Down 16 points in the second half last night, the Celtics turned it on and had a chance to steal last night’s game with seconds remaining and trailing only by one. The officials swallowed their whistles in the final two minutes, however, and the Orlando Magic survived the Celtics comeback 84-82 in Florida.
Marc J. Spears has the Magic taking over the #2 seed in the Eastern conference with the win. Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics might not have won the game, but they did get into the heads of the Magic with their comeback. Paul Flannery says that the Magic may have won last night’s game, but they still do not have the look of a contender. Jeremy Gottlieb has a home stretch edition of the Five Pack on the BSMW Full Court Press.
Spears’ notebook has Doc Rivers planning on expanding KG’s minutes starting next week. Bulpett’s notebook has more on Rivers’ ramp-up plan for KG. Check CelticsLinks.com for more coverage and chatter about last night’s contest.
The NCAA Tournament hits Boston tonight with the regional portion of the tournament. Xavier takes on Pitt at 7:27pm tonight, followed by Duke and Villanova at about 10:00. Bob Ryan conjures up five of the best regional games in his memory. Jeff Goodman has 10 storylines to watch in this weekend’s NCAA games.
Mark Blaudschun has the mystique of the Duke Blue Devils following them to Boston. Jerry Spar says that Duke stirs up hoops fans’ worst passions. Andy Vogt has Duke returning to the big time. Julian Benbow has a look at Villanova’s place as a “poor man’s Duke,” though they may not have to take a back seat here. Adam Smartschan looks at the similarities and contrasts between the two schools and teams. Spar examines the Love-hate relationship many have with Duke.
Dan Shaughnessy and Jennifer Toland have the obligatory but still interesting Gerald Henderson Jr columns. However, Spar notes that teammate Nolan Smith is also the son of a former Celtic, the late Derek Smith. Jim Fenton has more on Henderson getting a chance to play in the city where his dad made his name.
Dan Ventura has a piece on Villanova’s Dwayne Anderson, who stuck with the program even when things weren’t going well for him. Ryan goes inside the Villanova-Duke matchup tonight. Fenton notes that the Big East has become the nation’s power conference in this tournament. With five teams in the sweet 16, Bill Reynolds agrees that the Big East is the best.
Michael Vega looks at how Xavier plans to deal with Pitt big man DeJuan Blair. Jim Clark has more on Blair. Blaudschun has Xavier out to make waves in this regional. Dan Duggan has a look at Xavier coach Sean Miller, a Pitt alumn. Bill Doyle has more on Miller taking on his former team. Alan Siegel has a look at Pitt point guard Levance Fields, another in the line of New York City point guards.
Matt Viser says that no one in Boston cares that the one of the biggest sporting events of the year is taking place here.
Mike Fine remembers the 1979 title game with Bird and Magic as the game that changed college basketball.
You can check the Hartford Courant for the news about the UConn recruiting scandal.
Benbow’s notebook has former Big East rivals Boston College and Villanova hoping to hook up on the schedule in the future. The Duke-Nova Notebook has the Big East living up to the hype thus far. Pitt-Xavier Notebook has Xavier dismissing the mid-major label. Vogt’s notebook looks at a bumpy ride for Pitt thus far.
John Smoltz threw off a mound for the first time this spring. Check the other Red Sox stories at RedSoxLinks.com.
Chris Warner has an interview with Iowa defensive back Bradley Fletcher on Patriots Daily. Michael Felger has his latest mailbag and says that it is all about Bill Belichick in 2009. Get the rest of your Patriots fix at PatriotsLinks.com.
The Bruins don’t play until Saturday, check their preparations at BruinsLinks.com.
Discussion continues in the BSMW Group Project – Worst Boston Sports Columns post.
Be sure to check out the now-extensive comments section of that post for the many suggestions that have floated in over the last few days.
You’ll have a chance to win prizes from the TV show AX MEN (Mondays, 10pm HISTORY) by submitting your choice for the worst Boston sports column of recent memory.