NCAA men's notebook

Not sweet on this talk

Anderson tries to stay focused

Associated Press / March 24, 2009
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Missouri coach Mike Anderson sidestepped questions yesterday of his possible interest in going to Alabama or Georgia.

Anderson was asked during a news conference to respond to reports that he might be a candidate for coaching jobs at the two Southeastern Conference schools and to offer assurances to Missouri fans that he is staying.

His only response: "We're in the Sweet 16. We're talking about the Memphis Tigers today."

Missouri faces Memphis Thursday night in the West Regional at Glendale, Ariz.

The Birmingham (Ala.) News has reported that Anderson is one of several possible candidates to replace Mark Gottfried, the Crimson Tide coach who resigned in January.

Anderson is from Birmingham and coached four years at UAB before joining Missouri in 2006. His name also has been linked to the Georgia vacancy.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reported Sunday that Missouri's basketball success this season has earned Anderson an extra $130,000 worth of incentive payments. His base salary is $850,000.

He earned an extra $25,000 for taking the team to the NCAA Tournament and another $25,000 for winning the Big 12 Conference tournament.

The team's 83-79 second-round NCAA win over Marquette Sunday meant an additional $35,000, including $25,000 for reaching the tourney's second weekend and $10,000 for a 30-win season.

Smith staying
After taking Minnesota to the NCAA Tournament in his second year at the school, Tubby Smith says he's planning on coaching the Gophers next season, too.

Because he's at a program not among the nation's most prominent, Smith's high profile and successful past make it easy for his name to cycle through the rumor mill when there's a vacancy with another major conference team.

Recently, the resignation of Dave Leitao at Virginia prompted speculation the Cavaliers would pursue Smith, who was raised in Maryland and has family in the area.

But Smith said yesterday he's happy at Minnesota, pleased with the direction of the program, and focused on the future.

The Gophers (22-11) lost to Texas in the first round.

Big doings
There was no room for the little guy at this tournament. A year after every No. 1 seed reached the Final Four, this season, for the first time, the top three seeds in every region advanced. "The teams that are all on top have done a good job being the teams they've been all year and haven't given up anything," said Oklahoma's Blake Griffin. At No. 12, Arizona is the lowest seed left. Other than that, it's No. 5 Purdue. And once again, March Madness became a tale of two tournaments: The first weekend is for the bracket busters, then it's time for bruising matchups . . . TV ratings for the first and second round of the tourney are up 6 percent from last year. Overnight ratings show CBS earned a 5.4 rating and 12 share, up from a 5.1 rating and 12 share for the first two rounds in 2008. On Sunday, the overnight rating was up 10 percent from 2008. The final group of games, including a tight contest between top-seed Louisville and surprise Siena, earned an 8.1 overnight rating and 14 share, the highest rating for the 5-7:45 p.m. EDT slot since an 8.2 in 2006.

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