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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Johnny Damon endorses ‘good friend’ Donald Trump

03.10.16 at 8:39 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Hurricanes at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NBA: Bulls at Spurs, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Cavaliers at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: A-10 Tournament, UMass vs. Rhode Island, 6:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: ACC Tournament, Pittsburgh vs. North Carolina, noon (ESPN)
College basketball: Big East Tournament, Georgetown vs. Villanova, noon (FS1)
College basketball: A-10 Tournament, Richmond vs. Fordham, noon (NBCSN)
College basketball: Big Ten Tournament, Northwestern vs. Michigan, noon (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Big 12 Tournament, Baylor vs. Texas, 12:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: ACC Tournament, Duke vs. Notre Dame, 2 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Big Ten Tournament, Illinois vs. Iowa, 2:25 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Big East Tournament, Butler vs. Providence, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: A-10 Tournament, Saint Louis vs. George Washington, 2:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Big 12 Tournament, Kansas State vs. Kansas, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Mountain West Tournament, Utah State vs. San Diego State, 3 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: AAC Tournament, South Florida vs. East Carolina, 3:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Mountain West Tournament, Nevada vs. New Mexico, 5:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: AAC Tournament, Tulane vs. UCF, 6 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Big Ten Tournament, Penn State vs. Ohio State, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: ACC Tournament, Georgia Tech vs Virginia, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Big East Tournament, Marquette vs. Xavier, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Big 12 Tournament, TCU vs. West Virginia, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Big Ten Tournament, Nebraska vs Wisconsin, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: ACC Tournament, Virginia Tech vs. Miami, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: A-10 Tournament, La Salle vs. Davidson, 9 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Big 12 Tournament, Iowa State vs. Oklahoma, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Mountain West Tournament, UNLV vs. Fresno State, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Big East Tournament, Creighton vs. Seton Hall, 9:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Pac-12 Tournament, Oregon State vs. California, 11:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Mountain West Tournament, Colorado State vs. Boise State, 11:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
MLB preseason: Tigers at Phillies, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network)

AROUND THE WEB:

Johnny Damon is all in on Donald Trump. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Johnny Damon is all in on Donald Trump. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

— Tom Brady and Robert Kraft might still be unwilling to publicly endorse controversial Republican presidential candidate (and good friend) Donald Trump, but former Red Sox and Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon is completely on board.

“I want [Trump] for president,” Damon told the New York Daily News on Wednesday. “I’m a Trump fan every since I met him seven or eight years ago. Everything he does, he does first-class — his hotels, his businesses, his golf courses. The issues all the other politicians failed to discuss, [Trump] is bringing us up to speed.”

The 42-year-old Damon once appeared on Trump’s reality show “The Apprentice” and is friends with Trump’s children. He dismissed concerns about Trump’s apparent bias toward immigrants.

“Everyone is calling him a racist. He just wants people to come into this country legally and fill out the proper paperwork. That’s how I’m viewing it,” Damon said, adding: “He wants to watch out for [terrorist attacks like last year’s in Southern California]. He wants everyone documented and in this country legally.”

Damon, a Florida resident, said he did not oppose Trump’s plan to build a wall between the United States and Mexico, but he wasn’t sure it would be possible.

“I can see other people’s views. The country is so split. Building a wall is going to be tough to do, and there would have to be beefing up of patrols,” Damon said. “He’s trying to make the country great. We’re worrying too much about what’s going on in Cuba, the Middle East. We have enough to worry about here.”

Damon — whose endorsement follows that of another ex-Yankee, Paul O’Neill — said he is willing to offer his support to Trump during the campaign.

“If [Trump] needs me anywhere, I’ll be there,” Damon said. “He’s a good friend.”

— As the exodus from the Broncos continues — quarterback Brock Osweiler is the latest high-profile player to depart Denver one month after its Super Bowl championship — executive vice president and general manager John Elway defended the team’s offseason strategy.

“We’ve stayed true to our philosophy of building a team with players who want to be Denver Broncos and want to be here,” Elway said Wednesday. “That’s been a successful approach for us.”

