Rothstein: Chris Mack To Louisville Just Makes Sense

It'll only be major news if Mack doesn't go to Louisville, Rothstein says

Tiki and Tierney
March 23, 2018 - 4:16 pm

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If the writing on the wall is any indication, Chris Mack has coached his final game at Xavier. The 48-year-old will meet with Louisville this weekend to discuss the Cardinals' head-coahing vacancy.

“Chris Mack has told confidants now for a couple of years that Louisville is one of the jobs he’d be willing to leave Xavier for,” CBS Sports college basketball insider Jon Rothstein said on Tiki and Tierney. “It has the resources, it’s in the ACC, and they play in an NBA arena. Another thing is Chris Mack’s wife’s family is from the Louisville area, and I am told that Louisville is likely to offer him a package that would start at $4 million annually, which would double his salary. He is clearly the frontrunner for that job. I feel like it’s only going to be major news if he doesn’t accept the job. I’d be surprised if it doesn’t (happen).”

Brandon Tierney wonders if Xavier should try to match Louisville’s offer to keep one of its own. Mack, a Cincinnati native, played for Xavier in the early 1990s and has been on staff since 2004.

“I don’t have the information yet if they could come up to $4- or $5 million,” Rothstein said. “That’s a lot of money for a Catholic school. Another thing you have to look at : Trevon Bluiett and J.P. Macura are graduating. It’s a good time to leave.”

Xavier, it is worth noting, tends to promote from within. The Musketeers promoted Sean Miller when Thad Matta left for Ohio State, and they promoted Mack when Miller left for Arizona.

“If that is going to continue, Travis Steele is the in-house name to watch for Xavier if the athletic department does not do an additional search,” Rothstein said. 

Xavier has advanced to six Sweet 16s since 2008 and three Elite Eights since 2004. It has never reached the Final Four, but it remains a respected job in college basketball. 

“It’s more of a destination job than we’ve seen in the past because it’s in the Big East,” Rothstein said.

Xavier, which was seeded No. 1 in the West, lost in the Round of 32 to No. 9 Florida State, which beat No. 4 Gonzaga, 75-60, in the Sweet 16 on Thursday. The Seminoles (23-11), who lost six of 10 entering the tournament, are one win away from their first Final Four since 1972. They play No. 3 Michigan (31-7) on Saturday at 8:49 p.m. ET.

“It made no sense,” Rothstein said of FSU’s run. “There was no logic behind Florida State rolling to the Elite Eight, but there is no logic in college basketball.”