The Morning Mix

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Hope you’re ready for a fully loaded edition of The Morning Mix. So forget about the bizzaro ending to Monday Night Football and hold all your calls for the next 45 minutes. It will be worth it.

Time to hit the links:

– ESPN released their Midnight Madness coverage information. The World Wide Leader will be heading to Baylor, Florida State, Georgetown, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Murray State, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Pittsburgh,  and Syracuse

Will an increase in academic standards cause a decrease in on-court play? Wait, are you insinuating that the best college basketball players are necessarily smart enough to get into Division-1 universities? I’m shocked.

– Washington State senior guard Reggie Moore has been dismissed from the program for a violation of team rules. Moore was suspended for a portion of last seaon due to an arrest on two marijuana charges. As Jeff Eisenberg explain, Washington State is not going to be very good next season

– Southern Illinois guard Diamond Taylor has been suspended indefinitely after being charged with driving under the influence over the weekend

– Sam Cassell Jr. was denied eligibility at Maryland earlier in the month, so the Notre Dame Prep (Mass.) star will attend Chipola Community College, a school that hast hosted a bevy of Division-I players

– Long time college coach Jim Platt has joined the staff at Saint Louis and will aide interm head coach Jim Crews. Remember, Crews was named the interim coach not too long ago after Rick Majerus had to step down do to his frequent battles with serious health issues

– Nebraska assistant coach Ronald Coleman was officially named assistant coach at Bradley yesterday

– A great-read on Jim Calhoun: The most misunderstood man in the country

– Tom Izzo is preaching leadership to his team in advance of the 2012-2013 season. Speaking of Izzo, it seems that the Spartan big-man Derrick Nix is back in the good graces of the head coach after he was arrested over the summer

– God Bless Mick Cronin. We might not agree with his statement, but god bless him for saying it

Andy Katz is rolling with Iowa this year, thinks they can be the sleeper pick out of the Big-Ten

– A nice opinionated take from David Whitley on the double standards being set  by the NCAA

– Matt Norlander is really buying NC-State over Duke and UNC

– It’s not too often that you see people writing about the Seattle Redhawks. So take this opportunity to study up on the new WCC member

– VCU gave their home court a face lift. Nothing to out of the ordinary, but a good job nonetheless

The X-factors on three title contenders

– Top-10 recruit Noah Vonleh is reclassifying from 2014 to 2013. Indiana is among the favorites for his services

– ESPN asks Florida’s Kenny Boyton five questions. Boynton thinks Tennessee, not Kentucky, will be the toughest opponents in the SEC

– Tennessee forward Jarnell stoke is a big boy. But the 6-foot-8 sophomore may not be the biggest member of his family. Have a look at his younger brother. This will end up being the funniest picture you see all week

Remember, if you find an article that is worthy of being in The Morning Mix, be sure to use the #ReadoftheDay hashtag on Twitter. 

Troy Machir is the managing editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @TroyMachir.

CBT Podcast: 2018 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Preview, Picks and Predictions

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Sam Vecenie of the Athletic and the Game Theory podcast stopped by to chat with Rob Dauster about the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament. The two went through each of the eight Sweet 16 matchups, detailing how each one of those eight games projects to play out and going over which lines — spread and over-unders — they like.

Dan Hurley will accept UConn head coaching position

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Rhode Island head coach Dan Hurley will be the next head coach at UConn, replacing the 2014 national title winner, Kevin Ollie.

Hurley will be signing a six-year deal, according to multiple reports, that could be valued as much as $18 million. Hurley picked UConn over Pitt, who had also offered him a similar amount of money.

Hurley turned the Rhode Island program around during his six-year tenure, capped off with a pair of seasons where the Rams won a game in the NCAA tournament. UConn, which is one of the best jobs but has not been one of the best teams in the AAC in recent years, should be a place where he can continue to recruit talent. Under Ollie, the Huskies have been able to get players. The issue has been the performance and development of those players once they get to campus.

The Huskies finished 14-18 this past season.

Dan Hurley is the son of New Jersey high school coaching legend Bob Hurley and the brother of former Duke guard and current Arizona State head coach Bobby Hurley.

VIDEOS: Villanova team bus stuck on icy roads trying to leave campus

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Villanova’s road to the Sweet 16 hit its roughest patch yet on Wednesday as the team attempted to leave campus for the team’s flight to Boston.

Since the Philadelphia area has been slammed with a snowstorm, the Wildcat team bus had issues leaving to get to the team’s chartered flight.

A struggle between team bus and ice ensued. The bus was delayed by 30 minutes before finally being able to leave.

Villanova continues its NCAA tournament journey on Friday when the No. 1 seed Wildcats play No. 5 seed West Virginia in Boston.

Wake Forest guard Keyshawn Woods to transfer or go pro after graduation

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Wake Forest will be down a key player next season as the school announced that guard Keyshawn Woods will either transfer or go pro after graduation.

The 6-foot-3 Woods was the team’s second-leading scorer this season as he put up 11.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. Woods shot 43 percent from the floor and 37 percent from three-point range for the 2017-18 campaign.

Also a key member of last season’s NCAA tournament team for the Demon Deacons, Woods transferred to Wake Forest after spending his first season at Charlotte.

“I appreciate the opportunity that Coach Manning gave me to be a part of this program and to graduate from this great university,” said Woods in the release. “I am proud that I was able to help the coaches change the culture of the program and build a foundation for the future.”

The loss of Woods won’t be easy for Wake Forest, but the team is scheduled to return some talented guards like Bryant Crawford and Brandon Childress next season. Incoming freshmen like Jaime Lewis and Sharone Wright Jr. are also signed to add to the perimeter depth.

David Padgett not retained as Louisville coach

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Louisville announced on Wednesday afternoon that interim head coach David Padgett would not be retained.

Padgett, who is 32 years old, stepped in and took the program over in the wake of a scandal that cost Hall of Fame head coach Rick Pitino his job.

“We all owe a great debt of gratitude to David for his leadership and poise this season,” said U of L Interim Director of Athletics Vince Tyra. “He took over during incredible circumstances, has handled himself respectfully throughout the season and I believe he has a bright future in coaching. We expect to determine a new head coach in a short period to build upon the great basketball tradition of this university.”

Pitino was fired because an FBI complaint contained an allegation that he and his staff had arranged for a $100,000 payment to be funneled to Brian Bowen from Adidas.

In his one season with the Cardinals, Padgett went 22-14 and reached the quarterfinals of the NIT.

Louisville will now conduct a search for their next head coach, and current Xavier coach Chris Mack has long been considered the favorite to take that job.