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.

Report: Celtics not one of the teams trying to acquire Cousins

Report: Celtics not one of the teams trying to acquire Cousins

The Sacramento Kings are "fully engaged" in DeMarcus Cousins trade discussions, but it appears the Boston Celtics are not in the running for the All-Star center.

According to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, the Celtics are not one of the teams talking to the Kings about Cousins.

More to come. . . 

 

Davis' 52 points breaks Chamberlain's All-Star record, West beats East, 192-182

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Davis' 52 points breaks Chamberlain's All-Star record, West beats East, 192-182

NEW ORLEANS – The stars were everywhere, on and off the court during the 66th annual NBA All-Star game.

There were lots of hugs, handshakes and goody-good vibes shared by all.

And then … the fourth quarter arrived.

It’s the only time of the game when the All-Star game actually looks like a game and not an open gym full of the best players on the planet.

And as we’ve seen this season, no one is better in the fourth quarter than Boston’s Isaiah Thomas.

True to form, Thomas saw a playing time in the fourth quarter.

But his scoring prowess wasn’t enough with the Western Conference emerging with a 192-182 win.  It is the sixth time in the last seven All-Star games that the West has come away with the victory.

Thomas had 20 points on 7-for-15 shooting and 4-for-10 from 3-point range.

That’s not a bad performance, but there were others who were a lot more prolific shooting the ball.

Kevin Durant, playing in his first All-Star game as a member of the Golden State Warriors, had a triple-double of 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, MVP each of the previous two All-Star games, finished with 41 points – one shy of tying the most points scored in an All-Star game.

Despite Westbrook’s monster game, the record wound up being shattered by New Orleans’ Anthony Davis who had 52 points which broke Wilt Chamberlain’s All-Star game record of 42 points set in 1962.

Shooting 26 for 39 from the field, Davis also grabbed 10 rebounds.

One of the more interesting stretches came in the first half between Thomas and Westbrook.

Westbrook grabbed an offensive rebound, saw that he was being guarded by Thomas and snarled at him moments before banking in a 3-pointer.

Thomas wasn’t about to be showed up by his fellow All-Star.

On the ensuing possession, he came right back and hit a long range 3-pointer in Russell’s mug. Westbrook came back with a 3-pointer that was off the mark followed by a Thomas miss.

That sequence was about as close as we came to seeming some semblance of defense played by either team, with lay-ups, and wide open dunks reigning supreme all night.

The much-talked about “reunion” between Durant and Westbrook was very civil, one that included the two connecting on a give-and-go in the first half that ended with a Westbrook basket.

Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo gave the crowd better dunks in the All-Star game than the actual slam dunk contest, finishing with 30 points on 14-of-17 with 12 dunks.