I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and ready for another great week.
This week, the ‘Daily Noontime’ will be taking a mini-vacation – I will only be posting it today and Friday, July 17, as I will be taking a few days off, but will look forward to reconnecting with everyone later this week.
As always, you can stay connected with Noontime Sports on social media – I am sure you will see some tweets or posts while away, but in the meantime let’s kick-off a brand new week with a ‘Daily Noontime’ – have a great day, everyone!
Noontime’s Headlines for Monday, July 13, 2020
The third phase of the state’s reopening officially begins in Boston today, but businesses are not expecting a high volume of customers to come through their doors.As many know, the state of Massachusetts has really opened its door – no pun intended, of course – with its third phase, which allows gyms, movie theatres, and museums.
A father of a student-athlete that plays D-III football at Johns Hopkins wrote a very interesting piece about not seeing his son compete for the Blue Jays this fall. And he thinks maybe other programs (and conferences) should also consider punting on fall sports, too.
John Lowther netted a team-high 18 points Friday afternoon in WPI’s first-round NCAA Tournament game. (PHOTO COURTESY: WPI ATHLETICS)
By Matt Noonan
A late start to the opening day of the 2020 NCAA D-III Men’s Basketball Tournament didn’t seem to faze Yeshiva University men’s basketball team, which captured its first-ever postseason contest with a 102-78 victory over WPI.
Ryan Turell led all players with 41 points on 13 of 16 shooting to go with five rebounds and two assists while Simcha Halpert added 20 points, two assists, and one block.
Yeshiva led WPI, 51-30, at the break before pushing ahead for good with a 72-51 advantage around the midway point of the second half.
WPI attempted to trim the deficit but struggled to contain both Turrell and Halpert, along with Eitan Halpert, who finished the contest with 14 points, eight assists, and four rebounds.
John Lowther led the Engineers with 18 points on 8 of 14 shooting while tallying five rebounds, two assists, and one block. Jake Wisniewski, who was playing in his final game with WPI, netted 12 points on four of nine shooting to go with five rebounds, three assists, and one steal.
WPI advanced to the NCAA Tournament as an at-large bid after losing to Coast Guard Academy in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship. The Engineers registered 20 wins in 28 contests this season, which is the most any WPI team has recorded since their 2015-16 campaign. Additionally, today’s NCAA Tournament game was WPI’s first since securing an at-large bid to the ‘big dance’ in 2016.
With the win, Yeshiva has now won 28 consecutive contests dating back to last November and will play the winner
The Maccabees will play the winner of Johns Hopkins-Penn State Harrisburg tomorrow (March 7th).
Jake Ross and the Springfield College men’s basketball team will open the 2020 NCAA D-III Tournament at home against SUNY Canton. (PHOTO COURTESY: Springfield College Athletics)
By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation
We’re just one day away from the start of the 2020 NCAA D-III Men’s Basketball Tournament, which means its time to highlight a few things you need to know about this year’s postseason while also sharing some predictions, too.
Which New England teams will be competing in this year’s NCAA D-III Men’s Basketball Tournament?
This year, there are 13 teams from our region that will begin their respective quests to Atlanta, Georgia tomorrow, including two teams that will be host sites for both the first and second rounds.
The teams competing in this year’s tournament are the following: Babson College, Coast Guard Academy, Middlebury College, Westfield State, Tufts University, Western Connecticut, New England College, WPI, Springfield College, University of Saint Joseph’s (Conn.), Nichols College, and Colby College.
What are the first-round matchups, times and locations?
Here is the schedule for tomorrow’s (Friday, March 6th) first-round schedule:
WPI vs. Yeshiva University, 1 p.m. (at Johns Hopkins)
New England College vs. RPI, 3:30 p.m. (at Tufts University)
Colby College vs. Christopher Newport, 4 p.m. (at Stevens Inst. of Technology)
Middlebury College vs. Westfield State, 4 p.m. (at Brockport)
Babson College vs. Ithaca College, 5 p.m. (at Swarthmore College)
Univ. of Saint Joseph’s (Conn.) vs. Hobart, 5 p.m. (at Springfield College)
Western Connecticut at Tufts University, 6 p.m.
