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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Mike Francesa previews NCAA matchup that doesn’t exist; Adrian Gonzalez rips World Baseball Classic

03.16.17 at 9:52 am ET

Good morning! Here is your Thursday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

MLB: Pittsburgh vs. Boston, 6:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-AM 850)
MLB: Minnesota vs. St. Louis, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Chicago Cubs vs. LA Dodgers, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
World Baseball Classic: Venezuela vs. Dominican Republic, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Utah at Cleveland, 7 p.m. (NBATV)
NHL: Nashville at Washington, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)
NHL: Boston at Edmonton, 9 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: Princeton vs. Notre Dame, 12:15 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: UNCW vs. Virginia, 12:40 p.m. (tru TV)
College basketball: Winthrop vs. Butler, 1:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: South Dakota State vs. Gonzaga, 2 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: Bucknell vs. West Virginia, 2:45 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: East Tennessee State vs. Florida, 3:10 p.m. (tru TV)
College basketball: Middle Tennessee vs. Minnesota, 4 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Vanderbilt vs. Northwestern, 4:30 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: Xavier vs. Maryland, 6:50 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Mount St. Mary’s vs. Villanova, 7:10 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: VCU vs. Saint Mary’s, 7:20 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: Vermont vs. Purdue, 7:27 p.m. (tru TV)
College basketball: FGCU vs. Florida State, 9:20 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Virginia Tech vs. Wisconsin, 9:40 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: North Dakota vs. Arizona, 9:50 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: Nevada vs. Iowa State, 9:57 p.m. (tru TV)


— While discussing the NCAA tournament on Wednesday, Mike Francesa pulled a classic Mike Francesa Move and previewed a college basketball matchup that does not exist.

Francesa battled his way through guessing what will happen in the Florida State vs. Maryland game, which is not happening at all.

After an extended period of dead air, Francesa said he thinks this game could go either way. “I could see them winning this game, or losing this game, one way or the other,” he explained.

Florida State is playing Florida Gulf Coast and Maryland is facing Xavier on Thursday.

— Former Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez ripped into the World Baseball Classic after the organization decided Mexico will not advance after beating Venezuela 11-9 to tie with Italy.

The WBC Twitter account announced the tiebreaker would be between Mexico and Italy, but then the technical committee decided the tiebreaker of runs allowed per defensive inning meant Italy and Venezuela will advance but not Mexico.

“They’re trying to become the World Cup, but they’re not even close to being the Little League World Series,” Gonzalez said Wednesday of the WBC. Gonzalez said Mexico’s general manager contacted the WBC representatives in Mexico to ask what the team must do mathematically to advance in the event and the representatives never responded.

“So during the game when they posted it on the broadcast, they came into the dugout and I said, ‘Hey, we just need to win by two,'” he said. “When we had first and second, no outs in the eighth or ninth, whatever it was, we didn’t bunt because we felt we’re already up two. … We win the game, and they change it on us.”

“Going into the ninth inning, our strategy we had talked about, was if we gave up a run, we would intentionally walk somebody and balk him in to tie the game, and try to win the game by two in extras,” Gonzalez continued. “But because we were told you had to win by two, we went for the win. So the whole game strategy changes by what we were told. Unbelievable. And all they said afterwards was `Well, that’s what we decided.'”

Gonzalez said he talked to MLB’s senior vice president for baseball operations, Kim Ng, who said the WBC technical committee is not accountable for the information tweeted by the WBC and MLB.

“You’re MLB! What do you mean you’re not accountable?” Gonzalez said.

“The whole time they’re just putting their heads, like an ostrich sticking his head in a hole and trying to let it all diffuse and go away,” Gonzalez continued. “I told it to their face. ‘You guys are unaccountable. You don’t account for your own actions. You guys have no integrity.’ They don’t want to put out the face of ‘we made a mistake,'” Gonzalez said. “They’re just going to stick to what they said, so it sounds like they didn’t make a mistake. They’re blaming it on the media outlets, not themselves. So that’s a cowardly way out.”

He also said he will not play in any future WBCs.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “That was a long process. And I guess, if we could set this straight, I think a lot of that and what was going on got taken out of context and a little exaggerated. Throughout the process I felt like I had to take the blows and keep my mouth shut, which is fine. It just happened to be a great opportunity for both sides to be able to do what they want to do, and to be sent off to a good team for me.” — Brandin Cooks, clarifying he did not ask for a trade from the Saints to New England

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Stephen Drew (34)

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