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Is it time to show Tubby Smith the door?

It'll take a minor miracle for the basketball Gophers to make the NCAA basketball tournament this year, which has many wondering if coach Tubby Smith should be replaced.
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It'll take a minor miracle for the basketball Gophers to make the NCAA basketball tournament this year, which has many wondering if coach Tubby Smith should be replaced.

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Tubby Smith: It's 'crunch time'

Gophers basketball coach Tubby Smith knows good teams across the country "come up with the wins and big plays" this time of year that are needed to earn a trip to the NCAA tournament. Smith also says he doesn't like being under .500 in the Big Ten -- something he hopes to change Thursday night against Wisconsin.

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As he heads into the NIT tournament with a game against LaSalle, Gophers basketball coach Tubby Smith, 61, tells the Pioneer Press he has no plans to retire.

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Gophers athletics director Joel Maturi says negotiations will not take place for the University of Minnesota basketball coach until after the season. Tubby Smith also told the Pioneer Press that he has other things on his mind right now. Smith is coaching his fifth season of his original seven-year deal. The Gophers are 12-6, 2-4 in the Big Ten.

Teague confident Tubby Smith will sign a contract extension 'very soon'

Norwood Teague, the soon-to-be Gophers' athletic director, is confident head basketball coach Tubby Smith will sign a contract extension in the near future. “It’s not done yet but hopefully it’s something that will be done very soon," Teague said.

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NIT chairman C.M. Newton says Tubby Smith won't lead the Gophers to an NCAA championship without a new practice facility. Newton was Kentucky's athletic director when Smith led the Wildcats to an NCAA title in 1998. Minnesota's athletic director Joel Maturi says "there's no question" the Gophers basketball team needs its own practice facility, and they "need to find a way to get it."

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The University of Minnesota is giving Tubby Smith plenty of incentives to win. Smith's new three-year contract extension was signed this week and made available on Friday. Details of the new deal shows the Gophers basketball coach will make $50-thousand dollars more each year. The U of M has also agreed to pay Smith $2.5 million if he’s fired before the end of the 2016-17 season.