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Monday / February 20.

By HARRISON VALENTINE

BLAIRSTOWN, N.J. –– On Wednesday night, Blair Academy hosted St. Benedict’s in a battle for the No. 1 seed in the upcoming New Jersey State Prep A tournament.

The two teams entered the contest quite familiar with one another, possessing a unique rivalry that has brewed silently in recent years, producing some instant classic games, always with much at stake. This latest encounter was no different.

Blair prevailed, 55-53, after St. Benedict’s half-court heave fell short in the final seconds.

With the win, Blair improved to 13-2 on the season and earned the No. 1 seed in the state tournament.

Roger Federer versus Rafael Nadal.

The dream throwback final is on at the Australian Open.

“I feel that this rivalry is talked about outside the tennis world and that is good for our sport,” Nadal said. “The combination of two different styles that makes the matches really special.”

Yet no reasonable sports fan could have foreseen this matchup when the year’s first Grand Slam tournament began two weeks ago.

The 35-year-old Federer entered as the No. 17 seed and hadn’t played an official tournament in six months after a layoff triggered by re-aggravating a knee injury in his semifinal loss to Milos Raonic at Wimbledon.

Federer’s last Grand Slam title came at Wimbledon in 2012. His last Grand Slam victory on hardcourts was back at the 2010 Australian Open.

Kansas suspended 6-foot-10 sophomore forward Carlton Bragg Jr. for a violation of team rules ahead of Saturday’s matchup with No. 4 Kentucky.

Bragg is averaging 6.1 points and 4.8 rebounds.

“This violation is not connected to the alleged incident in McCarthy Hall on Dec. 17th,” coach Bill Self said in a statement.

University of Kansas police are investigating an alleged rape of a 16-year-old girl at McCarthy Hall, which houses the Kansas men’s basketball team and other male students. Kansas players Frank Mason III, Mitch Lightfoot, Lagerald Vick, Tucker Vang and Josh Jackson were named as witnesses in the alleged incident.