Some light afternoon links furnished by guest blogger Bob Ekstrom.
Ahhhh, April. Opening Day at Fenway, daffodils in bloom, and . . . UMass basketball?
For the first time in the school’s history, UMass and April will be linked tonight when the Minutemen take on Ohio State’s Buckeyes for the N.I.T. Championship at Madison Square Garden. It will mark the school’s first tournament championship ever, so the Berkshires are rightfully buzzing.
Michael Vega talks to UMass AD John McCutcheon about the hot commodity that is Coach Travis Ford, whose stock may peak with tonight’s championship. In the western end of the state, Ron Chimelis has Minutemen seniors leaving this program in better shape than when they arrived. Still further west, Bob Baptist of the Columbus Dispatch offers his NIT Finals preview . Baptist also has the Buckeyes looking for a championship that eluded them this same time last year.
Chamelis is thankul for Ford’s work amid the swirling rumors that he may be headed off to LSU. Howard Herman braces for life in Amherst without Ford. The Herald’s Tourney Notes reports that an announcement could come as early as tonight. However, the Baton Rouge Advocate says not so fast on the Ford signing, this from Dan Parker, the executive recruiter still trying to fill LSU’s AD position. If LSU falls through, Paul Kenyon wants the PC Friars in on the Ford Sweepstakes.
The Patriots are still the team to beat, this according to John Tomase’s report from the NFL Owners’ Meeting in Palm Beach.
In her Patriots Notebook from Palm Beach, Karen Guregian has the Eagles green with envy over failing to land Randy Moss, this after signing Asante Samuel away for $57 million. You have to wonder: are they governed by the same salary cap as the rest of us, or have they tapped into some Arlen Specter pork vein? Yes, it’s Guregian again, this time with Bob Kraft’s Spygate apology, as she’s working hard to get your approval ratings!
In case you haven’t been listening to the radio today, the Minutemen will be going opposite WEEI’s 6th Annual Whiney Awards tonight at the Wang Theatre in Boston.
Thank you all for dropping in today. I’ll be back next week. Until then, go Minutemen!