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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s mother threatens America ‘will pay for my sons’

04.10.15 at 8:21 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Nationals at Phillies, 7:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Celtics at Cavaliers, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Spurs at Rockets, 8 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Timberwolves at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
NHL: Islanders at Penguins, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)
Golf: Masters, 3 p.m. (ESPN)


— The mother of convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev lashed out at the United States, insisting her son is innocent and promising retribution for his treatment.

The website Vocativ tracked down Zubeidat Tsarnaeva in the Russian republic of Dagestan, where she returned after being arrested for shoplifting while living in Cambridge with her two sons in 2012. After verifying her identity, Tsarnaeva sent a threatening message to the site.

Wrote Tsarnaeva:


Tsarnaeva claims that Dzhokhar and Tamerlan, who was killed during a shootout with Watertown police days after the 2013 bombing, were framed for the bombing. She insists Americans ultimately will pay for their actions.



Tsarnaeva has her supporters, as a friend started a “Support for Dzhokhar” group on the Russian social media site VKontakte that claims to have raised at least $5,000 for the family.

In a recent message to the group that was posted on the site, Tsarnaeva wrote:

“I will never forget it. May God bless those who helped my son. The terrorists are the Americans and everyone knows it. My son is the best of the best.”

— Lauren Hill, the inspirational freshman basketball player at Mount St. Joseph in Ohio who courageously fought brain cancer, died early Friday morning at her Indiana home at the age of 19, according to reports out of Cincinnati.

Hill, who was diagnosed with Diffused Intrinsic Pontine Giloma (DIPG) as a high school senior, helped raise more than $1.5 million for cancer research. Mount St. Joseph’s opening game was moved up to Nov. 2 so she could participate, and she scored a ceremonial layup to open the game and another to end it, much to the delight of the 10,000 fans at Xavier’s Cintas Center. She went on to make cameos in three other games, the last on Dec. 16, before becoming an honorary assistant coach.

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Read More: Boston Marathon bombing, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Lauren Hill, Matt Barnes

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev relative insists on his innocence despite guilty verdict in Boston Marathon bombing

04.09.15 at 7:58 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Phillies, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Mets at Nationals, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Giants at Padres, 6:40 p.m. (MLB Network)
NHL: Bruins at Panthers, 7:30 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Blackhawks at Blues, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
College hockey: NCAA Tournament semifinal, Providence vs. Nebraska-Omaha, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)
College hockey: NCAA Tournament semifinal, Boston University vs. North Dakota, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
NBA: Bulls at Heat, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Trail Blazers at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
Golf: Masters, 3 p.m. (ESPN)


— The 30 guilty verdicts for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the Boston Marathon bombing trial came as little surprise Wednesday, as his own lawyer admitted at the start of the trial that he participated in the attack.

However, there are still those who remain convinced Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan, did not commit the heinous crimes. His relatives in the Russian republic of Chechnya have held firm in their belief of the boys’ innocence, and that did not change with Wednesday’s verdicts.

One of those relatives, Roza Tsarnaeva, a 66-year-old cousin of Tsarnaev’s father, told The Associated Press that she is “completely convinced that they were not guilty of this.”

Meanwhile, reaction from victims of the bombing was muted, as many of the individuals expressed a desire to wait until after the sentencing phase of the trial has concluded before commenting more fully.

Jeff Bauman, who helped investigators zero in on the Tsarnaevs after losing his leg in the bombing, said: “Today’s verdict will never replace the lives that were lost and so dramatically changed, but it is a relief, and one step closer to closure.”

— More details have emerged about the stabbing of Pacers forward Chris Copeland outside a New York City nightclub early Tuesday morning as the player recovers in the hospital.

Pacers coach Frank Vogel said Copeland had surgery on his elbow and abdomen but wasn’t sure how long he would be out.