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Read More: Brent Grimes, Brock Osweiler, Donald Trump, John Elway

NFL roundup: Dolphins’ trade with Eagles reportedly back on after Byron Maxwell passes physical

03.09.16 at 12:36 pm ET
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Byron Maxwell

Byron Maxwell

After being held up due to injury concerns, a trade between the Dolphins and Eagles reportedly is back on. According to multiple reports, the Dolphins will swap first-round draft picks with the Eagles in exchange for cornerback Byron Maxwell and linebacker Kiko Alonso. The two teams appeared to be close to finalizing the trade earlier in the week until concerns about an injury to Maxwell’s shoulder began to rise.

During the required physicals to complete the trade, the Dolphins medical staff apparently discovered lingering effects of Maxwell’s injury, which put him on injured reserve to end last season. ESPN reported Tuesday night that Miami considered the deal to be “dead” after its findings. Wednesday morning, however, news broke that the deal will be going through as originally planned after concerns over Maxwell’s injury passed.

The Dolphins were weary of acquiring Maxwell if his injury was expected to linger. He is in just the second year of a six-year, $63 million deal he signed with the Eagles last season in free agency. On top of those concerns, he had a disappointing season as the Eagles’ top cover corner last season. After breaking out with the Seahawks the year prior, Maxwell finished with just two interceptions and 64 tackles. The Dolphins may need some depth at cornerback, after reports have indicated the team plans to release four-time Pro Bowler Brent Grimes.

Alonso is in a similar position as well. He came off his worst season as a pro last year, as he fought through several injuries and registered a career-low 43 tackles to go with one interception. He was acquired from the Bills last offseason by former Eagles coach Chip Kelly, in a controversial deal that sent star running back LeSean McCoy to Buffalo.

— In other NFL news, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck announced his retirement Wednesday morning after an 18-year NFL career, and he now will be breaking down the game on the set of ESPN. He reportedly will be joining the “Sunday NFL Countdown” crew as an analyst, while also contributing to broadcasts on Monday nights. In 2005 Hasselbeck made his lone Super Bowl appearance, which was the first in Seahawks history. He served as a backup for the Colts the past three seasons.

— After former Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning announced his retirement earlier this week, interest has grown around Denver as to who will replace him as the Broncos starter. A report Wednesday indicated if the team cannot retain Brock Osweiler, it will pursue 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick via a trade. The 28-year-old Kaepernick has made it clear he is not happy in San Francisco, so the possibility of a deal could be mutually beneficial for both teams.

— Also making headlines Wednesday are the Giants, after the team reportedly inked ex-Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins to a deal. His contract reportedly is worth $62.5 million over five years. In his four-year stint with the Rams, Jenkins was a standout in the secondary. His six defensive touchdowns over that span are the most in the NFL.

— After Calvin Johnson’s retirement on Tuesday, the Lions did not waste any time attempting to replace his production. According to reports, the team signed former Bengals wide receiver Marvin Jones to a deal worth an estimated $8 million per season. Additional contract details have not yet been released. The 25-year-old Jones had his best season as a pro last year, catching a career-high 65 passes for 816 yards and four touchdowns.

Read More: Brock Osweiler, Byron Maxwell, Colin Kaepernick, Dolphins

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Media, legal scholars call for NFL attorney Paul Clement to admit untruths to court in Deflategate hearing

03.09.16 at 8:01 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Grizzlies at Celtics, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Clippers at Thunder, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Patriot League final, Holy Cross at Lehigh, 7:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: ACC Tournament, Syracuse vs. Pittsburgh, noon (ESPN)
College basketball: ACC Tournament, N.C. State vs. Duke, 2 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Big Ten Tournament, Minnesota vs. Illinois, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: ACC Tournament, Georgia Tech vs. Clemson, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Big East Tournament, DePaul vs. Georgetown, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Big Ten Tournament, Rutgers vs. Nebraska, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Big 12 Tournament, Oklahoma State vs. Kansas State, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: ACC Tournament, Florida State vs. Virginia Tech, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Big 12 Tournament, TCU vs. Texas Tech, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Big East Tournament, St. John’s vs. Marquette, 9:30 p.m. (FS1)
NHL: Blackhawks at Blues, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Champions League, SL Benfica at Zenit St. Petersburg, noon (FS1)
Soccer: Champions League, Paris Saint-Germain at Chelsea, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

— NFL attorney Paul Clement was widely lauded for his performance before the Second Circuit appeals panel last Thursday, as he argued that Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for his alleged role in Deflategate should be reinstated.

