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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Woman gets Aaron Hernandez tribute tattoo; Athletes attend 2017 Met Gala 05.02.17 at 10:01 am ET
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Good morning! Here is your Tuesday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB:
Toronto at NY Yankees, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB:
Baltimore at Boston, 7:10 p.m. (NESN)
NBA:
Washington at Boston, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA:
Utah at Golden State, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL:
Ottawa at NY Rangers, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL:
St. Louis at Nashville, 9:30 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— A woman with the Instagram name MsMackHard posted a picture last Thursday of her new tattoo, which pays tribute to Aaron Hernandez.

“The most awesome tattoo I’ve ever gotten!! Dedicated to a man that had a major impact on my life.. Aaron Hernandez.. Save your negative comments I’ll delete them!,” her caption said.  

The tattoo is huge and reads “If it is to be, it is up to me” and Hernandez’s nickname “Chico” surrounded by his number 81 and “Rest in Peace” below it. This is now on her body for the rest of her life.

Her account also contains multiple pictures of Hernandez, including a repost from an account called “free_hernandez_81″ and a picture of him for “Felon Crush Monday,” which, for some reason, is a thing. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Aaron Hernandez, alex rodriguez, Roger Federer, Serena Williams
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: NFL players react to death of Aaron Hernandez; Serena Williams announces pregnancy 04.20.17 at 8:43 am ET
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Good morning! Here is your Thursday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Boston at Toronto, 12:37 p.m. (NESN)
MLB: Cleveland at Minnesota, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Washington at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: 10:30 p.m. Seattle at Oakland, 10:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Cleveland at Indiana, 7 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Toronto at Milwaukee, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: San Antonio at Memphis, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL: Columbus at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)
NHL: NY Rangers at Montreal, 7 p.m. (USA)
NHL: Chicago at Nashville, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: San Jose at Edmonton, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Aaron Hernandez committed suicide in prison Wednesday morning and some NFL players reacted to the news on social media.

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Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Serena Williams,
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Texas A&M’s record comeback highlights another day of Madness 03.21.16 at 8:25 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Magic at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Spurs at Hornets, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Grizzlies at Suns, 10 p.m. (NBA TV)
NIT: George Washington at Monmouth, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NIT: Georgia Tech at South Carolina, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
NIT: Washington at San Diego State, 11:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
NHL: Flyers at Islanders, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB preseason: Red Sox at Cardinals, 1:05 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB preseason: White Sox at Indians, 4:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Reds at Padres, 10:10 p.m. (MLB Network)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Northern Iowa was poised to produce yet another upset in an NCAA Tournament filled with them, but the Panthers ended up making history for a different reason — the biggest last-minute collapse ever in Division 1.

The 11th-seeded Panthers led third-seeded Texas A&M by 12 points with 44 seconds remaining — and 10 with less than 30 seconds left — before they suddenly could not stop turning over the ball under their own basket.

Texas A&M took advantage and came up with some big baskets to force overtime, then went on to win in double OT.

“We knew it was kind of impossible, man, but we just said that we were going to fight until the end,” said A&M’s Danuel House, who was scoreless with 5:14 remaining in regulation but finished with 22 points.

Said Aggies coach Billy Kennedy: “I’ve never been a part of a game like that, never saw one. [I] still really don’t know what happened.”

Northern Iowa had won its first-round game against Texas on a halfcourt buzzer-beater by Paul Jespersen, but this time the Panthers had no magic, committing four turnovers in the final 44 seconds — the last allowing A&M’s Admon Gilder to score a layup with 1.9 seconds left for the tie. It didn’t help that primary inbounder Matt Bohannon was sitting at the end of the bench after hurting his knee.

“It’s just tough,” Bohannon said. “It’s the NCAA Tournament, though, that’s what happens.”

Meanwhile, as the UNI-A&M game was wrapping up, Wisconsin guard Bronson Koenig delivered a fallaway 3-pointer at the buzzer for a win over Xavier (much to the dismay of actor Bill Murray, whose son is a Xavier assistant coach).

