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Saints extend coach Sean Payton through 2020 season

03.23.16 at 10:24 am ET
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Sean Payton

Sean Payton

The Saints and coach Sean Payton have agreed to a five-year contract extension. Payton announced the news himself Wednesday morning at the NFL owners meetings in Boca Raton, Florida.

The new deal will keep Payton at the helm through the 2020 season. With the Saints’ struggles the past few seasons, there was some speculation that he and the team would be parting ways this offseason. The Saints have gone 7-9 each of the last two seasons. According to Payton, however, the deal had been in the works for quite some time.

“There’s so much of you in there, that I don’t see myself working anywhere else,” Payton said. “There’s been really good stability and consistency at ownership. We just had dinner with Mr. [Benson] last night, Mickey [Loomis], and I think that doesn’t guarantee anything, but it gives you a chance. It’s been very functional. That stability, obviously, I don’t take for granted.”

Payton is one of the longest-tenured coaches with one team, as he has coached the Saints for nine seasons (he missed all of the 2012 season as punishment for the Bountygate scandal). Over that span, he has a regular-season record of 87-57 and has appeared in the playoffs five times with a record of 6-4. He coached a Super Bowl champion in 2009.

The team reportedly also has been in talks to extend quarterback Drew Brees, who has one year remaining on his contract.

“I know Mickey and [Brees’ agent, Tom Condon] have had quite a bit of discussion in the last week and a half,” Payton said. “I would say ongoing now. It always takes a little longer than you want it to, and they’re never the same. This was a different type of negotiation than the last one. But I know there’s been quite a bit of dialogue.”

Read More: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints, sean payton,

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: President Barack Obama calls David Ortiz post-Marathon bombing speech ‘one of my proudest moments’

03.23.16 at 8:11 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:
NHL: Bruins at Rangers, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Raptors at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Knicks at Bulls, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Lakers at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: NIT, Florida at George Washington, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: NIT, Georgia Tech at San Diego State, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

— While attending the Rays-Cuban national team exhibition baseball game Tuesday in Cuba, President Barack Obama gave David Ortiz a shout-out, saying the Red Sox outfielder’s speech to fans after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings ranks high on his list of memories from his time in office.

In his team’s first game back at Fenway Park after the bombings, Ortiz famously proclaimed, “This is our [expletive] city.”

“One of my proudest moments as president was watching Boston respond after the marathon [attack] and when Ortiz went out and said — probably the only time that America didn’t have a problem with cursing on live TV — when he talked about how strong Boston was and was not going to be intimidated,” Obama said during an in-game interview with ESPN. “And that is the kind of resilience and the kind of strength that we have to continually show in the face of these terrorists.”

Asked if there was any concern about going through with Tuesday’s game after the terrorist attacks in Belgium, Obama said: “It’s always a challenge when you’ve got a terrorist attack anywhere in the world, particularly in this age of 24-7 news coverage, you want to be respectful and understand the gravity of the situation. But the whole premise of terrorism is to try to disrupt people’s ordinary lives and one of my most powerful memories.”

The Rays beat the Cubans, 4-1, on a day when Obama was warmly received by fans in Havana. He sat in the front row, next to Cuban president Raul Castro, before leaving in the third inning.

Red Sox legend Lus Tiant, a native of Cuba, threw out one of the ceremonial first pitches.

— The NFL finally acknowledged a link between football and the brain disease known as CTE, but that’s not enough to convince Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

“We don’t have that knowledge and background, and scientifically, so there’s no way in the world to say you have a relationship relative to anything here,” Jones said Tuesday (via The Washington Post) from the NFL owners’ meetings. “There’s no research. There’s no data. … We’re not disagreeing. We’re just basically saying the same thing. We’re doing a lot more. It’s the kind of thing that you want to work … to prevent injury.”

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Read More: Barack Obama, David Ortiz, Jerry Jones, Jordan Clarkson

Woody Johnson pleads for Ryan Fitzpatrick to ‘come back to the Jets’

03.22.16 at 8:52 am ET
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Ryan Fitzpatrick

Ryan Fitzpatrick

The Jets apparently are not ready to move on from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Although contract talks have appeared to reach a stalemate, Jets owner Woody Johnson made a public pitch for Fitzpatrick to return to the team at the NFL owners meetings on Monday morning.

“Come back to the Jets,” Johnson said.

While his words may hold some weight with the quarterback, Johnson likely will need to put his money where his mouth is in order to retain Fitzpatrick. Reports have said the two sides are off by around $7 million per year. The 33-year-old Harvard product had the best season of his career last year with the Jets, finishing with 3,905 yards and 31 touchdowns.

