What in the world happened to Kentucky?

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What in the world happened to Kentucky?

From Comcast SportsNetIndiana, Duke and Michigan remained the top three teams in The Associated Press' college basketball poll. Look all the way to the bottom and you won't see Kentucky's name for the first time since John Calipari became coach of the Wildcats.Indiana, which has been No. 1 since the preseason poll, saw its lead over Duke shrink a little bit. The Hoosiers (8-0) received 45 first-place votes Monday from the 65-member national media panel, two fewer than last week.Duke (8-0) for the second straight week had the other first-place votes. The Blue Devils beat Ohio State last week giving them wins over teams ranked second, third and fourth in a span of 15 days. The other such run was Arizona beating teams ranked first, fourth and fifth from the regional semifinals to the NCAA championship game in 1997, a span of 11 days.Kentucky (4-3) lost to Notre Dame and Baylor last week, the latter a loss that snapped the Wildcats' 55-game home winning streak, the longest in the nation. Kentucky had been ranked in the last 61 polls, 11 of those weeks at No. 1. The run started with the preseason poll of 2009-10, the start of the Calipari Era when the Wildcats started young lineups which were usually gutted the next season by the NBA draft. The Wildcats won Kentucky's eighth national championship in April then had six players taken in the draft including Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as the first two picks.Duke has the longest current run in the poll -- 101 weeks which started with the preseason poll of 2007-08. Kansas has the second-longest run at 69 weeks.Syracuse was fourth followed by Louisville, Florida, Ohio State, Arizona, Kansas and Gonzaga.Colorado (6-1) was the other team to drop out of the rankings, falling from 19th after losing to Wyoming.Notre Dame (7-1) moved back in to the poll at No. 22 after a two-week absence. Wichita State (8-0), which beat Tulsa and Air Force last week, moved in at No. 24. The Shockers were ranked for the last five weeks of last season.Cincinnati was ranked 11th followed by Missouri, Illinois, Minnesota, Georgetown, Creighton, San Diego State, New Mexico, Michigan State and North Carolina.The last five teams were UNLV, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Wichita State and North Carolina State.

OFFSEASON

Report: Celtics to bring back Gerald Green with one-year deal

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Report: Celtics to bring back Gerald Green with one-year deal

The Celtics will sign free agent Gerald Green, the guard they drafted with the 18th overall pick back in 2005, Sean Deveney of the Sporting News reported.

Green, 30, played for the Miami Heat last season and averaged 8.9 points a game. Deveney reports Green will sign a one-year guaranteed contract. 

Green has been well-traveled since being traded by the Celtics in the Kevin Garnett deal in 2007, the year he won the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk contest. He has played for seven other NBA teams and played two seasons in Russia. His best season was 2013-14 in Phoenix when he averaged 15.8 points a game for the Suns. 

Deveney also reports that sources around the league continue to indicate the Celtics are looking to make a trade for a "star-caliber type" player. Last week, he reported on their interest in the Clippers' Blake Griffin. 

 

Three things we learned from the Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Twins

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Three things we learned from the Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Twins

Three Things we learned from the Boston Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins:

1) It only seems like David Ortiz can come through every time.

When Ortiz comes to the plate as he did Friday night -- bases loaded, no out, bottom of the ninth, Red Sox trailing by a run -- it seems like a win is a fait accompli.

"I think everybody in the ballpark just assumed this one might have a chance to be ended right there,'' said John Farrell. "He's been so big for us that everybody in the dugout felt the same way -- confident that the stage was set for him to come through with another dramatic moment.''

Instead, Ortiz rolled over a ground ball to second, and with the Twins infield drawn in, it was enough to turn a 4-2-3 double play that took the starch out of the inning for the Sox.

If anything, though, the inning revealed how remarkable Ortiz has been so often. It's not easy to come through even most times, and it's certainly far from automatic.

"The pitcher (closer Brandon Kintzler) made good pitches,'' said Ortiz. "That's the name of the game. I'm always looking forward to something happening. It just doesn't work out all the time.''

2) Eduardo Rodriguez has his slider back.

When Rodriguez endured a rough stretch in late May and June, he seemed to all but abandon his slider, relying almost exclusively on his two-seam fastball and changeup.

But since returning from a stint in Pawtucket, Rodriguez has flashed the slider that made him so effective as a rookie last season.

"Since he's come back,'' said Farrell, "he's added much more depth. He's able to get to the back foot of some righthanders for some swing-and-miss. He was on the plate with three quality pitches for strikes tonight.''

"I feel like I can locate it better, where I want it,'' confirmed Rodriguez. "Outside, inside corner...I'm getting more confident in it. I think I got out of my mind the tipping (pitches) stuff and all that stuff and I'm just working to throw the ball right where I want it.''

It's almost impossible for a starter in the big leagues to survive with just two pitches, as Rodriguez was attempting to do earlier this season. And it seems foolish to even try, given that Rodriguez's slider can be a plus-pitch for him at times.

3) If Mookie Betts has to miss some time, the Red Sox have options in right field.

Farrell said Betts has been dealing with soreness and stiffness in his right knee since after the All-Star break and has been undergoing treatment.

There's no evidence that this is serious, and he's considered day-to-day. But even if Betts needs some time off, or in a worse-case scenario, has to go on the DL, the Sox can do some things with their outfield.

Michael Martinez's best outfield position is right, as he demonstrated Friday night after taking over for Betts in the top of the fifth. Martinez ran a long way to grab a ball in foul territory for the final out in the sixth, then turned in a fine, tumbling catch in the eighth to take extra bases away from Adam Grossman.

Bryce Brentz, who's been in a platoon of sorts in left with Brock Holt, has played a lot of right field in the minors and has the arm strength to play there.

Finally, there's the matter of Andrew Benintendi. The Sox raised some eyebrows with the news that they were having Benintendi move over to left field at Double A Portland, perhaps in anticipation of playing the position for Boston at some point later this year.

Benintendi is a natural center fielder and even though he doesn't much experience in right, if you're athletic enough to play center, you can usually move to either corner spot.