A long Arizona Wildcats NCAA tournament run would push coach Sean Miller near or over the $3 million mark in total compensation this season.
Miller has already earned $140,000 in performance incentives, including $50,000 for winning a Pac-12 regular-season championship, on top of $2.3 million
in guaranteed compensation this season. He also receives a retention bonus of $300,000 per season if he stays at UA through 2015-16.
If the Wildcats beat Weber State on Friday, Miller would receive $25,000 extra, and if they win a second game Sunday, he’d receive $50,000 more. But the big payoffs come if the Wildcats reach the Final Four: If the Wildcats get there, UA would owe Miller $175,000 more that would push his pay to $2.69 million.
If Arizona then goes on to win it all, Miller would receive a $375,000 bonus for a total payment of $3.065 million. He could also receive up to $100,000 in academic incentives.
Miller is under contract through 2017-18. He receives $1.2 million in base salary, $700,000 for peripheral duties, and $400,000 from Nike and IMG. His base pay escalates $100,000 every season until 2016-17, when it is scheduled to remain the same for his final year.
When Miller’s contract was extended to 2018 last June, UA athletic director Greg Byrne said Miller requested that his base salary not change in 2017-18.
Johnson on SI cover
Junior guard Nick Johnson is shown happily surrounded by Zona Zoo members on a regional cover of Sports Illustrated’s NCAA tournament preview issue this week.
However, if there’s an SI jinx in the making, it should be noted that SI is also featuring four other men’s teams: Michigan State, Syracuse, Florida and Wichita State. The Connecticut women also have a cover.
Silver likes Wildcats
Nate Silver’s analytically driven bracket forecasting model projects the Wildcats as the most likely team to reach the Final Four, with a 42.4 percent chance of doing so.
That’s based in part on the fact that Arizona has a big travel advantage in San Diego and, if it wins two games this weekend, Anaheim, Calif.
“In our model, travel often plays a fairly large role in determining the favorites in the NCAA tournament’s West Region,” Silver wrote. “Arizona has an especially easy travel schedule and can reach the Final Four while crossing only one state border. The Wildcats are the favorites here, although they face a potentially tough second game against Oklahoma State, which the model regards as being more talented than its regular-season record might imply.”
Silver estimates Wisconsin has a 15.6 percent chance of winning the West, Creighton 12.2, San Diego State 7.5, Oklahoma State 4.8 and the rest of the field (including Gonzaga) 17.5.
Humans apparently like Arizona, too, at least on Friday. The Wildcats opened as a 14.5-point favorite to beat Weber State, but the line was pushed to 19.5 to 20 points, according to VegasInsider.com.
Meanwhile, President Obama picked the Wildcats to make it all the way to the Final Four, then lose to Louisville in the national semifinal game.
Fogg scores 51
Former Wildcat guard Kyle Fogg threw down 51 points in a game Wednesday for his Finnish team, Lapua. According to Eurobasket.com, Fogg was 10 of 13 from two-point range, 5 of 7 on three-point attempts and 16 of 20 from the free-throw line.
That left former UA teammate Derrick Williams impressed.
“51!?” Williams posted on Twitter. “Can I get your shoes!? Wrist band?! Autograph!? Anything ! Haha good work homie.”