Daily Noontime: Thursday, March 26th, 2020

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By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

It’s Thursday – hope everyone is doing well and staying safe as usual!

Let’s make today another great day – remember to smile, please! – with a brand new ‘Daily Noontime.’


Noontime’s Headlines for Thursday, March 26th, 2020


On This Date in History

  • 1952: Kansas beat St. John’s in the 14th NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship – the tournament featured the first-ever “Final Four” format.
  • 1979: Michigan State beat Indiana State, 75-64, in the 41st NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, which was the highest-rated game in the history of televised college basketball. And what made this game so special (and exciting) was it started the rivalry of future NBA Hall of Famers Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.
  • 1992: The New York Rangers clinched its first NHL regular-season championship in 50 years.
  • 1997: The NHL announced the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and Vancouver Canucks would open the 1998 season in Japan.

Daily Noontime: Tuesday, March 24th, 2020

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By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

We’re coming to you a bit later than normal – yes, we know it is almost 2 p.m. (eastern time), but we do have some news to share. And it begins with the Summer Olympics, which have been postponed.

  • The games will be postponed but will be played no later than the summer of 2021. And the reason, of course, is due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • Tom Brady was introduced today as a new member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – the former New England Patriots signal-caller was peppered with questions during an introductory conference call. If you missed it, the Bucs did upload the press conference to their YouTube channel.
  • Yesterday, we unveiled another All-Decade team, highlighting a slew of Massachusetts D-III football players that competed in the Bay State from 2010 to 2019.
  • Earlier today, we unveiled our Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA) postseason honors for both men’s basketball and women’s basketball.

We’ll be back tomorrow with a longer ‘Daily Noontime,’ but continue to be well and stay safe, friends!

Commentary: Are You Ready For Life Without Sports?

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Are you ready for life without sports? (PHOTO COURTESY: CubesAndPiii on Visual Hunt / CC BY-ND)

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation

Get ready for a few weeks and months without sports – it is going to happen.

Due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), both this week and over the past few weeks, sports are going to take a backseat. And I am fine with that decision.

The health and well-being of our athletes, coaches, team representatives, and of course, the fans, is what matters most during this time.

I know many fans are upset – what will I do without sports? – while others believe the games (and practices) must go on. But I believe the only way we can return to the field and bleachers is by adhering to the advice of our doctors, health officials, and scientists, not angry parents or fans.

The decision to halt professional, college and high school sports was certainly not an easy one, but again, this decision, a domino effect on Thursday after the NBA suspended its season late Wednesday evening, was the right thing to do. And again, I know many, including college and high school seniors, were extremely distraught to hear their dreams of competing for a March Madness title or state championship would not occur, so I sympathize with these men and women, including the high school seniors that may not get a chance to compete this spring on the baseball or softball diamond or even the school’s outdoor track.

So, with really no local games or college basketball to watch today, tomorrow, and Sunday, I guess it is time to embark into a world that won’t include sports, but instead concerns over the well-being of our family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors.

Will we read more books?

Will we binge-watch, both old and new shows?

Will we get outside and soak in the sun (when its nice, of course)?

Or will we just hunker down and wait for the apocalypse of the coronavirus to vanish?

No matter what happens, life will be different – I guarantee it – but as I mentioned earlier today in my ‘Daily Noontime,’ we will persevere and come back stronger. And that is because I am an optimist.

While I know many of you may find life quite boring and odd these next few weeks and months without sports, just remember that our favorite teams and athletes will eventually reemerge. But until that time comes, we just need to smile, laugh, and find something else to do to keep us preoccupied while we anxiously await the return of professional, college, and high school sports.

COVID-19 Cancels March Madness, NCAA Winter & Spring Championships

By Matt Noonan 

Due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the NCAA has decided to cancel both its winter and spring championships for all three divisions, including March Madness, which was supposed to occur next week without fans in the stands.

The announcement of the cancelations was made this afternoon through a statement, which was seen both on the NCAA website and social media. The statement from the NCAA was the following:

Today, NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors canceled the Division I men’s and women’s 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships. This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities.

Shortly after the cancelations were announced, D3Hoops.com confirmed both D-III tournaments were canceled, including contests that were scheduled to take place this weekend at Amherst CollegeBowdoin College, and Tufts University.

As noted in the report on D3Hoops.com this afternoon, the Tufts men’s basketball team learned of the news on a bus ride to Brockport, New York. The Jumbos were scheduled to tip-off on Saturday, March 14th against the College of Brockport in the third round of the NCAA D-III Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Prior to the NCAA announcement, multiple professional leagues began suspending its current season, including Major League Soccer (MLS), the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the National Hockey League (NHL). Additionally, both Major League Baseball (MLB) and Minor League Baseball (MLB) announced they would be delaying the start of their respective seasons for two weeks.

Finally, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) announced they were canceling both its basketball and hockey championships this weekend.

March Madness Will Not Include Fans Due To Coronavirus Concerns

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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.