Flip Saunders declines Gophers job

ESPN analyst and former NBA coach Flip Saunders has turned down an offer from Minnesota to be the next head coach at his alma mater, a source with direct knowledge told ESPN.com's Andy Katz on Saturday.

Minnesota is searching to fill a vacancy created when Tubby Smith was fired Monday, a day after the Gophers lost to Florida in the NCAA tournament. Smith coached six seasons for Minnesota.

Saunders, coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves from 1995-2005, has also coached the Detroit Pistons (2005-08) and Washington Wizards (2009-12).

Minnesota had also targeted Virginia Commonwealth's Shaka Smart, Iowa State's Fred Hoiberg and Butler's Brad Stevens to no avail, with Smart and Hoiberg agreeing to new contracts at their current schools.