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03/27/2010 - 9:38pm
West Virginia to Final Four

For the first time in 51 years, the West Virginia Mountaineers advanced to the Final Four by upsetting No. 1 seed Kentucky, 73-66. West Virginia, a No. 2 seed, built a lead of 16 points with 4:25 left in the game before Kentucky began whittling the deficit. The Wildcats got the game to within four points with 25 seconds remaining, but the Mountaineers put the game away on free throws down the stretch.

 

Though the Mountaineers shot just 38.5 percent from the floor, they were 10-for-23 (43.5 percent) from 3-point range. West Virginia was led by Da'Sean Butler's 18 points and Joe Mazzulla's 17.

 

West Virginia's defense also took the Wildcats out of their game, holding Kentucky to 33.8 percent from the field and a 4-for-31 mark (12.8 percent) from behind the arc. John Wall's game-high 19 points were not enough to lead the John Calipari-coached Wildcats to Indianapolis.

 

 

 


03/27/2010 - 8:25pm
Report: Beckett offered just 4 yrs

According to ESPN.com, the Red Sox won't offer pitcher Josh Beckett a contract extension of more than four years. The report, which cited a source with direct knowledge of the negotiations, suggested that the Red Sox have concerns about Beckett's shoulder that have led them to cap their offer at four years. While the Sox signed John Lackey to a five-year, $82.5 million deal this offseason, the club's chief health concern was with Lackey's elbow, rather than his shoulder.

 

WEEI.com reported in February that Beckett's shoulder might prevent his contract negotiations from taking the same shape as Lackey's, even though the two have nearly identical career statistics....

03/27/2010 - 7:06pm
Butler going home to Final Four

Butler outscored Kansas State, 9-2, in the final 3:09 of their Elite Eight contest in Salt Lake City to reach the Final Four for the first time in school history. Butler's 63-56 victory allowed the team to advance out of the West Regional bracket and gives the Horizon Conference champion the opportunity to play in the Final Four in Indianapolis, just a few miles from its home campus.

 

The fifth-seeded Bulldogs (32-4) were led by Gordon Hayward's 22 points. The team is now 32-4 on the season.

 

For a complete recap, click here.


03/27/2010 - 6:58pm
Hermida suffers hamstring tweak

Red Sox outfielder Jeremy Hermida left Saturday's contest against the Orioles due to tightness in his right hamstring. Hermida singled in his only at-bat of the day. He is now hitting .447 with a .462 OBP and .632 slugging mark this spring.

 

Neither the outfielder nor the Sox seemed to think that the injury was significant, but the team wanted to take a conservative approach by removing Hermida from the game rather than risking a more significant injury.

 

"I don't think it was anything. It just didn't seem like a good thing to keep him in the game," Francona told reporters. "He said, 'I feel it,' and I said, 'That's enough.'"


03/27/2010 - 6:54pm
Embree struggles against Orioles

Left-handed pitcher Alan Embree, who signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox last weekend, struggled in his first outing against major league hitters this spring. He allowed three runs while recording just two outs, permitting two hits and a walk.

 

"I think you have back up and realize it's his first time out," Red Sox manager Terry Francona told reporters. "Everybody else has been down here for a while and they look like it. The ball came out of his hand OK ... We've just got to get some reps under his belt."

 

Embree had pitched a scoreless inning in a minor league game earlier in the week. He has an April 15 opt-out date in his contract, something that will permit him to continue building up his arm strength in the minors (if necessary) after the start of the regular season.

 

For more on the Sox' day,...

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