On This Date In Sports History: Saturday, April 4th, 2020

OnThisDateApril4th2020

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation 

Happy Saturday, everyone – we hope everyone is doing well and staying safe, of course!

Starting today – and every day going forward! – we are going to hop back in time and share some exciting sports memories for each particular day. And today, our post is all about what happened in the sports world on April 4th, enjoy.


On This Date in History: April 4th

  • 1948: 84-year-old Connie Mack challenged 78-year-old Clark Griffith to a race from home plate to first base. And the end result was a tie.
  • 1974: Hank Aaron tied Babe Ruth‘s home run record (714) against the Cincinnati Reds. Four days later (April 8th, to be exact) he would break the record from 1935, establishing a new mark for home runs with 715.
  • 1986: Wayne Gretzky recorded his 213th point of the 1985-86 season during a 9-3 setback to the Calgary Flames. Gretzky, who would finish the year with 215 points, broke his old record of 212 points in a single0season.
  • 1993: The Texas Tech women’s basketball team captured its initial NCAA Championship with an 84-82 win over Ohio State. Sheryl Swoopes, who was named the Most Outstanding Player, established a single-game championship scoring record of 47 points.
  • 1994: Arkansas‘ men’s basketball team won its first-ever NCAA Championship – the Razorbacks beat the Blue Devils of Duke in the title game.
  • 1997: The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim secured their first-ever postseason berth, which would conclude in the NHL conference semifinals. The Ducks won their first-ever postseason series in the quarterfinals – they outlasted the Phoenix Coyotes in seven games before falling to the Detroit Red Wings in four-straight semifinal contests.
  • 1998: The re-branded NFL Europe, which was originally named the World League of American Football, kicked-off a brand new season The Rhein Fire would be crowned the champions weeks later when they beat the Frankfurt Galaxy in the World Bowl by a score of 34-10.
  • 2011: Coach Jim Calhoun leads the Connecticut men’s basketball team to an NCAA Championship – the Huskies beat Butler, 53-41. Current Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker scored 16 points for the Huskies.

Willwerth: Calhoun Ends Tumultuous Year On Top

By Brian Willwerth

Jim Calhoun has seen a lot of college basketball in his 39 years as a head coach – the last 25 coming at the University of Connecticut.

It’s safe to say, he’s probably never experienced a season quite like this.

With Connecticut’s 53-41 victory over Butler Monday night, Calhoun won his third national championship, all of them coming in the past 12 years.  UConn was also the last team standing in 1999 and 2004.  This year’s title matchup was a game that will be remembered more for Butler’s inability to put the ball in the basket than anything else. But for Calhoun, a win is a win. And he has over 800 of them in his career.

But this season may have been his best coaching job ever.  Sure, the Huskies got off to a 10-0 start, highlighted by an impressive run in the Maui Invitational Tournament in which they knocked off the likes of Michigan State and Kentucky.  UConn rose in the polls, and rightfully so.

But then came February. The NCAA came down hard on Calhoun for failing to create an atmosphere of compliance within the program.  As a result, he will be suspended for the first three games of the conference play in 2012. The program was also hit with scholarship reductions.  UConn went on to lose seven of its last eleven regular-season games. The Huskies were the #9 seed in the Big East Tournament. How much of a distraction would it be heading into Madison Square Garden?

The answer would be a resounding “not at all.”

After losing the regular season finale to Notre Dame, Calhoun did not taste defeat the rest of the way.  Five Big East Tournament games, five wins.  Would they feel the effects of winning five games in five days?  The answer: six NCAA tournament games later, Calhoun and his players were cutting down the nets at Reliant Stadium in Houston.  It didn’t matter how many obstacles he had to overcome.  Hall of Fame coaches know how to do that.

At the age of 68, Calhoun is the oldest coach ever to win the national championship.  Don’t be surprised if he has another one left in him.

Kilpatrick: Butler or VCU, Who wants it More?

