Butler’s Late Freebie Sends Holy Cross Past BU, 68-66

Austin Butler’s final basket of Tuesday’s contest – a free throw – helped Holy Cross win its first game of the 2020-21 season. (PHOTO COURTESY: Holy Cross Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

Austin Butler‘s final basket – a free throw with four seconds remaining in the second half – helped the Holy Cross men’s basketball team secure its first win of the 2020-21 season with a 68-66 victory over Boston University.

Butler finished his team’s second contest of the season with 18 points on 7 of 10 shooting to go with seven rebounds, two steals, and one block, while Gerrale Gates netted a game-high 19 points on 7 of 16 shooting.

Holy Cross, which fell to Boston University yesterday in Worcester, led the host Terriers by a score of 38-37 at the break. They would outscore BU, 30-29, in the second half.

As a team, the Crusaders converted 27 of 59 shots while the Terriers netted 24 of 65 buckets. BU held an advantage in field goals beyond the arc, sinking 7 of 26 attempts. Holy Cross converted just 6 of 18 trifectas as a team. The Terriers did win the battle of the boards, however, by finishing with 44 caroms, including 16 offensive rebounds.

Jack Hemphill led Boston University with 16 points off. the bench while Javante McCoy finished with 15 points.

The two teams will meet later this month for their second home-and-home series.

Both teams will return to the hardwood this Saturday, January with Holy Cross hosting Army for a 2 p.m. tip-off while Colgate will visit Boston University for a 6 p.m. start. All four teams make-up the Patriot League‘s North Division.

Tate’s Double-Double Highlights BU’s Win Over Holy Cross

By Matt Noonan

Roxbury, Massachusetts’ Daman Tate recorded a double-double of 26 points and 10 rebounds in BU’s opening-day win. (PHOTO COURTESY: Boston University Athletics/Erin Locascio)

Daman Tate produced his first double-double of the season with 26 points and 10 rebounds to go with four steals and one assist as the Boston University men’s basketball team tipped-off its 2020-21 campaign with an 83-76 win over Holy Cross on Monday afternoon in Worcester.

“He was terrific and obviously did a lot of things well,” Boston University men’s basketball coach Joe Jones said of Tate, via Rich Thompson of the Boston Herald.

Monday’s contest marked the beginning of an abridged season for both teams – initially, the Terriers and Crusaders were scheduled to compete two days earlier, but the home-and-home series was delayed “due to Boston University’s testing schedule and cadence resulting from the holiday break.”

The Terriers, who were picked to capture the Patriot League crown for the second-straight season, received 10 points and seven rebounds from Sukhmail Mathon, along with 17 points off the bench from Javante McCoy. Jack Hemphill provided 12 points off the bench to go with five rebounds, one steal, and one block.

Holy Cross led Boston University, 44-39, at the break, but the Terriers stormed back during the final 20 minutes, outscoring the hosts, 44-32.

Austin Butler paced the Crusaders with 24 points and eight rebounds while Gerrale Gates added 19 points and eight boards.

According to the Associated Press (AP), Boston University wore masks, not just on the sidelines, but also on the court.

Both teams will compete tomorrow in Boston with tip-off scheduled for 2 p.m.

March Madness 2021 Will Take Place In A Bubble

By NoontimeSports.com

Let the countdown for March – well, more March Madness, to be exact – truly begin as the NCAA announced earlier today that 67 Division I men’s basketball teams will compete for a national championship in a bubble environment in Indiana.

“The 2021 version of March Madness will be one to remember,” said Dan Gavitt, who is the NCAA’s senior vice president of basketball, via NPR.org.

March Madness 2021 for men’s basketball will take place in an Indiana bubble. (PHOTO COURTESY: NCAA.com)

Indeed this year’s big dace will be one to remember – in fact, it will certainly be something we can all look forward to after last year’s March Madness was canceled due to the coronavirus (Covid-19).