Coast Guard Academy at Brockport, 6:30 p.m.
Nichols College at Stevens Inst. of Technology, 6:30 p.m.
SUNY Canton at Springfield College, 7:30 p.m.
Which teams could advance to Saturday’s (March 7th) second round?
Colby College: The Mules face a real tough test tomorrow against a talented Christopher Newport squad. The Captains will certainly challenge Colby from the opening tip, but if the Mules play the way they did against Tufts, as well as against Amherst College and Bates College in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament then I think they will be able to squeak out a first-round win.
Middlebury College: The Panthers haven’t played a game since late February, but this isn’t the first time they have had to wait to hear the committee announce their name on ‘Selection Monday.’ The Panthers should be able to beat Westfield State and then find a way to beat either Brockport or Coast Guard Academy in the second round.
Springfield College: The Pride of Springfield are equipped and ready to go on a very deep run this month. They should be able to top SUNY Canton on the opening day of the tournament. But can they turn around one day later and beat the University of Saint Joseph’s (Conn.), which is the favorite in their first-round matchup? I think they can.
Tufts University: The Jumbos enter the postseason riding some serious momentum, thanks to an exciting double-overtime win on Sunday in the NESCAC Championship. Their momentum will be tested immediately against a talented Western Connecticut squad, which enters the postseason on a seven-game winning streak. If they can beat the Colonials, they will most likely have to beat an RPI squad, which should beat New England College in their opening-round matchup.
University of Saint Joseph’s (Conn.): Jim Calhoun and the Blue Jays could be a real tough out. They have not dropped a game since falling to Tufts last November and proved they are a resilient bunch, especially this past weekend against Albertus Magnus in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship. The Blue Jays should be able to beat Hobart, but will certainly be tested against Springfield in the second round.
What first-round match-up will I be watching?
WPI vs. Yeshiva. The Engineers face a real tough test in the opening round. And if they are able to beat the Maccabees, who have not dropped a game since falling to Occidental College last November, they will most likely face Johns Hopkins, which is the favorite in their opening round match-up.For WPI to be victorious tomorrow, they will need to play the way they did against Babson last Friday. They will also need big games from Garrett Stephenson, Colin McNamara, and Kahleb Downing.
Sean Kent and the MIT Football team are making their second-straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)
By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation
In just three days, a trio of New England D-III football teams will begin their pursuit of the ultimate prize: a national championship. And one of those teams is the MIT Engineers, who will travel to Allentown, Pennsylvania to face Muhlenberg College.
MIT is making its second-straight appearance in the NCAA D-III Tournament, as well as it’s third since 2014. The Engineers are 1-2 in their last three national postseason contests and will attempt to even their mark against an impressive Mules squad, which yet to drop a single contest this season.
Below are a few notes about Saturday’s match-up, including some stats (and numbers) on both teams, as well as players to watch.
MIT (7-2) at Muhlenberg (10-0)
Gametime/Location: Saturday, November 23rd at Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. at Scotty Wood Stadium.
Conference Affiliate: Muhlenberg competes in the Centennial Conference (CC) – they finished 9-0 against league opponents. MIT competes in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) and won six of seven league tilts this fall.
Last Appearance in the NCAA Tournament: Both teams appeared in the NCAA Tournament last season. MIT, which captured its first-ever NEWMAC crown last fall, saw its run toward a national championship conclude in the opening round against Johns Hopkins. Muhlenberg advanced to the quarterfinals with wins over Delaware Valley (20-13) and Randolph-Macon (35-6) before falling to Mount Union, 38-10.
Inside the Numbers with MIT: The Engineers rank 124th in scoring offense, averaging 26.4 points per game. They have scored 30 touchdowns this fall while kicking eight field goals … MIT’s defense and ConcordiaWisconsin are tied for 77th in scoring defense, yielding 21.00 points per contest … MIT is averaging 333.6 yards of total offense (153.9 rushing and 179.7 passing yards) … The defense has yielded an average of 174.4 passing yards per game while limiting opposing rushing attacks to just 117.0 yards per game.
