On Sports

Former Providence Journal sports writer Mike Szostak blogs regularly with news and analysis about sports in Rhode Island.

  June is high-school graduation season. Standing at the head of the class at North Kingstown High is Sarah Andrews and at Seekonk High Matt Salit. Last fall, I wrote about them as two of the 12 national finalists for the Wendy’s High School Heisman. Friday night, they will cap their high school careers with valedictory addresses, so here is an update.

  Four construction projects totaling $71 million are underway at Bryant University. When finished, three will have a direct impact on intercollegiate athletics.

The skeleton of a strength and conditioning center stands at the entrance to Bulldog Stadium. Contractors have assured Bryant President Ronald K. Machtley that it will be finished by Aug. 1, just in time for the arrival of fall sports athletes.

  Roger Federer, considered by many the best tennis player in history, told me the other day the 10 reasons why he likes tennis. And he will tell you as well, if you visit the renovated museum at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport.

Federer stars in an eight-minute hologram, one of the technological highlights of the three-year, $3-million project. The Hall of Fame is the first sports museum in the U.S. to employ the technology, according to Doug Stark, the museum’s director.

  Sports World has lost its mind. Again.

Why would the NFL suspend Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for the first four games of the 2015 season because an investigator concluded that it was “more probable than not” that Brady had something to do with footballs being deflated for the AFC Championship game last January? No concrete evidence. Just “more probable than not.”

Why would the league fine the Patriots $1 million when the investigation did not implicate the owner Robert Kraft or the head coach Bill Belichick?

Festivities in Newport surrounding the Volvo Ocean Race are not the only significant sailing activities in Rhode Island waters on Saturday.

Roger Williams University in Bristol will cut the ribbon on its new $3 million sailing center in conjunction with the 11th Annual Captain’s Cup, a regatta featuring current RWU sailors, alumni sailors and their parents.

  Say what you will about Alex Rodriguez, the man has a flair for the dramatic.

Friday night at Fenway Park, pinch hitting in the eighth inning of a 2-2 game, Rodriguez lined a 3-0 pitch from Junichi Tazawa into the Green Monster sea,ts, giving the New York Yankees the lead and eventually a 3-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox.

  It’s official. Kris Dunn is returning to Providence College for the 2015-16 basketball season

“I am excited about next season," Dunn said in a statement released by the school Friday afternoon.

A potential lottery pick or probable first-round choice in the 2015 NBA draft as a result of his stellar play last season, Dunn had denied a Yahoo! Sports report, citing NBA sources, that he was skipping the draft. The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft is Sunday, and Dunn and PC finally confirmed the report.

  Kris Dunn is making the smart move to return to Providence College for the 2015-16 basketball season.  The Friars point guard has not announced his decision, but Yahoo! Sports, citing NBA sources, is reporting that Dunn will skip the 2015 NBA Draft. The deadline for underclassmen to declare of the draft is Sunday. Once a player declares, there is no going back.

  Hail to the Providence College hockey Friars, NCAA Division I champions for the first time.

PC rallied for a 4-3 victory over Boston University Saturday night before 18,022 spectators at TD Garden in Boston. The Friars scored two goals in a span of 2 minutes and 19 seconds in the third period to erase a 3-2 deficit. They needed an acrobatic save by goalkeeper Jon Gillies on a Nick Roberto shot with a minute to play to preserve the victory.

Providence lost its only other championship game appearance in 1985 to RPI.

 The beginning of the end of the long college hockey season occurred Thursday when Providence College defeated Nebraska-Omaha, 4-1, and Boston University beat North Dakota, 5-3, in the Frozen Four semifinal games at TD Garden in Boston. The Friars and Terriers, Hockey East rivals, will meet Saturday night for the national championship. They split their regular-season series, each winning at home

  With apologies to the great rock band Chicago, “Does anybody really know what time it is . . . Does anybody really care?”

Monday, April 6, was Opening Day for Major League Baseball, and the Red Sox, in Philadelphia for their season-opening series, shut out the Phillies, 8-0.

Monday was also Closing Day for college basketball. Kentucky-slayer Wisconsin took on tradition-rich Duke in Indianapolis for the NCAA Championship, and Duke rallied from nine points down in the second half for a 68-63 victory.

  Catholic schools won eight of 11 winter sports championships in the Rhode Island Interscholastic League, proving once again that public schools do not stand a chance in this state, right?  Catholic and private schools should compete in their own league, right?

  It’s all over. University of Rhode Island and Providence College basketball, that is. But don’t shed many tears for the Rams and Friars. They may have lost over the weekend, but they won admirers during their memorable seasons.

URI did not have enough answers for Stanford guard Chasson Randle  Sunday night, and the Rams fell to the Cardinal, 74-65, in the second round of the NIT at Stanford. Randle, a senior, scored 35 points, his season best, and needs only 27 to become the school’s career scoring leader.

It’s Basketball Championship Week in the Big East, Atlantic 10 and Rhode Island Interscholastic League.

Local favorites Providence College and the University of Rhode Island are in New York for the college tournaments, and the top four teams in boys and girls basketball will be at URI for high-school Final Four action this weekend.

Here’s a look:

BIG EAST

 The best season in women’s basketball history at Bryant University continues for at least another game while the rebounding Rams of the University of Rhode Island hope they get the call to play again.

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