Tubby Smith avoided the seemingly inevitable hot-seat talk for at least 48 hours when  No. 11-seeded Minnesota topped No. 6 UCLA in the NCAA tournament first round on Friday.

This wasn’t all that much of an upset. The Bruins were beset by injuries, transfers and their own shaky bench situation. After the loss, reports surfaced that Coach Ben Howland would be fired this week.

Chances are, after Florida knocked out Minnesota in Austin with a 78-64 win Sunday, all that job security talk about Smith will resurface. In six seasons, Smith has three NCAA tournament appearances, one NIT runner-up finish and zero Sweet 16s.

No, wait. It’s already started.




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