Getty Images

In early February there was curiosity within college basketball over whether there'd be more than 30 jobs that could change, due in part to lingering financial concerns from the ongoing pandemic.

Instead, this year's coaching carousel has turned into one of the noisiest of the past decade. 

Cincinnati fired John Brannen on Friday, a termination that was the worst kept secret in college basketball for weeks and something considered an inevitability in the week following the end of the season. Brannen lasted two seasons and was recently subject to an investigation into how he ran the program/treatment of his players. He also had nearly half the roster opt to transfer out this year. 

Sources told CBS Sports that Brannen and Cincinnati athletic director John Cunningham had not been on speaking terms for weeks. Brannen's ouster marks the 15th change in a Major Seven conference this season. Here's a quick seven-list set of possible candidates for the Cincinnati job ...

  • Archie Miller, former Indiana coach: He just got paid $10 million to leave Indiana. But he was really good at Dayton. Can also afford to take the year off if he wants. Would be the biggest-name hire, I'd think, but there could be a job in a better spot that comes open in a year. 
  • Nick Van Exel, scout for Mavericks: One source lobbed this name to me a few days ago when we were discussing the inevitability of UC opening. The fan base would likely love it. He's an alumnus. If he wants it, well, there probably wouldn't be a hire that would create more immediate momentum. 
  • Darren Savino, UCLA assistant: Longtime Mick Cronin assistant who just helped bring UCLA to a dream Final Four run. Cincinnati was an NCAA Tournament regular when Cronin and Savino were there. He was passed over for the job two years ago. Had he not been, UC would not be in the spot it finds itself in now. 
  • Dennis Gates, Cleveland State coach: Gates' name was connected to Penn State, Minnesota and DePaul. All those jobs filled and Gates is still the head coach at Cleveland State. Hard to see how he's not in the mix here, though. A young coach destined for a bigger job eventually, maybe this will wind up being fate. Gates inherited a disaster at CSU two years ago and got the Vikings to the NCAAs this year. It would be negligence to not give him a long look.
  • Scott Nagy, Wright State coach. Cincinnati could easily look in-state and see the coach at Wright State who's both as qualified and has more wins to his name than anyone else who should be considered for the job. The 54-year-old Nagy has a 519-289 record across his time at South Dakota State and Wright State. He's unassuming, but ideal. He also better get a call. 
  • Richie Riley, South Alabama coach: Riley is from the Cincinnati area and is 54-39 in his past three years running that program. Not a huge name, but someone who's a fixer. This situation is in need of fixing. 
  • Ritchie McKay, Liberty coach: McKay has received a bump in buzz in recent years because he's guided the Flames to three consecutive ASUN championships. He has a history in coaching at the power-conference level and might eventually get one more crack at a bigger gig. 

Brannen's firing comes two days after another noisy exit. Arizona fired Sean Miller on Wednesday. Miller was sacked after 12 years -- yet three and a half years removed from the world-rocking event that led to his firing. The FBI's investigation into college basketball, announced in September of 2017, which looped in his program due to nefarious acts by former assistant Book Richardson, landed Miller in hot water. 

Arizona stood behind Miller -- who was given one Level I coach-control charge in the NCAA's Notice of Allegations -- until it didn't. As Gary Parrish wrote this week, that was a weird way of conducting business. 

Now that Arizona is open, its candidate list includes the likes of Gonzaga assistant Tommy Lloyd, in addition to former players Damon Stoudamire, Miles Simon, Luke Walton and Mike Bibby. Interviews began Thursday and will continue Friday and Saturday. The anticipated timeline is that the new coach will be officially announced Monday. 

If that happens, Monday will be one week from another top-10 job closing, as North Carolina filled hours before Monday's national championship game when Hubert Davis was promoted from within. The 50-year-old has been on staff since 2012, and is of course a Carolina alumnus. He's also the first Black head coach in North Carolina men's basketball history. 

The other piece of news from earlier this week: Texas Tech stayed in-house to promote Mark Adams, who will replace Chris Beard. Adams is acknowledged as an elite defensive tactician. It will surely be interesting to see Texas vs. Texas Tech in the coming years. Adams has earned his shot; he was a major part of getting TTU to the national championship game in 2019. 

Here are the 55 jobs that have changed to this point. Nearly 15 hirings are still yet to be made, and at least half of them should fill by Tuesday.