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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: NCAA investigation of Syracuse reportedly includes ‘major’ violations

03.21.13 at 7:48 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: Bruins at Senators, 7:30 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Devils at Hurricanes, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Valparaiso vs. Michigan State, 12:15 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Bucknell vs. Butler, 12:40 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Wichita State vs. Pittsburgh, 1:40 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, New Mexico State vs. Saint Louis, 2:10 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, St. Mary’s vs. Memphis, 2:45 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Davidson vs. Marquette, 3:10 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Southern vs. Gonzaga, 4:10 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Oregon vs. Oklahoma State, 4:40 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, North Carolina A&T vs. Louisville, 6:50 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, South Dakota State vs. Michigan, 7:15 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Belmont vs. Arizona, 7:20 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, California vs. UNLV, 7:27 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Missouri vs. Colorado State, 9:20 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Akron vs. VCU, 9:45 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Harvard vs. New Mexico, 9:50 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Montana vs. Syracuse, 9:57 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NIT, Denver at Maryland, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
MLB preseason: Phillies at Red Sox, 7:05 p.m. (NESN Plus; WEEI-FM)
MLB preseason: Cardinals at Mets, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Nationals at Braves, 6 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Angels at Rangers, 9 p.m. (MLB Network)

AROUND THE WEB:

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim claims the latest reports about the NCAA investigating his program won't be a distraction for his team. (AP)

♦ The Syracuse basketball team has been under investigation by the NCAA for years, and it reportedly includes possible “major” violations, according to multiple reports. But coach Jim Boeheim, whose team is preparing to meet Montana in the NCAA tournament Thursday night, doesn’t sound concerned.

“Same story they had last year at this time,” Boeheim said. “I guess that’s annual. I guess next year we’ll get it again.”

The issues reportedly concern drug-related violations, an alleged sexual assault case in 2007 that involved three players, and the handling of Fab Melo‘s academic eligibility. Melo, now property of the Celtics, was declared ineligible by the school just before its opening NCAA tournament game one year ago.

“Last year was completely different,” Boeheim said. “We didn’t have Fab Melo; that’s a little different. That was not a distraction; it was an absence. And they handled it as well as they could.”

Added Boeheim: “We’re concerned about playing Montana. What people write or say, you know, there’s 30,000 people in the Dome yelling at me all the time. People yell at their television sets. I tell them I can’t hear them, but they still yell at them. There’s no distractions for me. And these players, there’s absolutely no distractions for them. They’re here to play Montana, and that’s it.”

Kendall Gill, who is part of the broadcast team for Bulls games on Comcast SportsNet Chicago, was suspended after reportedly throwing a punch at Big Ten Network analyst Tim Doyle following a taping of a talk show in the CSN newsroom Tuesday night.

On the show, Doyle criticized Gill for his analysis of a key play in the final seconds of the Bulls’ overtime loss to the Nuggets on Monday night. Gill said the referees made the wrong call on a basket interference against Bulls forward Joakim Noah.

As the two left the building, Gill, a former Illinois star who played 15 years in the NBA and then had a short stint in boxing, confronted Doyle, a former Northwestern player. The confrontation, witnessed by two newspaper reporters, escalated into a shoving match before Gill threw a punch.

“We’re looking further into the incident that took place in our newsroom earlier today,” CSN Chicago news director Kevin Cross said in a statement late Tuesday night. “Until the investigation is complete, Kendall Gill will not be appearing on our air.”

♦ Hockey Hall of Famer Glen Sather, general manager of the Rangers, reportedly will have surgery Thursday for prostate cancer. Sather, 69, is expected to resume his duties after a few days in the hospital.

Assistant GM Jeff Gorton, who spent 15 years in the Bruins front office before moving to New York six years ago, will be in charge in Sather’s absence.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On March 21, 1991, the Bruins peppered Quebec Nordiques goalie Ron Tugnutt with 73 shots — 10 short of the NHL record set by the B’s in 1941 — in a 3-3 tie. Which Bruin set an NHL record with 19 shots in the game?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “You could see our guys laughing and joking. I told our coaches, I said, ‘The basketball gods will get us tonight at some point.’ And unfortunately, it did. So, I thought we deserve everything we got. We don’t learn because we’ve done this three or four times this year and we just don’t learn. It’s disappointing.” Doc Rivers, after the Celtics blew a 13-point lead and lost to the Hornets

STAT OF THE DAY: 27 – Points the Heat trailed before rallying to beat the Cavaliers and extend their winnings break to 24 games

‘NET RESULTS: The Celtics weren’t the only ones who lost Wednesday night on a last-second tip-in. In Memphis, Grizzlies center Marc Gasol pushes home a missed shot for a 90-89 victory over the Thunder.

The youngster known as “Kid President” makes his NCAA tournament picks, Barack Obama-style.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Ray Bourque

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Russell Thompkins Jr., known for his falsettos leads with the Stylistics, was born on this day in 1951.

Read More: Glen Sather, Jeff Gorton, jim boeheim, Kendal Gill