Vermont in NCAAs; 4 N.E. teams make N.I.T.

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Vermont in NCAAs; 4 N.E. teams make N.I.T.

Updated 10:33 p.m.

As expected, Vermont -- the America East champion -- became the only New England representative in this year's NCAA tournament when the seedings were announced Sunday night.

But four other N.E. teams -- Connecticut, Northeastern, Rhode Island and Quinnipiac -- will continue their seasons in the National Invitation Tournament, and another, Boston Unversity, will compete in the College Basketball Invitational.

The Catamounts won't have far to travel: They're headed to Buffalo, N.Y., where, as the 16th seed in the West Regional, they will face No. 1 Syracuse on Friday. Should they manage to pull off what would be a monstrous upset, they would face the winner of the Gonzaga-Florida State game on Sunday.

The N.I.T., meanwhile, will have a distinctly local tinge . . . and two of the New England teams will play each other in the first round. Northeastern travels to Connecticut for a first-round game Tuesday night at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN2.

In the other part of that bracket, Quinnipiac will play at Virginia Tech Wednesday at 7 p.m. The winners of those games will play each other in the second round, with the date and site to be announced.

The University of Rhode Island will host Northwestern Wednesday night at 7 p.m. If the Rams win, they'll play the winner of the Nevada-Wichita State game in the second round.

One set of NCAA games this weekend will be played at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, and two Big East teams are headed to Rhode Island. Villanova, the No. 2 seed in the South Regional, will face No. 15 Robert Morris, and Georgetown, the No. 3 seed in the Midwest Regional, plays No. 14 Ohio. The two other games in Providence: No. 7 Richmond vs. No. 10 Robert Morris in the South Regional, and No. 6 Tennessee vs. No. 14 San Diego State in the Midwest Regional.

The games in Providence will be played on Thursday and Saturday.

One other New England team -- Boston University -- will compete in the 16-team College Basketball Invitational. The Terriers play at Oregon State, coached by President Obama's brother-in-law, Craig Robinson, on Wednesday. The Beavers are the CBI's defending champions.

Get complete NCAA coverage from CSNNE.com's STATSAssociated Press page. Also get news and video from Comcast.net Sports' 2010 March to Glory page. Follow the N.I.T. at www.nit.org. Follow the CBI at http:www.gazellegroup.comeventscbiindex_main.htm.

Felger on Ortiz: ‘He keeps passing the tests’

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Felger on Ortiz: ‘He keeps passing the tests’

Major League Baseball is reportedly set to release more PED testing results, but Mike Felger is growing increasingly more confident in the fact that David Ortiz is clean. He's passing all the tests, isn't he?

Secretary of Navy: Cardona 'may have to leave the Patriots' to serve

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Secretary of Navy: Cardona 'may have to leave the Patriots' to serve

United States Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus joined the Dan Patrick Show on Thursday to discuss new Ravens draftee Keenan Reynolds, a record-setting quarterback during his career at the Naval Academy. In so doing, Mabus hit on the uncertain status of Patriots long-snapper Joe Cardona. 

"Right now we do have a process," Mabus said. "It hasn't got up to me yet to [decide on whether or not Reynolds will be eligible to play], but there are a lot of paths to both play and to serve. 

"We've got Joe Cardona, long snapper for the Patriots. He played . . . last year for the Patriots while he was on active duty because he was able to work them both out. Now he's been assigned to a ship, and he's going to report to that ship. He may have to leave the Patriots for a year or so to go fulfill that roll."

The playing status for individuals like Reynolds and Cardona is always somewhat uncertain given their commitment. Last season, Cardona was able to serve by working at the Naval Preparatory Academy during his time away from the Patriots facilities. Once his rookie season ended, he headed back to the Newport, Rhode Island-based school to work full-time and help mentor students there. 

Cardona was scheduled to make his way to Norfolk, Virginia later in the offseason and live there for about two months to participate in the Navy's Basic Division Officer Course, or "BDOC," which was required before he could report to his ship as a Surface Warfare Officer. From there, he was scheduled to travel to Bath, Maine, to work on the USS Zumwalt. 

"I'll get to work there and figure out a schedule that doesn't interfere with either of my jobs," Cardona said back in January following New England's loss to Denver in the AFC title game, "and hopefully be back on the field next year."

Cardona has long maintained that his job as an active member of the Navy is his top priority. Should his duties on the USS Zumwalt interfere with his long-snapping work with the Patriots, he could realistically sit out for the season. 

The Patriots signed veteran long-snapper Christian Yount earlier this offseason in a move that reminded those following the team that Cardona is not guaranteed to be available for 2016. Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich has long-snapped in the past and typically serves as the team's emergency snapper. 

Cardona was selected in the fifth round of the 2015 draft and played in all 16 regular-season games and two postseason games for the Patriots last season.