Tubby Smith has recorded 20-plus wins in four of five years at Minnesota, with his sixth season likely resulting in the program's highest NCAA tournament seed since the vacated 1996-97 Final Four season.
Unfortunately for Smith, he has yet to record a tournament victory, continues to fail in recruiting battles and has repeatedly proved his in-game adjustments are nonexistent.
This season's veteran-laden team is easily his most talented, but the closing seconds of Sunday's four-point loss to Illinois left only Tubby to blame, as he failed to call a timeout when Trevor Mbakwe was double-teamed inside before turning it over. Furthermore, his allowance of Elliott Eliason to defend Illini guard Tracy Abrams was foolish, as the Gophers forward should have been instructed to waste a foul in order to prevent Abrams from taking advantage of an easy matchup.
It remains unlikely that Smith will be fired following the season, but a quick tourney flop could put the pressure on the "U" administration to make a move, leaving a few intriguing candidates for consideration.