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03/12/2012 - 6:40am
UMass faces Mississippi State in NIT

UMass will make its first postseason appearance since 2008 when it travels to Mississippi State Tuesday night to open play in the NIT.

The Minutemen are 22-11 after losing to eventual tournament champion St. Bonaventure on Saturday in the semifinals of the Atlantic-10 tournament. There are five A-10 teams in the NIT.

The Bulldogs are 21-11 after going 8-8 in the Southeastern Conference.

This is the first meeting between the schools. The winner advances to play Seton Hall or Stony Brook.

For more on the NIT, click here.


03/11/2012 - 6:32pm
Harvard draws Vanderbilt for NCAA opener

Harvard was given a 12 seed and will play fifth-seeded Vanderbilt in the opening round of the NCAA tournament Thursday in Albuquerque, N.M., in an East Regional game. Should the Crimson pull off the upset, they would meet the winner of 13th-seeded Montana and fourth-seeded Wisconsin on Saturday.

Harvard (26-4), which has not been to the NCAA tournament since 1946, won its first outright Ivy League championship this season.

Vanderbilt (24-10) is coming off a victory over top-ranked (and top-seeded) Kentucky in Sunday's SEC championship game.

UConn is a 9 seed and will play eighth-seeded Iowa State on Thursday in Louisville in the South Regional, with the winner likely meeting top overall seed Kentucky.

America East tournament champion Vermont will meet Lamar Wednesday in one of the four play-in games. The winner gets Midwest top seed North Carolina on Friday in Greensboro, N.C.

The other top seeds are Syracuse (East) and and...

03/11/2012 - 6:12pm
Celtics drop thriller in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES -- The Celtics started this eight-game road trip with an absolute thriller against their most famous rival,  but the Lakers walked out with a 97-94 victory on Sunday at Staples Center.

Ray Allen hit a pair of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, and it was the second that gave the Celtics a 94-89 lead with 2:41 left. The Lakers rallied with back-to-back baskets from Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum to trim the lead to 94-93 with 1:16 left. That five-point Boston lead was the biggest held by either team over the final 12 minutes. 

Following an Allen miss, it was Bryant drilling a 14-foot fadeaway jumper to give the Lakers the 95-94 lead with 41 seconds left. Brandon Bass then missed a jumper and Bynum answered with a jump hook with 15 seconds left that gave the Lakers the three-point lead that proved to be the final.

All five Celtics starters reached double figures, with Rajon Rondo leading the way with 24 points and 10 assists...

03/11/2012 - 3:48pm
Lester, Cook sharp as Sox beat Orioles

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Jon Lester increased his workload to four innings of work in which he allowed one run on one hit while walking four and striking out two, and Aaron Cook looked good in two innings of work during his Red Sox debut as the Sox beat the Orioles, 5-1.

Lester struggled with his command early, walking three batters in the first two innings, but then settled down to retire seven of the last eight batters he faced. In that stretch, he had two strikeouts and recorded six outs via groundball (one a double play ball after a walk).

While Lester was making his third start of the spring, Cook -- signed by the Red Sox to a minor league deal in January -- tossed two scoreless innings in which he walked a pair of batters, struck out one and got four groundballs, the latter number suggesting that his trademark sinker was working effectively at 88-90 mph. Cook said that he also mixed in four curveballs.

The Sox also got scorelss relief...

03/11/2012 - 3:28pm
Rivers: 'Obviously we're looking' for a big

LOS ANGELES -- While the Celtics await word on heart tests involving Chris Wilcox, their frontline depth has been diminished considerably. Center Jermaine O'Neal has been out since before the All-Star break with a wrist injury and Rivers has said they're prepared to play without him.

That leaves a huge hole in the middle with Greg Stiemsma and JaJuan Johnson are now the principle backups behind Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass. Celtics coach Doc Rivers said that while they need another big man, it doesn't change the team's approach with the March 15 trade deadline approaching.

"You don’t want to do anything silly," Rivers said. "We’re building for this year and the future so we’re not going to do anything that’s going to hurt either one of those. Obviously we’re looking to grab a big from somewhere, hopefully not by giving away a player, by doing it another route."

Even if Wilcox is able to...

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