According to police, Copeland and his girlfriend were arguing on the street around 4 a.m. when 22-year-old Shezoy Bleary started to interfere. After the dispute escalated, Bleary pulled out a knife and started slashing, hitting Copeland, Copeland’s girlfriend and a third woman who apparently was with the attacker.

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Read More: Boston Marathon bombing, Chris Copeland, Dwight Jones, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Jury announces guilty verdicts in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev trial

04.08.15 at 2:19 pm ET
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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found guilty on all 30 counts related to the 2013 bombing at the Boston Marathon finish line and will be eligible for the death penalty.

The verdicts were read Wednesday afternoon at the Moakley federal courthouse in Boston.

Tsarnaev was described by media in the courtroom as fidgety, stroking the beard he has grown in prison, while awaiting the verdicts. He then stood with his hands clasped in front of him and mostly looked down at his list of charges with no visible reaction on his face as the guilty verdicts were read.

Of the 30 charges, 17 carry with them the possibility of the death penalty. The jury will begin the sentencing phase in the days to come.

Tsarnaev’s defense team admitted he participated in the bombing but blamed his older brother, Tamerlan, as orchestrating the attack and convincing Dzhokhar to participate.

The brothers also killed MIT police officer Sean Collier and then were involved in a violent shootout with Watertown police, where Tamerlan Tsarnaev died after being run over by a car driven by his brother.

Among those in the courtroom for the verdicts were Bill and Denise Richard, whose 8-year-old son Martin was killed by the bomb placed by Dzhokhar, which went off shortly after the one planted by Tamerlan one block down Boylston Street.

Read More: Boston Marathon bombing, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev,

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Pacers F Chris Copeland on mend after being stabbed outside NYC nightclub

04.08.15 at 8:11 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Phillies, 7:05 p.m. (NESN, ESPN2; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cardinals at Cubs, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Padres at Dodgers, 10 p.m. (ESPN2)
NBA: Celtics at Pistons, 7 p.m. (CSNNE, ESPN)
NBA: Suns at Mavericks, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Bruins at Capitals, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Stars at Ducks, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: FA Cup, Liverpool at Blackburn, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)


Chris Copeland

Chris Copeland

— Pacers forward Chris Copeland and his wife were in stable condition Wednesday morning after being stabbed outside a New York City nightclub.

According to the New York Daily News, Copeland, whose team plays the Knicks on Wednesday night, got in an argument outside 1 OAK Club as the Chelsea establishment was about to close just before 4 a.m. Wednesday morning. A 22-year-old man, Shezoy Bleary, then pulled out a knife and stabbed Copeland and his wife, Katrine Saltara, in the arm and leg.

Another woman, 53-year-old Catherine Somani, was slashed in the abdomen, apparently by accident.

Two members of the Hawks, Thabo Sefolosha and Pero Antic, also were at the club and were arrested and charged with obstructing governmental administration after allegedly refusing to move while police set up a crime scene. The Hawks, who played in Atlanta on Tuesday night, have a game against the Nets in Brooklyn on Wednesday.

Copeland, a native of Orange, New Jersey, played for the Knicks in 2012-13 as a rookie. He signed a two-year, $6.1 million contract with the Pacers as a free agent in July 2013. In 50 games this season, the 6-foot-8 forward is averaging 6.2 points in 16.6 minutes.

— A sixth-grader from Hawthorn Woods, Illinois, tied for first in ESPN’s NCAA Tournament prediction contest, but he won’t get a chance to share in the $20,000 grand prize. ESPN told Sam Holtz that he is not eligible because he is 12 years old, and the rules require participants to be at least 18.

Holtz said the decision “irritated” him, although he was “still proud of myself.”

