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Boston College Men’s Basketball Earns an NIT Bid and Will Play Providence College

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Boston College Men’s Basketball Earns an NIT Bid and Will Play Providence College


Late on Sunday night, the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) announced its field for 2024, and the Boston College Eagles man’s basketball team found themselves invited to play against Providence College on Tuesday night.

BC made an unexpected run to the ACC Tournament quarterfinals last week, knocking off Clemson and taking Virginia to overtime, two teams that are competing in March Madness later this month. Although their performance was not nearly good enough to earn a bid to the big dance (like NC State managed to pull off), the Eagles performed well enough to earn a postseason appearance in the tournament for teams just below the full NCAA bracket. It’s Boston College’s first postseason tournament appearance since the 2017-18 season when they lost in the first round of the NIT to Western Kentucky.

Their opponent this time around is local rival Providence College. PC made a similar run to BC in their conference tournament, though with a much more impressive upset win over #8 Creighton. The Friars ended up falling to #10 Marquette in the Big East semifinal, though, and failed to qualify for the Big Dance.

PC was 21-13 overall this season, with big wins over Marquette, Wisconsin, and two wins over Creighton. They stumbled a bit towards the end of the regular season, going 1-3 in their last 4 games, but their Big East tournament victory over Creighton should silence any doubters about their ability to show up in big games.

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Boston College and Providence College will play on Tuesday March 19th at 7pm on ESPNU. The game will be held in Providence at the Amica Mutual Pavilion.



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Boston, MA

How Boston Democrats adopted Mecklenburg County

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How Boston Democrats adopted Mecklenburg County


When Drew Kromer became chair of the Mecklenburg Democratic Party last year, he had ambitious goals.

Raise more money. Register more voters. Increase turnout.

Soon after, Kromer, who is 27, found an unlikely benefactor: Jeff Blum, a 77-year-old New Yorker with Massachusetts ties who is a longtime Democratic Party organizer.

Blum can’t make a difference in the Northeast, where President Biden will win easily. So he looked elsewhere.

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In 2020, he did some voter outreach work in North Carolina, such as phone banking. He did that again in 2022.

But Blum said he wanted to zero in on one place in North Carolina instead of spreading his efforts across the state.

“Pretty consistently everyone told me the problem area is Mecklenburg,” he said.

By “problem,” he means low turnout in the county with the state’s most registered Democrats.

In the 2022 U.S. Senate race, for instance, only seven North Carolina counties had lower turnout than Mecklenburg. The state’s second-largest county produces huge margins for Democrats, but there is a belief that Mecklenburg could do even better and that Democrats are leaving 20,000 or so votes on the table.

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“We’ve looked at the data: Meck versus the rest of the state, Meck versus Wake,” Blum said. “We had seen all of those numbers. So we said: ‘Let’s create activists on the ground.’ ”

Blum was impressed with North Carolina’s new, young Democratic leaders, such as Kromer and state party chair Anderson Clayton, who is 26.

He decided to, in his words, “adopt” Mecklenburg County.

Volunteers and $$

Blum has helped in two key ways. One is phone banking. The other is money.

Twice a month, Blum’s group — called All In for NC — has volunteers who meet in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for a phone bank. They call Democratic voters in Mecklenburg and ask if they want to get engaged. They direct the voters to social events and other meet-ups, hoping they will have fun and want to volunteer in September and October.

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Kromer said Blum is responsible for 90% of the new people he’s enlisted in 2024.

“We’re flinging the doors wide open,” Kromer said. “Come see what we are building. Jeff is helping us with that message. The work that Jeff and his team have done has been the jump-start for this.”

He added: “I can have the best turn-out strategy, and if I don’t have the volunteers it will fail.”

When it comes to money, Blum has also helped Kromer raise lots of it.

In the last six months of 2023 — just after Kromer became chair, and connected with Blum — the Mecklenburg Democratic Party raised nearly $431,000 from individuals.

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For a county political party, that’s a huge number. (The Wake County Democratic Party raised $64,000 during the same time period.)

A significant number of donors are from New England — part of Blum’s network. And Kromer said that many other out-of-state donors are also connected to Blum.

In fundraising emails to county party members, the Mecklenburg Democratic Party is urging locals to give — in part because it impresses the out-of-state donors.

“Robust fundraising from the base of the party helps us convince major donors from in and out of Mecklenburg to invest in our program,” a February fundraising email said. “If we can show these folks that we, the grassroots, are investing in our plans and programs, it’ll move them to invest as well.”

Compare that $431,000 to what the county party raised during the same six months the year before the 2020 election. Jane Whitley was the chair then, and she didn’t have access to national donors.

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In a grassroots effort, she raised a little under $24,000 from individuals.

Blum said he also plans to raise money to help outside groups do work in Mecklenburg County, for things like voter registration.

And he’s tried to get his volunteers to follow North Carolina and Mecklenburg politics so they are invested.

Later this month, for instance, All In for NC is hosting a Zoom virtual call with Democratic legislative candidates, including Nicole Sidman, who is running against Republican Tricia Cotham for a southeast Mecklenburg seat.

“We’re hundreds of people,” Blum said. “We like the sense of being tied to the place and knowing the place.”

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How much can money do?

The question, of course, is how important will all the Massachusetts love — and cash — be?

