For my money, Selection Sunday and March Madness are not the most entertaining parts of the college basketball year.
The deal-cutting, back-room world of the coaching carousel is jam packed with intrigue.
With most of the top jobs now filled, here are some winners and losers from college basketball’s annual game of coaching musical chairs:
Up: Indiana. To understand why there is so much frustration associated with Indiana Hoosiers hoops, consider: Over the past 23 seasons, IU has lost double-digit games a whopping 18 times. For a program with five NCAA championships that, on tradition, should be a peer of North Carolina, Duke, Kansas and Kentucky, that is an appallingly long stretch of mediocrity.
Never miss a local story.
So is Archie Miller the man to finally wake up the Cream and Crimson echoes? The 38-year-old did stellar work at Dayton, leading the Flyers to four NCAA Tournaments in six seasons, including a trip to the 2014 round of eight.
What has made Indiana’s long descent into basketball commonness so confounding is that IU, unlike schools such as Kentucky and Kansas, could be a top-tier national power merely by controlling recruiting in its home state.
In the last four recruiting classes, there have been 18 high school prospects from the state of Indiana ranked in the Rivals 150.
Of those 18 players, one - 2014 guard James Blackmon Jr. - picked IU.
Miller’s fate as Indiana coach lies in whether he can re-establish the IU brand with Indiana-produced high school stars.
Down: Georgetown. Hiring the greatest player in your school’s history is a certain way to “win” an introductory news conference.
By all accounts, Patrick Ewing was impressive when meeting the media for the first time as Georgetown Hoyas head coach. Especially noteworthy was his talk of how much he had learned about the latest offensive concepts in basketball in his 15 years as an NBA assistant.
I, for one, will be hoping Ewing succeeds in restoring Georgetown basketball after the Hoyas slipped badly at the end of the tenure of now ex-coach John Thompson III.
However, the recent track record of NBA superstars - which the 7-foot Ewing was as a player - as college head coaches has been abysmal.
In his first two seasons, current St. John’s Coach Chris Mullin is 22-43, though his 14-19 this past year did improve on a disastrous 8-24 debut in 2015-16.
So if Ewing succeeds at Georgetown, he will do so against the prevailing “NBA superstar player” trend.
Up: Missouri. You get mixed reviews on the bench-coaching acumen of Cuonzo Martin. No one can question the ability of the new Missouri head man as a recruiter, however.
Martin signed ballyhooed recruits Ivan Rabb and Jaylen Brown two years ago at California. Since being tabbed to replace Kim Anderson at Mizzou, Martin has already lured the 2017 class’s top prospect, Michael Porter Jr. - by hiring his father, Michael Porter Sr., as an assistant.
On top of that, Martin has also secured a commitment from 4-star North Carolina point guard Blake Harris and retained the allegiance of 4-star Texas guard C.J. Roberts, who had signed early with Mizzou’s previous coaching staff.
Martin, the former Tennessee head man, is getting talent. My guess is he will coach that talent well enough to at last make Missouri matter in the SEC.
Down: Oklahoma State. Local fans may remember Mike Boynton Jr. from the 11 games he played against the Kentucky Wildcats as a South Carolina guard from 2000-04.
Now 35, Boynton was the surprise choice to replace Brad Underwood as Oklahoma State head coach when the latter bolted for Illinois after only one season in Stillwater.
You never know, Boynton could turn out to be terrific for the Cowboys. However, on the front end, turning over the head coaching seat once held by Henry Iba and Eddie Sutton to a first-time head man seems like quite a reach for a Big 12 school with considerable hoops tradition.