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!

Daily Noontime: Monday, March 9th, 2020

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By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

It’s Monday – where did this past weekend go?

The good news about today is the weather: it is going to be gorgeous, so make sure to get outside and enjoy the sun.

Let’s kick-start a new week – well, a new work week, to be exact! – with a brand new Daily Noontime. Have a wonderful day, everyone, and remember to smile, too.

The Boston Celtics did not play their best basketball on Sunday as the Green and White were edged by the Oklahoma City Thunder, 105-104, at the TD GardenGordon Hayward led the Celtics with 24 points while Jayson Tatum added 19 points, five rebounds, and three assists. Marcus Smart recorded a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Boston will attempt to return to the win column tomorrow – that would be Tuesday, March 10th, to be exact – when they visit the Indiana Pacers for a 7 p.m. tip-off.

As of this morning, the Celtics remain locked in the third position in the Eastern Conference but need to find their groove down the stretch in order to catch the Toronto Raptors for the second spot in the upcoming NBA playoffs.

Hayward told reporters after his team’s loss to the Thunder that the Celtics were not going to blame the setback on Kemba Walker, who turned the ball over with 8.5 seconds remaining. Instead, Hayward told reporters that the Celtics “lost this game together.”

After a successful road trip down south, the Boston Bruins fell apart at home on Saturday, losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 5-3. Tuukka Rask denied 20 of 24 shots in the setback while Charlie McAvoy tallied one goal and one assist.

Boston will visit the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday with puck drop scheduled for 7 p.m.

The Boston Red Sox will play another spring training game this afternoon against the Atlanta Braves with the first pitch scheduled for 6:05 p.m. Boston edged the Minnesota Twins on Sunday by a score of 7-6 after splitting two games on Saturday with the Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays.

And just in case you were wondering, we’re roughly two weeks away from the start of a brand new season, which seems crazy, right?

According to Jeff Borzello of ESPN, Harvard University‘s Seth Towns will compete for another team next season as a grad student – he is considering multiple programs, including KansasVirginia, and Syracuse. Towns has not appeared on the court this winter due to an injury – he also missed last season, too, but was named to the Lou Henson Award watch list, though.

The Holy Cross women’s basketball team will host Lafayette College this evening in the Patriot League quarterfinals. The winner will advance to Thursday’s semifinals. Holy Cross has won three-straight contests, including its final game of the 2019-20 regular season.

Yale University secured the top seed in this weekend’s Ivy League men’s basketball tournament while Princeton University is the number one seed in the women’s tournament.

The Ivy League tournaments will begin on Friday, March 13th and conclude Sunday, March 15th.

Daily Noontime: Thursday, March 5th, 2020

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By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation

It’s Thursday, which means we need to work extra hard for another weekend – it will be here tomorrow (rejoice!), so make sure to drink extra water this morning and afternoon.

The Wednesday wind has vanished it seems – I am not hearing the whistling like I did yesterday (outside my office), which is a good sign, right? There may be snow on the horizon – that would be tomorrow, to be exact – but then the warmer weather will return, which certainly makes me happy (and I hope you, as well).

Let’s have another great day by starting it with the Daily Noontime – enjoy, everyone!

Good News: The Boston Celtics snapped their two-game losing streak. Yep, the Boston Celtics returned to their winning ways last night without a good chunk of their marquee players and beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 112-106.

Jayson Tatum returned to the lineup after being sidelined with an illness earlier this week and netted a team-high 32 points to go with nine rebounds and six assists.

With the win, the Celtics improve to 42-19 and will return to action tomorrow night when they host the Utah Jazz for an 8 p.m. tip-off.

Boston caps its two-game Florida trip this evening: The Boston Bruins will look to depart Florida with another win – they beat the Tampa Bay Lightning, 2-1, on Tuesday evening and have a chance to pick up two more points this evening against the Florida Panthers at 7 p.m.

While the Bruins were idle last night, one of their former players, Johnny Boychuk, needed 90 stitches to his “eyelid after being hit in the face with a skate.” Luckily, the current New York Islanders defensemen did not suffer any damage to his eye (sigh of relief!).

The Boston Red Sox received some good news yesterday regarding Chris Sale and that is he will not need Tommy John surgery. This is certainly good news, but it is inevitable that something will have to happen (or at least help the pitcher alleviate the pain or discomfort) going forward.

Will he need surgery in the future? Perhaps, but maybe the Red Sox should consider signing a free agent or two to sure up the pitching staff.

The Babson College men’s lacrosse team scored their first win over Endicott College yesterday since 2003. Babson erased a one-goal deficit at the break to beat the Gulls and improve to 3-1 overall.

Ethan Carpenter matched his career-high with five points on four assists and one goal while Chi Chi Price netted two goals in the win.

As for the Endicott women’s lacrosse team, they scored an impressive win against Trinity College to improve to 2-0 this season. Gabriella Prisco and Maya Feigenbaum each recorded three goals and one assist in the win.

James Santoro scored the game-winning goal for the Engineers in double-overtime yesterday as MIT outlasted UMass Dartmouth to improve to 2-1 overall. Three members of the Engineers finished Wednesday’s epic contest with two goals while Andrew Palleiko turned aside a season-high 10 shots.

Lauren Manis netted her 2,000th career point last night as the Holy Cross women’s basketball team cruised past Loyola (Md.) and secured a home date with Lafayette next Monday, March 9th in the Patriot League Tournament.

Manis is now the third player in program history to net 2,000 points or more – she joins Amy O’Brien (2,075 points) and Sherry Levin (2,253 points).

Finally, we’re one day away from the start of the 2020 NCAA D-III Basketball Tournament and one team you should certainly keep your eyes on is Smith College, which captured its first-ever New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) crown on Sunday.

And one of the players you should watch on Smith tomorrow is first-year Jessie Ruffner, who finished Sunday’s championship game with 15 points and a game-high four steals.

Daily Noontime: Wednesday, March 4th, 2020

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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

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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.