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Numerals on College Basketball Jerseys? You Can Count Them on One Hand

SYRACUSE — When the freshman forward Marvin Clark Jr. requested a uniform number in the single digits this fall — something, he said, that might help embellish his trim physique — Michigan State’s equipment manager, Dave Pruder, had a problem. There was not much to offer him.

Clark ended up wearing …

College Sports

A Young and Undermanned Duke Team Forges Its Own Legacy

HOUSTON — The Blue Devils looked tentative under the basket, milling about in such a way that they seemed to need Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s guidance on what to do next. A ladder was set up. A net hung above them. Aside from being told not to run with those scissors in their hands, they were on their …

Atlantic Coast Conference

With Travis Trice in Control, Michigan State Keeps Calm and Moves On

SYRACUSE — There were 10 seconds left in the tense N.C.A.A. tournament East Regional final Sunday when the basketball unexpectedly ricocheted into the hands of Michigan State’s senior guard Travis Trice.

Trice knew just what to do. He would do nothing.

On the Michigan State bench, Coach Tom Izzo …

Michigan State

Beef Ban in India Reaches Into Cages of Lions and Tigers

MUMBAI, India — Palash, the largest tiger at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai, still paces his cage for the hour leading up to dinner and still pounces on his meal when his handlers lift the gate to his feeding room. But lately what the 440-pound feline finds is not his usual 15 pounds of …


A Year After Seizing Crimea, Putin Celebrates as Ukraine Seethes

MOSCOW — As President Vladimir V. Putin led Russia in celebrating the first anniversary of its annexation of Crimea on Wednesday with a rally and concert, Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine warned that a cease-fire there was at risk of collapsing because of a dispute over political …


Right-Wing Groups Find a Haven, for a Day, in Russia

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — A motley crew of representatives of fringe right-wing political organizations in Europe and the United States used a conference here on Sunday to denounce what they called the degradation of white, Christian traditions in the West. Their hosts used the conference to advance …


Fragile Cease-Fire in Ukraine Inspires Little Confidence in West

BRUSSELS — No one really expects Ukraine to get better before it gets worse, or for the promises contained in last month’s cease-fire agreement to be kept.

Instead, senior Western diplomats and analysts are predicting a further escalation of tensions, including the placing of Russian nuclear weapons …


Chechen’s Ties to Putin Are Questioned Amid Nemtsov Murder Case

GROZNY, Russia — Ramzan A. Kadyrov, the strongman leader of Chechnya, has been at the center of intrigue surrounding the murder of Boris Y. Nemtsov, a prominent critic of the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin. So before a busy weekend that included a night out with the boys to watch cage …


In Putin’s Nationalist Russia, a Tolstoy as Cultural Diplomat

YASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — On a sunny winter afternoon here, Vladimir Tolstoy, a great-great-grandson of Leo Tolstoy and an adviser on cultural affairs to President Vladimir V. Putin, strode up the birch-lined path that leads to the bucolic family compound where his forebear wrote “War and Peace” …


Russian Museum Seeks a Warmer Adjective for Ivan the Terrible

MOSCOW — Ivan the Terrible, the Russian czar, should really be considered Ivan the Not So Bad, according to a wildly popular historical exhibition held recently near the Kremlin.

The exhibition accused the Western news media of miscasting Czar Ivan IV as “the Terrible.” A display of contemporaneous …


A Policy Puzzle of U.S. Goals and Alliances in the Middle East

WASHINGTON — Already struggling to navigate the chaos engulfing much of the Middle East, the United States is now dipping its toe into another conflict.

In Yemen, the Obama administration is supporting a Saudi-led military campaign to dislodge Iranian-backed Houthi rebels despite the risks of an …

Middle East

Behind a Veil of Anonymity, Online Vigilantes Battle the Islamic State

They use screen aliases like IS Hunting Club, TouchMyTweets and The Doctor. They troll Twitter for suspected accounts of Islamic State fighters, recruiters and fund-raisers. Then they pounce.

In what has become a cyber analogy to the battles in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere between governments and the …


Robert L. Hite, Survivor of Doolittle Raid and Japanese Imprisonment, Dies at 95

Lt. Col. Robert L. Hite, the last survivor among eight crewmen who were captured by the Japanese when American bombers brought World War II home to Japan in Jimmy Doolittle’s daring air raid in 1942, died on Sunday in Nashville. He was 95.

The cause was heart failure, his son, Wallace, said.

The raid …


Miriam Bienstock, Co-Founder of Atlantic Records, Dies at 92

Miriam Bienstock, a co-founder of Atlantic Records who ran the business side of the company in its formative years, helping to lay the groundwork for what became a colossus of the recording industry, died on March 21 at her home in Manhattan. She was 92.

Her death was confirmed by her children, …

Atlantic Records

ISIS Militants Stone Iraqi Couple Accused of Adultery

BAGHDAD — Islamic State militants on Tuesday publicly stoned a man and woman to death on charges of adultery in Iraq, parading the victims in a public square in the northern city of Mosul, according to witnesses and an Iraqi military official.

