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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Thursday / March 30.
  • 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.

    Carmelo Anthony’s tough week continued on Thursday when he was not named an NBA All-Star for the first time since 2009.

    When the list of reserves came out, Anthony’s name was not on it.

    Anthony is averaging 22.7 points and 6.1 rebounds for the Knicks (20-27), losers of 14-of-18.

    Anthony, an NBA All-Star every year from 2010-16, has been the subject of trade rumors this week involving the Cavaliers, Celtics and Clippers as it has become apparent that Knicks President Phil Jackson is actively shopping Anthony, who has a no-trade clause.

    This will also the first All-Star Game without Anthony or Dwyane Wade since 2003-04, their rookie seasons, per ESPN.

    Among those named to the game as reserves were two-time reigning NBA All-Star MVP Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder and first-time All-Stars Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz, DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers and former Rice High School star Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets.

    DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall on Thursday were named reserves for the NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 19 in New Orleans, giving Kentucky three former players in the main game.

    Anthony Davis, who led Kentucky to the 2012 national championship, was already voted in as a starter for the Western Conference. Wall (Washington Wizards) will suit up for the Eastern Conference while Cousins (Sacramento Kings) will join Davis (New Orleans Pelicans) on the Western Conference squad. No other college has more than two representatives.

    Unlike the starters, who were voted in by the fans, players and media members, the NBA All-Star reserves were voted in exclusively by the league’s coaches.

    Wall will be making his fourth appearance in the game while Cousins will make his third.

    When Kansas visits Kentucky on Saturday in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, the 38 credentialed NBA personnel are expected to focus on the matchups in the backcourt.

    Between them, the two bluebloods have six players projected in the 2017 NBA Draft by DraftExpress.com, with five of them being backcourt or wing players.

    Kentucky freshmen guards De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk are projected as the Nos. 6 and 7 picks, while sophomore Isaiah Briscoe is currently listed at No. 50. Kentucky freshman center Bam Adebayo is the only big man in the game projected in the draft (No. 16).

    For Kansas, freshman wing Josh Jackson is the projected No. 4 pick, while junior guard Devonte’ Graham is listed at No. 37. Kansas senior guard Frank Mason, a National Player of the Year candidate, should get a chance to prove he belongs in the NBA, too.

    Via SHOWTIME:

    NEW YORK The potential final season for a Hall of Fame coach and a national basketball institution will be chronicled in a SHOWTIME Sports digital documentary titled Legacy: Bob Hurley.  SHOWTIME will debut Legacy: Bob Hurley in six weekly installments exclusively on SHO.com and the SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel (@shosports) beginning Monday, Feb. 20.

    Bob Hurley has led the Jersey City boys’ basketball team at Saint Anthony to a remarkable 28 New Jersey State Championships including a string of nine straight state titles in his nearly 50 years as head coach.  He’s been recognized with four National Coach of the Year Awards and, perhaps more importantly, quietly boasts a 100 percent college acceptance rate for the seniors on his team.  But a financial crisis threatens to shutter the inner-city private school if it can’t raise upwards of $10 million in order to keep the school open for the coming years.

    Legacy: Bob Hurley, an exclusive online release, will document the 2016-17 season, the latter half in real-time, with the weekly release of 10-minute segments that introduce viewers to a man that has created a bona fide basketball factory at a modest school with an enrollment of less than 200 students.