“I kind of hope [he returns],” Johnson said. “He did have such a good year. I like him a lot as a person; he’s very engaging. He’s the Harvard guy, and then he’s the normal guy.

Although neither side has seemed willing to give up any ground in contract discussions, Fitzpatrick has yet to find another suitor in free agency, which has given the Jets some leverage.

“The two sides have got to come up with an agreement that obviously both sides are happy with,” Johnson said. “That is what we’re working toward.”

Added Johnson: “He’s a priority. You have to fill out about 25 positions, 25 percent change. We’re focused on this and we’re also looking at the draft. There is time to pick up players, not only this period but pre-draft free agents.”

Read More: New York Jets, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Woody Johnson,

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Donald Trump threatens to take out ads saying Cubs owners are doing ‘rotten job’

03.22.16 at 8:02 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:
NBA: Rockets at Thunder, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Grizzlies at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NIT, Saint Mary’s at Valparaiso, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: NIT, Creighton at BYU, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Kings at Wild, 8:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB preseason: Braves at Astros, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network, NESN)
MLB preseason: Rays at Cuba, 2 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB preseason: Rangers at Padres, 4:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Dodgers at Royals, 9:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: FA Cup, Manchester United at West Ham, 3 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

Donald Trump is not happy with the owners of the Cubs. (Craig Rubadoux/USA Today Network)

Donald Trump is holding a grudge against the owners of the Cubs. (Craig Rubadoux/USA Today Network)

— Taking a break from feuding with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump threatened to take out ads against the owners of the Cubs saying they’re doing a “rotten job” running the team.

Trump first made comments about the Ricketts family in February, tweeting after a report that a super political action committee opposing his campaign received a $3 million donation from family matriarch Marlene Ricketts.

Wrote Trump: I hear the Rickets family, who own the Chicago Cubs, are secretly spending $’s against me. They better be careful, they have a lot to hide!

During an interview with The Washington Post on Monday, Trump elaborated on his view.

“I actually said they ought to focus on the Chicago Cubs and, you know, stop playing around. They spent millions of dollars fighting me in Florida,” Trump said of the conservative family.

“I’ll start spending on them. I’ll start taking ads telling them all what a rotten job they’re doing with the Chicago Cubs. I mean, they are spending on me. I mean, so am I allowed to say that?”

Trump apparently is not aware that the Cubs reached the National League Championship Series last season and are one of the favorites to win the World Series this year.

The team responded to Trump’s latest remarks by referring to chairman Tom Ricketts’ statement last month.

“We stand up for what we believe in,” Ricketts said then. “We support the causes we think are important. That is what America should be.”

— Fantasy sports websites DraftKings and FanDuel reached an agreement with the state of New York in which they will stop taking bets while lawmakers debate if they should regulate the industry.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has been aggressively pushing for the companies to stop doing business in his state, accusing them of running an illegal gambling operation while participating in false advertising and consumer fraud.

“As I’ve said from the start, my job is to enforce the law, and starting today, DraftKings and FanDuel will abide by it,” Schneiderman said in a statement.

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Read More: Donald Trump, DraftKings, Dwight Howard, FanDuel

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Texas A&M’s record comeback highlights another day of Madness

03.21.16 at 8:25 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:
NBA: Magic at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Spurs at Hornets, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Grizzlies at Suns, 10 p.m. (NBA TV)
NIT: George Washington at Monmouth, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NIT: Georgia Tech at South Carolina, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
NIT: Washington at San Diego State, 11:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
NHL: Flyers at Islanders, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB preseason: Red Sox at Cardinals, 1:05 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB preseason: White Sox at Indians, 4:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Reds at Padres, 10:10 p.m. (MLB Network)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Northern Iowa was poised to produce yet another upset in an NCAA Tournament filled with them, but the Panthers ended up making history for a different reason — the biggest last-minute collapse ever in Division 1.

The 11th-seeded Panthers led third-seeded Texas A&M by 12 points with 44 seconds remaining — and 10 with less than 30 seconds left — before they suddenly could not stop turning over the ball under their own basket.

Texas A&M took advantage and came up with some big baskets to force overtime, then went on to win in double OT.

“We knew it was kind of impossible, man, but we just said that we were going to fight until the end,” said A&M’s Danuel House, who was scoreless with 5:14 remaining in regulation but finished with 22 points.

