Daily Noontime: Wednesday, March 11th, 2020

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By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

Welcome to Wednesday, everyone – hope you are doing OK this morning (or whenever you are reading this post!).

I’ll do the best to brighten your mood and take your mind off the coronavirus (COVID-19) – I know there is a lot of news and announcements being shared, so allow me to do my very best to change the subject to sports.

Did you watch last night’s Boston Celtics game? If not, I am happy to report that the Green and White defeated the Indiana Pacers, 114-111, and secured a spot in the upcoming NBA playoffs.

Jayson Tatum netted 30 points in the win while Gordon Hayward finished Tuesday’s game with a double-double of 27 points and 10 rebounds.

Boston will compete against the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday before returning home Friday to play against the Washington Wizards.

Patrice Bergeron and Matt Grzelcyk each netted one goal last night as the Boston Bruins topped the Philadelphia Flyers, 2-0.

With the win, the Black and Gold improve to 44-14-12 overall while the Flyers slip to 41-21-7.

Boston has now won three of their last four outings and will head to New York on Friday to skate against the Buffalo Sabres at 7 p.m.

Last night’s win over the Flyers marked the 50th time Tuukka Rask has recorded a shutout. He stopped 36 shots in his team’s 44th victory of the 2019-20 season.

“It’s a great milestone,” Rask said, via Lauren Campbell of NESN.com.

The 2020 Boston Red Sox season is quickly approaching, which means its time for a prediction. Sports Illustrated believes the Sox will finish third in the American League East Division with a marvelous record of 81-81.

As you (and others) know by now, this weekend’s Ivy League basketball conference tournament has been canceled, which was not the news many student-athletes (and fans) wanted to hear.

“This whole situation is unprecedented,” said Ivy League executive director, Robin Harris, via Bob Hohler of the Boston Globe.

It is unfortunate, but you have to give the Ivy League some credit for not just protecting its student-athletes, coaches, and team representatives, but also its fans, too.

Other leagues, organizations, and teams have begun announcing changes to its upcoming sports schedules, including the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Association (CIAA), which canceled its remaining winter tournaments.

The New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) announced an update on its website this morning that “the NESCAC Presidents met and concluded unanimously that conference competition, including conference championships, will be canceled for the 2020 spring season.”

We should expect more cancelations and changes to upcoming games over the next few weeks, including the possibility of no fans at future professional games, too.

We’ll be back tomorrow, but in the meantime remember to smile and know we will all get through this together!

New England Football: Yale Picked To Capture The Ivy League

Yale BulldogsBy NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

The 2019 Ivy League Football Preseason Media Poll was released this morning with Yale University checking-in atop the eight-team list with nine first-place votes.

Yale, which was picked to finish first in the Ancient Eight one year ago, concluded its 2018 campaign with a 5-5 record, including a 3-4 mark in league play.

Dartmouth College and Princeton College checked-in second and third, respectively – two the teams combined for six first-place nods with the Tigers claiming four of them while Harvard University secured the fourth position with one first-place vote.

Penn University checked-in fifth overall while Columbia University placed sixth with one first-place vote. The Lions finished 6-4 last season – they won their final two games against Brown University (42-20) and Cornell University (24-21).

Cornell and Brown rounded out the eight-team poll, checking-in seventh and eighth, respectively.

Princeton captured the 2018 Ivy League crown with a 10-0 mark – it was the 13th time in league history that an Ancient Eight team has finished its campaign without a single setback.

Yale won the league crown in 2017, while Penn and Princeton were tabbed co-champions in 2016. Harvard and Dartmouth also shared the Ivy League title in 2015.

The 2019 Ivy League season officially begins Saturday, September 21st.


Stay connected with our New England football coverage by following @Noontime_FB on Twitter! 

Harvard Football Unveils 2019 Schedule

7865_harvard_crimson-helmet-0.pngBy NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Just weeks after capping its 2018 season with a 45-27 win over Yale University in the 135th playing of The Game, the Harvard University football team unveiled its 2019 slate, which features five home and five road games.

Harvard will entertain Brown UniversityCornell UniversityDartmouth CollegeHoward University and University of Pennsylvania at historic Harvard Stadium, while visiting Columbia UniversityHoly CrossPrinceton UniversitySan Diego and Yale this fall.

The Crimson will commence their 2019 season in San Diego on Saturday, September 21st before hosting Brown one week later on Saturday, September 28th. The Crimson’s home-opener against the Bears will be aired on ESPN+.

Following their home date with Brown, the Crimson will entertain Howard and Cornell in early October before visiting Holy Cross and Princeton.

The Crimson will cap their final month of play with two home games and two road contests, including the 136th playing of The Game against Yale in New Haven, Connecticut on Saturday, November 23.

Harvard concluded its 2018 season with a three-game winning streak, while finishing third in the Ivy League. Princeton, which defeated Harvard in October by eight points (29-21), captured the Ancient Eight crown with a perfect 10-0 record, while Dartmouth finished second at 9-1 overall.

The 2019 season will be coach Tim Murphy‘s 26th with the program – the tenured coach currently owns a 174-75 overall record with Harvard, but needs five wins to match Yale’s Carmen Cozza (179) for the most win in conference history.


Stay connected with our New England football coverage by following @Noontime_FB on Twitter today! 

D3 Football: Malik Hall Tabbed Bates College Football Coach

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Malik Hall was named the new head football coach at Bates College on Monday. (PHOTO CREDIT: Theophil Syslo/Bates College)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

Monday was an exciting day for Malik Hall, who was tabbed the 20th head coach of the Bates College football program.

