March Madness Will Not Include Fans Due To Coronavirus Concerns

451703409_4d3d7605eb_b

No fans will be allowed at this year’s NCAA March Madness Tournaments. (PHOTO COURTESY: dayseraph on Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-ND)

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

This year’s NCAA D-I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments won’t look the way they have in the past because none of the upcoming contests will include fans.

Due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), especially these past few days, the NCAA announced Wednesday afternoon that both tournaments would occur, but not include fans. Teams will play in empty arenas in front of teammates, coaches, essential staff and family members, according to NCAA president Mark Emmert

In a statement to the public, Emmert confirmed his decision to not allow fans to attend either tournament after consulting with public health officials. 

“Based on their advice and my discussions with the NCAA Board of Governors, I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family attendance,” said Emmert, via today’s release on NCAA.org.

The NCAA President would continue by adding, “While I understand how disappointing this is for all fans of our sports, my decision is based on the current understanding of how COVID-19 is progressing in the United States. This decision is in the best interest of public health, including that of coaches, administrators, fans and, most importantly, our student-athletes.”

Prior to the NCAA announcing no fans would be allowed to attend this year’s March Madness, the Ivy League canceled its conference tournaments on Tuesday morning, which were scheduled to take place this weekend at Harvard University.

Earlier today, it was announced (and confirmed) that the Golden State Warriors would play against the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, March 12th with no fans in the stands.

This evening, the Big Ten Conference (B10) announced tomorrow’s men’s conference tournament would be limited to student-athletes, coaches, event staff, essential team, and conference members. Additionally, the conference will permit TV network partners, credentialed media, and immediate family members of the participating teams.

Jeff Goodman, who is a basketball analyst for Stadium, reported this evening there are discussions happening about possibly postponing or evening canceling the NCAA Tournament and Final Four.” 

As more information develops and becomes available, we will make sure to update this post and our site with new blog posts. 

Daily Noontime: Wednesday, March 4th, 2020

DNMar4th2020

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

It’s Wednesday, which means we’re going to work extra hard today (and tomorrow) for the weekend, right?

It is a WINDY day outside today, so make sure to hang onto your hat (and maybe your glasses, too). And make sure to look both ways before crossing the street, as well.

Alright, enough about the weather (and crossing streets). Let’s get into the Daily Noontime!

  • The Boston Bruins picked-up an important 2-1 win last night against the Tampa Bay Lightning. With the win, the Black and Gold improve to 42-13-12 overall – they also picked up two more points to bump their season total to 96 (wow!).
  • Boston will attempt to gain an additional two points tomorrow, Thursday, March 5th when they visit the Florida Panthers for a 7 p.m. face-off.
  • With their win last night over the Lightning, it appears as if the Bruins have the Atlantic Division locked up. Boston and Tampa Bay will meet again on Saturday, March 7th – it will be another game to watch, of course – and could see each other in the postseason.
  • The Brooklyn Nets scored 51 points in the fourth quarter and then outscored the Boston Celtics, 11-2, in overtime to secure a 129-20 win last night on Causeway Street. Jaylen Brown led the Green and White with 22 points while Kemba Walker chipped in 21 points.
  • Boston will be fine – don’t worry, Celtics fans! – but they will need everyone on their roster to feel better and get healthier as they head into the final weeks of the regular season. And one of those players is Jayson Tatum, who was sidelined last night with an illness.
  • A 15-pitch bullpen session on Sunday has resulted in Chris Sale sitting on the bench and waiting for Dr. James Andrews to review his MRI. Hopefully, we receive some positive news later today or this week about the Boston Red Sox pitcher, who was forced to end his season last summer with an elbow issue. Perhaps the Sox will need to acquire some free-agent pitchers to bolster its rotation?
  • The Lowell High School boy’s basketball team extended captured its 23-straight contest this season with a hard-fought win over Cambridge on Tuesday evening in the MIAA D1 North semifinals at Woburn High School. Jaceb McKenzie and Carlos Nunez scored 16 points, respectively, for the Red Raiders, who will now face Lynn English in Saturday’s D1 North Finals at the Tsongas Center.
  • Tufts University men’s lacrosse netted 25 goals for the ninth time in program history last night as the Jumbos rolled past Springfield College in a non-conference clash. Tufts, which improved to 2-0, received seven points from Mac Bredahl while Mason Pollack turned aside five shots.
  • Brandon Pavoni netted five goals while setting up three more tallies as the Anna Maria College men’s lacrosse team outlasted Nichols College on Tuesday for their second win of the 2020 season.

Daily Noontime: Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

DNMarch3rd2020

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Can you believe this weather? I may call in sick and head to the beach – it is going to be close to 60 degrees today, which makes me pretty happy!

Before you head out to soak in some Vitamin D, enjoy a brand new ‘Daily Noontime’ – it is the best way to start your day!

Boston heads to Tampa Bay for an important early week match-up

  • The Boston Bruins return to the ice this evening for an important match-up with the Tampa Bay Lightning. This is the first of two meetings this week – Tampa Bay will visit Boston on Saturday for an important contest.
  • Boston currently leads Tampa Bay in the standings by seven points so this would be an ideal night to pick up some more points with a win over a team the Black and Gold will most likely see in the postseason.

Could David Pastrnak win the NHL’s Hart Trophy? 