Said Aggies coach Billy Kennedy: “I’ve never been a part of a game like that, never saw one. [I] still really don’t know what happened.”

Northern Iowa had won its first-round game against Texas on a halfcourt buzzer-beater by Paul Jespersen, but this time the Panthers had no magic, committing four turnovers in the final 44 seconds — the last allowing A&M’s Admon Gilder to score a layup with 1.9 seconds left for the tie. It didn’t help that primary inbounder Matt Bohannon was sitting at the end of the bench after hurting his knee.

“It’s just tough,” Bohannon said. “It’s the NCAA Tournament, though, that’s what happens.”

Meanwhile, as the UNI-A&M game was wrapping up, Wisconsin guard Bronson Koenig delivered a fallaway 3-pointer at the buzzer for a win over Xavier (much to the dismay of actor Bill Murray, whose son is a Xavier assistant coach).

— The director of the women’s tennis tournament at Indian Wells, California, found himself in some hot water after criticizing the WTA Tour and commenting on the looks of the players.

“In my next life when I come back I want to be someone in the WTA because they ride on the coattails of the men, They don’t make any decisions and they are lucky. They are very, very lucky,” BNP Paribas Open director Raymond Moore told reporters after Sunday’s final. “If I was a lady player, I’d go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born, because they have carried this sport.”

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Read More: NCAA tournament, Serena Williams,

Thinking Out Loud: As college basketball grabs spotlight, concerns linger behind the scenes

03.18.16 at 5:51 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering if the refs we bagged on all year went dancing, too.

— One up, one down for college basketball. Up would be ratings on FS1, even though national college basketball ratings are down overall. FS1 had a 10 percent increase in total viewers per game for coverage that featured the Big East, but the Fox network was slightly down (as were the ESPNs) for the season compared to last year.

— Down? How about “out,” altogether? Burger King’s sponsorship of the NCAA, after only two years, is ending. The original deal was for three years, but neither side is saying why the relationship is over after only two. Not exactly a “whopper” of a story, but significant enough to note with media rights deals coming up again in a few years.

— Let’s be honest, shall we? The “NCAA Selection Show” on CBS this year was a disaster. Lengthened to two hours, undoubtedly to boost ratings, the show’s length caused the program to drag on and on — with the audience at the mercy of wannabe stand-up comic Charles Barkley, who knows zero about the college game. It’s painfully obvious he doesn’t follow it.

— Just in case the TV types are reading/listening, the better move to make here is to release the bracket in the first hour and spend the second hour breaking it down or interviewing coaches and players. You’ll still keep an audience, Barkley still can screw up on the digi-board, and fans of teams selected at the end won’t suffer nervous breakdowns. As much.

— Oh, and the job done by the selection committee? As bad or worse than the TV show. My two cents: This year was nothing more than the power schools peeing on the fire hydrant, marking their territory and telling mid-to-low majors that this is “our event.”

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Frustrated Carmelo Anthony questions loyalty to Knicks

03.18.16 at 8:17 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’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.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at Raptors, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE, NBA TV)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Syracuse vs. Dayton, 12:15 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, UNC Asheville vs. Villanova, 12:40 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, VCU vs. Oregon State, 1:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Hawaii vs. California, 2 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Middle Tennessee vs. Michigan State, 2:45 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Temple vs. Iowa, 3:10 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Bakersfield vs. Oklahoma, 4 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, South Dakota State vs. Maryland, 4:30 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Pittsburgh vs. Wisconsin, 6:50 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Stephen F. Austin vs. West Virginia, 7:10 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Green Bay vs. Texas A&M, 7:20 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Holy Cross vs. Oregon, 7:27 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Weber State vs. Xavier, 9:20 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Michigan vs. Notre Dame, 9:40 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Northern Iowa vs. Texas, 9:50 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Cincinnati vs. Saint Joseph’s, 9:57 p.m. (truTV)
NHL: Bruins at Ducks, 10 p.m. (NESN)
College hockey: Hockey East semifinals, UMass-Lowell vs. Providence, 5 p.m. (NESN, NBCSN)
College hockey: Hockey East semifinals, Northeastern vs Boston College, 8 p.m. (NESN, NBCSN)
MLB preseason: Twins at Red Sox, 1:05 p.m. (NESN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony

— The Knicks’ next loss will clinch a third straight losing season, and the frustration is hard to hide for aging star Carmelo Anthony.

However, the 31-year-old still claims — at least for now — that he has no plans to waive his no-trade clause so that the team can move on from him and his huge contract.