The 2021 March Madness schedule is still being sorted out – at the moment, the bracket is scheduled to be released on Sunday, March 14 while the ‘Final Four’ and championship will take place on Saturday, April 3 and Monday, April 5, respectively. Additionally, the NCAA has not made an announcement about fans attending games, so it is a possibility as of this evening.

As for the women’s tournament, the semifinals and finals are scheduled to occur in San Antonio, Texas, but according to NCAA.com, the organization “begun preliminary talks” with both the city and “surrounding region” to identify other parts of the state that all 64 teams could play in to reduce concerns of contracting the virus.

The Patriot League Announces Plans For Its 2021 Basketball Season

Joe Pridgen and the Holy Cross men’s basketball team received some good news on Monday, November 9, 2020. (PHOTO COURTESY: Holy Cross Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

It appears as if we will see some college basketball games this winter, according to a release this morning from the Patriot League.

The conference’s Council of Presidents have endorsed a plan for a league-only men’s and women’s basketball schedule with tip-off scheduled for Saturday, January 2, 2021. Yet, for the league to play games successfully this winter, each school must “conduct competition in ways that protect the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches, staffs, and their communities.”

The league’s 2020-21 schedule will see a reduction in travel and overnight stays compared to previous seasons while none of conference’s institutions will be permitted to fly to games. Teams will compete more than twice against regional foes with the Patriot League splitting the conference into three regional mini-conferences.

“We have accomplished the first step in the planning process for the 2021 Patriot League men’s and women’s basketball season,” Lafayette College President Alison Byerly, who is the chair of the Council of Presidents, said in a statement. “The Council of Presidents places the highest value and priority on League competition and we believe this model offers the best opportunities for us to conduct a safe and successful League season.”

In addition to playing more regional games, the Patriot League will allow its members to compete in non-regional contests so each team can play a 16-game schedule.

The Unites States Military Academy and the United States Naval Academy will be the only Patriot League teams allowed to play non-conference games. That decision has been approved by each academy’s Superintendent.

As of now, the league plans to sponsor an eight team postseason with both a men’s and women’s championship taking place during the second weekend of March.

Both Boston University and Holy Cross compete in the Patriot League – the Terriers men’s team placed third in the conference last winter while the Crusaders’ women’s basketball team placed fourth in the overall standings.

Daily Noontime (Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020)

By Matt Noonan

Welcome to Thursday, everyone!

As usual, I hope this blog post finds everyone doing well, staying safe, and thinking optimistically.

Before we get to some news and links, I just wanted to pass along a friendly reminder that Election Day is five days away so please make an effort to vote. No matter who you support, your voice matters, and you can visit Vote.org to learn more about how and where to vote.

Alright, let’s get to some news and links, beginning with Major League Baseball (MLB) which is currently investigating – well, more trying to understand exactly why Justin Turner of the Los Angeles Dodgersrefused to comply‘ with league officials during his team’s championship celebration on Tuesday evening.

As for Turner’s teammates (and coaches), they returned safely to the City of Angles yesterday after testing negative for the coronavirus. And hopefully Turner (and his wife) will return to California soon – safely, of course! – but for now, he and his teammates, along with the organization remain “under fire” for their World Series celebration.

The Dodgers are currently the favorites heading into the 2021 season, according to a ‘way too early‘ power rankings from ESPN, while our hometown Boston Red Sox were picked 19th (ouch!). Yes, the Red Sox were not great this summer and fall, but hopefully things change for the better next season (fingers crossed!).

Let’s switch gears to basketball – the college basketball world, to be exact – where this year’s women’s basketball teams may look the same, both this season and next season, due to NCAA allowing student-athletes an extra year of eligibility. Yet, for student-athletes to receive this additional year, they must compete during the current academic school year.

The 2020-21 college basketball season begins next month and promises to be perhaps one of the strangest seasons.

We’ll be back for more later, but don’t forget to listen (and subscribe) to our Noontime Sports Podcast on Apple Podcast and Spotify!