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No. 5 Florida loses third-straight, falling at home to Loyola (IL)

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No. 5 Florida is not going to be No. 5 Florida for much longer.

On Wednesday night, the Gators lost their third-straight game and, for the second time this week, took a loss in the O-Dome. Loyola-Chicago – a good Missouri Valley team but a Missouri Valley team nonetheless – jumped on the Gators early and held onto their lead throughout, winning 65-59. Florida had a chance to tie with less than 20 seconds left, but a tip-in by Kevarrius Hayes was waved off as goaltending.

The issues plaguing Florida during these last two games are almost too obvious to write: They are not good when they cannot make shots from beyond the arc. Prior to Monday night’s 17-point home loss to Florida State, the Gators were shooting 46 percent from three while firing up 25 threes per game. In that game, Florida was 6-for-25 (24 percent) from three.

Against the Ramblers?

The Gators shot 2-for-19, or a cool 10.5 percent.

Florida has not been great defensively this season, but when you’re getting nearly 35 points a night by hitting threes, it not only mitigates that lack of stops but it gives the Gators energy. In the PK-80 – and, frankly, in the games they played prior to the event as well – Florida was must-see TV. They were getting out in transition. They were shooting rhythm threes in transition. They were brimming with confidence because of what they were doing offensively and that translated to more effort on the defensive end of the floor.

It sounds like a cliché, but I honestly do believe that has played a role in these recent lackluster defensive performances.

What we’ve learned in the last three days is that the Gators are not as good as we thought they were when they jumped out to that 17-point lead on Duke.

But I also don’t think they’re as bad as the team that just lost at home two games in a row and that will lose four straight if they can’t find a way to beat No. 17 Cincinnati on Saturday.

Mike White’s job is now to find that happy medium, find a way that they can be competitive with the best teams in the country on the nights when they don’t make 17 threes.

And if he can’t, then Florida is going to end up being one of those teams that can quite literally beat anyone on any given night and lose to anyone as well.

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.

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.”