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Tracking UCLA’s pursuit of Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes

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Buckle up.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-South Regional Practice Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

There is never — and let me emphasize the NEVER — a dull moment inside the University of Tennessee athletics department.

Late on Sunday as we all prepped for a week full of Orange and White game preparations, news broke that UCLA was coming after Rick Barnes. The 64 year old head coach has revitalized Tennessee basketball, earning a No. 2 and No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament over the past two years.

Could he now be on the way out? We’ll keep you posted below.

THE TIMELINE (Latest update will appear first)

Update: 10 pm Monday

Rick Barnes will stay with Tennessee.

Update: 7:30 pm Monday

Seth Davis reports that UCLA thought the deal was done last night. Tennessee then offered Barnes more money, as others have stated today.

Update: 7 pm Monday

The buyout — as it was with Jamie Dixon at TCU — is reportedly an issue for UCLA. Barnes’ buyout is 5 million.

Update: 3 pm Monday

Chris Low of ESPN reports that UCLA has offered Barnes 5 million per year.

Update: 1 pm Monday

Tennessee has reportedly made an offer to keep Barnes. It’s now decision time.

Update: 12:45 pm Monday

John Feinstein echoes what everyone else has reported.

Update: Noon Monday

Jimmy Hyams expects a decision soon.

Biven reports that Tennessee is working hard to keep Barnes in place.

Update: 10 am Monday

Last night, Tony Basilio reported that Barnes felt “unappreciated” after only one Tennessee staffer joined Barnes at the Final Foul for his Coach of the Year award. Today, Mike Wilson echoed that line of thinking.

One more thing to keep in mind here — the loss of key assistant Rob Lanier. Could Barnes be angling for a bigger budget to hire new assistants?

Update: 8 am Monday

WBIR reports that UCLA made Barnes a multi-year offer over the weekend.

Update: Midnight

Russell Biven says Barnes’ decision won’t come down to money. He also drops an interesting note regarding Barnes and Arkansas.

Update: 10 pm Sunday

Others confirming what Daniels reported earlier.

Evan Daniels was the first to break the news. Our initial reaction is here.

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