Glad to have you back this morning. The sports world was closed for only a few short hours last night after that classic Big East tourney game at Madison Square Garden ending at 1:22 this morning. I know we’re a pro sports town, but I have to lead with some college hoops today.
We go to MSG, where #17 Syracuse shocked the #3 UConn Huskies, 127-117, in six overtimes. Mike Anthony says the second-longest game in NCAAM history came a split second and a fingertip away from ending six overtimes earlier, although the result would have been the same. Mark Blaudschun says the overtimes were wild as fatigue and exhaustion steadily eroded play. Jeff Jacobs has the Huskies getting a chance for redemption later but for now, this game belongs to history. Neill Ostrout says the Huskies’ fifth consecutive Big East tournament loss will cost them a top seed in the Big Dance.
Kevin McNamara wonders if the PC Friars have done enough at 19-12 to secure an NCAA birth after falling to Louisville yesterday, 73-55. Paul Kenyon has the second half of the Rhody sweep, as the URI Rams went down to Duquesne, 78-74, and will await their NIT berth.
Some baby steps toward a recovery last night, as the Bruins downed the Ottawa Senators, 5-3, at TD Banknorth. Stephen Harris says the B’s played half a good game, but are a long way from recovering their swagger and precision. Fluto Shinzawa calls it a disappointing two-minute stretch that nearly wiped out a three-goal lead. The lowly Senators may be the drug to cure the B’s losing snap, but Bud Barth says it wasn’t a dose sufficient to return that killer instinct.
Harris’ Bruins Notebook has defenseman Aaron Ward looking for a place to hide after his shorthanded breakaway goal last night. Kevin Paul Dupont says it’s not every day that Ward gets a breakaway. Shinzawa’s Bruins Notebook has a heady Marc Savard exploiting the Senators’ defensive proclivities.
Douglas Flynn has Patrice Bergeron’s flashes of brilliance beginning to shine through again. And, in the face of recent scrutiny about its place in hockey, Steve Buckley defends fighting as an effective comeback strategy.
If Jonathan Papelbon has even a morsel of regret for dropping the ‘C’ word on Manny, it was erased yesterday. Every disease has its treatment, and Michael Silverman brings us Papelbon’s treatment for Manny cancer. Daniel Barbarisi has Sox officials enjoying a quieter spring without Manny and 38 Pitches around.
Ron Borges has Jason Bay happy for the WBC experience, and happier still to be back in left field. Borges also has David Ortiz confused about his WBC experience, but happy to be back at DH. Maureen Mullen has Ortiz returning with a sore shoulder and a fresh pair of underwear, while Bay is ready to give center back to Jacoby Ellsbury. Barbarisi has Bay and Ortiz the first of 15 Sox players rejoining the squad from the WBC.
Silverman’s Red Sox Notebook extolls the virtues of Josh Beckett’s spring, where even his walks are smart. Boston Metro has the versatile Justin Masterson and his plus-90 sinker an effective tool out of the pen. Sarah Green tries to help Tito by calculating the perfect batting order. With J.D. Drew at lead-off, let’s hope Sarah isn’t an accountant by day.
It was Pro Day at The Heights yesterday and, as Rich Thompson reports, Ron Brace and B.J. Raji had a surprise in store for scouts traveling to O-Line U. Michael Vega has Raji keeping a keen eye on Eagles teammate Brian Toal, whose final year ended after Raji rolled on him and fractured his fibula. Thompson’s Pro Day Notebook has UMass QB Liam Coen hoping his arm will leave a better impression on scouts than his legs did.
If the NFL was full of QBs named Hasselbeck, the Pats may have a shutdown corner in Shawn Springs. Karen Guregian brings all the praises from one Hasselbeck bro. She also has corner Leigh Bodden as a diamond in the rough, this according to one former teammate.
Lenny Megliola ruminates about March, the month that opens and closes doors in the world of sports.
It’s also the month of St. Patrick’s Day parades, and I’ll be at this one in Newport tomorrow. A great Irish town and some great weather in the forecast.
I’ll be checking out for now. Be sure to come back this and every Friday evening for Ken Fang’s Megalinks. I’ve got the honors again on Monday morning but there’s a whole weekend in between, so enjoy.