— The director of the women’s tennis tournament at Indian Wells, California, found himself in some hot water after criticizing the WTA Tour and commenting on the looks of the players.

“In my next life when I come back I want to be someone in the WTA because they ride on the coattails of the men, They don’t make any decisions and they are lucky. They are very, very lucky,” BNP Paribas Open director Raymond Moore told reporters after Sunday’s final. “If I was a lady player, I’d go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born, because they have carried this sport.”

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Read More: NCAA tournament, Serena Williams,
Serena Williams named SI Sportsperson of the Year 12.14.15 at 8:45 am ET
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Sports Illustrated Serena Williams 15Tennis star Serena Williams, who captured three Grand Slam titles and won 53 of 56 matches in 2015, was named Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year, the magazine revealed Monday.

In winning her first such award, Williams was tabbed over NBA MVP Steph Curry, World Cup soccer star Carli Lloyd and horse-racing Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.

Wrote SI in its announcement: [E]ven amid such a rich collection of finalists, she was a decisive choice. Sports Illustrated honors her dominance in 2015, when she won 53 of her 56 matches, three of the four Grand Slam events and built the most yawning ranking points gap between her and her closest competitor in tennis history. We honor her, too, for a career of excellence, her stranglehold on the game’s No. 1 ranking and her 21 Grand Slam titles, a total that has her on the brink of Steffi Graf’s Open Era Slam record, which Williams will likely eclipse by mid-summer.

But we are honoring Serena Williams too for reasons that hang in the grayer, less comfortable ether, where issues such as race and femininity collide with the games. Race was used as a cudgel against Williams at Indian Wells in 2001, and she returned the blow with a 14-year self-exile from the tournament. She returned to Indian Wells in ’15, a conciliator seeking to raise the level of discourse about hard questions, the hardest ones, really. Williams, S.L. Price writes in his cover story in the Dec. 21 issue, “proffered an open hand. Far past the time that anyone expected it, she demonstrated a capacity for change’€”innovation if you will. She’s groping for answers and realizing she has much to learn.

“She’s determined to make a difference.”

Read More: Serena Williams,
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Bears OL Kyle Long calls Chicago fans’ booing ‘unacceptable’ 10.20.14 at 7:31 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NFL: Texans at Steelers, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-AM)
Soccer: Premier League, Manchester United at West Bromwich, 2:55 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Women’s CONCACAF, United States vs. Haiti, 7:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The Bears, who travel to Foxboro to play the Patriots next weekend, had some issues in the locker room after Sunday’s 27-14 loss to the visiting Dolphins, with controversial wide receiver Brandon Marshall reportedly in the middle of things. When the players weren’t sniping at each other, there was some criticism of their home fans.

The Soldier Field crowd booed the Bears after they fell behind 14-0 at halftime, a reaction offensive lineman Kyle Long deemed inappropriate.

“I don’t know if ‘upset’ is the word I would use,” Long said. “As somebody that is blood, sweat and tears in this locker room like the other guys, the coaches, the trainers, the staff and the equipment guys, to be getting booed at home when you’re walking off the field down two possessions is unacceptable — especially when there is not a lot of noise being made on third down [when Miami had the ball], period.”

MASHUP POLL: Were Bears fans out of line to boo their team?

  • No, when a team doesn't perform it deserves to hear it from the crowd (77%, 207 Votes)
  • Yes, true fans lift up their team, not tear it down (23%, 63 Votes)

Total Voters: 270

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Tight end Marcellus Bennett was more understanding, especially considering Chicago now is 0-3 at home.

“If I go see a bad movie, I boo,” Bennett said. “It’s an entertainment business. We are all entertainers. If you go to a bad show, most people boo. I think they had the right to do that. If I want to boo at fans, I can boo at fans, or whoever it may be. They pay for their tickets, and the show wasn’t up to their liking.

“If I go to a movie, I walk out if I don’t like the movie. Like ‘Transformers 3′ — it was terrible. I didn’t stay for the whole film and walked out.”