It was the latest in a series of public executions of …

Middle East

Arab Leaders Agree on Joint Military Force

CAIRO — The Arab states said on Sunday that they had agreed to form a joint military force to counter both Iranian influence and Islamist extremism, a gesture many analysts attributed in large part to their drive for more independence from Washington.

The agreement came as American and other Western …

World Politics

Islamic State Destruction Renews Debate Over Repatriation of Antiquities

Assyrian relics that have stood for 3,000 years smashed and desecrated. Ruins from Babylonian times bombed and bulldozed. Scrolls and shrines ravaged from Somalia to Timbuktu.

Museum directors, archaeologists, collectors and others with a fierce passion for safeguarding antiquities have been united …


Review: ‘Living Here’ Sends Gideon Irving to Wander City Apartments

There were only two dozen people in the audience when the folksy balladeer Gideon Irving performed “Living Here: A Map of Songs,” produced by the Foundry Theater, on Wednesday.

But this was definitely a sold-out show. Listeners crammed the snug living room of a prewar apartment on the Upper West …


Review: Soho Rep’s ‘Washeteria,’ Staged in a Brooklyn Storefront

In recent years, Soho Rep has offered dramas like “Blasted,” “Born Bad,” “An Octoroon” and “We Are Proud to Present a Presentation” — tough, turbulent, troubling. But in the new show, “Washeteria,” the company is running on a much, much gentler cycle, with lots of fabric softener, too.

The theater’s …

New York

Review: ‘Twelfth Night,’ in Two Plays, Blurs Identity

Every so often, evidence arises that acting might just be the most satisfying profession on the planet. Take the company called Bedlam, which is putting on not one but two inspired productions of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” in a small and airless room in the garment district that seats about 50, …

Twelfth Night

N.C.A.A. Final Four Preview: Kentucky Heads the Familiar Four

Call it the Familiar Four.

We started with 68 teams, from Northern Florida to Eastern Washington. But the four that remain have the comfortable feeling of old gym shoes. It’s a bit like a baseball playoff with the Braves, Cardinals, Red Sox and Yankees. Well, maybe not the Yankees.

All four of this …


Wisconsin Finds Some Hope in Notre Dame’s Heartbreak

CLEVELAND — In Notre Dame’s locker room after Saturday night’s loss to Kentucky, the whiteboard still bore the coaches’ talking points in black Sharpie. On offense: “Great Movement=Great Shots.” On defense, the only instruction underlined in blue was “Level 5 Team Rebounding.”

How many levels of …

Wisconsin Badgers

Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky Hopes for a Hollywood Ending

LOS ANGELES — An ascendant star heads west, with his best friends in tow, to Tinseltown, where boom times and madcap adventures await. As that star, Frank Kaminsky, winds down his Wisconsin basketball career, his life has begun to resemble one of his favorite television series, “Entourage,” right …


Vast Stadium Falls Silent, Except for Clangs

HOUSTON — A huge black curtain looms at each end of the raised court, creating an illusion that players are launching jump shots deep into another galaxy. Lights appear to give off an unusually strong glare, as if signaling a tavern’s last call or the intermission of a play.

Utah Coach Larry …

Gonzaga Bulldogs

Gene Saks, Tony-Winning Director of Neil Simon Hits, Dies at 93

Gene Saks, an actor who switched to stage and film directing in midcareer, winning three Tony Awards and becoming the leading interpreter of the plays of Neil Simon, died on Saturday at his home in East Hampton, N.Y. He was 93.

The cause was pneumonia, his wife, Keren, said.

As a director, Mr. Saks …

Neil Simon

Rod Hundley, an Outsize Basketball Personality, Dies at 80

Rod Hundley, basketball’s irrepressible Hot Rod, who parlayed showmanship on the court with flair at the microphone to become a fan favorite for more than half a century, died on Friday at his home near Phoenix. He was 80.

Hundley was an electrifying presence at West Virginia University, played for …

Rod Hundley

George Spitz, Civic Gadfly Helped Transform Marathon, Dies at 92

George N. Spitz, a relentless gadfly who is credited with recasting the New York City Marathon from a four-lap run around Central Park with 339 finishers to a celebratory five-borough race that has become the largest of its kind in the world, died on Friday in Manhattan. He was 92.

His death, of …


Tomas Transtromer, Nobel-Winning Poet, Dies at 83

Tomas Transtromer, a Swedish poet who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2011 for a body of work known for shrewd metaphors couched in deceptively spare language, crystalline descriptions of natural beauty and explorations of the mysteries of identity and creativity, died on Thursday in …


John Renbourn, Eclectic Guitarist Who Founded the Pentangle, Dies at 70

John Renbourn, an English guitarist known for his light-fingered fusion of classical, folk, blues and jazz and for his work with the group the Pentangle, was found dead on Thursday at his home in Hawick, Scotland, near the English border. He was 70.

He had been touring with another guitarist and …

John Renbourn

Roger L. Mayer, Pioneer of Film Preservation, Dies at 88

Roger L. Mayer, a film executive who was instrumental in preserving and restoring countless classic movies and who also courted controversy by coloring some black-and-white ones, died on Tuesday in Los Angeles. He was 88.

The cause was a heart attack, his wife, Pauline Mayer, said.

At the 2005 Oscar …