Pulse: Should Tubby have left Kentucky?

Welcome to The Pulse, the place to find out what the sports world is thinking. Every day on ESPN.com, SportsNation registers its opinion on a wide range of topics by casting votes and offering opinions. We'll collect the daily highlights and create a running file throughout the week to measure The Pulse of SportsNation on a wide variety of issues. Check this page every day for an update of what the 'Nation is saying.

Friday's Big Question

1. Should Tubby Smith have left Kentucky?

Tubby Smith will try to take his winning ways to Minnesota.Tubby Smith and the University of Kentucky have parted ways.

The coach was introduced today as the new head of the Minnesota Golden Gophers basketball team. Smith was 263-83 and won a national title in 1998, but had shown less in the way of results as of late. The Wildcats had not been back to the Final Four since Smith's first season.

SportsNation generall thought that Kentucky was unfair to Smith.

Should Tubby Smith have left Kentucky for the Minnesota job?
73% Yes
27% No

Do you think Kentucky would have fired Smith this offseason if he hadn't left for Minnesota?
66% No
34% Yes

What is your opinion of Tubby Smith's tenure at Kentucky?
61% He was successful, with a national title and three Elite Eight appearances, but didn't get the credit he deserved
39% Disappointing, because he failed to reach the Final Four in any of his final nine seasons or land many blue-chip recruits

Were fans' expectations of Tubby Smith at Kentucky unfair?
58% Yes
42% No

Which of the following was a tougher task for Smith at Kentucky?
58% Completely winning over the rabid fans of the Wildcats
42% Escaping the shadow of the man he replaced, Rick Pitino

Is Tubby Smith the best possible hire for Minnesota?
88% Yes
12% No

Which is the biggest positive Smith brings to the Minnesota program?
43% Great character, integrity and universal respect across the sport
41% Consistency -- a .727 career win pct. in 16 seasons as head coach at three schools (Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky)
10% Tournament experience -- 14 straight NCAA tournament appearances, advancing past the first round each time
6% A national championship and three other trips to the Elite Eight

When will Minnesota reach the NCAA Tournament under Smith?
51% 2009
24% 2010 or later
20% 2008
5% The Golden Gophers won't make the NCAAs under Smith's leadership

Will Smith take Minnesota to the Final Four during his time at the school?
62% No
38% Yes

Thursday's Big Question

1. How would you rank the Sweet Sixteen?

Billy Donovan and the Gators are SportsNation's top pick.With a new slate of games starting today, it's time to rank the remaining teams.

At this point, it seems like everyone has a chance; after all, you don't luck into the Sweet Sixteen. However, there's certainly a difference between making it by crushing your opponents and making it on a last-second shot.

SportsNation generally stuck with the No. 1 seeds, with a notable exception.

How would you rank the Sweet Sixteen?
1. Florida Gators
2. Kansas Jayhawks
3. UNC Tar Heels
4. Georgetown Hoyas
5. Ohio State Buckeyes
6. UCLA Bruins
7. Texas A&M Aggies
8. Memphis Tigers
9. Oregon Ducks
10. USC Trojans
11. Tennessee Volunteers
12. Pittsburgh Panthers
13. UNLV Running Rebels
14. SIU Salukis
15. Vanderbilt Commodores
16. Butler Bulldogs

From Gene Wojciechowski's Sweet Sixteen Ranker
Florida Gators
Kansas Jayhawks
UNC Tar Heels
Georgetown Hoyas

Ohio State Buckeyes
UCLA Bruins
Pittsburgh Panthers
UNLV Running Rebels

Texas A&M Aggies
Memphis Tigers
Oregon Ducks
Vanderbilt Commodores

USC Trojans
Tennessee Volunteers
SIU Salukis
Butler Bulldogs

Wednesday's Big Question

1. Who makes your Elite Eight?

SportsNation sees Noah and the Gators in the next round.The Sweet Sixteen teams will be narrowed down yet again.

With few early upsets, the Sweet Sixteen seem fairly evenly-ranked, with the lowest seed being UNLV, facing up against Oregon. The 1-seeds are still going strong, with only Ohio State facing a true early-round challenge.

SportsNation picked exactly zero upsets in determining which teams would advance to the Elite Eight.

(1) Florida vs. (5) Butler
90% Florida
10% Butler

(3) Oregon vs. (7) UNLV
63% Oregon
37% UNLV

(1) Kansas vs. (4) Southern Illinois
87% Kansas
13% Southern Illinois

(3) Pittsburgh vs. (2) UCLA
70% UCLA
30% Pittsburgh

(1) North Carolina vs. (5) USC
78% North Carolina
22% USC

(6) Vanderbilt vs. (2) Georgetown
82% Georgetown
18% Vanderbilt

(1) Ohio State vs. (5) Tennessee
60% Ohio State
40% Tennessee

(3) Texas A&M vs. (2) Memphis
67% Texas A&M
33% Memphis

Tuesday's Big Question

1. Who should be taken No. 1 in the NBA draft?

Fans want Durant, but Oden is still in the tournament.The worst teams in the NBA do have one--or two--things to look forward to.