Serena Williams on Sunday voiced support the Women’s Tennis Association’s one-year ban of Russian Tennis Federation chief Shamil Tarpischev for insulting comments about the Williams sisters.

Tarpischev, who also was fined $25,000, had appeared on a Russian television talk show and referred to the Williams sisters as “brothers” and added, “It’s scary when you really look at them.”

He later said that he had no “malicious intent” and that his quotes on the “humorous show” were taken out of context. He said of the suspension: “I can’t comment. I don’t understand it.”

Said Williams on Sunday: “I think the WTA did a great job of taking [the] initiative and taking immediate action to his comments. I thought they were very insensitive and extremely sexist as well as racist at the same time. I thought they were in a way bullying.”

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Read More: Brian Kelly, Kyle Long, notre dame, Serena Williams
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett show frustration with Nets’ lack of heart 12.27.13 at 8:13 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Senators at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NBA: Wizards at Timberwolves, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Northern Kentucky at North Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Lafayette at Seton Hall, 8 p.m. (FS1)
College football: Military Bowl, Marshall vs. Maryland, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Texas Bowl, Syracuse vs. Minnesota, 6 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM)
College football: Fight Hunger Bowl, BYU vs. Washington, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM)
Speedskating: U.S. Olympic trials, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The hope in Brooklyn was that Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett would provide veteran leadership and toughness to lift the Nets into the realm of the NBA elite. That plan has gone awry, and the two ex-Celtics are showing their frustration with the team’s lack of heart.

“You can say what you want about individuals or certain people being mentally tough, but it has to be everybody,” Pierce said. “I can’€™t speak for everybody all the time. If this was an individual sport, I could speak for myself. But you know, some people respond to adversity different, no matter who is around or who says anything to them.”

Following Wednesday’s 95-78 loss to the Bulls — which came two days after coach Jason Kidd called out his team for “getting very close to accepting losing” following a blowout loss to the Pacers — Kidd reportedly lit into his team in the locker room, with Garnett adding some choice words as well.

Kidd benched players during Wednesday’s game for lazy defense, but it wasn’t enough to turn things around.

“We’ve got to keep fighting, keep grinding, and as a staff and players we need to keep moving forward, and right now we are not,” Kidd said.

Said guard Deron Williams: “I’m even surprised with this season, how it’s played out. It’s like a nightmare. The way the injuries have been and the things we talk about every day; the lack of energy, the lack of effort. I didn’t see that as being a problem when we put this team together.”

The Nets will be hard-pressed to start turning things around soon, as they face seven teams with winning records over their next 10 games, including the Pacers, Spurs and Thunder on the road, and the Warriors and Heat at home. Even in the woeful Atlantic Division, the Nets face a challenge to climb back to relevancy.

“Well, our record shows we’re not a good team right now,” Pierce said. “When you’re 9-19, you have a lot of work to do. Our goal is still to improve, but when you’re 9-19, your record speaks for itself.”

LeBron James was named The Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year on Thursday after leading the Heat to their second straight NBA title while winning his fourth MVP award. Tennis star Serena Williams was named the Female Athlete of the Year a day earlier.

James received 31 of 96 votes to out-poll Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (20) and race-car driver Jimmy Johnson (7). He’s the third NBA payer to be so honored, joining Michael Jordan and Larry Bird.

“I don’t think I’ve changed much this year,” James said. “I’ve just improved and continued to improve on being more than just a basketball player. I’ve matured as a leader, as a father, as a husband, as a friend.”

Added James: “I’m chasing something and it’s bigger than me as a basketball player. I believe my calling is much higher than being a basketball player. I can inspire people. Youth is huge to me. If I can get kids to look at me as a role model, as a leader, a superhero … those things mean so much, and that’s what I think I was built for. I was put here for this lovely game of basketball, but I don’t think this is the biggest role that I’m going to have.”

