The Chris Mack0era at Louisville came to an end this week as the Cardinals fired their men's head basketball coach in the midst of his fourth season with the program.
College basketball insider Seth Davis of The Athletic first reported the news on Tuesday night. Louisville's Board of Trustees and Athletics Board met earlier today to confirm the decision.
Mack's tenure with the Cardinals will come to an end after he posted 68-37 record in just over three seasons with the program. Although his stint with the school was marred with off-the-court controversy, it won't be easy to fill the 52-year-old's shoes.
However, a number of candidates have already been named as possible replacement for Mack at Louisville. Among those on the early list compiled by ESPN's Jeff Borzello are three current SEC head coaches: Auburn's Bruce Pearl, Alabama's Nate Oats, and Arkansas's Eric Musselman.
Although the three aforementioned coaches are intriguing fits for Louisville, the Cardinals will have to overcome some barriers if they want to land any of them.
Pearl is currently the head coach of the No. 1 team in the nation. He has the Tigers firing on all cylinders this season, which makes it unlikely that he would leave Auburn for another program at this point. However, Louisville's pedigree has plenty to offer a coach like Pearl, who's still looking to win his first NCAA Championship.
Oats burst onto the scene last year when he lead Alabama to an SEC regular-season championship and a 2-seed in the NCAA tournament. He's fiercely loyal to the Crimson Tide, having already shot down speculation that he would leave last offseason, and also has a massive buyout after this season that makes a departure seem unlikely.
Musselman turned Arkansas into an Elite Eight team last year and has the Razorbacks positioned for another NCAA tournament berth in 2022. He also signed a lucrative contract extension in the offseason and has two top-10 recruit coming to campus next season, so he'd need quite the offer to join the Cardinals.
Among the other candidates that Borzello thinks could be on Louisville's wish-list are UCLA's Mick Cronin, Ohio State's Christ Holtmann, Seton Hall's Kevin Willard and Cincinnati's Wes Miller.