I’m making some changes to my email servers, so my usual email address above may not work today. In the meantime, you can reach me if needed at the alternative address of bruceallenmedia -AT- gmail.com.
A busy day for links today as we’ve got all four major sports covered today as well as college hoops…
The Boston College Eagles had to rally from six points down to Pacific in OT in order to finally survive and advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament. The Eagles went on a run in OT to tie the game and then blew the doors open in the second OT to win the game 88-76. Michael Vega and Mark Murphy have the game stories from Salt Lake City. Bob Ryan says that what this BC team was able to do in coming back in OT shows that this is a special group, capable of big things. Murphy has a look at BC freshman guard Tyrese Rice, who hit a big three-pointer after getting off to a bit of a rough start. He also has Pacific coach Bob Thomason talking about one of his former players, current Celtics short-timer Michael Olowokandi. Up next for the Eagles is Montana, which upset 12th seeded Nevada yesterday. Vega’s roundup on the bracket looks at the win for Montana. Murphy’s notebook has Louis Hinnant rallying his teammates when they found themselves trailing in overtime.
David Scott will be blogging the NCAA’s again today, starting around noon.
The Celtics stormed out the gate against the Heat last night, running out to a 25 point first half lead. You knew that Dwayne Wade and Shaquille O’Neal and company would make a run in the second half, and a run they made, coming all the way back to beat the Celtics, 107-104 in Miami. Shira Springer says that earlier in the season, this game would’ve been chalked up as a learning experience for the young Celtics. They’ve moved past that phase, and now this is just a collapse that severely hurts their fading playoff chances. Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics still need to show that they can hang with the big boys and prove they belong. Down south, the rally resulted in relief for the Heat and their fans, Israel Gutierrez notes. Ira Winderman says that the Heat gave their fans another thrill ride, testing the limits of their comeback ability after falling behind by 25 points.
Springer’s notebook reveals that Paul Pierce was battling an upset stomach last night in addition to Dwayne Wade. In case you’ve been wondering what Bill Belichick has been up to during this week of free agency, he’s apparently still in Florida, (It was reported earlier this week that that was working out some players down there.) as Springer reports he was at the game last night. Bulpett’s notebook has Shaq offering some advice to Paul Pierce on taking the next step of team leadership – making the team a winner
The Bruins scored a franchise first last night, and unlike much of this season, it wasn’t a negative. They got their first ever shootout victory on a Patrice Bergeron goal following a scoreless overtime. It gave the Bruins a 32 win over the Ottawa Senators. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell and Steve Conroy have the highlights from TD Banknorth Garden. Joe McDonald also has a report on the game. Douglas Flynn says that it is too bad the Bruins won’t be sneaking into the playoffs, because one thing they have proved this season is that they can beat Ottawa. Kevin Paul Dupont looks at Tim Thomas putting an end to the Bruins 0-fer in shootouts, but notes that they should never have reached that point as the Bruins blew three absolute gimmes in the first two periods.
Stephen Harris says that Mark Stuart, who he says was probably the second best player on the ice last night during only his third NHL game, and the rest of the Bruins young defensemen give the franchise hope for the future. Nick Boynton is the subject of all the notebooks. Burrell’s notebook has Mike Sullivan sitting down Boynton for a talk about controlling his emotions on the ice better. Conroy’s notebook has Boynton apologizing for losing control of his emotions. McDonald’s notebook also has more on Boynton and his outbursts. Bud Barth’s notes says that Boynton likely will not be with the Bruins next season.
David Wells is at it again. After his first time taking the mound this spring yesterday, he pronounced himself fit to start the season in the rotation, and suggested that if the Red Sox don’t trot him out there the first week, he might need to renew his trade demands. Chris Snow has a look at Wells’ session and his comments afterwards. Jeff Horrigan notes that Wells is likely slotted as the fifth starter at the moment, and the Red Sox likely would not need a fifth starter until April 15th because of their schedule. Wells feels he should be in the top four. Sean McAdam says that as usual, what Wells said yesterday was just as newsworthy as what he did. David Borges also looks at Wells’ mound debut yesterday. David Heuschkel has more on Wells, not about his mound session, but following up about his comments about Bud Selig last week.
Josh Beckett looked sharp for the Red Sox yesterday as the righthander displayed his blazing fastball in his outing against the Twins. Snow’s notebook says that Beckett has a bit of an edge and that this is most certainly a good thing. McAdam’s notebook has Beckett hitting as high as 96 mph on the radar gun yesterday. Borges’ notebook has Terry Francona happy that Beckett is on their side this season. Horrigan’s notebook has Mike Lowell appearing to break out of his spring slump with a nice performance at the plate yesterday.
Nick Cafardo looks at the U.S. being eliminated from the WBC by Mexico, thanks to a 2-1 victory by our neighbors to the south. Steve Buckley (subscription only) says that last night would be an unlikely finish to the career of Roger Clemens should he indeed call it a career. Buckley has another subscription column, suggesting that Buck Martinez deserves another chance as a big league manager after his work here at the WBC. Buckley stumping for a guy named Buck? Who woulda thunk it?
There’s plenty more WBC coverage in the New York Sports Pages.
Mike Reiss reports on Adam Vinatieri getting ready to visit the Packers today, and looks at the players that the Patriots brought into Foxboro yesterday. John Tomase says that Troy Brown is “miffed at the lack of respect” that the Patriots have shown him and will not repeat his offseason of last year. Tom E Curran and Alan Greenberg look at the Patriots cutting ties with cornerback Tyrone Poole yesterday.
Check back later today for another edition of BSMW SporTView…