— The NBA on Thursday baked up Clippers star Blake Griffin‘s assertion that he should not have been ejected from Wednesday’s 105-103 loss to the Warriors. Griffin was involved in separate confrontations with Draymond Green (who was fined $15,000 for failing to leave the court in a timely manner after he was ejected for elbowing Griffin) and Andrew Bogut, and while both Warriors players were given flagrant fouls, Griffin was assessed a technical each time for fighting back, and that caused his ejection.

“After a league review of the Clippers-Warriors game, we have come to the conclusion that Blake Griffin should not have been ejected from the game,” NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn said. “A common foul should have been called on Griffin for initially attempting to dislodge the Warriors’ Andrew Bogut and a technical foul should have been assessed to Bogut for grabbing Griffin by the shirt and wrestling with him.”

Griffin voiced his dissatisfaction after the game, implying that the Warriors knew what they were doing.

“If you look at it, I didn’t do anything and I got thrown out of the game. It all boils down to [the referees] fell for it,” Griffin said Wednesday night. “To me, it’s cowardly basketball. I don’t know their intentions, but it worked. … If I knew the answer I’d probably be in a different position. Tonight I got two technicals for nothing.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Dec. 27, 1956, which Celtics player had his consecutive free throw streak ended at 55 — an NBA record that stood for 19 years?

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Read More: Blake Griffin, Jason Kidd, kevin garnett, LeBron James
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Heat players split about disloyal fans heading into Game 7 06.20.13 at 8:01 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA Finals: Spurs at Heat, 9 p.m. (ABC; WEEI-AM)
MLB: Red Sox at Tigers , 7:08 p.m. (NESN, MLB Network; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cubs at Cardinals, 8:05 p.m. (WGN)
College baseball: World Series, North Carolina vs. NC State, 6 p.m. (ESPN)
Women’s soccer: Exhibition, United States vs. South Korea, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ A number of Heat fans left Tuesday night’s Game 6 in Miami when it appeared the home team was going to lose to the Spurs. When the Heat made their dramatic comeback — tying the game and forcing overtime on Ray Allen‘s 3-pointer with five seconds remaining and eventually winning — some fans tried to return but were not allowed back inside AmericanAirlines Arena.

Heat forward Chris Bosh had little sympathy for those unfaithful fans.

“For all those guys who left, make sure they don’t come to Game 7,” Bosh said before Wednesday’s practice. “We only want the guys who are going to stay in the building for the whole game. You never give up. People gave up on us and they can stay where they are and watch the game at home.”

Dwyane Wade was a little more forgiving.

“It’s hard to be a fan,” he said. “I get nervous and frustrated when I watch my son play in his games. But you’d rather be in this moment than not be in this moment. I heard about what happened with some of our fans the other night. But it’s OK. I welcome them back with open arms.”

Game 7 is Thursday night in Miami, and LeBron James is calling it “one of the biggest games, if not the biggest game of my life.”

Said James: “I understand the moment for me. I’m going to have butterflies. I’ll be nervous. That’s how it should be. The moment is going to be grand.”

‘™¦ Tennis star Serena Williams apologized Wednesday and implied she was misquoted when she said that the 16-year-old female victim in the rape case in Steubenville, Ohio, “shouldn’t have put herself in that position.”

Two Steubenville high school football players were convicted in March of raping the drunken teen.

“I am currently reaching out to the girl’s family to let her know that I am deeply sorry for what was written in the Rolling Stone article,” Williams said in a statement released through her agent. “What was written — what I supposedly said — is insensitive and hurtful, and I by no means would say or insinuate that she was at all to blame.”

‘™¦ Tony Romo has been criticized for failing to lead the Cowboys to a Super Bowl title, but one team legend who had more success has faith in him.

“I think Tony Romo is a championship quarterback,” Roger Staubach said in an interview with Dallas sports radio station 105.3 The Fan. “He can take a team to a championship. He can’€™t do it by himself, but I really believe he can do it. I just see what he does on the field, the plays he makes, the throws he makes, the sense that he has to move in the pocket so I’€™m pulling really hard for Tony because I really believe he is one heck of a quarterback, and that’€™s a feeling from somebody that I didn’€™t say that about any other quarterbacks except for Troy Aikman. I think Tony is the right quarterback, and we’€™re lucky to have Tony Romo.”

