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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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Wednesday / December 11.
  • NEW YORK – Rick Pitino admits he has a soft spot for Providence.

    After all, he did lead the Friars to the Final Four in 1987.

    But independent of that, Pitino believes Providence earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament despite its 73-55 loss to top-seeded Louisville in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals Wednesday.

    “Anytime you go over .500 in the ACC, the Big 10, the Big East, you should automatically be in,” Pitino said. “I don’t want to hear about all the other stuff. You should automatically be in.”

    Rutgers guard Mike Rosario and Fordham guard Jio Fontan will team up soon, but it won’t be for a college team as one local blog reported.

    Instead, the two former St. Anthony standouts will play for Puerto Rico this summer in the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship for Men in Auckland, New Zealand. Sixteen countries will compete in the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship that will be held July 2-12.

    Rosario’s mother is of Puerto Rican heritage and Fontan’s mother is half-Puerto Rican. [The two are pictured above, sandwiching current Pitt freshman Travon Woodall.]

    “I don’t know where he got that [transfer rumor] from but one thing they are going to do is play for Team Puerto Rico,” said Jorge Fontan, Jio’s father.

    Paterson Catholic proved it was good enough to knock off one national power this year.

    But downing a second proved to be too much to ask.

    Behind North Carolina-bound guard Dexter Strickland’s 18 points and George Mason-commit Paris Bennett’s 17, St. Patrick beat Paterson Catholic 79-54 in the North Non-Public B title game at the Rutgers Athletic Center.

    How about that bounce-back game by Alex Ruoff?

    After not scoring at all in the season finale against Louisville on ESPN, the senior guard poured in 25 points to lead No. 7 West Virginia to a 74-62 victory over No. 10 Notre Dame at Madison Square Garden.

    The Mountaineers will face No. 2 Pitt in Wednesday’s quarterfinals. Pitt beat West Virginia twice this year.

    “The advice I got from my coaches was just put it behind me,” Ruoff, who was also named the Big East Scholar-Athlete of the Year, said of the Louisville game. “Of course it hurts, but I wasn’t trying to think too much about it, just come here tonight.”