Weekend Notebook/Column: Reflecting on the MIT-WPI Rivalry

By Matt Noonan 

This is my very first – and hopefully more will follow, I will do my best, I promise! – of my Weekend Notebook/Column series. My plan is to post a weekly column every Sunday that highlights an event, game or moment from the past week in the world of Massachusetts’s college sports.

So, without further ado, here is my first Weekend Notebook/Column!

And if you would like to critique it, send me a note or possibly pitch an idea for this weekly column or any future blog posts, you can contact me at NoontimeSports@gmail.com.

MIT-WPI, A Great Rivalry: Yesterday, I had the great fortune of PA Announcing MIT-WPI men’s basketball, the first of two meetings this season. Prior to the contest, WPI head coach, Chris Bartley, remarked, “This must be a big game with you announcing.” I laughed and wished him good luck.

MIT-WPI has truly become a marquee matchup or a must-see over the past few seasons. Sure, you have Amherst-Williams and Bentley-Stonehill, two great matchups, too, but there really is something special about these games.

Yesterday’s contest truly demonstrated why this is a must-see matchup. MIT was victorious, claiming a 51-46 win over WPI. The game featured five ties and one lead change. Four players – two from each side – reached double-figures, while MIT and WPI recorded 31 team rebounds, respectively.

MIT and WPI will play their second game on February 11, a game that could determine seeding for the upcoming NEWMAC Tournament. The Engineers of WPI swept the regular season meeting last year, but lost to MIT in the semifinals of the conference tournament last March, 64-46.

“We just had to come out, bring lots of energy (and) make sure we were out there in every play, in the play, both mentally and physically, so we could get it done,” MIT’s Matt Redfield said after last year’s tournament win over their rival.

Who knows, maybe we could see MIT-WPI in the NEWMAC title game later this winter, it certainly is possible!

Since the 2011, MIT or WPI has either won the league and tournament crown. The Engineers of MIT, who have won the conference tournament in three of the last four seasons, have also finished as Regular Season Champions twice since the 2011 campaign. They also shared the regular season crown in 2012 with WPI.

WPI last won the Tournament in 2013, their first tournament victory since beating MIT in the title match, 69-56, in 2006.

Said Bartley after winning the 2013 Tournament Title against Springfield College, “It’s a great feeling because it’s been a long time.”

So, mark your calendar for February 11, the rematch of yesterday’s back-and-forth affair. And I promise you, it will be another great chapter in this rivalry of Engineers.

Links from Around the Web: 

* Stonehill College’s women’s basketball team won their sixth consecutive game yesterday, beating Pace, 63-46. Jamie Panton recorded a season-high 11 points in the win.

* A late three-pointer helped Williams’ men’s basketball team edge Amherst College in Williamstown. Check out the story from the Berkshire Eagle.

* Boston University’s Victoria Bach registered a career-best three points in last night’s 5-3 win over Maine.

Wheaton College’s women’s basketball team halted Springfield’s six-game winning streak yesterday with a 64-53 win. The Lyons are now in a three-way tie for first place in the conference with Babson College and Springfield.

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