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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Bills OL Richie Incognito starts workouts with new team after ‘inner reflection’

04.07.15 at 8:09 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Orioles at Rays, 7:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Rangers at Athletics, 10:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Spurs at Thunder, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Lakers at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Women’s NCAA Tournament final, UConn vs. Notre Dame, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Wild at Blackhawks, 8:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Premier League, Queens Park at Aston Villa, 2:55 p.m. (NBCSN)


Richie Incognito

Richie Incognito

— Richie Incognito began offseason conditioning with his new Bills teammates Monday, and the controversial offensive lineman acknowledged that his year and a half in exile following the 2013 bullying scandal with the Dolphins was “humbling.”

Incognito was benched by the Dolphins for the final eight games of the 2013 season, and no team was willing to sign him last year.

“It was definitely difficult sitting out, knowing I could still play, knowing I had talent to contribute,” Incognito said [via ESPN]. “It was a learning process. At first there was a lot of frustration: ‘Why am I not signed? Why am I not on a team?’ It was a time for inner reflection. Kind of a time for growth.

“Then it was an acceptance, and accepting the fact that I’m not going to play this year, that I’m going to have to chalk it up and wait for another opportunity.”

An NFL investigation found that Incognito bullied teammate Jonathan Martin, and there were reports of other incidents of harassment.

“There was a lot of things said and done that I wish I could change,” Incognito said. “But moving forward, you have to accept that there was definitely a learning process and a growing process and a process that I went through to become a better person. Nobody’s perfect. I think the biggest thing is I’ve learned from what I’ve went through, I’ve learned from what went down. I’ve grown from it.”

Incognito added that he’s “very thankful” that the Bills have given him a chance, which came about after he met with team owners Terry and Kim Pegula as well as new coach Rex Ryan.

Rex Ryan spent a lot of time talking about being a good teammate and coming in and putting my best foot forward,” Incognito said. “One of the big things they wanted to make sure was that I could still be myself without having any of the issues.”

Said Ryan: “I just wanted to see the sincerity that he was speaking with and where he was at. He’s got a burning desire to play this game still. I think that’s important. And obviously — hey, look, we’ve all made mistakes. Every single one of us in here has made mistakes. I know I’ve made than you guys. But it’s what we do and how excited he is about getting a new opportunity, and I can’t wait to watch him. But he’s a Bill now. He’s just one of us.”

Alex Rodriguez received mostly cheers from the Yankee Stadium faithful in Monday’s opener, although there wasn’t much else for New Yorkers to cheer about in a 6-1 loss to the Blue Jays.

Rodriguez, in his first at-bat in over a year following his MLB suspension, batted seventh as the designated hitter. He walked in his first plate appearance, then hit a single to right-center fielder in his second and lined out in his final at-bat.

“I have to admit, it definitely felt good. That’s for sure,” Rodriguez said.

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Read More: alex rodriguez, Avery Johnson, Masahiro Tanaka, Rex Ryan

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin move on from racial incident with Kentucky’s Andrew Harrison

04.06.15 at 8:09 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Phillies, 3:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Blue Jays at Yankees, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Mets at Nationals, 4 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Indians at Astros, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Giants at Diamondbacks, 10 p.m. (ESPN2)
NBA: Trail Blazers at Nets, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament final, Wisconsin vs. Duke, 9 p.m. (CBS; WEEI-FM)
Soccer: Premier League, Manchester City at Crystal Palace, 2:55 p.m. (NBCSN)


(Chris Steppig/Getty Images)

Andrew Harrison (5) and Kentucky were frustrated by Frank Kaminsky (44) and Wisconsin in Saturday’s national semifinal. (Chris Steppig/Getty Images)

— Wisconsin star Frank Kaminsky tried to play down the controversy that erupted when Kentucky guard Andrew Harrison muttered a racial slur about him during Saturday’s postgame press conference.

After Kentucky’s loss that ended the Wildcats’ season at 38-1, Harrison responded to a question about Kaminsky by saying, ‘[Expletive] that [N-word],” even though Kaminsky is white. Although Harrison covered the microphone with his hand, the comment was audible.

