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As Final Four Approaches, Winds Of Change Sail Through College Basketball

The Final Four Are Coming All of the attention over the weekend will be paid to Virginia, Michigan State, Texas Tech and Auburn. That quartet takes to the court...

The Final Four Are Coming

All of the attention over the weekend will be paid to Virginia, Michigan State, Texas Tech and Auburn. That quartet takes to the court in Minneapolis on Saturday in the NCAA Tournament semifinals.

That’s not to say all is quiet elsewhere on the college hoop front.

Item: Coach Buzz Williams leaves Virginia Tech for Texas A&M. In five seasons with Tech, Williams took the program to the NCAA Tournament three straight times. The Hokies had never before accomplished that.

Williams had wrought a similar feat in his previous stop at Marquette, where the team reached the tournament five times in his six seasons. Williams will become A&M’s highest-paid basketball coach – CBS Sports says its sources indicate a salary “north” of $3 million.

You think he’s escaping Duke, Virginia and North Carolina in the ACC? Hello, Big 12, with Texas Tech, Kansas, Kansas State, Baylor and Iowa State, all of which reached the tournament.

Also expected to be on the move is Jamie Dixon of TCU. He’s the front-runner and a lock to replace the fired Steve Alford at UCLA.

Item: Ja Morant, a sophomore guard who was the first Murray State player to be named a first-team All-American by the Associated Press, will enter the NBA draft. He’s considered likely to be the second overall pick behind Duke’s Zion Williamson and ahead of Duke’s R.J. Barrett.

Item: Also bound for the NBA draft are a pair of freshmen – LSU center Naz Reid and North Carolina guard Coby White. It was nice knowing you, briefly as it was.

And that’s the news.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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