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Seton Hall burned by Georgetown in big NCAA Tournament blow

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Seton Hall burned by Georgetown in big NCAA Tournament blow

Eventually, Seton Hall was going to get burned. At some point, the Pirates were going to play with fire one too many times.

Seton Hall was fortunate to get past Marquette and DePaul in the last week, but wasn’t so lucky Saturday. Georgetown is playing better than those aforementioned foes. The Hoyas proved it, handing the Pirates an 81-75 setback in the nation’s capital, a loss that could be the difference between making the NCAA Tournament and missing it.

Georgetown was the better team and played with sustained effort. The Hoyas were lights-out from 3-point range — they went 10-of-16 from deep and Donald Carey notched two four-point plays in after the break — and responded when the Pirates went ahead early in the second half. The Hoyas held Seton Hall star Sandro Mamukelashvili to four points over the final 14-plus minutes, and executed down the stretch, looking more like the team that was in the mix for the tournament.

After Seton Hall (13-9, 10-6 Big East) pulled even with 5:06 left, Carey’s four-point play gave the Hoyas (7-10, 5-7) the lead for good. In the final 3:26, Seton Hall had three costly turnovers and couldn’t get stops as Georgetown hit four of its last five attempts.

The loss, a Quad 2 defeat, snapped the Pirates’ four-game winning streak, and hurt their resume. Mamukelashvili, despite a slow start and finish, had 22 points to lead the Pirates, but he didn’t get much help. Jared Rhoden was held scoreless in the second half and Myles Cale scored just eight points on 3-for-10 shooting. Jamorko Pickett had 20 points to lead Georgetown.

Considering how slowly Seton Hall started on the defensive end, how quiet Mamukelashvili was for most of the opening 20 minutes, the Pirates were fortunate to be down by just three at the break. They trailed by as many as 12, their defense just a rumor for large stretches. Georgetown made nine of its first 14 shots from the field and four of its first six 3-pointers.

Seton Hall closed the first half much better, limiting the Hoyas to just three points over the final 5:05 and Mamukelasvhili began to awaken, hitting a pair of 3-pointers. Rhoden was Seton Hall’s best player in the first half, notching nine points, six rebounds and two assists.

Momentum carried over into the second half as Seton Hall, trailing 38-35, reeled off the first seven points to go up four. Mamukelashvili began to make his presence felt, scoring 10 points in the first 5:47 of the second stanza. At one point, the Pirates led by five, but that was short-lived. Georgetown ripped off a 17-4 run that was capped by the first of two Carey four-point plays. There was 8:32 remaining and Seton Hall was down by eight.

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Donald Douglas, longtime PSAL executive director, dead at 58

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Donald Douglas, longtime PSAL executive director, dead at 58

Donald Douglas, the longtime executive director of the Public School Athletic League, died late Friday night, according to friend and PSAL colleague Dwayne Burnett.

Douglas was 58, according to his Facebook page.

Douglas died of a heart attack, while vacationing on the island of Jamaica, after a bad fall eventually caused a blood clot to form, according to Burnett. The Brooklyn native and Bushwick High School alum had retired this week from his post. He was PSAL director since 2004, when he was promoted from deputy director, and spent more than 35 years working for the New York City Department of Education.

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Don’t make this catcher mistake

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Don’t make this catcher mistake

The 2021 fantasy baseball draft season is upon us, and with its arrival comes a variety of strategies to test out and employ.

Drafting with position scarcity in mind is something we see every year, and though the catcher position is routinely linked to the strategy, the belief that you need to draft one of the top backstops early is a mistake. If you have been leaning in that direction, it’s time to change gears before you fall over.

In fantasy football, position scarcity has people drafting No. 1-ranked tight end Travis Kelce early because, in securing him, you are obtaining a significant advantage over your opposition. His production dwarfs that of anyone else at his position and on a 10-man roster in a weekly matchup, the impact is huge. The same cannot be said regarding the No. 1 catcher, J.T. Realmuto.

There is plenty to love about Realmuto from a fantasy perspective. His three-year average has him as a .273 hitter with 25 home runs and 81 RBIs. The numbers are strong, but does drafting him in the fourth or fifth round over a 40-homer Pete Alonso or a 200-strikeout Lance Lynn still give you an advantage? Not when you understand it’s just one-fourteenth of your overall team production or when you see what you can get at the position several rounds later.

Casting aside 2020 data, we can look at a number of backstops who not only hit 20 or more home runs, but also hit .270 or better in 2019 and can be obtained at a much lower cost. Willson Contreras, Mitch Garver, Christian Vazquez and Omar Narvaez immediately stand out.

JT Realmuto
JT Realmuto
Getty Images

You also have players such as Yasmani Grandal and Roberto Perez, who matched the power, but fell short on the batting average, or James McCann and Travis d’Arnaud, who posted strong averages, but hit for slightly less power. That’s already eight players who can provide similar numbers at a fraction of the cost, and we’re just scratching the surface.

If Realmuto was a .300-30-100 player, the conversation would certainly be different. He’s a great player but he isn’t performing at a level that leaves your opposition in the dust. If his production can be matched 10 rounds later, you’re better off using that early pick on an elite arm or a bigger bat at another position. Leave your catchers for later.

Howard Bender is the VP of operations and head of content at FantasyAlarm.com. Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and catch him on the award-winning “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on the SiriusXM fantasy sports channel weekdays from 6-8 p.m. Go to FantasyAlarm.com for all your fantasy football advice.

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Mets star Pete Alonso opens up on why he quit social media

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Mets star Pete Alonso opens up on why he quit social media

PORT ST. LUCIE — Pete Alonso wasn’t the only big voice in the Mets organization to deactivate his social media accounts over the offseason.

But the first baseman going dark on Twitter and Instagram had nothing to do with the aftermath of a stock market saga, which was the reason owner Steve Cohen ditched Twitter, and everything to do with a new outlook on life away from a screen.

“I think that real life is just absolutely fantastic and for me, I think life is a blessing, it’s something that I feel like a lot of people, sometimes including myself, take for granted,” Alonso said Friday after a workout. “And I want to spend every second soaking in every single day because every single new day is a blessing, and I feel like especially in wake of what happened last year, there’s a lot of things that I feel like were taken for granted.

“In 2019, if you see everybody wearing this mask, you kind of scratch your head and just be like, ‘Whoa, what’s going on?’ But there’s a lot of new social norms that are in place now that we took for granted. I think for me, I just want to be appreciative of every single day. I want to live in real life.”

Alonso had been one of the more active Mets interacting with fans through social media, especially during his Rookie of the Year season in 2019, when he adopted “#LFGM” as the team’s new rallying cry.

Though he will no longer be in touch with fans online, Alonso is very much looking forward to welcoming them back in person at Citi Field this season. After playing at an empty stadium in 2020 because of COVID-19 restrictions, the Mets are expected to have at least a portion of Citi Field open to fans when the 2021 season begins.

“Playing on TV is absolutely fantastic, but being there in person where one swing of the bat or making a diving play or striking somebody out, you can make that many people in person smile, stand, clap, cheer, yell even just by doing something,” Alonso said, with a big smile breaking out. “Once I heard 40,000 people at Citi Field go absolutely bonkers, that’s an adrenaline rush that I’m addicted to.

“I can’t wait until it’s packed out again like that. If it’s 25 percent, 30 percent, I can’t wait to hear people cheer again in person. For me, it’s addicting, and I love it.”

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