After leading the Cincinnati Bearcats to another successful season, head coach Mick Cronin will be leaving for Westwood. The UCLA Bruins signed Cronin to a six year deal worth $24 million.
Cronin has done nothing but thrive at Cincinnati in his time as head coach with a record of 296-147. The Bearcats have won the American Athletic Conference (AAC) tournament two years in a row and have made the NCAA Tournament the last nine consecutive seasons. Cronin has turned the Bearcats into a consistent national power in the regular season. Come tournament time, the consistency begins to fray. Cronin is just 6-9 in the NCAA Tournament and has made the sweet sixteen just once. In spite of that, Cincinnati is always a team other schools hate playing as they bring incredible defensive intensity from start to finish and at every position.
Out west, the Bruins have not had the same level of success or consistency in recent times. UCLA is coming off of a 17-16 season with head coach Steve Alford getting fired after just 13 games. After Murry Bartow took over as interim head coach, not much changed as the team missed the postseason for the second time in four years. That just does not fly at a traditional blue blood college basketball school like UCLA. For a school with 11 national titles, UCLA has not won it all since 1995 and has not made it to the Final Four since 2008. The Cronin hire is a good one and will try to help UCLA get back to their level of national prowess they are accustomed to.