Monday links while trying to figure out if Brad Blank actually had any time to negotiate a new contract for his client David Givens this weekend in between all the media updates he did.

The Celtics bounced back from a tough loss on Friday to Milwaukee with a nice 106-101 win over the Denver Nuggets last night at TD Banknorth Garden. Steve Bulpett looks at Paul Pierce once again coming up big down the stretch for the Celtics, who trotted out their new St Patrick’s Day uniforms last night. Shira Springer looks at Pierce keeping his focus in clutch time, and hoping that the Celtics received a jolt of confidence for the upcoming four game road trip with the victory. Shalise Manza Young looks at Pierce once again putting the Celtics on his back for the win. Bill Doyle says that even though the Celtics might not make the playoffs, games like last night make this team fun to watch. In the mile high city, Adam Thompson looks at the Nuggets wasting a strong effort from Carmelo Anthony. Chris Tomasson has Kenyon Martin dismissing Pierce’s game winner as “luck”.

Frank Dell’Apa looks at another hot night for Pierce, who after scoring “just” 24 points on Friday night against the Bucks, bounced back with 36 last night. Tim Weisberg notes that the returns of Kendrick Perkins and Al Jefferson to the Celtics lineup creates a problem that Doc Rivers is glad to have on his hands. He also looks at some praise for the Celtics coming from around the rest of the country. Springer’s notebook looks at the return of Perkins and Delonte Wast to the Celtics lineup last night. Bulpett’s notebook has Denver coach George Karl heaping praise on Pierce as a complete player…something you wouldn’t have dreamed of hearing from Karl a couple of years ago. Doyle’s notebook says that the feud between Pierce and Karl is over.

Michael Vega and Mark Murphy look at Boston College coming up just short in a thrilling 78-76 loss to Duke in the championship game of the ACC tournament. Mark Blaudschun says that the game earned the Eagles even more respect around the country. Kevin Armstrong looks at Louis Hinnant coming up huge in the ACC final.

Bob Ryan says that the NCAA tournament committee may not have shown BC much love as far as seeding is concerned, but notes that they are set up for a nice run in the tournament because of their bracket. Rich Thompson looks at BC getting the 4th seed in the Minneapolis region. Vega has Al Skinner a big disappointed and upset at where and when the committee has his Eagles playing this week.

Jeff Goodman takes a quick look across the entire tournament field, breaking it down by regions. Kevin McNamara also has a look at the field. Blaudschun also tackles each region, with a look at the Atlanta regional, with Duke as it’s top seed, the Oakland regional, which has Memphis as the top seed, the Washington regional, with UConn as the top team and the Minneapolis region, which has Villanova as the top seed. The Globe under Joe Sullivan went all out last year in tournament coverage and it looks like they’re setting up to do the same this year. Elsewhere, Mike Anthony has a look at UConn’s opposition in the Washington regional.

David Scott kicks off a week of NCAA tournament coverage with a look at the selections, and also some of the Sunday night TV action which focused some on NFL free agency.

Mike Reiss was all over NFL free agency this weekend on his blog. John Tomase says that some moves over the weekend might have increased the chances of Adam Vinatieri remaining with the Patriots. Jerome Solomon and Reiss, as well as Ron Borges, look at David Givens whirlwind weekend of free agency. Tomase’s notebook says that the Patriots are still in the running for Givens as well.

Chris Snow and Jeff Horrigan look at Adam Stern receiving a heroes welcome back with the Red Sox after his exploits with the Canadian team in the WBC. Joe Haggerty also has bit on Stern, who is proud of the opportunity he had. David Borges’ notebook also focuses on Stern’s return to Red Sox camp.

Sean McAdam has a look at Coco Crisp, who although he loves stealing bases, will not be able to run at will with the Red Sox. Horrigan’s notebook offers a somewhat different take on the same subject. David Borges looks back to when Kirby Puckett nearly became a member of the Red Sox. Dan Shaughnessy looks at the continuing concern over the health of closer Keith Foulke. David Heuschkel has some more on Curt Schilling hitting the Pirates Chris Duffy with a pitch on Saturday.

Snow’s notebook has Jonathan Papelbon shaking off a rough outing yesterday. Jon Couture also has a look at Papelbon’s outing yesterday, and Horrigan has a brief report as well. Charlie Pierce had a long feature on Papelbon in yesterday’s edition of the Boston Globe Magazine. Couture’s blog has a look at the Red Sox 6-3 loss to the Twins.

Nick Cafardo looks at the United States taking advantage of a crucial call to defeat Japan 4-3 in the WBC. Steve Buckley (subscription only) says that Japan got jobbed in that call. Michael Silverman has a look at Puerto Rico and Cuba as both teams remain alive.

Kevin Paul Dupont and Stephen Harris look at the Bruins losing to the Sabres yet again. Dupont’s notebook looks at the lone bright spot for the B’s, rookie Andrew Alberts scored his first NHL goal. Harris’ notebook looks at Andrew Raycroft’s perhaps thinking a little bit too much on a first period penalty shot.

I’m going to try to come back later with a look back at some of the highlights from the weekend in the papers…

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