Jeff Eisenberg

Breakfast buffet: Saint Mary's seeks to remove all doubt

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Pull up a chair and sit down at the breakfast buffet, a daily assortment of all the freshest newsworthy college hoops stories on the net. To make a submission, contact me via email or twitter.

• When Gonzaga trounced Saint Mary's in the title game of the West Coast Conference tournament a year ago, the Gaels became one of the last teams left out of the NCAA tournament. Saint Mary's again brings a 25-5 record and at-large aspirations into Monday night's WCC final against the Zags, but this time the Gaels hope to avoid leaving their fate in the selection committee's hands. "There's a lot of ifs and buts with the bubble watch, but there's only one fact," senior Omar Samhan said. "If you win tomorrow, you're in."

• North Carolina may have endured a humbling beatdown at Duke on Saturday, but Tar Heels fans appear to have found a target for their revenge. "Someone hit my hoe last night, and didn't even leave a note!! (Hoe meaning Tahoe)," Duke guard Nolan Smith tweeted on Sunday morning. "Police just got here (who is a duke fan thank god).. He said yea probably a UNC fan mad at me! Lol I'm sorry!"

• Stop me if you've heard this one before: Two bubble teams who really needed marquee wins lost on Sunday yet didn't fall out of the at-large picture yet. Florida turned in a pretty credible performance before succumbing to Kentucky at Rupp Arena, while Illinois mailed in a home loss to Wisconsin and now probably needs to beat the Badgers in the Big Ten quarterfinals to revive its at-large hopes.

• Star guard Trevon Hughes gave Wisconsin fans a scare when he tweaked his right ankle late in the game, but he returned for the final 2:46 and seems to be in no jeopardy of sitting out any future games. Meanwhile, even better news for the Badgers was that big man Jon Leuer continues to show signs of returning to form after missing more than a month with a wrist injury, following up an 18-point performance against Iowa with 20 against the Illini.

• Railing about college coaches being overpaid is about as original as complaining that NBA stars make too much money, but the Wall Street Journal did throw one interesting figure into its story that caught my attention. As a result of his eight-year, $32 million contract, John Calipari makes roughly 10 percent of the $35 million to $40 million in profit the Kentucky program generates each year. Not a lot of CEOs pulling down that type of percentage, eh?

• There can't be too many worse firing scenarios than the one coach Rand Chappell endured at Central Arkansas. After leading Central Arkansas through its four-year transition to Division I, Chappell got his pink slip from the school this week following a 9-21 season. Yes, Chappell's record is hardly impressive, but find me a coach who can recruit when the program is ineligible for the postseason.

• As a reward for leading its basketball program from the depths of the Big 12 to a high seed in the NCAA tournament, Kansas State awarded coach Frank Martin a new contract Sunday through the 2014-15 season that is potentially worth $9 million. That will make him the fourth highest paid coach the Big 12, behind only Kansas’ Bill Self, Texas’ Rick Barnes and Oklahoma State’s Travis Ford.

• Bill Self already told Kansas fans not to hold their breath about Cole Aldrich coming back to school for his senior year, but the big man insists it's not a done deal yet. "Not really," Aldrich said. "I'm just going and having fun. I'm going to do the same thing that Sherron [Collins] and I did at the end of the year [last year in assessing options], see where things are and kind of assess it."

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