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COLLEGE BASKETBALL BOLD PREDICTIONS: What craziness should you expect this season?

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College basketball starts tomorrow. 

Preview season is now officially over.

And that can only mean one thing: IT’S TIME FOR SOME BOLD PREDICTIONS.

We’re not guaranteeing that these things will happen, and we certainly don’t expect all of these predictions to hit.

But with a little bit of logic, a little bit of deductive reasoning and a little bit of gambler’s luck, we think that all of these predictions have a real chance of proving true.

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A player or coach will be arrested at a team facility or game this year.

The FBI’s investigation into corruption isn’t slowing time. It’s probably safe to assume it’s sprawling as they gather more evidence and potentially get more cooperation. That means more people will come under scrutiny or be sought out for information. The federal government knows this is high-profile, and it knows it can generate headlines – and strike fear into potential targets – if it tracks down a person or people of interest in a high-profile situation. Plus, it’s a spot where the feds will know exactly where a person will be. All they have to do is look at a schedule. – Travis Hines

The SEC gets two teams in the Final Four.

I’ll roll the dice on this league and take Kentucky and Florida to carry the conference banner in San Antonio. Right now I’ll lean towards Kentucky and Florida due to their track record over the last decade or so, but Texas A&M making a run wouldn’t be a surprise either. In order to do that they need J.J. Caldwell to be ready to run the show; point guard play was a major issue for the Aggies last season. Alabama and Auburn are wild cards right now due to off-court issues (and the injury of Braxton Key for Bama), but maybe a team like Vanderbilt or Arkansas can make some noise as well. – Raphielle Johnson

Miami will win the ACC.

I’ve been all-in on Miami all offseason long. I love their trio of athletic guards – Ja’Quan Newton, Bruce Brown and Lonnie Walker – and I fully expect big man Dewan Huell to take a step forward and get himself into the all-ACC conversation. Throw in a head coach in Jim Larrañaga, who has proved that he can lead veteran teams with dynamic back court players to titles, and you’re looking at the nation’s single-most underrated team.

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Mike Daum will be an All-American despite playing at South Dakota State.

Daum’s numbers were already ridiculous last season as a redshirt sophomore. This season, Daum gets more national showcase games with road contests at Kansas, Ole Miss, Wichita State and Colorado. If Daum puts up eye-popping numbers against those teams after the year he had last season, don’t be surprised to hear his name in the All-American mix. – Scott Phillips

The Kansas Big 12 title run ends.

Kansas is the best and most talented team in the Big 12, but the Jayhawks’ roster construction is going to be difficult to manage and they’re going to be replacing an all-program player in Frank Mason. Given that West Virginia, TCU and Texas all look like potential threats for that top spot, plus the fact that the middle of the league (and to a lesser extent the bottom) will be as strong as any year, there are enough obstacles in the way – and enough teams of taking advantage of any missteps – that Bill Self’s 13-year run of owning the Big 12 comes to an end. – TH

And the Villanova Big East title run ends.

The Wildcats certainly have the talent on their roster this season to make a run at a fifth-straight Big East title, but there is quite a bit more quality in the conference than there has been in past seasons. Xavier has arguably the best player in the conference in Trevon Bluiett, and there is enough talent – and coaching – on that roster to unseat Villanova. Seton Hall has a potential first-team all-american in the middle in Angel Delgado, and the amount of veterans that they have playing this season is precisely the kind of ‘old’ college teams aspire to be. And Providence? Well, if you listened to the Big East preview podcast, you’d know that there is a real chance the Friars can make a run at winning the league as well. I don’t know who is going to get it done, but it’s going to get done. – RD

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Minnesota reaches the Elite Eight. At least.

Hey, you said be bold so I’ll get my Canelo Alvarez on and “be bolder” with this one. The loss of Eric Curry to a knee injury hurts, especially if Reggie Lynch continues to struggle with foul trouble. But if he can clean that up Richard Pitino has a team capable of making a run in the Big Ten and nationally. And the opportunity to watch a perimeter that includes Nate Mason, Amir Coffey, Dupree McBrayer and Isaiah Washington…I’m in. – RJ

Miles Bridges does not win national Player of the Year.

I wouldn’t say the preseason choices have been “group think,” but the race for that award may be more competitive than many seem to think. Michael Porter Jr., Marvin Bagley III, Jalen Brunson and Angel Delgado are four of the guys I would not be shocked to see winning POY honors. But given there are so many of those awards given out, saying that someone other than Bridges will take home at least one trophy may not be that bold after all. – RJ

The Pac-12 have less than four NCAA tournament teams.

The league will be a major disappointment this season. The league isn’t very deep and the top teams are facing FBI investigations and issues with Chinese police. With so much uncertainty on and off the court, it could be a chaotic year on the West Coast. – SP

Michigan State will make it until at least February without suffering a loss

I love this Michigan State team. They’re experienced, talented and very well-rounded. They’re going to do awesome things this year. There are two potential potholes in their non-conference slate, but one is on a neutral floor against a team with quite a few new pieces (Duke) and the other will be at the friendly confines of the Breslin Center (Notre Dame).The toughest conference games before the end of January are two against Maryland and a home tilts against Wisconsin and Michigan. Get through all that, and we’re talking about the potential of an undefeated national champion in the year’s second month. – TH

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.

Kansas State’s injured star hoping to play Thursday

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One of the most surprising parts about Kansas State’s run to the Sweet 16 is that they have done it without the services of their leading scorer, Dean Wade.

Wade injured his foot prior to the Big 12 tournament loss to Kansas. He did not play in that game or in either of Kansas State’s first two tournament games, but it is looking more and more like he’ll be on the floor on Thursday night when they play Kentucky.

“I don’t play percentages very well, but I’m feeling good,” Wade said, via SEC Country. “I’m very positive about it. It’s getting better every day and today I felt great out there, doing a little more than usual. It felt good.”

Wade averaged 16.5 points per game, but the big question is going to be whether or not he is actually healthy when he takes the court. Just because he’s on the floor doesn’t mean he’s at 100 percent.

“Really just trying to get it out of my mind that it’s not hurt,” Wade said. “Just more of a mental thing, just getting out there and running around. I think I got moved past that and it’s feeling better.”

Arizona’s Sean Miller: ‘I am not a candidate’ at Pitt

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With speculation mounting about who Pitt will hire to replace Kevin Stallings as their new head coach, current Arizona head coach Sean Miller released a statement saying that he is not in the running to fill the opening.

“I am not a candidate for the University of Pittsburgh men’s basketball head coaching vacancy. I wish them well in their search for a new coach,” the statement read.

Miller is a native of Pittsburgh and an alumni of the school — he’s the guy that had the assist on Jerome Lane’s famous dunk — and with the issues that are currently swirling around him and the Arizona program, there was speculation that he was looking for an escape plan.

Maybe he wasn’t.

Maybe he was and the Pitt administration decided they couldn’t risk hiring someone who had an assistant coach arrested in the FBI’s sweep of college basketball and who himself may be on wiretaps talking about who knows what. Releasing this statement would then be a way for him to save face and say he was never interested.

And then maybe there’s option No. 3: Pitt has won the Dan Hurley sweepstakes.

As it stands, both the Panthers and UConn are in the process of chasing after the Rhode Island head coach, and it’s not uncommon in coaching searches for a coach to announce that he is not a candidate for the job after the job decides they want someone else. Call it a professional courtesy.

But that’s neither here nor there.

What we do know now is that Sean Miller will not be the next head coach at Pitt.