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If Dixon leaves Pitt, things could get messy

The rumor mill is churning and Pitt coach Jamie Dixon is the one being tossed about.

USC reportedly is after Dixon, who just suffered another early exit in the NCAA tournament as the Panthers' coach.

If Dixon does go, would it help Pitt?

It's a tough question to answer.

Pitt has had some good regular seasons under Dixon. They are an annual choice for the Big Dance, too.

It's when the postseason comes around that Dixon has his troubles.

It's hard to imagine that his teams haven't been able to live up to their billing at tourney time, so it would stand to reason that finding a new coach could change this.

I'm not opposed to seeing Dixon leave, but I don't think it's an easy answer.

When Ben Howland left Pitt for UCLA, people around Pittsburgh thought the Panthers would be able to get a big-name coach to fill the vacancy.

To their surprise, they couldn't. They had to promote Dixon, then an assistant.

It worked out, but it also shows how the rest of the country views the Pitt job.

It's not a plum assignment.

If Dixon goes, don't think it would be easy to woo Sean Miller, for example, back to Pitt.

In fact, with their AD, the Panthers could easily bungle a new hire.

So while Panthers' fans might stew about another early loss, don't think it would be a snap to replace Dixon.

Pitt could do better, but they easily could slip and become an afterthought in the college basketball world with the wrong hire.

It's quite a Catch-22.

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