Staubach is convinced the Cowboys, 8-8 last season, aren’t far away from a Super Bowl berth.

“Dallas will have a shot at it,” he said.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On June 20, 1980, the Angels routed the Red Sox, 20-2. Which unlikely Angels infielder led the onslaught with three home runs and a double?

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Read More: Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Roger Staubach
Saturday’s Olympics roundup: Michael Phelps wins gold in final Olympics race 08.04.12 at 7:55 pm ET
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Swimmer Michael Phelps saved his best for last Saturday, helping the United States to first place in the men’€™s 4×100 medley relay, Phelps’€™ final race of his legendary Olympic career.

The team of Phelps, Matt Grevers, Brendan Hansen and Nathan Adrian held off Japan (silver) and Australia (bronze) in 3 minutes, 29.35 seconds to claim the gold medal. It was Phelps’€™ fourth gold of these Games, pushing his career total to a record 18 golds and 22 medals overall. …

Missy Franklin also earned her fourth gold medal of the London Games as she helped the U.S. to victory in the women’€™s 4×100 medley relay. The team of Franklin, Rebecca Soni, Dana Vollmer and Allison Schmitt finished in a world-record-time of 3:52.05 to edge Australia and Japan.

BASKETBALL: U.S. ESCAPES AGAINST LITHUANIA

Two days after a record 83-point rout against Nigeria, the U.S. men’€™s basketball team received a scare against Lithuania but ultimately prevailed, 99-94, to stay undefeated in group play.

The Americans trailed with under six minutes left as the Lithuanians looked poised to complete a monumental upset. But just like he did so often in this year’€™s NBA playoffs with the Heat, LeBron James stepped up when it mattered the most, scoring nine of his 20 points in the final minutes to hold off Linas Kleiza (game-high 25 points) and Lithuania.

The U.S., which clinched a berth in the quarterfinals with the victory, is 4-0 to lead Group A and will play Argentina on Monday to conclude the group stage.

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Read More: 2012 Olympics, Carmelita Jeter, LeBron James, London
Friday’s Olympics roundup: Michael Phelps wins gold in last individual event 08.03.12 at 11:30 pm ET
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Michael Phelps earned his 17th gold medal in his last individual Olympic event, beating out South Africa’s Chad Le Clos by .23 seconds in the 100-meter butterfly Friday in London.

Joining Phelps on the medal stand in the aquatic center were Americans Missy Franklin, Elizabeth Beisel, Katie Ledecky and Cullen Jones.

Franklin, who took a commanding lead less than midway through the 200 backstroke, won her third gold medal with a 2:04.06 world-record time in the event. Beisel, who hails from Rhode Island, earned a bronze medal.

In the 800 freestyle, Ledecky won her first Olympic gold medal. The 15-year-old dominated most of the race and even swam much of it under world-record pace, although she was unable to break the record.

Jones finished behind France’s Florent Manaudou in the 50 freestyle to earn the silver medal, beating out 2008 Olympic champion Cesar Cielo. American Anthony Ervin, returning to the Olympics for the first time since Sydney in 2000, also participated and finished fifth.

TENNIS: SERENA DEFEATS No. 1 AZARENKA

It took Serena Williams two sets, 6-1 and 6-2, to defeat No. 1-ranked Victoria Azarenka and advance to the finals. She will face Maria Sharapova in the gold medal match on Saturday.

In men’s competition, Great Britain’s Andy Murray and Switzerland’s Roger Federer advanced to the finals and will face each other in a rematch of this year’s Wimbledon tournament. Federer defeated Argentina’s Martin del Potro in a marathon three-set match.

SOCCER: AMERICAN WOMEN ADVANCE TO SEMIS

The U.S. women’s soccer team defeated New Zealand 2-0 to advance to the semifinals. Abby Wambach scored the game’s first goal, her fourth of the 2012 games, while Hope Solo recorded her third straight shutout.