However, it soon became clear that Clement played fast and loose with the truth, and calls are growing louder for him to rectify the situation.

In Tuesday’s Washington Post, longtime columnist Sally Jenkins took Clement and the league to task for their dishonest behavior and suggested Clement should rectify the situation by sending a letter of correction to the court. She has backing from some legal scholars, including New York Law School professor Robert Blecker, who filed an amicus brief.

In perhaps the most obvious incorrect statement, Clement repeated commissioner Roger Goodell’s assertion that Brady denied discussing the Deflategate accusations with assistant equipment manager John Jastremski the day after the AFC championship game. Goodell used this as an example of Brady’s obstruction. However, in Brady’s arbitration testimony he said he and Jastremski discussed “the allegations we were facing,” adding: “I think trying to figure out what happened was certainly my concern and trying to figure out, you know, what could be — possibly could have happened to those balls.”

Clement also claimed that Patriots locker room attendant Jim McNally repeatedly referred to himself as the “deflator” in text messages “throughout” the 2014 season, when in fact McNally only used the term in one text message, and it was in May of 2014, well before the season began.

Jenkins writes that the league’s untruths — and Clement’s decision to repeat them — “should serve as evidence to those judges that the Brady arbitration is dishonest and should be tossed.”

Writes Jenkins: Lawyers are officers of the court and cannot make false statements of fact, under pain of sanctions. Clement is one of the top appellate lawyers in the land, a former solicitor general, so he knows better than anyone that he owes the court candor. He is professionally obliged to admit that he was (surely unwittingly) sucked through the looking glass into the deceitful universe of Goodell’s NFL, in which the commissioner habitually makes up facts in disciplinary cases to suit himself and consolidate his powers.

Added Jenkins: Over and over again, other courts have found Goodell not credible in disciplinary cases, because he takes rash actions and then is too vain to admit a mistake. The Second Circuit should be aware that he’s not credible in this instance either. Clement is professionally obligated to correct the record on the misstatements Goodell led him into. He owes the court that candor.

— Adam Vinatieri’s record-setting career will continue in Indianapolis.

The 43-year-old, who has played 10 seasons with the Colts after spending his first 10 seasons with the Patriots, agreed to a deal on Tuesday night after some touch-and-go negotiations reportedly centered on Vinatieri’s desire for a multi-year deal.

“At the end of the day I made it crystal clear that I wanted to keep playing, and wanted to play here,” Vinatieri said (via the Indianapolis Star). “I want to finish my career off here.”

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Read More: adam vinatieri, Deflategate, Matt Hasselbeck, Paul Clement

Boston Marathon bombing survivor Victoria McGrath dies in Dubai car crash

03.08.16 at 12:45 pm ET
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Victoria McGrath (center), pictured at a 2013 event honoring Marathon bombing survivors, was killed in a crash in Dubai on Monday. (Paul Marotta/Getty Images)

Victoria McGrath (center), pictured at a 2013 event honoring Marathon bombing survivors, was killed in a crash in Dubai on Sunday. (Paul Marotta/Getty Images)

Victoria McGrath, the subject of an iconic photo in the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, has died in a car crash in Dubai, according to published reports.

McGrath, 23, was killed on Sunday along with three others, including a Northeastern classmate, in a Ferrari being driven by a Canadian boxer. She was traveling through Dubai with classmate Priscilla Perez Torres, who also died in the crash. The two were set to graduate from NU this spring.

Northeastern released a statement on Monday:

“Victoria was from Weston, Connecticut, and survived severe injuries during the Boston Marathon bombing. She was devoted to helping others through leadership in student organizations and community service work. Priscilla came to Northeastern from Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, and was passionate about travel and working on issues related to nutrition and women’s health. Each were kind, talented young women, with exceptional futures before them.”

