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02/22/2010 - 2:55pm
Bracket 101: A-10-tion, please

Bracket 101 examines the week that was in college basketball and gives you a list of 16 teams that are poised to dance their way into the Round of 16 in the 2010 NCAA tournament. This week, Bracket 101 takes a closer look at the resurgence of the Atlantic 10, which has been somewhat of a forgotten conference over the past several years. With that said, 2010 has brought some national attention, and respect, back to the A-10. In addition to a look at the A-10, this week's Heat Check section features Boston University's John Holland. Check out Bracket 101 as Selection Sunday is now only three weeks away!

02/22/2010 - 2:53pm
Bianca Wilfork comments on tag

While there was no immediate comment from Vince Wilfork or his agent Kennard McGuire in the wake of the Patriots announcement of the franchise tag this afternoon, Wilfork’s wife Bianca Tweeted an update shortly after the news broke in a series of statements from her verified account:

“In regards to the many calls and emails i am receiving in response to the franchise tag we figured this would be the easiest way to addr[ess] … The franchise tag has been applied. After six years of dedicated service i do understand this is a business … With that being said it is my hope that the tag is applied for its true purpose … For the purpose of alotting more time for us to continue our talks and be able to reach along term agreement. … Only time will tell what the final result will be.”

For more on this story, check out our football blog,...

02/22/2010 - 2:49pm
Pats statement on Wilfork situation

A short time ago, the Patriots issued a statement on the franchise tag designation on Vince Wilfork. Here is the full text of that announcement:

The New England Patriots announced that they are utilizing the franchise designation on nose tackle Vince Wilfork in an effort to continue negotiating a long-term agreement. The franchise designation was first used by the Patriots in 2002 when the team applied it to retain the rights to Adam Vinatieri. The designation was later removed when the two sides agreed to a three-year contract extension.

A statement from the Patriots: “A long-term agreement with Vince Wilfork has been the team's top contractual priority for some time. Unfortunately, despite numerous conversations and proposals, the goal has not yet been realized. Vince is a tremendous player for our team and remains a significant part of our future plans. It is because of Vince's importance to this organization that we have...

02/22/2010 - 2:03pm
Confirmed: Wilfork franchised has learned that the Patriots have assigned the non-exclusive franchise tag to nose tackle Vince Wilfork.


The news that Wilfork was franchised was first reported by the Providence Journal.


Wilfork, who just finished the final season of a six-year contract he signed as a rookie, had expressed anger about the possibility of being franchised by the Patriots, saying that would be a “slap in the face.”


“I want a long-term deal, or I want to be free. Point blank. And that’s how I’m looking at it,” he told WEEI. “That’s how my family is looking at it. It’s a short window of opportunity for me to go and make the type of money that I want to make. And hey, like I said, family comes first.


“Yeah, [the franchise tag is] decent money for most people out there. What I do, it’s OK,” he added. “But I...

02/22/2010 - 1:58pm
Ortiz: 'I think people give up on me'

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- David Ortiz made his debut in camp on Monday in Fort Myers and came out swinging against his critics who think he's getting less productive as a slugger. He said it will motivate him this season.


"I think people give up on me too early, too fast, start talking about age and all that kind of stuff," said Ortiz of his critics during a 2009 season in which he batted .238 with 28 homers and 99 RBIs. "You listen to it for a minute, it was the same people who were clapping for you a year before and saying good things about you. Mind change that quick, I don't believe in that but it's a one-minute thing. That's the way I see it. I'm strong enough to deal with that and put that in the past."


For a look at what the future might hold for Ortiz beyond 2010,...

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