Harrison, who also was criticized for skipping the postgame handshake line along with a few of his teammates, later tweeted an apology, writing: First i want to apologize for my poor choice of words used in jest towards a player I respect and know.

Added Harrison: When I realized how this could be perceived I immediately called big frank to apologize and let him know I didn’t mean any disrespect.

Kaminsky, who on Sunday was named winner of the Naismith Award as the nation’s top player, confirmed that Harrison contacted him, and he attempted to put the issue to rest.

“He reached to me, we talked about it, [I’m] over it,” Kaminsky said Sunday, as he focused on leading the Badgers against Duke in Monday night’s NCAA championship game. “Nothing needs to be made out of it.”

Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan also was in a forgiving mood, saying: “In this day and age, it always reminds all of us that whatever we say can and will be heard, it seems. The teaching moment is the individual himself learned from it obviously by reaching out to Frank, so we’ll leave it at that.”

— Jaguars defensive lineman Sen’Derrick Marks isn’t impressed with the NFL’s decision to hire a female official, and he made an interesting comparison.

The league announced last week that Sarah Thomas will be the first full-time non-replacement official.

“It’s just like the Michael Sam situation — if he wasn’t gay, he would have gone undrafted,” Marks told TMZ. “Instead, the league drafts him because I think they are trying to monopolize every aspect of the world. The same thing with a female ref.

“For the league, it’s great publicity. The NFL is all about monopolizing every opportunity.”

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Read More: Adrian Peterson, Andrew Harrison, Frank Kaminsky, Sen'Derrick Marks

Thinking Out Loud: URI fortunate to retain Dan Hurley — for now

04.03.15 at 2:41 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering whatever happened to Chris Terreri.

— The rush of warm air coming from South County in Rhode Island might have been the collective sigh of relief over Dan Hurley’s decision this week to remain at URI with a contract extension. It is very good news, but the issue doesn’t completely go away. Should the Rams’ season next year meet or exceed expectations — and they very well could be THE favorite in the Atlantic 10 — we’ll be dancing this Rhody two-step again at this same time, next year.

The fact is, no contract is unbreakable. If the coach wants to go someplace else, he’ll go. That’s true for any coach, anywhere. In the meantime, let’s try to enjoy what could be a memorable ride. And Hurley gets to enjoy a potential million-dollar-per-year salary, if he’s still in Kingston in 2017. With this state in the kind of “state” it’s in, did anyone think we’d see this happen anytime soon? Welcome to big-time, big-money college basketball, Rhody.

— The Rams apparently picked up fifth-year transfer shooting guard Four McGlynn, formerly of Vermont and Towson, as an addition to next year’s team. URI struggled to score much of the time, and McGlynn’s presence should open things up. Now a big man would open things up even more.

— Rick Barnes got a raw deal from Texas. Hard to argue against that. After 17 years, 16 NCAA appearances and more than 400 wins, he was shown the door. Body of work means very, very little, and “What have you done lately?” carries more weight than it should. I understand the “why,” but I don’t like it. UT is a powerful, big-moneyed institution whose higher-ups appear to only value loyalty when it suits them or when it pays them to be loyal, and as an alumnus that does not make me happy. Barnes (and Tom Penders before him) turned Texas from a basketball afterthought into a program where the hardwood actually matters. The way Texas handled the dismissal of both Barnes and football coach Mack Brown a year ago isn’t honorable. It wasn’t disgraceful. It was simply sad the school felt the need to have it happen at all. Welcome to Austin, Shaka Smart.

— One more thing on this — the top TWO basketball coaches in Texas history both have Rhode Island ties. Barnes (formerly at Providence) and Penders (formerly at URI). What does that say about basketball, in general, around here?