The first is a 6'9" guard who can score at will and grabs rebounds away from everyone. The second is a 7-foot center who swats shots out of the air like a Patriot missile. Both Kevin Durant and Greg Oden figure to be impact players in the NBA, but which one should be taken first? Make the right choice, and you could have the next Michael Jordan; but the wrong choice could net you Sam Bowie.

SportsNation's choice has wavered back and forth, but is strongly tilted toward Durant despite an early NCAA Tournament exit.

If both elected to enter this year's NBA draft, who should go first?
57% Kevin Durant
43% Greg Oden

From Marc Stein's Tuesday chat:
How do you know that I'm better than Durant if you haven't watched either of us play?
"Greg Oden"
Ohio State

For starters, I never said Oden was "better." I've merely said that an overwhelming majority of GMs would take Oden over Durant if they had the opportunity and that read comes from talking to teams. Don't need to watch Ohio State and/or Texas games to make such determinations.
Marc Stein

From Andy Katz' Monday chat:
Let the heavy speculation begin. Now that Texas is done, and the Celtics were caught contacting Durant's family, is he 1-and-Done?

I'd be shocked if he returned, regardless of the Celtics' contact.
Andy Katz

From Mark Schlabach's Monday chat:
What are you hearing on the chances of Greg Oden leaving early?
Columbus, OH

I'd be stunned if Durant and Oden both didn't leave.
Mark Schlabach

Monday's Big Question

1. What do you think of the Sweet Sixteen?

Tyler Hansbrough has been one of SportsNation's Madness MVPs.65 teams have been narrowed down to 16, and in the process, much about this year's March Madness has been revealed.

For one, the vaunted spate of upsets that would sweep the tournament turned out to be a whole lot of nothing. Asking who would be this year's George Mason was ultimately futile; no one was this year's George Mason. On the positive side, several high seeds had to struggle against tough and scrappy underdogs.

SportsNation's opinion of Ohio State dropped after a less-than-stellar performance.

Which team will win the East Regional?
52% Georgetown
37% North Carolina
6% Vanderbilt
5% USC

Which team will win the Midwest Regional?
71% Florida
16% Oregon
8% Butler

Which team will win the South Regional?
44% Texas A&M
28% Ohio State
17% Memphis
11% Tennessee

Which team will win the West Regional?
59% Kansas
26% UCLA
9% Southern Illinois
6% Pittsburgh

What was the biggest surprise of the first two rounds?
36% No. 1 Ohio State needs OT to down No. 9 Xavier
22% No. 7 UNLV over No. 2 Wisconsin
21% No. 11 VCU over No. 6 Duke
10% Tennessee, Kansas and Florida all score over 100 in first round games
5% No. 3 Pittsburgh needs OT to down No. 11 Virginia Commonwealth
5% No. 11 Winthrop over No. 6 Notre Dame

Which No. 1 seed is most likely to lose before the Final Four?
48% Ohio State
33% North Carolina
11% Kansas
8% Florida

Who has been the most outstanding player of the first two rounds?
15% Dominique Kirk - Texas A&M
13% Tyler Hansbrough - UNC
8% Acie Law -Texas A&M
7% Derrick Byars - Vanderbilt
6% Chris Douglas-Roberts - Memphis
5% Chris Lofton - Tennessee
5% Aaron Brooks - Oregon
5% Brandon Rush - Kansas
4% Ron Lewis - Ohio State
4% Mike Conley - Ohio State
4% Mario Chalmers - Kansas
4% Roy Hibbert - Georgetown
3% Wendell White - UNLV
2% Nick Young - USC
2% Al Horford - Florida
2% A.J. Graves - Butler
2% Jamaal Tatum - Southern Illinois
2% Darren Collison - UCLA
2% Corey Brewer - Florida
1% Greg Oden - Ohio State
1% Aaron Gray - Pittsburgh
1% Joakim Noah - Florida
1% Ty Lawson - UNC

Which Cinderella is most likely to reach the Final Four?
31% (5) USC
25% (5) Tennessee
18% (7) UNLV
14% (5) Butler
12% (6) Vanderbilt

How many of your Final Four teams remain?
69% 4
20% 3
9% 2
1% 1
1% 0

Which team will win the NCAA Tournament?
18% Texas A+M
15% Kansas
13% Florida
11% North Carolina
8% Georgetown

8% Ohio State
7% Memphis
4% Vanderbilt
3% Oregon
2% Pittsburgh
2% Tennessee
1% South Illinois
1% Butler
1% USC