Inside the Numbers with Muhlenberg: The Mules are currently the 17th highest-scoring offense in D-III, averaging 41.9 points per game. They have scored 56 touchdowns in 10 contests while recording nine field goals. Muhlenberg has converted 52 PATs and recorded one safety for 419.00 points … The Mules boast the ninth-best scoring defense, yielding an average of 11.70 points per game … Muhlenberg is averaging 439.1 yards of total offense (281.60 passing yards per game and 157.5 rushing yards) … The Mules have limited opposing rushing attacks to 70.6 yards per game while the defense is limiting offenses to just 200.30 yards of passing per game.
MIT Players to Watch:
Chris Mauck (QB) – Enters Saturday’s contest with 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions as a starter … Mauck has completed 121 of 241 passes for 1,609 yards
Ashton Robinson (RB) – Has rushed for a career-high 366 yards on 95 carries in eight contests this season, along with three touchdowns.
Keithen Shepard (WR) – Leads the Engineers with 10 receiving touchdowns … the third-year receiver has caught a team-high 35 passes for 542 yards.
Mark Wright (Kicker) – Wright has connected on 8 of 11 field goals with his longest kick being a 43-yarder … he is 22 of 26 on extra points … he has produced 46 points in nine games.
Sean Kent (Defensive Back) – The senior defensive back leads the Engineers with 58.0 total tackles … He has recorded 4.5 tackles for a loss of 10 yards while registering two interceptions and five pass break-ups.
Muhlenberg Players to Watch:
Frankie Feaster (DE) – Named the CC Defensive Player of the Year for the second-straight season … Feaster helped the Mules defense set a conference record of yielding just 91 points in nine conference contests.
Michael Hnatkowsky (QB) – Named the CC Offensive Player of the Year … He has tossed a school-record 34 touchdowns with only three interceptions … He ranks third in D-III in passing efficiency, completion percentage (sixth), and passing touchdowns (seven).
James Diggs (RB) – Diggs is averaging 70.0 rushing yards per game, which is fourth in the CC … He has scored seven rushing touchdowns this season.
Ryan Curtis (TE) – Named a first-team All-CC honoree … has caught 10 touchdowns and set the conference mark for career receiving yards and receiving touchdowns by a tight end.
John Washington (DB) – Washington has recorded 28 tackles, five pass breakups, and two interceptions as a first-time starter with the Mules.
Todd Spirt (Kicker) – Spirit leads the conference with 78 points … he is the CC all-time leader in extra points made with 185 (he set a program record with 56 extra points made last season.
By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports & @Noontime_Hoops
Monday brought some exciting news to a slew of New England D3 basketball teams that learned they will be headed to the 2019 NCAA Division III Tournament, which officially tips-off this Friday, March 1st.
Below are the teams from New England that will be competing for a national championship beginning this Friday.
Husson University at Williams College (Williams will be hosting the first and second rounds)
Albertus Magnus at Christopher Newport (Christopher Newport will be hosting the first and second rounds)
Penn State-Behrend at Hamilton College (Hamilton will be hosting the first and second rounds)
Keene State vs. Moravian College (Hamilton)
Amherst College vs. Rosemont College (at the University of Rochester)
Emerson College vs. Rowan University (Rowan will be hosting the first and second rounds)
Middlebury College vs. Nichols College (Rowan)
Mitchell College at Swarthmore College (Swarthmore will be hosting the first and second rounds)
MIT vs. Skidmore College (Swarthmore)
Salem State at Oswego State (Oswego State will be hosting the first and second rounds)
New England College at The University of Scranton (Scranton will be hosting the first and second rounds)
Eastern Connecticut vs. Johns Hopkins (Scranton)
Westfield State vs. Mount Saint Mary (Gettysburg College)
Western New England at Tufts University (Tufts will be hosting the first and second rounds)
Hunter College at Bowdoin College (Bowdoin will be hosting the first and second rounds)
Smith College vs. Merchant Marine (Bowdoin)
Emmanuel College vs. Hartwick College (at SUNY New Paltz)
MIT vs. St. Joseph’s (Maine) (at Ithaca College)
Middlebury College vs. John Carroll (at DeSales)
Husson University at Amherst College (Amherst will be hosting the first and second rounds)
Stay connected with our Noontime Sports basketball coverage by following @Noontime_Hoops on Twitter!