I cheered for Tennessee and Cuonzo Martin over Iowa, and over Umass, and over Mercer...even though I had Duke beating them for a spot in the Sweet Sixteen in my now shredded bracket.
But I'm a bit conflicted. I want Coach Zo to do well...but I don't want him to do so well that he then stays put at Tennessee for the rest of his coaching career. I want him to come back to Purdue.
My gestalt is, if he makes a Final Four (or maybe even an Elite Eight) at Tennessee in his third year, he's probably going to stay there, and Tennessee men's basketball will become a major force as he is able to recruit players who play defense and rebound, and who want to play for a coach who can motivate them. Heck, if Tennessee makes the Final Four this year, I will go out on a limb and say that he will get Caleb Swanigan.
So the selfish Purdue fan in me now wants him to lose a close one to Michigan.
I'm also now conflicted about the 2014-2015 Purdue season. Do I want a decent season or do I want another catastrophe so that we can get a new coach, maybe Cuonzo?
All this from a fairly loyal Painter man, but I can't help it. It pains me to watch a coach (Martin) motivate his players to be more as a team than the sum of their individual talent...and to feel like we're not doing that with the status quo at Purdue.
Probably way too early to be talking about this...sorry for my huge man-crush on Cuonzo Martin.
But by the way, he is currently getting only $1.3 million a year at UT, which ranks in the bottom 1/3 of SEC round ball coaches. Painter's yearly haul? $2.3 million, I think.