UPDATE: Holy Crap
It's funny how, in the off-season when we're not cutting teeth on the regular, storylines seem to blend together into one big extrospective piece.
That's sort of what we're dealing with here, following the sudden retirement of Maryland's Gary Williams and sudden decision by Sean Miller to succeed him.
While he was aging, the 66 year old Williams hadn't left too many hints he was ready to exit stage left from the college basketball world. Personally, I loved Gary Williams. I loved him because I used to love Duke, and sports are more fun when those you hate the most can compete with those that you love. The Blue Devils - Terrapins match-ups from a decade ago were some of the most intriguing collection of games, always delivering with equal parts drama and future pros.
Capitalizing on the abundance of talent within an arms reach of College Park, Williams took the Maryland basketball program to the next level, reaching the Sweet 16 seven times, the Elite Eight twice, and of course one marvelous National Championship in 2002. All that helped finance and justify the building of the Comcast Center; "The House That Gary Built."
But naturally, there is bureaucracy to deal with, and Williams never quite got the support he felt he deserved from his athletic director. John Feinsten also has a hunch that Jordan Williams recent decision to go pro was "the last straw."
With ESPN Radio in Washington, D.C. reporting that Miller will indeed accept an offer to become the next head basketball coach at Maryland, questions abound as to the legitimacy of the Pac-
10 12. When Miller left Xavier for the desert two seasons ago, it could be classified as a natural progression for a rising coach. For Miller to yearn for a job back east (he's from Pittsburgh) it shows that the allure of being part of a conference that has recently expanded and finalized an important new television contract with ESPN is not nearly that big of a deal.
The media is constantly lambasted for holding an east coast bias in its coverage of all things sports. What is unfolding right now shows that bias extends into the coaching world, and that the ACC is still a basketball-first conference that is simply more attractive than working out on the left coast.