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CBB: Who will replace Thad Matta at Ohio State?

The Buckeyes fired their hoops coach after 13 seasons, leaving the program in the tough position of finding a qualified successor on short notice. A major sportsbook is offering odds on candidates to replace Thad Matta.
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Ohio State unexpectedly fired men's basketball coach Thad Matta on Monday, nearly three months after the season.

Ongoing health concerns were cited as the primary reason for the school parting ways with the 49-year-old Matta, who went 337-123 in 13 seasons with the Buckeyes while leading them to two Final Four appearances. They finished 17-15 and missed the postseason last year.

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Now, the school is in the precarious position of finding a coach on short notice who can restore stability to the program, prepare for a season with limited time and compete in recruiting.

Even so, a program as high-profile as Ohio State is bound to find qualified candidates who are interested despite the challenges.

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Bookmaker.eu is offering a proposition bet on the coaching search: Who will be the Ohio State Buckeyes basketball head coach for the 2017-18 regular season?

Tom Crean, +250 (bet $100 to win $250): As outside candidates go, Crean provides the perfect mix of credibility and instant availability. Indiana fired Crean at the end of the season, so there wouldn't be any contractual buyout issues. But the fan base would likely see Crean as a lateral move at best, considering he was widely viewed as an underachiever with the Hoosiers.

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Chris Mack, +325: Mack's stock has never been higher; he just led Xavier to an Elite Eight appearance. He would be the latest in a pipeline of Xavier coaches who have moved on to higher-profile programs, including Matta and Arizona coach Sean Miller.

Chris Holtmann, +500: Brad Stevens' successor at Butler is a hot name following a Sweet 16 appearance, and he is believed to be willing to jump ship if a big-conference opportunity comes his way.

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Mick Cronin, +750: Many observers see the Ohio State job as a step down for Cronin, who has spent the past several years rebuilding Cincinnati. He has a new arena and locker room, and a team projected in the Top 15.

Buzz Williams, +1,250: It seems unlikely Williams, who was tied to the Oklahoma State opening last year, would leave Virginia Tech, which he just led to an NCAA Tournament berth. He also just signed one of the top recruiting classes in the program's history.

Gregg Marshall, +2,000: Indiana failed in its quest to land Marshall, the most coveted mid-major candidate for high-profile vacancies. Marshall has a hefty contract buyout and apparent loyalty to Wichita State, where he has remained despite several overtures the past few years.  

Billy Donovan, +5,000: It's possible the Oklahoma City Thunder coach could someday return to the college game, where he seems a more natural fit. But that time isn't now, and not for the Ohio State job.

Field, -300 (bet $300 to win $100): The field -- all non-listed candidates -- is a -300 favorite. That means you'd need to bet $300 just to win $100. The field includes Warriors assistant Mike Brown, who reportedly met with Ohio State on Thursday.

Josh NagelSenior Analyst