Marquette is delivering a mid-March shock to the system of college basketball by hiring away Shaka Smart from Texas to fill the vacancy created by the surprising firing of Steve Wojciechowski last week. CBS' Jon Rothstein was first-to-market with the major scoop.
Smart just wrapped his sixth season in Austin, which ended with disappointment as his No. 3-seeded Longhorns fell to Abilene Christian in the first round. The team made the tournament three out of five times during his tenure but largely failed to enjoy serious success, though they did just notch a Big 12 tournament crown.
Still young at 44, the energetic coach rocketed into the spotlight with VCU's Cinderella Final Four run in 2011. Marquette is, of course, proud owner of a rich tradition and in tough conference, but perhaps saddled with less pressure than the Texas job. Smart also grew up in nearby Madison so there could be a level of comfort there he wasn't able to enjoy while draped in burnt orange.
All that said, it's a surprising and sudden move and most of basketball media is waiting to hear further explanation as this, on paper, doesn't even look like a lateral move.