“I don’t know, maybe my loyalty has come back to bite me in the [butt],” Anthony told Yahoo! Sports’ Marc Spears. “As of right now, I am sticking to it.”

New York’s most recent loss was a blowout at the hands of the Warriors.

“Even though we lost … got our ass kicked tonight, I hope this is not an indication of where we are as a team,” Anthony said after the game. “I try not to compare, I’m not in the game of comparing, but I hope this is not an indication of where we are as a team and we can bounce back and show the real team that we are and how we play against the Wizards coming up [Saturday].”

The Knicks are 28-41 — 5-10 under interim coach Kurt Rambis — and likely to miss the playoffs for the third straight year. Anthony had made the playoffs his first 10 years in the league.

Earlier in the week, Anthony discussed the team’s coaching situation, shooting down a suggestion that team president Phil Jackson be a part-time coach and suggesting the team interview other candidates rather than handing the job to Rambis immediately.

Asked about his recent chat with Jackson about the team’s offseason plans, he said: “It was just one conversation. At this point, it’s more show me rather than tell me. That’s where I’m at.”

Added Anthony: “The ball is not in my court at this point. It comes to what [the front office] wants to do in the offseason. It’s up to them to make those decisions.”

— Grizzlies forward Matt Barnes has been known to rile up opposing players, but on Thursday night Bucks forward John Henson turned the tables.

Henson had a big block of Barnes in the closing seconds of Milwaukee’s win, and after the play Henson stared down Barnes, igniting a brief confrontation.

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Read More: Carmelo Anthony, John Henson, Tony Bennett,

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Players come to defense of Adam LaRoche after he retires due to White Sox’ stance on kids at spring training

03.17.16 at 8:21 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:
NBA: Trail Blazers at Spurs, 8:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Suns at Jazz, 9 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, UNC Wilmington vs. Duke, 12:15 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Butler vs. Texas Tech, 12:40 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, UConn vs. Colorado, 1:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Iona vs. Iowa State, 2 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Yale vs. Baylor, 2:45 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Hampton vs. Virginia, 3:!0 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Austin Peay vs. Kansas, 4 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Arkansas-Little Rock vs. Purdue, 4:30 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Buffalo vs. Miami, 6:50 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Chatanooga vs. Indiana, 7:10 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Florida Gulf Coast vs. North Carolina, 7:20 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Fresno State vs. Utah, 7:27 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Wichita State vs. Arizona, 9:20 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Stony Brook vs. Kentucky, 9:40 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Providence vs. USC, 9:50 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Gonzaga vs. Seton Hall, 9:57 p.m. (truTV)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, Villareal CF at Bayer 04 Leverkusen, 2 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, Liverpool at Manchester United, 4 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

Adam LaRoche

Adam LaRoche

— Adam LaRoche’s decision to retire from the White Sox sparked a national debate Wednesday after it was revealed that his move was prompted by the team asking him to minimize his 14-year-old son’s presence at spring training.

White Sox president Kenny Williams acknowledged Wednesday that he spoke to LaRoche twice in the last week, asking the one-time Red Sox first baseman to cut back on his son’s time at camp so the team could be more focused.

“I want to be very clear on something. It’s not because the young man was a distraction, not because he wasn’t well-received or well-liked by players management and everyone else,” Williams said. “He’s a quality, quality young kid that one day might be a heck of a player one day. Anyway, one of the things we said coming into this season is, ‘Let’s check all the columns’ with regards to our preparation, our focus to give us every chance to win.”

Added Williams: “To have his child on the field 100 percent of the time, and that’s kind of where we were, every day, yeah, I asked him initially just dial it back. Even 50 percent is probably too much, but there is a wide range between zero and 50 percent.

“I was a little surprised at the stance that he took. It’s unfortunate. But talk about a quality decision, a life decision and a family decision. He talked about being there for his family and family first and front and center, and I respect and admire that.”

Around baseball — and the team — LaRoche received widespread support.

“On our side of things, I think everyone would say we enjoyed Drake LaRoche in the clubhouse and everything he brought to the clubhouse,” White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton said. “He helped out around and wasn’t a burden by any stretch of the imagination. He wasn’t a big problem last year, either. … Adam and Drake are probably the most respected people in baseball I ever played with. Drake would clean cleats, he would help out in drills, pick up baseballs when we needed, he didn’t say boo to anybody and was never a trouble in the clubhouse.”

