By Matt Noonan
The New Year has just begun, and while many are still recovering from their celebrations and parties, others, like myself, are asking their crystal ball about 2013.
2012 was an exciting year in sports, especially in the college sports world in Massachusetts. And below are my predictions and thoughts on what could occur over the next few months.
Boston College will win the Hockey East: The Eagles head coach just celebrated a major milestone this past weekend, as Jerry York scooped up win No. 925. He’s now the sole leader in wins in NCAA hockey, but the spotlight was quickly repositioned to his team. Boston College currently resides atop the Hockey East standings and is definitely the frontrunner to capture another conference crown in March. I’m confident that this crew can do it again, but if injuries occur, Boston University or New Hampshire might be the second or third best bets.
Babson College’s Conference Winning Streak Will Conclude: It’s very likely that the Beavers will once again win the NEWMAC (New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference) in February, but I also think their 68-game streak will be snapped, too. Smith College was the last team to defeat the Green and White in 2009, and ever since, Judy Blinstrub’s squad hasn’t dropped a single conference match. However, with the second half of the season set to tip-off tomorrow for most teams, I wouldn’t be totally surprised if the Pioneers (Smith) or Clark or Springfield beats Babson in January or February.
Jim O’Brien Leads Emerson College To A Winning Record: Last season, the former Boston College and Ohio State head coach guided the Lions to 7-19 campaign. This year, Emerson’s men’s basketball team is 4-5, and could possibly finish the season with a .500 record.
UMass Men’s Basketball Goes Dancing: I am very confident about the Minutemen, and believe they’ll earn a spot in the March Madness Tournament. They are the clear favorite in this area, and will certainly make the Bay State proud.
Tufts Softball Returns To The NCAA Championship: Against one of the best home run teams in the country last May, the Jumbos surrendered three long balls, which eliminated them from the championship. This season, I’m expecting the Powder Blue and White to return to the tournament. Although, I’m not sure if they’ll win it, but I certainly like their chances despite losing four valuable seniors.
Framingham State Football Three-Peat: They’ve won the MASCAC (Massachusetts State Athletic Conference) the past two years, and this fall, they’ll do it again. The Rams won’t be competing in the NEFC (New England Football Conference), but will still face some non-conference foes, which will prepare them for another shot at NCAA glory.
AIC Football Will Be The Team To Beat: They’re young, fast and now have two years of experience under their belt. The Yellow Jackets from American International College will certainly be the team to beat in the Northeast-10 Conference, I guarantee it.
What’re your predictions? Do you think another college or team or player will endure a great deal of success this year? Let us know by leaving a comment below or sending us an email (NoontimeSports@gmail.com).
Remember to follow Noontime Sports on Twitter (@NoontimeSports or @NoonSportsBlog).