Posted by Ryan Clark at 4:00AM

The domino rally is underway in the coaching ranks, with Indiana’s huge vacancy being filled yesterday afternoon. But the hiring of Tom Crean in Bloomington means there’s another position open at Marquette, while the resignation of prolific perspirer Sean Sutton means it’s time for another job posting in Stillwater.

Head spinning with all of the coaching changes? Never fear, as LRT is here to keep track of everything for you.

Oklahoma State
Within hours of Sutton’s resignation, both Bill Self of Kansas and Billy Gillispie of Kentucky stated that they had no interest in coaching the Cowboys. Both men’s names had been floated for a few months in online rumors involving the very deep pockets of OSU booster T. Boone Pickens. At this point, brother Scott Sutton would be a reasonable choice to continue the family line, but many feel that Pickens is looking for a big splash with the next hire. Could Kevin O’Neill be in the mix considering that he will not be returning to the Arizona staff?

One place that Kevin O’Neill has interviewed is Rice University in Houston. While the Owls are certainly not a high profile gig, C-USA is a huge league with a very short list of quality teams. With the right hire, the Owls could quickly make some noise. Athletic Director Chris Del Conte worked in the Arizona athletic department and is apparently keen on the head AD position with the Wildcats in the near future, according to the Houston Chronicle‘s Moisekapenda Bower. This could mean that hiring O’Neill would earn Del Conte some points with the former employers, which might put Olson’s ex-assistant ahead of Belmont’s Rick Byrd and assistants Rodney Terry (Texas) and Mark Montgomery (Michigan State).

Louisiana State
While LSU has had more than an extra month to prepare for their coaching search, the Tigers played things close to the vest through the end of the season. But even with the lack of info coming from official sources, the media seems to be keyed in on three top candidates. Butch Pierre finished the season as interim coach and has expressed interest in the job, although former LSU player Johnny Jones has found a ton of success at North Texas and would love to work in Baton Rouge. Early press reports focused on VCU head man Anthony Grant, but he lacks the ties to the program that Pierre and Jones sport.

Oregon State
There’s nowhere to go but up for Jay John’s successor, thanks to an abysmal 6-26 season including the first 0-17 conference record in Pac-10 history. Interim coach Kevin Mouton was responsible for the last 11 of those losses and is reportedly not a candidate for the job. The Beaver brass seems to be focusing on WCC coaches at the moment, interviewing San Diego’s Bill Grier and expressing interest in St. Mary’s head man Randy Bennett.

The other vacancy in the Pac-10 is at Cal’s Berkeley campus, where sights seem to be set quite high…perhaps a little too high. The Bears reportedly want Pitt’s Jamie Dixon and Washington State’s Tony Bennett, although Dixon has spurned those advances. The San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury-News are offering differing takes on Bennett’s interest in the job, but both agree that Nuggets assistant Mike Dunlap is also a top candidate.

With Crean moving on to Indiana today, the newest big-name vacancy on the block is in Milwaukee. As the move will not even be announced until 10 A.M. today in Bloomington, a list of top candidates is still being formulated somewhere in the caverns of the Marquette athletic department. But in a statement released on Monday, the Golden Eagles top staffers believe “a Marquette coaching vacancy will attract many well-qualified candidates.” We’re inclined to agree, and will be eagerly watching the newswire over the next few days to see which names pop up.

Other notable coaching vacancies include those at Kent State, Providence, San Francisco, and Western Kentucky. Kent State lost coach Jim Christian to TCU, while the Hilltoppers were left without a coach on Monday when Darrin Horn departed to fill the South Carolina vacancy following his team’s Sweet 16 run. At San Fran, Eddie Sutton has maintained all season that he was only coaching the Dons on an interim basis, so it will be interesting to see what angle they take in the coming weeks.

We’ll be watching the coaching carousel closely this off-season, so be sure to check back often for the latest updates.

Posted by Ryan Clark at 1:30PM

By the time you’re reading this, the Longhorns and Sooners will have wrapped up their semifinal. I’ll either be enjoying the Kansas/A&M tilt, or slouched in my chair wishing I were anywhere but the Sprint Center. But since I’m writing this before we head to the arena, the mood for today’s news wrap will be still be upbeat.

Joe Lunardi’s Saturday Bracketology has the Aggies climbing to an 8-seed after dispatching K-State last night. Baylor is still clinging to life as an 11-seed after their quarterfinal exit to the cellar-dwelling Buffaloes. A&M fans will be delighted to notice that their opponent in Lunardi’s projected 8/9 game is lovable Coach Billy Gillispie and his Kentucky Wildcats. Guess they’d better beat Kansas and play up to a higher seed, eh?

An email hit my inbox this morning from Baylor, where they are planning a Selection Sunday watch party at the Ferrell Center. CBS television crews are expected to be in the house to get the reactions of the Bears after they earn their first NCAA bid in 20 years. Of course, if they fail to make the field of 65, that could be some of the most depressing television since Emily’s Reasons Why Not.