Tweeted National League MVP Bryce Harper, who played alongside LaRoche with the Nationals from 2011-14: Good for you Roche! Nothing like father and son in the clubhouse..It’s a FAMILY game.

The team asked LaRoche to reconsider, although Williams said the 36-year-old “seemed pretty convicted in his decision.” LaRoche, who hit just .207 with 12 home runs last season, would give up $13 million in salary if he does not return.

Williams stressed that he thought it was “great” for kids to be around the team. However, he said, “I just don’t think it’s great every day.”

— Goose Gossage’s recent tirade about players’ obnoxious behavior was not well-received by everyone, but he has some support from at least one young star.

Angels outfielder Mike Trout said Wednesday he agrees that bat-flipping after a home run is disrespectful.

“I just keep it the same,” Trout told reporters from spring training. “I don’t try to show anybody up. Whatever somebody else does, that’s what they do.”

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Read More: adam laroche, FIFA, Mike Trout,

President Barack Obama picks Kansas to beat North Carolina in NCAA final

03.16.16 at 9:57 am ET
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In his eighth and final March Madness as a resident of the White House, President Barack Obama picked Kansas to beat North Carolina in the NCAA championship game.

“Bill Self owes me,” Obama joked about the Kansas coach while filling out his bracket with ESPN’s Andy Katz, as he picked Kansas to win twice before with no success. “I’m putting Kansas in here. Coach, I’m just teasing. I’m not putting pressure on you. But I think the Jayhawks in a squeaker get past UNC.”

Obama correctly predicted North Carolina would win in 2009, his first NCAA Tournament as Commander in Chief, but he has not picked the right winner since.

“This is going to be the year,” he said. “I started off making the right pick, I’m going to end making the right pick.”

Obama also has Texas A&M and Michigan State in his Final Four.

While acknowledging he doesn’t know enough about the smaller programs to predict many upsets, Obama — a native of Hawaii — went with 13th-seeded Hawaii to knock off fourth-seeded California in the first round.

Read More: Barack Obama, NCAA tournament,

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Carmelo Anthony ‘wouldn’t accept’ Phil Jackson coaching Knicks home games next season

03.16.16 at 7:50 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: Thunder at Celtics, 7 p.m. (CSNNE, ESPN)
NBA: Clippers at Rockets, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Holy Cross vs. Southern, 6:40 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Michigan vs. Tulsa, 9:10 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NIT, Belmont at Georgia, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: NIT, Princeton at Virginia Tech, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: NIT, Houston at Georgia Tech, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: NIT, UAB at BYU, 10 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL: Flyers at Blackhawks, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB preseason: Red Sox at Twins, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB preseason: Tigers at Astros, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: White Sox at Brewers, 4:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Reds at Diamondbacks, 9:40 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Arsenal vs. Barcelona, 3:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony

— There have been rumors in New York that Knicks president Phil Jackson might consider returning to the sideline as coach — perhaps only for home games, leaving current interim coach Kurt Rambis to handle away games. Carmelo Anthony, however, said that won’t be the case.

“Nah, nah, nah. I don’t think that should be accepted,” Anthony said Tuesday. “I wouldn’t accept that if that was the case. Phil is cool, man. He doesn’t need to be on the sidelines no more. He put so many years into this game. He’s cool. He doesn’t need to be on the sideline. I don’t think he’s thinking about coming back down on the sideline. I hope not. Let him ride on out. Let him sit out and be the president.”

Added Anthony: “Phil ain’t coaching no more, man. So let’s [kill] that rumor. Phil ain’t coaching no more.”

Last week Jackson hinted Rambis might be promoted to permanent coach. Anthony also had something less than enthusiastic to say about that.

“I think you still have to at least listen to other candidates out there,” Anthony said.

Anthony did not dismiss Rambis as an option, although Rambis’ 5-9 record since taking over for Derek Fisher last month — and his 32-132 record in his previous stint with the Timberwolves — isn’t blowing anyone away.

“I think you consider Kurt at that job,” Anthony said. “[Jackson] brought Kurt here for that reason if anything was to happen and the situation is here for him now. I think it’s just more of seeing how Kurt handles the situation right now, how the team does, how the team responds to Kurt.”

— Louisville coach Rick Pitino continues to profess ignorance to claims that an assistant coach paid strippers to perform for players and recruits during parties at a campus dormitory.

Speaking on ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike,” Pitino said he hopes the NCAA investigation “comes up with the right answers, because it’s puzzling to all of us.”

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Read More: Carmelo Anthony, Mateen Cleaves, Phil Jackson, Rick Pitino