Louisville Cardinals 

2016-17 record: 25-9, 12-6 in the ACC

Head coach: David Padgett 

Tenure at Louisville: 1st season

Career coaching record: 0-0

Home court: KFC Yum! Center 

Starters: G Quentin Snider, G/F V.J. King, F Ray Spalding, F Deng Adel, F Anas Mahmoud 

Bench: G Darius Perry, G Ryan McMahon, F/C Malik Williams 

Overview: A year ago, the Cardinals entered the season looking to move past NCAA sanctions that kept them out of the NCAA tournament in 2016. This time around, the program finds itself in even more uncertainty after being rocked by an FBI investigation that led to the firing of Hall of Fame head coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich. 

Former Director of Basketball Operations David Padgett will have the unenviable task of leading the scandal-ridden program as interim head coach. But on the court, the 32-year old has more than enough talent to help push the Cardinals near the top of the ACC. With senior leader Quentin Snider at the point, Louisville returns a steadying presence that is capable of getting the team into its half-court offense. Guard V.J. King is the trendy pick among the team's returners to break out—and the Cardinals will need him to do so to compensate for the loss of leading scorer Donovan Mitchell to the NBA Draft. 

The return of junior Deng Adel on the wing also provides Padgett with a forward capable of spacing the floor and taking tough assignments on defense. Even without Pitino, the Cardinals will look familiar on defense with their heavy ball pressure scheme that forces opponents to turn the ball over regularly. The length of senior Anas Mahmoud has prevented teams from attacking the paint against Louisville in years past—expect that to continue with the 7-footer down low once again. 

Although the Cardinals bring back veteran leaders, they will likely face an unprecedented amount of scrutiny as the FBI continues its investigation into college basketball. Even if it can weather the off-court issues, Louisville faces the possibility of the NCAA snatching its postseason dreams away at any point. 

One thing that needs to go right: Behind the leadership of Snider, the Cardinals don't miss a beat without Pitino and use their stout defense to finish near the top of the ACC. 

One thing that could go wrong: As scrutiny by the NCAA continues, Padgett's transition hits a few bumps in the road and Louisville struggles to replace Mitchell's production.