Hall arrives in Lewiston, Maine after spending the past three seasons with the Penn Quakers football team, serving as the defensive line coach. He helped Penn secure back-to-back Ivy League championships in 2015 and 2016. Penn finished its 2017 campaign 6-4 by winning its final four contests, including a pair of wins over Harvard and Princeton.

In addition to his time with the Quakers, Hall has also served as an assistant at Central Connecticut StateFordhamHofstra, UMass Amherst and Wagner.

Hall graduated from UMass in 2003 and was a two-year letterman and starter for the Minutemen, helping them capture the Atlantic 10 Championship his senior season. He would return to Amherst eight years later to assist former head coach Kevin Morris as the team’s defensive line coach.

“We are delighted to welcome Malik Hall to the Bobcat family,” Bates Athletic Director Jason Fein said in a statement. “Once we interviewed him, it was crystal clear that Coach Hall has both the experience and vision to take Bates football to the next level. We’re excited to see what happens on the field.”

“It’s my great honor to accept the head coaching position at Bates,” said Hall via yesterday’s press release. “I am very much looking forward to building upon Bates’ traditions of academic excellence and relentlessness on the field. The Hall family can’t wait to join the Bates family.”

Hall takes over a program that was guided by Mark Harriman for the past 20 seasons. Harriman, who recently stepped down in April, guided the Bobcats to seven Colby-Bates-Bowdoin titles, including his final one last fall when Bates topped the Polar Bears, 24-17.

Bates opens its season on September 15th when they host Amherst College at 1 p.m.

Stay connected with Noontime Sports’ Football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB Today! 

Ivy League Football Notebook: Harvard Keeps Title Hopes Alive

496202By Bob Whitney (@WhitneyBob) 

They were on the brink of elimination but Coach Tim Murphy’s Crimson football team, along with a superb relief effort from quarterback Joe Viviano, kept their 2017 Ivy League title hopes alive with their second consecutive come-from-behind victory.

Last week the Crimson defeated the Columbia Lions for the 14th consecutive time, 21-14, in the Bronx.

The Crimson 5-3 (4-2) dramatic triumph over the Lions 6-2 (3-2) sets up another important showdown on Saturday, November 11th against the Penn Quakers 4-4 (2-3) at Harvard Stadium.

Murphy made a call to his bullpen and Viviano, who came off the bench in the second quarter and went 6-for-12 (120 yards), while connecting on a pair of touchdowns and rushing for one to lead the Crimson comeback.

Viviano and Henry Taylor hooked-up on a 65-yard TD pass in the second quarter and followed that up with a 1-yard keeper to give the Crimson a 14-7 lead at the half.

Harvard added an insurance tally to make it 21-7 in the third quarter when Viviano found Jake Barann on 2-yard TD toss.

It was a bitter loss for Coach Al Bagnoli’s Lions who had a chance with a win to control their own destiny in the Ivy League title chase. Now the Lions need help to remain in the hunt and face possible elimination in this week’s contest at Cornell.

Penn invades Harvard Stadium this week in a spoiler roll after a stunning 38-35 victory over Princeton 5-3 (2-3) at Franklin Field last week.

Abe Willows rushed for 136 yards and two touchdowns, and quarterback Tre Solomon added 116 yards on the ground as Penn accumulated 531 total yards of offense in the victory which put a damper on Princeton’s title hopes.

Saturday’s contest will mark the 88th meeting between the Ivy rivals, with the Crimson leading the series, 48-37-2. Last season, the Quakers prevailed 27-14 at Franklin Field.

The kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. and will be broadcast on NESN Plus and the Ivy League Network. Alex Vispoli and Eric Gallanty will have the call.

Bob’s Prediction: With weather expected to be cold and very windy the Crimson must control the line of scrimmage or the Quakers could spoil Harvard’s title bid. All signs point to New Haven and THE GAME! Harvard 14, Penn 7 

Next week: It’s the Yale Bowl, November 18 for a 12:30 kickoff (CNBC).

Around the Ancient Eight: Yale 7-1 (4-1 Ivy League) is in sole possession of first place and has total control of their Ivy League title hopes entering the final two weeks of the season. The Bulldogs will travel to face pre-season favorite Princeton on Saturday and with a win will have a chance to capture the title outright against Harvard in THE GAME.

Dartmouth 6-2 (3-2) will look to keep their title hopes alive when they face Brown 2-6 (0-5) this evening, Friday, November 10th at Fenway Park while Columbia 6-2 (3-2) is in Ithaca Saturday afternoon against Cornell 3-5 (3-2).

Harvard’s Tim Murphy registered his 200th coaching win (168 at Harvard) in the Crimson’s 21-14 victory over Columbia.

Harvard’s defensive tackle Richie Ryan was named Ivy Defensive Player of the Week for his monster game in the win over Columbia. Ryan had 11 tackles, 2.5 sacks and forced a fumble to lead the Crimson defensive unit.

Penn’s senior wide receiver Justin Watson broke the Quaker record for career receptions (265) and tied the Ivy record for consecutive games with a touchdown reception (8) in last week’s win over Princeton. Watson was named Ivy Offensive Player of the Week.

Hopefully, Harvard and Yale will prevail this weekend to setup plenty of Ivy League drama in THE GAME at the Yale Bowl next Saturday, November 18th (12:30 p.m. CNBC).

Follow Bob for all the Yale football game highlights, features and more: @WhitneyBob

(Compiled from various Ivy League media outlets)