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With the NCAA Tournament well underway, so too is the search for a new men's basketball coach at Minnesota.

One week has passed since the university fired Richard Pitino after eight seasons in which the Golden Gophers went a combined 54-96. Over the past seven days, there has been plenty of speculation on who his successor might be.

It's possible Minnesota's next coach could be just four hours away from the Twin Cities on the "Avenue of the Saints".

According to KSTP

Jacobson just completed his 14th season at UNI, where he is the school's all-time wins leader (291-174). The North Dakota native has guided the Panthers to four NCAA Tournament appearances during his tenure, including one trip to the Sweet 16.

UNI finished the 2020-21 regular season at 10-15 after being picked to win the Missouri Valley Conference. The Panthers played much of the season without league player of the year A.J. Green, who was sidelined with a hip injury after the third game.

Green is the son of UNI Associate Head Coach Kyle Green, who's name was also mentioned as a possible successor to Pitino in a story published Monday by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Green is native of Minneapolis and has strong recruiting ties in the state of Minnesota.

It's not surprising that Minnesota would be interested in hiring Jacobson, given his success at UNI and athletic director Mark Coyle's familiarity with the Cedar Valley. Coyle grew up in Waterloo, where he graduated from Columbus Catholic High School in 1987.

Sources: KTSP-TVMinneapolis Star-Tribune

Men's Basketball: UNI vs. Missouri State (Dec. 28, 2020)

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