McGrath was injured in the 2013 bombing and had a tourniquet applied to her left leg, which required extensive surgery and rehab. She was photographed being carried to medical personnel by Boston firefighter Jimmy Plourde, who told the Boston Herald on Monday, “It’s been said that I helped to save her life, but the truth is Victoria saved my life after the marathon as her love, support and friendship helped myself and my family deal with the acts of 4/15/13.”

The drive of the car, Canadian boxer Cody Nixon, was in Dubai to serve as the best man in his friend’s wedding. In his final Instagram photo, he posed with the rented yellow Ferrari and noted, “Don’t worry, I won’t speed.”

Read More: Boston Marathon bombing, Marathon survivor killed in car crash, Victoria McGrath,

Knicks F Carmelo Anthony makes case for team to sign Rajon Rondo

03.08.16 at 8:57 am ET
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Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony

The Knicks have gone from bad to worse this season, and that is largely due to the lack of a supporting cast surrounding star forward Carmelo Anthony. The upcoming offseason will give team president Phil Jackson a chance to make a splash in free agency and make the Knicks a well-rounded team for the first time in years.

Anthony said Monday that he feels former Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo would be a perfect target for the Knicks to pursue.

“I think Rondo — just me personally, I don’t want to be tampering — but I’ve heard he said he wouldn’t thrive in a system like this,” Anthony said. “I think he’d be perfect in a system like this.”

While some feel pass-first point guards like Rondo wouldn’t fit in the Knicks’ triangle offense, Anthony disagreed with such logic.

“It is a misconception about that. Some of the keys of our offense is penetration, getting in the paint,” Anthony said. “Pushing the pace, transition. Creating in the paint for bigs, for yourself, everybody else. I think a point guard would love that. Especially a point guard who can penetrate, create for yourself, create for others. I think it’s a perfect opportunity for him.”

Many stars in the NBA today are used as recruiting tools for their teams when it comes to free agency. While Anthony has yet to have this type of role with the Knicks, it seems that may be changing in the near future.

“I don’t really have a choice. If we want this team to be better, if we want more pieces of this team, I don’t have a choice but to go out there and do my job and try to get people to come,” Anthony said. “And for them to see it from my perspective than anybody else’s perspective. See it from a player’s perspective.”

The 30-year-old Rondo is having a resurgence with the Kings this season, averaging 11.9 points per game to go with 12 assists and 6.2 rebounds.

With a deep and talented free agent class is set to hit the market this summer, Anthony should have an opportunity to make a real impact, whether it results in the team signing Rondo or any other player of his caliber.

“Put me at the head of the [meeting] table,” said Anthony. “And let’s go to work.”

Read More: Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks, rajon rondo,

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Erin Andrews expresses gratitude after jury awards her $55 million for stalker incident

03.08.16 at 7:57 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Bruins at Lightning, 7:30 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Penguins at Islanders, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Spurs at Timberwolves, 8 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Wizards at Trail Blazers, 10 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: ACC tournament, Wake Forest vs. N.C. State, noon (ESPN2)
College basketball: ACC tournament, Boston College vs. Florida State, 2 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: NEC championship, Fairleigh Dickinson at Wagner, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Horizon League championship, Green Bay vs. Wright State, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Summit League championship, North Dakota State at South Dakota State, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: WCC championship, Gonzaga vs. Saint Mary’s, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB preseason: Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, AS Roma at Real Madrid, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

Erin Andrews was awarded $55 million by a Nashville jury. (Samuel M. Simpkins/USA Today Sports)

Erin Andrews was awarded $55 million by a Nashville jury in her stalker case. (Samuel M. Simpkins/USA Today Sports)

— Fox Sports broadcaster Erin Andrews was in an appreciative mood Monday after a Nashville jury awarded her $55 million in her civil suit against a hotel and a man who took video of her naked and posted it on the Internet.

After the trial, members of the jury gave Andrews hugs and asked for her autograph.

Andrews, who had asked for $75 million, later tweeted: I would like to thank the Nashville court, the court personnel and the jury for their service. The support I’ve received from the people of Nashville has been overwhelming. I would also like to thank my family, friends, and legal team. I’ve been honored by all the support from victims around the world. Their outreach has helped me be able to stand up and hold accountable those whose job it is to protect everyone’s safety, security and privacy.

