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Coaching Search Bracket: Help us find a new leader for Mizzou hoops

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What better way to hire a basketball coach than with a fitting March tradition?

Syndication: Columbia Daily Tribune Don Shrubshell/Tribune / USA TODAY NETWORK

It’s a ritual of any coaching search: assemble a list of possible replacements.

You have one. I have one. Sam Snelling has one. Every outlet that writes, podcasts, or broadcasts assembles a list. Some are good. Some are bad. Many are terrible.

There’s another commodity fans love, especially this time of year: brackets.

Millions fill one out. Some spend hours doing it. Maybe you win bragging rights in your office. Or a family pool. Perhaps you wind up overextended on a betting app. Regardless, we know what the masses crave.

So, we decided that we’d fuse both and give our readership a chance to play the role of a search firm to find a replacement for Cuonzo Martin. Only you don’t get a couple hundred thousand dollars to shield a public university from records’ requests. And those of us on the masthead aren’t back-channeling with agents.

That didn’t stop me, Sam, and Matt Watkins from putting together a list of 15 candidates we think might fit the bill. Some are just starting their ascent. Others have a longer track record at the mid-major level. Yes, there are retreads looking for a second chance. Some high-major options, even if they’re almost impossible to lure away. And the field.

How are we doing this? Over the next four days, we’ll roll out a region featuring two matchups apiece. We’ve assembled a profile for each candidate: their background, their play style, the pros, and the cons. At the bottom of each piece is a poll, where you have 24 hours to make your preference known. The fan vote will make up 50 percent of the vote.

Who makes up the other half? The Rock M staff.

If the staff is unanimous and the fans make the same selection, easy enough. If, however, there is a consensus amongst the staff, but the fans disagree, we have a tie. To break the tie, we’ve enlisted the services of Jim Root (@2ndChancePoints), who will render the final verdict.

From there, you know what comes next. There will be a round of eight, then four, and so on.

We start with the Young Bloods Region and a matchup pitting Cleveland State’s Dennis Gates and Wyoming’s Jeff Linder. The other matchup features George Mason’s Kim English against San Francisco’s Todd Golden.

We hope you enjoy it. We hope you comment. And we hope you share.

Happy vetting!