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Read More: Chris Mullin, Dan Hurley, Kris Dunn, Rick Barnes

Friday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees P Masahiro Tanaka dismisses Pedro Martinez’s pessimism

04.03.15 at 8:22 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Bucks at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Thunder at Grizzlies, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Trail Blazers at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB exhibition: Twins at Red Sox, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB exhibition: Rays at Tigers, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB exhibition: Braves at Orioles, 6 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB exhibition: Cubs at Diamondbacks, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)


Masahiro Tanaka

Masahiro Tanaka

— Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka said he was “honored” that Pedro Martinez would talk about him, but he dismissed the Red Sox legend’s assertion that he will not make it through the 2015 season healthy.

Martinez said Wednesday that he thinks Tanaka has been holding back this spring and expressed doubt that the Japanese ace would last the year.

“I feel kind of honored because a pitcher of that stature is talking about me; I was a little bit surprised by that,” Tanaka said Thursday through his translator (via the New York Daily News). “I understand that everybody has their opinion about certain things, about the way I pitch. But for me, I know where I’€™m at, and I feel good, so I think that’€™s most important.”

Tanaka pitched 4 1/3 innings in Tuesday’s spring training game against the Twins, allowing three runs on seven hits. He said he was trying to have his body “relax a little bit more when I’m throwing,” which might explain why it appeared to Martinez that he wasn’t going all out.

“I think Pedro was looking at specifically the last game that I was pitching, and obviously my stuff wasn’€™t the sharpest that day,” Tanaka said. “The games prior to that, I felt my breaking balls were there. In the bullpen, I’€™ve been throwing them pretty well, so I’€™m not really worried about that either.”

Tanaka, signed to a seven-year, $155 million contract last offseason, started 2014 on fire, winning 12 games before the All-Star break. But he was diagnosed with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in early July and did not return until late September. The Yankees are cautiously optimistic that the 26-year-old right-hander will regain his form.

“Whatever’€™s going to be is going to be, but right now he feels great, he feels healthy and he’€™s had a productive spring,” general manager Brian Cashman said. “All I know is, I’€™m thankful that every day he checks in and says he feels good.

“We obviously want him to stay healthy and hope he stays healthy, as does he, but I can’€™t predict the future.”

NCAA president Mark Emmert took a stand against discrimination but voiced frustration with the timing of the Indiana religious freedom law controversy during his annual state of the NCAA address Thursday in Indianapolis, site of the Final Four.

Emmert spoke while Indiana lawmakers worked to revise their controversial bill to clarify that it will not permit discrimination against gays and lesbians. Lawmakers passes the alteration to the bill shortly after Emmert’s press conference.

“Are we happy that this debate is occurring during the middle of Final Four week? Of course not,” Emmert said. “It would have been a lot easier to have the debate some other day.”

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Read More: Jonathan Taylor, Mark Emmert, Masahiro Tanaka, Pedro Martinez

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti commits apparent tampering regarding Haloti Ngata

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

NHL: Bruins at Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. (NESN)
NBA: Heat at Cavaliers, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Suns at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: CIT final, Northern Arizona at Evansville, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: NIT final, Stanford vs, Miami, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB exhibition: Red Sox at Twins, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB exhibition: Yankees at Tigers, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB exhibition: Athletics at Giants, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)


Steve Bisciotti

Steve Bisciotti

— Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti has been busy dealing with his players’ off-field transgressions of late, so maybe he hasn’t been paying attention to the league’s tampering controversies. Because there doesn’t seem to be any other way to explain his obvious tampering regarding defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, whom the Ravens traded to the Lions last month.

During a conference call with season ticket-holders Wednesday, Bisciotti indicated he was open to having Ngota — who spent his first nine NFL seasons with the Ravens — return to Baltimore when his contract expires next year. Per league rules, teams are not allowed to make public comments speculating about the future of players who are under contract with another team.

“I respect Haloti,” Bisciotti said (via the Baltimore Sun). I had a wonderful conversation with him after he was traded. We are going to miss him, but I haven’t heard anything about him getting an extension from Detroit. As far as I know, he could be a free agent a year from now, and we may be watching the second coming of Haloti Ngata.”

