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National Scene: Dramatic Developments Swirl Around Michigan State, Kansas And Arizona

At Arizona, the other shoe, long looming, may be about to fall.

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Arizona v Arizona State
 TEMPE, ARIZONA - JANUARY 31: Head coach Sean Miller of the Arizona Wildcats watches the action during the first half of the college basketball game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Wells Fargo Arena on January 31, 2019 in Tempe, Arizona.
Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

With the tournament drawing closer, there are three national stories worth following at Arizona, Kansas and Michigan State.

The Spartans lost Joshua Langford to injury and Cassius Winston, dealing with tendinitis in his knees, is carrying heavy minutes.

The Spartans have lost three straight, have fallen out of the Top Ten and are falling down the NCAA’s seeding hierarchy too.

Kansas has struggled since losing big man Udoka Azubuike for the season. Now LaGerald Vick has taken a leave of absence for personal issues. We understand he has gone home which suggests something serious. All best wishes to him.

Kansas is now in fourth place in the Big 12 at 17-6 and just 6-4. The Jayhawks have finished in first place in the Big 12 for what, 14 years? It’s incredible. That’s about to come to a screeching halt.

The most interesting situation may be in Tucson though where another assistant coach, Mark Phelps, is gone (Phelps was also a Herb Sendek assistant at NC State).

On the bright side, at least he wasn’t indicted like Book Richardson.

To judge by the latest from Greg Hansen, America’s Worst Columnist, Sean Miller is rattled and there's a sense of impending doom around the program.

Poor Chase Jeter who left Duke for playing time and a fresh start only to stumble into a fresh hell.

Poor Justin Gainey, as the former State point guard sees the water swirling down the drain.

According to Hansen, ESPN had an Outside the Lines crew at the game and that’s kind of like someone saying 60 Minutes is at the door.

It can’t be good news.

The regents signed off on firing Phelps amid questions about Shareef O’ Neal’s transcripts, and Miller is likely to be subpoenaed to testify in the Christian Dawkins/Adidas trial.

Lie and he goes to jail. Tell the truth?

Well that depends on what the truth is. Theoretically he could plead the Fifth but no school is going to keep a coach that pleads the Fifth.

Not surprisingly, as he did last fall, Miller is not answering questions about his departed assistants or NCAA woes.

If he’s required to testify, we think you can start the clock on his job and despite the many issues, it will draw huge interest. We’d expect Arizona to go after a squeaky clean and successful coach with some Western experience. That line goes straight to Gonzaga, where Mark Few will surely say no, and to Charlottesville.

Tony Bennett has built an empire there but still has to deal with Duke and UNC. Would a move back West tempt him?

We may know soon.

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