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Open thread: Final Four day!

An open thread while we listen to many rumors about the St. John’s basketball program.

NCAA Men’s Final Four - Previews Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Live from home and watching Minneapolis, let’s get into what should be an excellent Final Four. But aren’t they all? The mediocre teams have gone home, some of the best teams have fallen short, and what remain are the teams that are both very good and locked in.

This group might be the most locked-in we have seen in a while.

Virginia, on a mission to wipe the memory of The Thing That Happened Last Season (the first #1 seed to be defeated by a #16 seed).

Auburn, a team & coach that has battled through NCAA and federal investigations to reach the Final Four with a fun and aggressive style.

Michigan State, the longtime stalwart flexing its muscles.

Texas Tech, a 40-minute defensive clinic on the court with toughness to spare.

While we wait, of course, we can discuss the rumors bouncing around. Point guard Cam Mack, an athletic and talented JUCO player, has asked for his release from the program. Claiming uncertainty, Mack will take a look at other schools; but his relationship with departed assistant coach Matt Abdelmassih is likely what connected him to St. John’s.

(This is not entirely uncommon with recruits; this is also why a strong relationship between the rest of the staff and a recruited player is important.)

On Twitter — and now reaching Yankee media figure Michael Kay — is the idea that Chris Mullin may not be the coach of St. John’s next year. This rumor has existed in various forms for months; AD Mike Cragg has stated that Chris Mullin is the coach next season.

So until there are some corroborated accounts of something happening outside of burner accounts, let’s all take a breath, even when someone has a convincing story of internal intrigue and buyouts.

Even though we all want to be FIRST.

Tonight’s games (Eastern Time)

No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 5 Auburn

6:09 p.m. CBS | Stream

No. 2 Michigan State vs. No. 3 Texas Tech

8:49 p.m., CBS | Stream