college basketball

BC-Texas A&M basketball game canceled after plane, weather issues

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BC-Texas A&M basketball game canceled after plane, weather issues

The Boston College men's basketball team's game against Texas A&M in College Station, Texas, was canceled Saturday after BC was unable to travel due to mechanical issues with the plane and concerns over the weather in Texas, the school said.

The Eagles (6-2) and Aggies (3-4) were scheduled to play Saturday at 5 p.m. Central time in the first of a two-game home-and-home series with the other game at Chestnut Hill in 2019.

"We are perplexed by this decision and disappointed for our student-athletes and fans," A&M coach Billy Kennedy said in a statement.

Here's the BC statement:

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- Due to mechanical and logistical issues with its charter aircraft and unsafe flying conditions due to weather throughout the southern United States on Friday, Dec. 7, the Boston College men's basketball team was unable to travel to Texas for its game on Saturday evening at Texas A&M.

Boston College had asked Texas A&M for contingency plan to move the game from 5 pm CT to 9 pm CT on Saturday night and were open to all playing options on Sunday, Dec. 9.  Texas A&M declined both of those offers.  As a result, Texas A&M announced that tonight's game has been cancelled.

The Eagles were originally scheduled to depart Hanscom Field at 2 p.m. ET for its five-hour, 15-minute charter flight for its trip to College Station, however, the CRJ-700 aircraft was grounded due to a mechanical issue that could not be repaired.  An alternate ERJ-145 aircraft was slated to arrive to transport the team at 3:30 p.m. ET, but arrived four hours late.  

During that time, weather conditions throughout eastern Texas and the surrounding areas deteriorated.  The pilot of the ERJ-145 and the charter airline - Via Airlines - deemed it unsafe to fly.  With the change in aircraft, the revised flight plan would have necessitated a fueling stop in Atlanta, putting the travel duration from Boston to College Station at over six hours.

Administrators from Boston College and Texas A&M, as well as the two schools' respective conference liaisons, were in contact throughout Friday night into Saturday morning to try to resolve the issue and move the game time to Saturday night or shift the game date to Sunday to best ensure the safety and welfare of the BC student-athletes.  

"The safety and well-being of our student-athletes is paramount.  Under no circumstances will we put our student-athletes in harm's way," said Martin Jarmond,  Boston College's William V. Campbell Director of Athletics.

Initial conversations between the schools indicated that Reed Arena was available on Sunday to accommodate a rescheduled contest and Boston College's intent was to start the home-and-home series this season in College Station.






Brady's Instagram post backs Michigan, of course, in the Final Four

Brady's Instagram post backs Michigan, of course, in the Final Four

Sister Jean vs. Tom Brady, who ya got?

In the battle of Final Four superfans, Brady showed his allegiance on Instagram on Saturday with a post that has him photoshopped celebrating along with other Wolverines on the Michigan bench.

Brady's alma mater takes on the Cinderella story of the tournament, Loyola of Chicago, backed by their 98-year-old team chaplain, Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, in the Final Four on Saturday in San Antonio. In the other semifinal, it's a matchup of No. 1 seeds as Kansas faces Villanova.


Another Final Four OT heartbreaker for UConn women

Another Final Four OT heartbreaker for UConn women

COLUMBUS, Ohio - UConn coach Geno Auriemma and the Huskies have dropped two of their last 149 games.

Last-second overtime shots ended their season each time. At the Final Four.

A year after their 111-game winning streak was stopped by a historic shot by Morgan William and Mississippi State, the Huskies fell Friday night on a jumper by Notre Dame's Arike Ogunbowale with a second remaining in the Irish's 91-89 victory.

"I would say it's hard to believe. Obviously, much harder than the first time," Auriemma said. "Each team had a chance to prove what kind of team they were. There was no backing down either way. Just like last year, it came down to one play, one shot. They made it."

UConn's locker room was mostly silent after its latest heartbreaking loss. Some players held their faces in their hands, and others stared at the ceiling. Their eyes were red from crying. A couple of them hugged and comforted each other.

"There's nothing you can say to a college kid after experiencing this two years in a row that's going to make them feel any better about, you know," Auriemma said. "We had an amazing run for five months. That's just the way it is. One weekend in March gets to decide your season."

The underlying theme all season was redemption and they fell short.

"Probably more painful. It's the same kind of situation," UConn All-American Katie Lou Samuelson said. "Went into overtime, they got a last-second shot. It happens."

The defeat ended the stellar careers of seniors Kia Nurse and Gabby Williams. The duo finished with 148 wins - fourth-most in school and NCAA history.

"Obviously it hurts. It'll sting, but it may not sting for every player the same," Nurse said. "It probably varies in levels, but it's inevitable. At some point, it's going to come to an end. Unfortunately, it had to be this game."

The latest edition of the greatest current rivalry in women's basketball was quite a show, featuring impressive comebacks from each school. The stars carried over into the stands, with Lakers great Kobe Bryant watching with his wife and daughters.

UConn was down five with under a minute to go in regulation before Napheesa Collier hit a 3-pointer and Nurse turned a steal into a tying layup. After Notre Dame turned it over with 3.6 seconds left in regulation, Williams' runner was short, sending the game to overtime.

The teams traded shot for shot in OT before Jackie Young made three free throws to help Notre Dame open a five-point lead with 43 seconds left.

The Huskies didn't quit. Collier scored to make it a three-point game. Ogunbowale missed two free throws and Dangerfield tied it before Ogunbowale's game-winner.

"The amount of times that we had to come back tonight, both at the end of the regulation when we were down and it looked like it was over, then in overtime when it looked like it was over and we tied it," Auriemma said. "We kept fighting back and fighting back. I think it stings a little more when you have it happen after you experience that part of it."

For pretty much every other women's basketball program, UConn's season would be considered a smashing success. But the Huskies have created a nearly impossible standard.

"That's where we live. That's the world we live in," Auriemma said. "That's the world that we created. I've been saying for the last 15 or 20 years that winning national championships is hard. And I don't think anybody ever believed me because it just seemed so routine for a while. These last two years is a big reminder that this is really hard to do."

© 2018 by Associated Press.