Added Bisciotti: “Players like that are always welcome back. There were no hard feelings on either side. Haloti is a wonderful guy. I wish him the best, and maybe we’ll see him again.”

The team’s social media staff made sure everyone was aware of Bisciotti’s apparent violation, tweeting: Steve Bisciotti doesn’t rule out the possibility of Haloti Ngata returning to Baltimore after this season. Will be a free agent in 2016.

— UConn women’s coach Geno Auriemma is concerned about the decline in offense in his sport — especially on the men’s side.

Through the first four rounds of the NCAA Tournament, men’s teams are averaging 67.8 points. That’s 1.7 points less than the women, continuing a recent trend that started in 2007 when the men scored six more points than the women.

In the regular season, men’s scoring is down four points a game over the last 15 years, and the men only outscored the women by three points per game this season — the closest margin in a decade and a half.

“As a spectator watching it, it’s a joke,” Auriemma said of the men’s game. “The game’s a joke, it really is. I don’t coach it, play it. I don’t understand its ins and outs.”

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Read More: Geno Auriemma, Haloti Ngata, Jarred Cosart, Steve Bisciotti

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: UConn coaches to skip Final Four due to Indiana’s ‘religious freedom’ law

04.01.15 at 8:16 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Pacers at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Nets at Knicks, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Clippers at Trail Blazers, 10 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: CBI finals, Loyola (Chicago) at Louisiana-Monroe, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
High school basketball: McDonald’s All-American Game, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Flyers at Penguins, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Avalanche at Sharks, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB exhibition: Blue Jays at Red Sox, 1 p.m. (NESN)
MLB exhibition: Cardinals at Mets, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB exhibition: Brewers at Cubs, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB exhibition: Pirates at Orioles, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)


Kevin Ollie

Kevin Ollie

— UConn is taking a stand against Indiana’s new “religious freedom” law, as the Huskies coaching staff will skip the Final Four in Indianapolis along with the National Association of Basketball Coaches convention that is held at the same time.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy banned state-funded travel to Indiana in response to the new law that critics say legalizes discrimination, but because coach Kevin Ollie and his assistants already had paid for their trip, the school was given the choice how to handle it.

“In support of Gov. Malloy’s travel ban to the state of Indiana, Kevin Ollie and other members of the UConn men’s basketball staff will not travel to Indianapolis for the NCAA Final Four and events surrounding it,” UConn president Susan Herbst said Tuesday in a statement. “UConn is a community that values all of our members and treats each person with the same degree of respect, regardless of their background and beliefs and we will not tolerate any other behavior.”

Earlier Tuesday, USC athletic director Pat Haden, whose son is gay, announced that he would boycott the College Football Playoff committee meetings this week in the Hoosier State.

Tweeted Haden: I am the proud father of a gay son. In his honor, I will not be attending the CFP committee meeting in Indy this week. #EmbraceDiversity

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who previously dismissed opposing views of the bill, took a more open stance Tuesday, saying that he has been meeting with lawmakers and wants new legislation by the end of the week that clarifies that the new law does not open the door for people and businesses to legally discriminate.

“It certainly wasn’t my intent,” Pence insisted.

— An arrest warrant was issued for former NHL player Andre Deveaux in Sweden after he attacked an opposing player during warmups before a playoff game last week.

Deveaux played for Rogle BK, a second-tier team from the southern Sweden town of Angelholm, but the Canadian’s contract was terminated Monday after video of the incident went viral. In the video, Deveaux — apparently upset about a hit earlier in the series — can be seen skating out from the bench and immediately heading for VIK Vasteras captain Per Helmersson. Skating up from behind, Deveaux raises his stick and, with two hands, swings it at Helmersson’s skate and then jumps on top of the surprised player.

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Read More: Andre Deveaux, Kevin Ollie, Pat Haden, Tyren Jones