Andrews was staying at the Marriott at Vanderbilt University when Michael David Barrett found out which room she was in, requested the next room, and then tampered with the peephole so he could videotape her. Barrett was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison.

The jury, which deliberated one day, found Barrett 51 percent responsible, leaving him with a bill for $28 million. The hotel’s owner and former operator was ordered to pay $26 million.

— The major sponsors announced they were suspending their relationship with Maria Sharapova after the tennis star revealed Monday that she failed a drug test at the Australian Open in January.

Sharapova said she has been taking the drug meldonium since 2006 for “several health issues,” and she failed to read a letter from the World Anti-Doping Association in December that indicated meldonium would be added to the banned substance list this year. The drug aids blood flow and, in turn, oxygen uptake.

“I take great responsibility and professionalism in my job, and I made a huge mistake,” she said. “I let my fans down. I let the sport down that I’ve been playing since the age of 4, that I love so deeply.”

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Read More: Erin Andrews, Lovie Smith, Maria Sharapova,

Monday’s Morning Mashup: NFL players tasered, kidnapped as eventful offseason continues

03.07.16 at 8:27 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Bruins at Panthers, 7:30 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Coyotes at Avalanche, 9 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Grizzlies at Cavaliers, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: Iona at Monmouth, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Green Bay at Valparaiso, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Pepperdine at St. Mary’s, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Wright State at Oakland, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: East Tennessee State at Chattanooga, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: BYU at Gonzaga, 11:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
MLB preseason: Tigers at Mets, 1:10 p.m. (MLB Network)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The NFL appears headed for another rough offseason, if the issues of the past month are any indication. Over the weekend in Hollywood, Florida, Rams running back Tre Mason had to be subdued with a stun gun when he refused to cooperate with arresting officers, police said. Mason was being arrested for reckless driving and marijuana possession.

According to the police report, Mason was pulled over for going more than twice the 35 mph speed limit alongside a beachside road. He refused to give the patrol officer his name or provide identification, and when the officer told him his was under arrest and attempted to remove him from the car, Mason resisted, forcing the officers to use the Taser.

“I warned the defendant if he did not identify himself he would be subject to arrest and he smirked as he was making eye contact,” Officer Lester Cochenour wrote in his report.

Mason, 22, has played two season for the Rams since being drafted out of Auburn in 2014. He has a home in nearby Delray Beach.

Meanwhile, according to a report out of North Carolina, Jaguars defensive back Earl Wolff was the victim in a kidnapping two weeks ago. The Fayetteville Observer reports that Wolff was visiting a friend when he was abducted by a group of armed men and later released unharmed.

“We don’t know how long he was kidnapped,” Fayetteville police spokesman Antoine Kincade said. “But it was a short period of time.”

A suspect was arrested Thursday.

Elsewhere, former Cowboys running back Joseph Randle was arrested Sunday morning for failing to appear in court, marking the sixth time he has been arrested in the past 17 months. Randle faces a list of charges for prior offenses.

— Chase Utley’s takeout slide at second base during last fall’s playoffs, a play that broke the leg of Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada, helped push Major League Baseball to change its rules on such plays. Now, however, MLB reportedly will not punish Utley.

The Associated Press reported that the league and the players union reached an agreement to rescind his two-game suspension.

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Read More: chase utley, Earl Wolff, Joseph Randle, Tre Mason

Thinking Out Loud: Big month for Providence forward Ben Bentil in terms of pro future

03.04.16 at 5:22 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering whatever happened to Craig Esherick.

— The calendar says it’s March, so that means the Madness has arrived. Or at the very least, is right around the corner. Buckle up.

— Senior Night was more like Relief Night for the Friars, in picking up a 70-66 win over Creighton on Wednesday. Kris Dunn was closer to his “old self” and provided much of the energy early — even though Providence still struggles mightily from 3-point range. At halftime, down by four, PC was 1-13 from 3, and shot 53 percent from two. Um, fellas?

— As former New York Jets coach Herm Edwards once said: “Hello? You play to win the game!”

