Tubby Smith is a legendary coach, a good recruiter, and a decent person.
But his time in Minnesota should come to an end.
The results simply prove this.
The Gophers had very high expectations this season. On New Year’s Day, they were ranked eighth nationally, then abruptly dropped four straight. There was also a stretch during early February where Minnesota lost four of five.
These are signs of a team with no business being rewarded a tourney bid.
Another sign of an underachieving coach is potentially missing the field of 68 for the fourth time in six seasons — and third year in a row – despite talent-laden rosters. Smith has posted nearly 80 losses during six campaigns in the Twin Cities, which is pretty devastating when you consider many top coaches have half as many defeats during that span.
The Gophers finished 8-10 in the 2013 Big Ten, tied for fourth to last, with only two measly conference road wins. The selection committee should be wise enough not to ignore such setbacks.
And if they’re invited for some reason, Minnesota simply can’t be seeded higher than schools that have been solid all season like Colorado, Creighton, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Wichita State and others.
The Golden Gophers are not Duke, Miami, nor Syracuse, i.e. they can’t simply live off home wins forever, especially their Feb. 26 triumph over Indiana.
And Tubby Smith can’t be retained.