Minnesota fired Tubby Smith on Monday, cutting ties with the veteran coach one day after the Golden Gophers lost to Florida in the NCAA tournament.Athletics director Norwood Teague announced the decision Monday and said it was time for a “fresh set of eyes” on the program.Smith was 124-81 (.610) in six seasons at Minnesota, helping to bring the program back to respectability and ramping up expectations for a team hit hard by an academic cheating scandal.Possible replacements include Shaka Smart of VCU, former Timberwolves coach and Golden Gopher alumnus Flip Saunders, Villanova’s Jay Wright and Marquette’s Buzz Williams.Tournament a hitThe NCAA tournament’s first week earned its highest television rating in 15 years.The broadcasts on CBC, TBS, TNT and truTV averaged a 5.8 household rating and 12 share, the highest rating for the tournament’s first week since 1998. That year, the rating was 5.9 and 15 share.The networks said that’s up 27 percent from last year.NIT roundup • Providence 77, Robert Morris 68: Vincent Council scored seven of his 12 points in the closing 5:21, including a key 3-point play off his only basket of the game, pacing the host Friars (19-14). • BYU 90, Mercer 71: Brandon Davies had 26 points and 10 rebounds to lead the host Cougars (23-11). Tyler Haws added 24 points, and Matt Carlino had 18 points and nine assists for BYU, which jumped to a 28-11 lead and was never in danger.Briefly • South Alabama basketball: Butler associate head coach Matthew Graves was hired as head coach. He replaces Ronnie Arrow, who retired 10 games into the season. • Texas Wesleyan basketball: Brian Werner and Andre’a Davis were selected for the inaugural Champions of Character Award. They were recognized for sportsmanship, character and community service.