The Celtics welcome the Nets to Boston tonight 

  • The Boston Celtics will attempt to erase the memories of last Saturday’s one-point setback to the Houston Rockets when they entertain the Brooklyn Nets, who enter tonight’s contest with a 26-33 overall record.
  • Tonight marks the beginning of the stretch run – can you believe the NBA playoffs are right around the corner? – and you know Jayson Tatum will be ready to lead the Green and White to victory.

Tom Brady may not divorce the New England Patriots 

  • We’re anxiously waiting to find out where Tom Brady will play next season. I think he will return to the New England Patriots. And I also think he is not ready to divorce a team that he has enjoyed so much success with over the past 20 seasons.

Boston College wins its 17th Hockey East regular-season crown 

  • Boston College has won seven-straight contests and one of those wins (against rival Boston University) helped the men’s ice hockey team clinch its 17th Hockey East regular-season title. The Eagles will be at home for the quarterfinals, which begin next weekend.
  • This weekend, BC will play a home-and-home series with the University of New Hampshire.

The 18th Hockey East Women’s semifinals will take place this weekend 

  • The 18th Hockey East Women’s semifinals will take place this Saturday, March 7th at Merrimack College with Maine and Northeastern University skating in the first game at 12 p.m. followed by New Hampshire vs. Connecticut in the second game at 3:30 p.m.

UMass welcomes Albany to Amherst for an afternoon clash 

  • Fresh off an impressive three-goal (13-10) win over Yale University last Saturday, the UMass men’s lacrosse team will look to continue their momentum this afternoon when they host Albany for a 3 p.m. face-off.
  • UMass has won three of five contests this season, including two of their last three outings.

Daily Noontime: Monday, March 2, 2020

DNMarch2nd2020

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

Happy Monday, everyone! Also, a happy second day of March, too – spring is on the way, which makes me VERY excited!

Let’s kick-off a brand new week with a ‘Daily Noontime,’ which I hope you tell your friends about because it is a great way to get caught up on the news (and start your day, of course!).

Monday will be an off night for Boston Sports 

  • Both the Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics will enjoy a night off before returning to action tomorrow. The Bruins will visit the Tampa Bay Lightning for an important game while the Celtics will entertain the Brooklyn Nets on Causeway Street.

Chris Sale threw 15 pitches in batting practice on Sunday 

  • It was great to learn (and hear) that Chris Sale threw 15 pitches yesterday during batting practice yesterday after ending his season last August with inflammation in his left elbow. Sale won’t start immediately for the Boston Red Sox when they begin their 2020 campaign later this month, but will eventually return the rotation, which is music to my ears.

Tom Brady is headed where …? 

  • As of today, we are 14 days closer to the start of the 2020 NFL Free Agency period, which means we should know where Tom Brady is headed (and will be playing in 2020). Will he stay with the New England Patriots? Will he join the Indianapolis Colts? Will he just hang it up and announce his retirement from football?

Tufts Men’s Basketball wins its first NESCAC Tournament Championship 

  • The Jumbos needed two overtime periods on Sunday to knock-off Colby College and claim their first-ever New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament Championship.
  • Eric Savage sent the game to overtime with a long-range three-pointer during the final seconds of the second half – he almost lost the ball but was able to maintain his dribble before firing a shot that resulted in bedlam at Cousens Gymnasium.
  • With the win, the Jumbos secured the conference’s automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA Tournament – they will enter the playoffs with some serious momentum from Sunday’s win over the Mules.

Smith College wins its first-ever NEWMAC Basketball Championship 

  • The Pioneers of Smith College are headed to the upcoming NCAA D-III Tournament, thanks to a 70-56 win yesterday over MIT. The victory provided Smith with its initial New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament Championship.
  • Smith needed to beat three teams in five days to win the conference tournament crown, including Springfield College last Friday.

Coast Guard Academy rallied to beat WPI in Sunday’s NEWMAC Championship 

  • The Bears of Coast Guard Academy erased a 25-point deficit at the break to not only force overtime but then beat WPI in the 2020 NEWMAC Championship.
  • Coast Guard won all three playoff games on the road, including two early last week against Emerson College and Springfield College. The victory provided the Bears with their third conference tournament championship in program history.

NBA Announces Dates For Bucks-Celtics Series (Round Two)

CelticsLogo_History-1By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Days after securing a first-round sweep of the Indiana Pacers, the Boston Celtics learned today that Sunday, April 28th will be the first day of their second-round series with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Milwaukee, which also secured a first-round sweep over the Detroit Pistons, will host the Celtics on Sunday, April 28th and Tuesday, April 30th in games one and two. Game one is scheduled to tip-off at 2 p.m., while no time has been announced for the second contest.

Boston will be the host for the third and fourth games, which will take place Friday, May 3rd and Monday, May 6th.

Game five (if necessary) will be held in Milwaukee, while Boston will be the site for game six (again, if needed).

Game seven will take place in Milwaukee – again if needed –  but similar to game two, no times for games two through seven have been listed.

The winner of this second-round series will advance to the Eastern Conference Finals against the winner of Philadelphia 76ers-Toronto Raptors. Both Philadelphia and Toronto needed five games, respectively, to secure first-round wins over the Brooklyn Nets and Orlando Magic.

We’ll have more on the Celtics’ second-round series later this week on Noontime Sports, but make sure to stay connected with us on social media by following and liking us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.