearly the early frontrunner to be just Louisville's fourth full-time head coach since World War II. My guess - and it's just a guess - is that Chris will be offered the job and be very conflicted about whether to take it, and ultimately leave.
My hope is that he stays. Chris Mack has been great for Xavier University's basketball program, becoming not only the school's all-time winningest coach, but a guy who's helped raise the profile of XU hoops while not only helping them move into the Big East, but thrive in it. He's stayed for nine seasons, helping steady a position that was once defined by how many men occupied it in such a short amount of time.
He's connected with the Xavier fan base unlike any of his two predecessors, and he's done lots and lots of winning.
He's good enough to win big at Louisville too, if he takes a job (assuming it's offered) that despite the turmoil surrounding the program is one of the best in college basketball. Chris Mack (and his staff, of course) have raised the profile of the kind of recruits Xavier has been getting, which means one can only imagine the kind of players he can get to come play for the Cardinals.
The possibility of sanctions against Louisville has caused some to wonder out loud why Chris would assume a position that carries with it such uncertainty. The easy answer is, of course, money. The answers with some context to them are that A) Modern revenue realities dictate that no matter what the NCAA does the program will not get the "death penalty" and B) Given that the FBI has requested that the NCAA not do its part in probing corruption in college basketball, it's going to be years before we find out exactly what the sanctions are going to be.
Most importantly, Chris Mack is the one with leverage here, enough to get full guarantees and as much money as possible from Louisville. He'll be not only well-compensated, but fully protected as well. If the NCAA brings the hammer, Chris' reputation will be untarnished, his bank account will be untouched, and if the job gets too difficult, he'll be well-equipped to bounce into a new gig that won't carry with it the baggage of sanctions.
Which means that as much as I want Chris Mack to stay, I'll understand completely if he goes.
Here's Some Stuff for today....
I chatted with Jason Anderson of ESPN680 in Louisville about the Chris Mack situation. I thought he provided some pretty good perspective. Give our conversation a listen...
The NCAA Tournament continues tonight. Not that you care, but I've got UK (-5) over Kansas State, Loyola (+1) over Nevada in a game I refuse to watch, Michigan (-2.5) over Texas A&M and Florida State (+6) over Gonzaga. My bracket is a disaster and other pools I'm in carry no chance of me winning them, so I might as well treat a March college basketball Thursday like it's a October college football Saturday.
But I thought college basketball was on its knees. The Feds are investigating the sport, and all the corruption that's being uncovered is going to destroy the NCAA Tournament and kill all of the buzz that accompanies it. At least that's what I heard in February. In March, the ratings are up four percent. It's like we really don't care about cheating, isn't it?
And speaking of me...I was a guest on the Cincy Shirts Podcast. I talked about my childhood formed my rooting interests and sparked a passion for radio, as well as how rebelling against my dad turned me into a UC fan, thoughts on how I do my show and ways I can do it differently, the history of this blog, my relationship with Twitter, the one time the Bengals got really mad at me, and my pecking order of teams I'd prefer to win the most. We did this in mid-February, right when I was battling the world cold ever, so pardon my voice, but give it a listen....
Here's some stuff I like....
This is a pretty reasonable take on why losing Chris Mack would be a setback for Xavier's program.
Here's Shannon Russell on three reasons why Chris Mack would go, and three reasons why he's stay.
Here's a good look - one keeping in mind as baseball evolves - on the future of pitching.
Last night was a good night to forget the college game and watch some pro hoops. Cavs/Raptors was worth your time. Here's what you missed, if you missed it.
And you said the Reds didn't make any big offseason moves....
Radio Show: Ever been to the House of Orange in Covington? We're doing our show from there today, thanks for Bud Light and you should join us. They say there's nothing like the magic of live radio. They're wrong. There's nothing like the magic of watching a guy do live radio in person. We'll see you there, starting at 3:05.