The Rams have made it this far, so why exactly would their journey end Saturday against Butler?

By Stacey Kilpatrick

It’s the angry Butler Bulldogs and the ferocious Virginia Commonwealth Rams vying for a spot in the NCAA Championship finals. No one suspected an 8-seed and an 11-seed to be playing for the coveted chance. Not a person. Maybe those teams who were a 4 or 5 seed, but an 8 and 11 in the Horizon and the Colonial Conferences? No way!

No Atlantic 10, no ACC, no Big 12, no PAC 10, no Big Ten; the Horizon and the CAA. It’s a “Cinderella” run as many call it, but should #8 Butler and #11 VCU even have the opportunity to play for this title?

With this being the first EVER run where an 8-or-higher-seed is in the final four, it’s certainly grabbed a lot of attention. And since Butler fell to Duke last year in the Championship, with then-Bulldog Gordon Hayward narrowly missing the half court last-second shot, I’m sure the competition will be even heavier on April 2 at extreme ends; those crossing their foam fingers for the deprived to reign, and those shaking their heads and running their mouths, wanting the Bulldogs to fall once more.

Both teams have had exciting tournaments so far, but how do they stack up statistically?

Butler finished [27-9] overall and [13-5] in the Horizon. They held their breaths in the final seconds of two games. On March 17, Butler beat #9 Old Dominion, 60-58, after Matt Howard tipped in the game-winner at the buzzer. Two nights later, Howard’s free throw with 0:01 remaining put the team up, 71-70 over top-seeded Pittsburgh, ultimately knocking the Panthers out. In the Sweet 16 the Bulldogs beat #4 Wisconsin 61-54 and during Elite Eight play they booted the #2 Florida Gators 74-71 in overtime.

The Rams went [28-11] overall and [12-6] in the Colonial. In third round play, they upset #3 Purdue 94-76, securing their first visit to the Sweet 16. Bradford Burgess put VCU up, 72-71 with 6-seconds left in overtime against #10 Florida State, and when Chris Singleton couldn’t put down two points for the Seminoles with 0:02 remaining, the Rams won.

But the most shocking was when, I’ll say it again, #11 VCU upset #1 Kansas 71-61 on March 27. The Rams were up, 41-27 at the half and during the game they shot 48.0% from beyond the arc compared to the Jayhawks’ uncharacteristic and embarrassing 9.5%.

VCU is a team that, in contrast ranks 99th overall in points per game to Kansas’ 5th, 301st in rebounds to Kansas’ 19th, 83rd in assists to Kansas’ 2nd and 180th in field goal percentage to Kansas’…1st.

How, how, how did the Rams beat the Jayhawks and make it to the Final Four? They must have ridden in a pumpkin instead of a team bus and substituted fairy godmother dust over Gatorade.

With VCU’s push, it seems as if they can outlast Butler. But Butler did pull upsets of their own and they’re back again dribbling for victory that was so closely in their sweaty, calloused hands last year.

NCAA March Madness Day Seven Wrap Up

Walker and Lamb have been an important tandem, which has helped guide the Huskies to the Final Four!

By Andy Lindberg

Mr. Sheen, today there were NCAA basketball games on TV, did you watch any?

“Uh, duh.”

What were the results of those games?

”Winning!”

Note to the reader, Charlie Sheen was not at all interviewed by me for this recap, but if he was, that’s probably how it would have gone. As a tribute, I’ll be quoting Sheen and his “bi-winning” insanity throughout this article.

Butler’s Shelvin Mack was tired of pretending like he wasn’t a total frickin’ rock star from Mars with his 27 points in a win over Florida.  That’s the stat of the day, wee children.

It’s probably safe to say that Mr. Mack was in beast mode.  The game went to overtime as 8th seeded Butler Bulldogs continued it’s rambling plethora of upsets so far in the tournament.  They’re not ranked low enough to call them giant-killers by any means, but they’re most assuredly connoisseurs of the upset.  I mean, c’mon, bro; they’ve got tiger blood.

