Middle Tennessee State went to Knoxville on Monday night and beat Tennessee -- remember the Vols, the second seed in the SEC Tournament? -- 71-64 in a second-round NIT game.
MTSU head coach Kermit Davis Jr. is a former Mississippi State player (1978-82) whose father is a former Bulldogs head coach (1971-77) who also coached at Tupelo High School.
Now I have a bit of a conflict of interest here, as I went to Middle Tennessee, but you'd have to think he's a guy who would get a look from the folks trying to fill that coaching vacancy in Starkville.
The Blue Raiders are 27-6 this season and a win away - at home against Minnesota on Wednesday night - from a trip to the NIT Final Four. They went 14-2 to win the regular-season Sun Belt title but unraveled late in a loss to Arkansas State to open play in the Sun Belt tournament and failed to make the NCAA field.
(That helped open the door for Western Kentucky, with a losing record, to make the NCAA field.)
Davis is 2-1 in games against the SEC this season, beating Ole Miss 68-56 on Dec. 21 in Southaven and losing 84-77 at Vandy on Jan. 2. Including that Vandy loss and splits with Belmont and WKU, the Blue Raiders were 2-3 against NCAA tourney teams.
He does have a bit of awkward history on his resume, however: A single season (1990-91) in which he went 8-21 at Texas A&M and was force to resign in the face of a school investigation into recruiting violations.
But that was 20 years ago and, as far as I can tell, there have been no such questions about his tenure since 2002 in Murfreesboro.
It may be that Davis, not unlike his former colleague Larry Eustachy - Davis was an assistant on Eustachy's Utah State staff in 1995-96 - this will limit the opportunities he has to get another shot to coach at the very highest level. But if the Blue Raiders keep winning, the name of Kermit Davis will llikely continue to stay in the MSU conversation.