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03/24/2012 - 9:26pm
OSU nips Cuse; Pitino, UL onto Big Easy

Ohio State took advantage of foul-plagued Syracuse to register a 77-70 win in the East Regional championship Saturday night at TD Garden. Ohio State advances to play the winner of Sunday's Midwest Regional between No. 1 seed North Carolina and No. 2 Kansas in the Midwest Regional championship next Saturday in the national semifinals in New Orleans.

Ohio State and Syracuse were tied at 33 early in the second half when the Buckeyes went on a 13-2 run to take command. But Syracuse would draw to within one at 56-55. But Ohio State scored the next two baskets and managed to hold on for their second Final Four berth in six years. The Buckeyes won the rebounding battle, 39-26, as they took advantage of the absence of Fab Melo, who was ineligible for Syracuse during their tournament run. 

The two teams were both plagued by foul trouble in the first half as 18 fouls were called. But Syracuse was especially hard hit, whistled for 12 of the 18. Ohio...

03/24/2012 - 3:19pm
Aceves rocked by Phils; Doubront solid

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Alfredo Aceves had his first bad outing of the spring, pitching just three innings while allowing nine runs on 10 hits while walking one (his first free pass of the Grapefruit League season) and striking out three Phillies hitters. He gave up three homers, leaving a number of pitches up in the zone on a day when the ball had tremendous carry. Aceves threw 58 pitches, 36 for strikes.

The outing represented a marked contrast to Aceves' previous spring work. In three Grapefruit League games, he'd allowed just one run in nine innings on five hits and no walks while striking out eight.

"One bad game and moving on from that," Aceves said after the outing. “Since when? I don’t remember. Since when did I have the last bad outing? ... I feel good and I see the ball jump off my hand. You know? it was one of those days that nothing went good."

Asked if he thought that the struggle might impact whether the...

03/24/2012 - 2:51pm
Valentine: 'I've kept an open mind' on roster

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine told reporters in Jupiter, Fla., that he has kept an "open mind" about the team's roster competitions this spring, which include the shortstop position and the back of the rotation.

"The thing I’m happy about the most with myself is I have really kept an open mind and I haven’t even gone to the places that most everybody else has gone in making decisions on these things," said Valentine.

Against the backdrop of that declaration of continued open-mindedness, Valentine suggested that the amount of attention being paid to various roster spots, particularly the shortstop competition between Mike Aviles and Jose Iglesias, might be misplaced.

"It’s all ridiculous," Valentine told reporters. "It’s a good situation. I don’t see it as a problem. I see it as, we have a wealth of talent. ... They’ve all played very well in...

03/24/2012 - 12:46pm
Bogar: Sox face 'tough decision' at SS

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox bench coach Tim Bogar has worked closely with both Mike Aviles and Jose Iglesias during their time with the Sox, including this spring. He offered praise for the progress that both has made in the time that he's known them, noting the defensive progress made by Aviles since the Sox traded for him last summer and the offensive steps forward by Iglesias in his third spring training.

Bogar suggested that the Red Sox are now facing a challenging task in selecting one to be shortstop for the team at the start of 2012.

“You know what? It is a tough decision but it’s one of those things where we’re lucky we have two guys who can play it and two guys who can play it well,” said Bogar. “Whatever decision that’s going to be, we’re going to be fine.”

For more of Bogar's thoughts on the two candidates, click here. For complete Red Sox...

03/24/2012 - 11:54am
Pietrus cleared to return to Boston

Mickael Pietrus, who was taken off the court in Philadelphia on a stretcher Friday night, has been cleared to travel and will be examined by the team's medical staff when he returns to Boston.

Pietrus stayed overnight in Philadelphia while the team flew back to Boston, but he didn't have to spend the night in the hospital. The official word was a "questionable closed head injury," which could indicate a concussion. There is no immediate update on a timeline for his return, but a travel clearance is certainly good news for Pietrus.

It was a scary scene when Pietrus hit the floor hard midway through the second quarter after Philly's Lou Williams blocked his shot. The momentum of the play caused Pietrus to land on his back, and he appeared to be spitting up blood. Williams later told coach Doc Rivers that the play wasn't intentional, and the coach told him he didn't think it was.

Pietrus lay on the court for several minutes...

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