Here at Cinderella's Castle, everyone wanted to know how a Sweet 16 appearance might boost the three mid-major programs still alive Saturday. One ? either 12th-seeded Western Kentucky or 13th-seeded San Diego ? is guaranteed to make the Sweet 16 in the West Region. Siena, No. 13 in the Midwest, also could crash the party by beating No. 12 Villanova.
But when a mid-major team makes a Sweet 16, there's always an elephant in the room, and he's usually holding a resume.
The coaches of those lovable, cuddly underdogs will find themselves courted by the power-conference brethren of the very Goliaths they vanquished to reach the NCAA tournament's third round. If Siena's
McCaffery's current players heard rumblings a week ago when Providence fired
"The process doesn't change," McCaffery said. "What you do is you evaluate, and you make a decision. I can assure you I could not be happier at Siena ? with my team, my boss, the community, the good living. So, I don't know that money would be a deciding factor."
And what about San Diego coach
There are jobs. South Carolina is open. So is LSU, but Virginia Commonwealth coach
So how do the coaches avoid thinking about the fact that a potentially life-changing payday could ride on the outcome of Sunday's games? Easy, they said. If they think about their next job, they'll lose. If they focus on their current job, they might advance professionally and get rich in the process. Horn said he learned that from his former boss, Marquette coach
"His whole deal was, 'Take care of your job. Take care of your people. Take care of your players,'" Horn said. "And anything you want for yourself will take care of itself. ... I would be doing that if I was selling insurance."
Siena's Rossiter said he accepts the reality that the better the Saints play, the more attractive McCaffery becomes to bigger schools. Rossiter should understand. His father,
"It would hurt a little bit if he left," Rossiter said. "But he's got to do what's best for his career. It's his call."
McCaffery, who spent 11 years as an assistant at Notre Dame and who called leaving UNC-Greensboro for Siena in 2005 a "no-brainer," said he doesn't necessarily believe bigger is better. Still, if the Saints win Sunday, McCaffery may find himself testing that theory.
"When you find a place that you can call home, you have to be real careful running somewhere because they'll pay you a dollar more," he said. "For me, it will never be about that."