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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Jacoby Ellsbury not concerned about slow start with Yankees

03.14.14 at 8:14 am ET

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: Suns at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Lakers at Spurs, 8:30 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: UMass vs. George Washington, 9 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Florida State vs. Virginia, noon (ESPN2)
College basketball: Illinois vs. Michigan, noon (ESPN)
College basketball: Saint Louis vs. St. Bonaventure, noon (NBCSN)
College basketball: Missouri vs. Florida, 1 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Pittsburgh vs. North Carolina, 2 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Ohio State vs. Nebraska, 2 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Saint Joseph’s vs. Dayton, 2:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: South Carolina vs. Tennessee, 3 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Middle Tennessee vs. Tulsa, 4 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Minnesota vs. Wisconsin, 6:30 p.m. (BTN)
College basketball: Southern Mississippi vs. Louisiana Tech, 6:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: VCU vs. Richmond, 6:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Seton Hall vs. Providence, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: N.C. State vs. Syracuse, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Iowa State vs. Kansas, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Houston vs. Louisville, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Clemson vs. Duke, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Cincinnati vs. UConn, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: San Diego State vs. UNLV, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Michigan State vs. Northwestern, 9 p.m. (BTN)
College basketball: Baylor vs. Texas, 9:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Creighton vs. Xavier, 9:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: New Mexico vs. Boise State, 11:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: UCLA vs. Stanford, 11:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Cal State Northridge vs. Long Beach State, midnight (ESPNU)
NHL: Predators at Blackhawks, 8 p.m. (NHL Network)
College hockey: Minnesota at Michigan, 6:30 p.m. (ESPNews)
MLB preseason: Cardinals at Astros, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Diamondbacks at Brewers, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)


— With the Yankees signing Japanese standout Masahiro Tanaka, and with Derek Jeter announcing this will be his final season, it’s allowed $153 million free agent Jacoby Ellsbury to avoid the spotlight in spring training.

That’s a good thing, because the former Red Sox outfielder is struggling out of the gate, with just three hits in 20 at-bats, a .150 batting average. He did hit a home run Thursday, in a 6-2 loss to the Phillies.

Ellsbury is one of a few free agents acquired by the Yankees this offseason, along with Tanaka, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Kelly Johnson and Brian Roberts, allowing the attention to be divided.

“With the people we brought in, it’s spread around,” manager Joe Girardi said (via the New York Daily News). “With [Jeter’s announcement], it’s spread around, so it’s probably worked out to [Ellsbury’s] advantage. Replay has helped, collisions at home plate have helped; there’s been a lot to talk about this spring.”

Ellsbury said he’s aware that if he starts this slow when the games are for real next month, it will be more difficult to avoid criticism. He said his experience with the Red Sox has prepared him well.

“In Boston the expectation is to win. Same thing here,” he said. “That’s really all I know. The media is going to ask you questions win or lose and you’re going to have to answer them.

“That’s all I know. If I came from a smaller organization it might be an eye-opener, but that’s not the case.”

Added Ellsbury: “You understand it comes with the territory. That’€™s the passion the New York fans have. I enjoy that the fans care. As players, we expect a lot of ourselves. From that standpoint, nothing really changes.”

Ellsbury will return to Fenway Park on April 22 when the Yankees pay their first visit of the season.

“It’s going to be exciting,” he said. “I enjoy those moments; I thrive in them.

“I don’t know what to expect and I’m not looking that far forward, but I’m looking forward to going there.”

— The ACC is finalizing a plan to play its conference tournament at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for two years starting in 2017, according to a Sports Illustrated report.

The tournament is being held in Greensboro, N.C., this month, and will return there next year, followed by a year in Washington.

With the addition of Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame this season, joining Boston College, the league has been rumored for some time to be looking to take the tournament north and capitalize in the New York media market.

— With the NCAA tournament approaching, Real Clear Sports has the top 10 facts that will help you win your bracket pool.

The top fact: Go with the top seeds. No. 1 seeds account for 40 percent of Final Four teams since 1979, and a No. 1 seed has reached the Final Four every year since 1981 except twice (2006, 2011). However, you should have some variety, as 26 times since 1979 the Final Four has included three different seeds.

Another tip: Avoid 7 seeds. No. 7s have a good success rate in their first game, but no No. 7 has made it past the Elite Eight.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 14, 1944, which Bruin recorded two assists in a 6-4 victory over the visiting Blackhawks and set an NHL single-season scoring record with 75 points?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Now it’s official. #Revis24 has agreed to terms with the New England Patriots!” Darrelle Revis‘ business manager, John Geiger, upon the cornerback completing a deal Thursday

STAT OF THE DAY: 300 — Wins for Claude Julien as Bruins coach, following Thursday’s 2-1 victory over the Coyotes

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Seton Hall knocks off top-seeded Villanova on this Sterling Gibbs jumper at the buzzer.

Wyoming guard Josh Adams delivers a nasty double-clutch dunk against UNLV.

From a Michigan high school basketball playoff game, Sacred Heart beats Fulton on a miraculous buzzer-beater by Dustin Neyer off a wayward inbounds pass that goes off the backboard and all the way out to the 3-point line.

A Minnesota high school basketball playoff game ends in the fourth overtime when Hopkins beats Shakopee on a three-quarter-court shot by Amir Coffey.

A man soaring through the air on a motorized paraglider makes an emergency landing on a field during a softball game when his motor stops working.


SOOTHING SOUNDS: Phil Phillips was born on this day in 1926.

Read More: Derek Jeter, Jacoby Ellsbury,