Someone needs to unplug Kemba Walker’s brain because dude, can’t handle it.  Does that make sense?  Not really, but a good Sheen-ism rarely does.  UCONN was bangin’ seven-gram rocks on Arizona, because that’s how they roll.  With 1 seed Ohio State out of the picture, one wonders if this UCONN team is trying to mack on a championship again.  They’ve been unstoppable since the Big East tourney.

Guard Jeremy Lamb had 19 points off the bench for the Huskies and Walker wasn’t aggressive, he was dominant with 20.  Apparently UCONN loves to party, but what’s not to love?  Arizona made a valiant attempt at a comeback––(I love how we as “sportswriters” must resort consistently to the most archaic and regal phrases to convey anything in sports)––but the attempt fell short is it just feels like it’s UCONN’s year to a certain extent.  Kemba needs a time-out from his goddesses and he’s on a drug, it’s called Charlie Sheen.

Looking ahead to tomorrow, the winner (winning!) of UNC and Kentucky will face UCONN in the Final Four.  Also on deck, Kansas tries to become the only #1 seed to be a warlock and do its job against 11th ranked VCU on their way to, in all likelihood, lose to Butler.  Seriously now, Butler’s an F-18, bro.  And they will destroy teams in the air.  They will deploy their ordinance to the ground as well.

For those of you who were wondering, last week’s matchup between Wile E. Coyote and The Roadrunner did not go in Coyote’s favor.  It never does.  The Roadrunner’s an F-18, bro.

Count the Sheen-isms!

Noonan: March Madness Bracket is Busted

Sadly, Duke fell short to Arizona, which most likely "busted" March Madness brackets!

By Matt Noonan

Take a look at your March Madness bracket, how does it look? Do you have a lot of teams, such as Duke, BYU and maybe San Diego State crossed off?

How about all those who picked Rick Pitino to lead Louisville to the “Sweet Sixteen” or “Final Four,” how do you feel today?

Also, I do need to spark some controversy, so how is everyone doing in Kentucky on this wonderful Friday morning? Are you excited for the Wildcats to take on Ohio State on Friday? Will John Calipari lead his group of young men onto the elite eight?

Well, allow me to be the first to admit that once again, my bracket is officially busted, again. I had Duke repeating their exciting run from last year, but now, my favorite piece of paper from the past few days has gone out with the kitchen trash and I have officially begun the countdown for the MLB season, yet, how much baseball can I endure during the first week?

What makes March Madness so enjoyable is that every year, millions of people, no matter whether they are college basketball die-hards, co-workers or friends and family, take just a few minutes or possibly, hours, to fill out a bracket.

Even President Barack Obama has continuously shown his support for the tournament, both the men’s and women’s might I add, by filling out a bracket and allowing ESPN an all-access pass into the white house to hear what the chief and commander of America has to say about the tournament.

People like myself, Obama and even, Snoop Dogg, may not always enjoy watching our picks or predictions slip away, but what we do enjoy the most is a great game of basketball. So far, a majority of the games have been enthralling.

Who doesn’t enjoy a late three-pointer to win the game? Aren’t you a fan of a Matt Howard rebound and layup for Butler? Don’t you want to see free throws down the stretch win games?

Besides, we all know that sports fans, especially college basketball followers live for these exciting and exuberant moments.

All in all, while my bracket is indeed busted, there is always hope that one-day, I, along with all of those who picked the various games wrong, will be able to stand up and cheer after the championship is complete and say, “My bracket didn’t get busted!”

Until that day comes, I might as well sit back, relax and enjoy the rest of this college tournament.

Also, since Duke has officially been eliminated, I’ll be rooting for Jim Calhoun’s bunch, the University of Connecticut Huskies to win another NCAA Division I championship.