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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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Friday / April 23.
  • Seton Hall could have easily experienced a letdown playing a noon game against Delaware on Saturday after pulling off victories over USC and Virginia Tech in Puerto Rico.

    But the Pirates came up with big plays down the stretch and downed the Blue Hens 75-70 at the Prudential Center to improve to 5-1 on the season.

    “I’m just happy we found a way to win, but believe me we’re going to have to play better next time out,” Pirates coach Bobby Gonzalez told WABC radio. “We’re going to have to use this to teach; we got some work to do.

    Charles Barkley and LeBron James are involved in a war of words.

    On TNT’s “Inside the NBA” show Thursday, Barkley criticized King James for taking questions about his plans in 2010 earlier this week in New York. The Knicks and Nets are both clearing cap room in order to sign James that year.

    “The outside forces should never affect your locker room,” Barkley said. “I think LeBron has made some of the right comments, but he hasn’t made the perfect comment. He still alienated 11 guys in his locker room. What I mean by that, he hasn’t said, ‘We are 12-3 right now, we are a championship-caliber team and we are going to win multiple championships here while I’m here, period, end of story.’ ”

    On Wednesday Barkley made similar comments on Dan Patrick’s radio show: “If I was LeBron James, I would shut the hell up.”

    Jim Boeheim says he made a mistake and his players covered for him.

    Three days after beating defending national champion Kansas and 2006 and ’07 champ Florida in back-to-back nights for the CBE Classic title in Kansas City, the weary Orange came home and played Virginia.

    Syracuse downed the Cavaliers, 73-70, Friday night behind 15 points apiece from Jonny Flynn and Andy Rautins. Eric Devendorf added 14 and Paul Harris 13 for the Orange, who outscored Virginia 44-30 in the second half.

    Former Queens Holy Cross star Sylven Landesberg led the Cavs with 16.

    Having completed his final official visit to Pittsburgh this week, Dominic Cheek has no timetable for making a decision but will sit down next week his coaches to discuss his options.

    “Today [Friday] was our first day of practice so we’ve got to concentrate on St. Anthony right now,” Friars associate head coach Ben Gamble said in a phone interview. “And then maybe sometime late next week we’ll sit down and talk about each of the schools’ strengths, but there is no date set for a decision and no timeframe on an announcement.”

    The 6-foot-5 Cheek visited Pitt Tuesday-Thursday and saw the No. 4 Panthers beat Belmont at home on Tuesday.

    “He enjoyed it,” Gamble said. “He liked their style. He enjoyed the visit. He said the facilities were really nice.”

    I’m headed to Madison Square Garden this afternoon for the final of the NIT Season Tip-Off between No. 10 Purdue and No. 11 Oklahoma.

    Purdue beat Boston College Wednesday and Oklahoma downed UAB behind 32 points and 15 boards from sophomore big man Blake Griffin.

    “There’s no other Blake Griffin,” Purdue guard Keaton Grant said. “There’s only one of them in the United States, get 20 rebounds [per game]. So it’ll definitely be a great challenge playing against them and we look forward to it.”