Northwestern's coaching search went better than UCLA's and Minnesota's. What?

USA TODAY Sports

Things never go right for Northwestern basketball, except in this coaching search. APRIL FOOLS, right?

Hahahaha, they're never gonna believe that, but whatever: So Northwestern, UCLA, and Minnesota all fired their coaches in the same week-and-a-half span, and Northwestern's coaching search was the easiest and best received of the three.

Does that indicate Northwestern will be more successful than UCLA or Minnesota? No, of course not. In fact, both those teams had more success this year than Northwestern has had in the history of its program. And there's obviously a large possibility their coach - or as-of-yet unselected coach, in Minnesota's case - turns out to be better at his job than Chris Collins, who is unproven as a head coach.

But all three teams made a decision to change something about their program, and Northwestern was the only one that seemed to approach the situation realistically - and the only one that hasn't been panned by its fanbase. Which is a pleasant surprise - things don't normally, you know, work out for Northwestern basketball, especially not in comparison to UCLA.

(I would take a look at the coaching hires at Texas Tech and USC, the other two major conference teams who axed their coaches, but both of those have been longer brewing and haven't been decisively negative or positive - and both previous coaches deserved to be fired several times over.)

Let's take a look at how each did:

Northwestern

Fired Bill Carmody, which was expected, though not unanimously approved

Pretty immediately chose a front-runner

Hired him

Everybody is happy

UCLA

Fired Ben Howland, which was pretty much well received since everybody had turned on him and signalled a "defining moment for Bruin basketball"

Speculated about Shaka Smart

Most likely turned down by Shaka Smart

Speculated about Brad Stevens

Almost definitely turned down by Brad Stevens

Hired Steve Alford

Were, like, sort of ragged on by a whole bunch of people

Bruins Nation called coaching search "bungled"

Bruins Nation criticized AD's press conference justifying the hiring

Everybody is perplexed.

Minnesota

Fired Tubby Smith, with some outraged and some supportive

Shaka Smart immediately becomes top candidate

Same story as UCLA

Josh Pastner, Chris Collins immediately ruled out

Flip Saunders considered prime candidate

Saunders turns down Minnesota

Jim Molinari reportedly being considered

Gophers blog urges reason amongst fans, columnists

Gophers blog metaphorically compares the Minnesota coaching search to the events of the film The Dark Knight and the War on Terror

And we still don't have a coach here, so who knows how fans will react to whoever is eventually hired.

Like I said, this all means nothing. But still, weird to see, right? NU fans should continue to be pretty pleased - and some combination of surprised and impressed - with the smoothness of how things went, compared to how other schools dealt with the same issue.

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