— It will be hard, for a while, to quantify what Dunn has meant to the Providence program. Sure, it’s easy to see right now how important he is to the welfare of this team, and to this team’s chances for success as March continues. But what does he really mean to the future of Friars basketball? That highly rated McDonald’s All-Americans can succeed at a smaller school over the Dukes of the world? In a word, yes.

— But this type of player doesn’t come along every year, as Friars fans well know. It stands to reason, however, the next one will be along soon, if the program continues to build — and win. It was 17 years, give or take, since the last played here in God Shammgod.

— Dunn, however, was not the best player on this year’s PC team. That honor — or burden — falls upon Ben Bentil’s broad shoulders. This isn’t a knock on Kris at all — his numbers speak for themselves. Dunn is the ONLY Friar in 89 years of history to score 1,000 points, grab 400 rebounds, dish 500 assists and come up with 200 steals. And there have been some great guards pass through Providence, haven’t there?

— As good as he has been, Bentil has also been a byproduct of what the Friars have had to do this year in order to win as much as they have. Think about that for a second.

— It’s why you’ll see Bentil’s name on a few NBA draft boards, but he’s nowhere near ready right now. Bentil is a classic “tweener” playing out of position — too big for the quicks, too quick for the bigs. It won’t be that way in the pros.

— Oh, he has skills, though. Big East Player of the Year skills. He’ll probably do his due diligence, as all good players should, once the offseason arrives. A spectacular March run — like Shammgod’s in 1997 — could be a difference-maker.

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Read More: Ben Bentil, Kris Dunn,

Legendary former Boston Globe writer, tennis analyst Bud Collins dead at 86

03.04.16 at 1:31 pm ET
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Bud Collins, here interviewing Venus (left) and Serena Williams in 2009, was known for his sartorial splendor. (Rob Tringali/Getty Images)

Bud Collins, here interviewing Venus (left) and Serena Williams in 2009, was known for his sartorial splendor. (Rob Tringali/Getty Images)

Bud Collins, who made a name as a tennis writer at The Boston Globe and became a national figure as a tennis analyst for multiple national networks — becoming one of the first journalists to make a successful transition to television — died Friday at his home in Brookline, the Globe reported. He was 86.

The U.S. Open’s media center last year was named for Collins, who attended the ceremony despite his failing health. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1994. In 1999 he won the Red Smith Award, presented by the Associated Press Sports Editors for outstanding contributions to sports journalism.

Collins, a native of Ohio, moved to Boston in the early 1950s after a stint in the Army to attend graduate school at Boston University. He started his journalism career working part-time for the Boston Herald. In addition to writing about tennis he had some success playing, as in 1961 he won the U.S. Indoor mixed doubles title with Janet Hopps.

He joined the Globe in the early 1960s, with his first dateline appearing on Dec. 22, 1963, when he was covering the Davis Cup in Australia. While at the Globe, he coached the tennis team at Brandeis University for five years in the late 1960s.

Read More: Bud Collins,

Best HS basketball game ever? Minnesota sectional final goes 4 OT with 3 buzzer-beaters

03.04.16 at 10:05 am ET
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Minnesota’s Section 2AAA boys basketball championship game between Waseca High School and Marshall High School on Thursday night will go down as one of the most memorable ever.

In the final seconds of regulation, with Waseca leading by three points, Marshall’s Trey Lance pulled up for a 3-pointer at the buzzer. The ball hit the right side of the rim and appeared to have no chance to go in — in fact, a couple of Waseca players started celebrating. But the ball took a surprisingly dead bounce, hit the left side of the rim and fell through to tie the game.

In the third overtime, Marshall’s Reese Winkelman broke a tie when he banked in a shot with 1.7 seconds left while being fouled. After Winkelman completed the three-point play with a free throw, Waseca inbounded the ball to a streaking Nick Dufault, who immediately launched a shot from over 70 feet away. It went straight in, tying the score at 94 and forcing a fourth extra frame.

With 7.5 seconds left in the fourth overtime and the score tied at 100, Waseca appeared trapped by its own baseline before Cole Streich caught a pass on the run, raced upcourt and hit a pull-up trey just before the buzzer for a 103-100 victory.