TRACK: JETER FASTEST IN 100-METER HEATS

Track and field kicked off on Friday, and American Carmelita Jeter finished with the fastest time in the women’s 100-meter heats. Jeter, running in the second heat, recorded a time of 10.83 seconds.

SATURDAY’S SCHEDULE

Four more swimming finals, including the men’s and women’s 4×100 medley relay, will take place on Saturday (part of NBC primetime coverage, starting at 8 p.m.).

Serena Williams will face Maria Sharapova in the gold medal match (9 a.m., NBC).

The U.S. men’s basketball team, after breaking records on Thursday, will be back in action against Lithuania (9:30 a.m., NBCSN).

A number of medals will be awarded in track and field. Among those events is the women’s 100-meter final and the men’s long jump final (part of NBC primetime coverage, starting at 8 p.m.).

Read More: Cullen Jones, Elizabeth Beisel, Katie Ledecky, Michael Phelps
Wednesday’s Olympic Roundup: U.S. gymnast Danell Leyva grabs all-around bronze 08.01.12 at 6:52 pm ET
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The United States earned six medals Wednesday, three gold and three bronze, bringing its medal count to 29. Only the Chinese, with 30, have more.

One of those medals went to American gymnast Danell Leyva. The Cuban refugee recovered from his team’s disappointing fifth-place finish to earn the bronze medal in Wednesday’€™s individual all-around finals.

As expected, three-time world champion Kohei Uchimura of Japan, whom many believe could be the greatest gymnast ever, took home the gold. Germany’s Marcel Nguyen placed second.

Leyva joins 2004 champion Paul Hamm as the only U.S. men to win Olympic all-around medals since 1984.

SWIMMING: ADRIAN WINS 100 FREE

In one of the closest races of the games, U.S. swimmer Nathan Adrian won the 100-meter freestyle final to become the first American to win gold in the sprint for nearly a quarter of a century.

Nathan beat out Australian world champion James Magnussen by .01 seconds, the smallest margin in Olympic swimming.

The U.S. women’€™s swim team also earned a gold in the women’€™s 4 x 200-meter relay, outpacing Australia by nearly 1½ seconds. The Aussies took home the silver while the French grabbed the bronze.

In the men’€™s bracket, Michael Phelps earned a trip to the finals to defend his 200-meter individual medley with the fourth fasted time in the preliminaries. Teammate Ryan Lochte was second-quickest at 1:58.03 a short time after he advanced in the 200 backstroke heats. The 200 IM final is Thursday.

TENNIS: VENUS STUMBLES, SERENA BREEZES

Despite holding a lead in each set Wednesday, Venus Williams dropped her third-round match to No. 7-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5).

Williams still has a shot at her record fourth gold medal in Olympics tennis however, as she and sister Serena play in the quarterfinals Thursday.

Earlier Wednesday, Serena breezed past No. 13-seeded Vera Zvonareva to win 6-1, 6-0 in just 51 minutes.

CYCLING: ARMSTRONG TAKES GOLD IN TIME TRIALS

Kristin Armstrong took home the gold for the U.S. in the women’€™s time trials with a time of 37:34.82, more than 15 seconds faster than silver medalist Judith Arndt of Germany.

ROWING: BU ALUM WINS GOLD

Former Terrier Florian Mennigen (’06) helped Germany to a gold in the men’s eight final Wednesday morning. Mennigen is the third-ever Terrier and first since 1988 to win a gold medal in the sport of rowing.

THURSDAY’S SCHEDULE

The U.S. men’€™s volleyball team squares off against Brazil in a rematch of the 2008 gold medal game. Neither team has dropped a set so far in London (3 p.m., NBC).

LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and company take on Nigeria. The U.S team is averaging 104 points per game. (5:15 p.m., NBCSN)

Read More: Danell Leyva, Michael Phelps, Olympics, Ryan Lochte