Happen to miss the insane final five seconds of the Indiana/Minnesota game last night? Well, it’s not just you, because the game was on the Big 10 Network, one of the worst inventions in the history of mankind. But thanks to YouTube, you can check out the highlights right now.

Posted by Ryan Clark at 6:01PM

ESPN.com is now reporting that IU officials have told Andy Katz they will pay Kelvin Sampson $750,000 to resign. A key part of the deal is the caveat that Sampson may not sue the school as Jim O’Brien did when fired by Ohio State in a similar situation.

This could make things very interesting for tomorrow night’s game against Northwestern, as the Associated Press reported earlier today that some Hoosiers skipped practice and are threatening to walk out if Sampson is canned, including star D.J. White. The senior didn’t confirm the rumor when asked about it by Indianapolis station WTRH, but admitted “I will not say it’s not true.”

This storyline appears to still have more mileage left on it, even with the departure of Kelvin Sampson and tag-along Kellen. Would the Hoosiers honestly pull a St. Bonaventure’s and scuttle their entire season? IU certainly has more to play for than the Bonnies did, and a move like this could hamper the future prospects of White and others. With only 25 hours until the road game with Northwestern, Sampson’s smelly legacy could soon hit the fan.

Posted by Ryan Clark at 9:00AM

Rumors and Rants gives us hilarious photography from C-USA and a Seek-N-Find puzzle, too. While we’re on the topic, is anyone actually surprised by the fact that Memphis was the team involved in this melee? I know Miami is considered “Thug U,” but there’s got to be a similar moniker for these clowns. Even Pat Forde realizes Calipari is running a halfway house, listing all of the brushes with the law these fine young citizens have had. (Minutes 19 through 25 for those of you who don’t want to read the whole article.) I get all warm and fuzzy inside when I remember that the Longhorns are the last team to beat these punks in FedEx Forum, although Tennessee could steal that distinction this weekend.

Another day, another article about Kelvin Sampson being a cheater. Forde now claims that IU will suspend and then fire my BFF Kelvin, which really doesn’t seem to be the appropriate punishment. I’m thinking something along the lines of sharks with laser beams attached to their heads.

March Madness All Season takes some time to talk about the sudden love-fest for Texas as a 1-seed. While the Horns certainly have a great profile to-date, I agree completely with his analysis of the road ahead, and would like to point out that if Kirk Bohls makes an argument, it’s usually safe to take the opposing viewpoint. Many of the pundits are saying that the winner of a hypothetical Big 12 tournament title game between Kansas and Texas could claim a 1-seed, but the committee has made it painfully clear in past years that they don’t pay any attention to what the Big 12 is doing on Sunday. And, as Peter Bean at Burnt Orange Nation reminded us yesterday, the Houston regional is infinitely more important than a 1-seed.

Texas is still a 2-seed according to Stewart Mandell at SI.com, although he’s still got them slated to play Belmont. We here at LRT love the Bruins, as we wrote a feature on their head coach which will be running during Championship Week. So, here’s to hoping that the committee isn’t as cruel as old Stewie and Texas can draw the champs of the Ivy or NEC on Selection Sunday.

Posted by Ryan Clark at 9:00AM

Thursday’s new ESPN Power Rankings saw the Horns moving up the ladder after the impressive win over Kansas on Monday. Texas rose from 12th to 8th, with three of the twelve voters slotting the Horns at their high-water mark of 7th. The ballot most worthy of an eyebrow-raise came from Dick Vitale, who still has the Indiana Hoosiers sitting at 12th, one spot ahead of Texas. These being the same Hoosiers who are 0-4 vs. the RPI Top 20 while Texas is 3-2 against the same pool and holds a victory over St. Mary’s, who is currently 21st in the RPI. I know you just had surgery, Dicky V, but lay off the drugs.

Luke Winn’s power rankings aren’t out yet for this week, but he did promise in last week’s edition that Texas would leap from the pool of the “just unranked” into the top ten with a win over the Jayhawks. And if he’s impressed with the Texas defense, you know things are looking good for the Horns.

While things are certainly getting dicey in Bloomington for Coach Sampson and the Hoosiers, they’ve still got a tough stretch of Big 10 play coming up. So while President Michael McRobbie orders a new investigation, IU has to look ahead to a pair of home tests against Michigan State and Purdue on Saturday and Tuesday. And lest we forget the stat I just mentioned two paragraphs back, the Hoosiers have plumped up on a cupcake schedule all season and have yet to beat a quality opponent. Now, with their backs against the wall both on and off the court, this could be the time for them to man up and prove that they are a legitimate team.

And while FSU was busy with some self-policing of its own, Seminole forward Ryan Reid was throwing Wake Forest players to the court. Some may call it a punch or a forearm shiver, but no matter how you slice it, the refs decided it was flagrant. Check it out below, and then you can forget about these two teams again until football season.