If Democrats are lukewarm about President Biden, can any amount of money overcome that?

The county Democratic Party points to its success in Huntersville, when it ran an extensive voter outreach operation last November. Democrats won every seat on the town council, flipping it from red to blue. (The Huntersville election is officially nonpartisan, meaning political parties do not appear on the ballot next to a candidate’s name.)

But there are signs it’s going to be tough to turn the Mecklenburg aircraft carrier around.

While turnout was low for the 2022 midterms, it was even lower for the March primary. Only three North Carolina counties had a lower percentage of people vote than Mecklenburg.

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(Part of that is because this is a heavily Democratic county and Biden was running unopposed. But other Democratic counties like Durham still had higher turnout.)

And there is another factor: voter registration has lagged.

Inside Politics has written about this before, but immediately after the 2020 election, Mecklenburg had just under 798,000 registered voters and Wake County had 766,000.

Today, despite population growth, Mecklenburg has 788,600 and Wake has nearly 822,000.

Someone — the Mecklenburg Democratic Party, the North Carolina Democratic Party, the Biden campaign — needs to scramble and register about 20,000 people just to catch up to where they should be.

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Boston, MA

Former Boston Celtic Brian Scalabrine Believes Miami Heat Tried To Injure Jayson Tatum

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Former Boston Celtic Brian Scalabrine Believes Miami Heat Tried To Injure Jayson Tatum


A play at the end of Game 1 between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics is causing commotion across social media.

In the fourth quarter, Heat forward Caleb Martin ran into the side of Celtics superstar Jayson Tatum while he was in the air for a rebound. Tatum was in pain for a moment, but swiftly jumped up, ready to take his free throws. Retired Boston Celtic Brian Scalabrine is not moving on from the situation as quickly, jumping to a harsh conclusion about the foul. 

“Erik Spoelstra called a timeout with a left down by 16, 30 seconds later that play happens,” Scalabrine said postgame. “That looked shady to me.”

The remark is bold, likely being far from the truth. Martin was undoubtedly frustrated with their deficit, but to claim that Spoelstra and his players would intentionally attempt to injure a player is uncalled for. The Heat forward shared his side of the story after the loss.

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“I tried to go help him up,” Martin said. “Obviously, I know I hit him pretty hard, but momentum was carrying me.” He further went on to share that if teammate Jimmy Butler was in Tatum’s situation, he would’ve stood up for him as Boston did.

Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla and Tatum also gave their opinions on the play after their Game 1 victory but took less aggressive angles on the situation.

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“I was waiting to see what [Tatum] was going to do. I was kind of excited about the whole situation,” Mazzulla said. “I enjoyed watching it.”

“I I feel fine, I mean, I didn’t even see it,” Tatum shared. “Went to go get the rebound, got knocked out there, feel, got right up, got ready to shoot some free throws.”

Anthony Pasciolla is a contributing writer to Inside The Heat. He can be reached at ampasciolla@gmail.com or followed on Instagram @anthony.pasciolla

Follow all of our Miami Heat coverage on Facebook here.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel here.

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Less than a week after running Boston, Zdeno Chara finishes London Marathon – The Boston Globe

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Less than a week after running Boston, Zdeno Chara finishes London Marathon – The Boston Globe


Just six days after finishing his second Boston Marathon with a time of 3:30:53, Chara finished the 2024 London Marathon on Sunday afternoon — completing the race with a time of 3:11:04. 

Chara’s latest conquest marks the eighth marathon that he’s completed within a year’s time, as well as one of the fastest. His personal best is 3:10:24 (7:16 per mile), set during the Chevron Houston Marathon in January.

Chara’s London time was nearly 20 minutes faster than his performance during the 2024 Boston Marathon — although Boston’s hilly terrain and unpredictable weather make it one of the most challenging 26.2-mile courses in the world. 

Last week, Bruins captain Brad Marchand admitted he was not surprised to see Chara set his sights on a new athletic venture after hanging up his skates.

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“Not really surprised. You knew he was gonna find something that was really competitive, very hard — something that takes a lot of training,” Marchand said. “Something he can continue to improve upon. He’s just a beast. He likes the challenge. With his mindset and the way that he’s prepared for so long every single day, he was going to have to find something that he could continue to do that.

“So it’s great for him. Happy to see him happy and enjoying something after hockey. He dedicated so much time and effort to the game. It’s great that he has another passion that he’s enjoying in retirement.”

It doesn’t seem like the 47-year-old Chara is showing any signs of slowing down.

Chara told the Globe he plans on taking part in the other World Marathon Majors. He’s already run Boston, London, and New York City, which leaves Tokyo, Berlin, and Chicago.

Chara’s next challenge might be getting some of his former teammates to join him on the 26.2-mile gauntlet.

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“I’ve tried a lot of things. lately. I’ve tried tennis and played soccer,” Patrice Bergeron said of his current hobbies during an interview with NHL Network in November. “[Chara] has tried to get me to run some marathons with him. I don’t know if I’m ready for that yet because I don’t think my hips and my knees could actually keep up — my back as well.

“So I don’t know how he does it and kudos to him. Zee, I love you. … Eventually, I’d love to get a challenge going and find a way to kind of challenge myself with something to look forward to and kind of work for and get ready for.”


Conor Ryan can be reached at conor.ryan@globe.com.





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