Sunday March 22nd, 2015

Former UCLA head coach Ben Howland is the favorite to take over at Mississippi State, ESPN's Jeff Goodman reports. NBC Sports' Rob Dauster reported earlier Satuday that Howland had "emerged as a serious candidate."

Mississippi State fired Rick Ray on Saturday after three losing seasons with the Bulldogs. Four-star Mississippi State commit D'Marcus Simonds tweeted that was reopening his recruitment after the news was announced. 

Howland was the head coach at UCLA for 10 years before he was fired in 2013. He led the Bruins to seven NCAA tournaments, including three straight Final Fours. 

• THAMEL: Drew family experiences the harsher side of Madness

Howland has worked as a television analyst for FOX and NBC since being fired by the Bruins. 

Mississippi States has not appeared in the NCAA tournament since 2009.

• Bradley fires coach Geno Ford after four seasons

- Dan Gartland

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