EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

March 22, 2014

Sports in a minute: Kimmel's bracket busted

Christopher Smith
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — BUSTED BRACKETS

Comedian Jimmy Kimmel filled out a NCAA bracket on ESPN.com. He had Duke — which lost in the first round to Mercer yesterday — playing in the championship game and St. Joe’s — which lost to UConn — making the Elite 8.

Not sure how serious Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford was when he filled out his. He picked both Louisville and Michigan State to be knocked off in the first round when it seems as though half of America has projected those two schools to meet in the final.

It’s also not always smart to pick your alma mater. That’s what Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley, an ex-Ohio State player, did. The Buckeyes lost their first game. Conley also had Duke making the Elite 8.

ALOIS’ ACCEPTANCE LETTERS

Andover senior Rebecca Alois has received her acceptance at Colby College to play basketball and also has been accepted academically at Northeastern and Providence, coach E.J. Perry said.

Alois still is deciding.

UNEVEN SWAP OF SONS?

The Los Angeles Angels traded Matt Scioscia, the son of Angels manager Mike Scioscia, to the Chicago Cubs for Trevor Gretzky, the son of NHL Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky.

I’d like to know Chicago’s thinking behind the trade? After all, Scioscia is a 25-year-old who has batted .222 in 127 minor league games and hasn’t advanced past High Single-A.

Gretzky seems to have more upside. The outfielder, although not a top prospect, is 21 and has a .288 average in 76 minor league games.

CALHOUN REPORT

Legendary ex-UConn coach Jim Calhoun, 71, is interested in the Boston College head coaching job, according to an ESPN.com report.

Calhoun told the Hartford Courant, “I have not talked to any school, and I don’t plan on talking to any other school. … I never say never, but I am not trying to get a job.”

DIFFICULTY PICKING

Picking a NCAA basket is so tough because how a team plays late in the regular season often doesn’t matter. Look at Syracuse, for example. The Orange was a horrible shooting team late in the year, including converting just 32.7 percent from the field and 23.5 percent from 3-point range in a loss to NC State in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament.

Syracuse though shot 49.1 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from 3-point range in its first NCAA tourney game, a rout of Western Michigan.

GREAT NHL QUOTES

Someone recently sent me an email with the best NHL quotes of all-time. Here are my two favorite:

“He’s the kind of guy who will stab you in the back right to your face.” — Brett Hull on coach Mike Keenan.

Tell him he’s Wayne Gretzky.” — ex-Oilers coach Ted Green when Shaun Van Allen suffered a concussion and couldn’t remember who he was.

DID YOU KNOW?

Dave Schultz, a member of the “Broad Street Bullies” and one of the greatest enforcers ever, had a brother Ray Schultz who played for the Philadelphia Firebirds of the North American Hockey League from 1974-77. He racked up 176 penalty minutes in 58 games in 1974-75 and 169 penalty minutes during 1975-76.

Ray Schultz died of cancer at 46 years old in 1994.

OPENING DAY PARTY

The Red Sox Foundation will host its annual ‘Welcome Home Party’ on April 4 at the House of Blues.

The event follows the 2:05 p.m. home opener against the Milwaukee Brewers. Tickets are on sale now at redsox.com/welcomehome.

Players, coaches, owners and front office members will attend. Proceeds will benefit the Red Sox Foundation’s donations and programs benefitting the families of New England.

This year’s fundraiser will have a game show format with players and is emceed by actor Mike O’Malley and former Red Sox player Kevin Millar.