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NCAA Tournament Notes: A Tale Of 3 Coaches

Last night, Belmont University, guided by Rick Byrd, who is in his 43rd season of coaching, won its first NCAA Tournament game, albeit a “first four” game, defeating Temple.

It also was Byrd’s first NCAA Tournament win, coming in his 33rd season at the Nashville, Tennessee based university.

Fran Dunphy, the Temple coach is retiring, hence last night’s tilt was his last. He coached for 30 seasons in the Big Five of Philadelphia, first at The University of Pennsylvania and for the last 13 seasons at Temple after replacing John Cheney.

Another long time Big Five (the Philadelphia based quintet consists of Penn, Temple, St. Josephs, Villanova and La Salle) coach’s career seemingly ended yesterday, when Phil Martelli, in at St. Josephs for 24 seasons, was fired by the university.

In ’04 Martelli guided St. Joes to wins in their first 27 games and into the Elite Eight/Regional final, before losing to Oklahoma State on John Lucas |||’s basket.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NCAA Tournament “Upon Us” Notes

Some interesting teams won Conference Tournaments, to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.

Those include Cincinnati University, the 1961 and 1962 champions, winning it all, after their great player Oscar Robertson had graduated, St. Louis University, which won the Atlantic 10 Tournament, evoking memories of their glory days with Ed Macauley and Cal Irvine which had a (30-5) record.

Elsewhere, Michigan State now 40 years removed from the Earvin “Magic” Johnson/Greg Kelser led 1979 title won the Big Ten Tournament defeating in state rival, Michigan, whose only title was 30 years ago.

The defending NCAA Champion, Villanova, also the 2016 title holder, won an unprecedented third straight Big East Tournament, winning a thriller vs Seton Hall.

The Pirates (Seton Hall) were the 1999 NCAA Tournament second place team, losing a heartbreaking game to Michigan. They did qualify for the 2019 NCAA Tournament.

 

 

 

 

 

NBA Update: L.A. And New York Area Teams

Yesterday in New York, the significantly more publicized L.A. and New York teams met in what was a meaningless game, between the highly disappointing Lakers and the New York Knicks, the latter with the worst NBA record this season.

At night in L.A, the Less publicized L.A. Clippers and Brooklyn Nets, each middle to lower pack, but likely (the Nets are likely, the Clippers almost certain) playoffs bound teams clashed.

Not that it really mattered, but the Knicks and Clippers won games that were not decided until the very end.

The really sad reality is that often hitting bottom helps in sports, sometimes through a great draft (see the Pittsburgh Steelers circa 1970), but often by buying players without fair return compensation.

 

Yesterday the NCAA Tournament first round and “before” games were set, soon so will the NBA and NHL.

 

 

A Wonderful Performance Of “A Doll’s House” And Much More At Hudson River Museum

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of seeing a fine performance of an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s play, “A Doll House” at a great venue, The Hudson River Museum, located at 511Warburton Avenue in Yonkers, New York.

More specifically, the 1879 play presented by The Sarah Lawrence College Theatre Department,  was staged so effectively in the 1877 home, Glenview.

Andrea Staats directed the fine cast.

Mariah Busk (“Nora”), Jad Boutlini (“Torvald”), Andrei Dolezal (“Rank”), Joanna Eisenberg (“Kristine”) and Michael Noble (“Krogstad”) comprised the cast.

In addition to seeing a wonderful performance, I marveled at all the Hudson River Museum has to offer.

This includes a continuation of their celebration of Women’s History Month, with an event presented by The Cooperstown Graduate Program, SUNY Oneonta, to be held at The Hudson River Museum next Saturday, March 23 at 1:30 pm

There will be a discussion about how oral history accounts offer new perspectives on how we think about gender and politics, education, healthcare, and other important social issues.

It was a wonderful day and I look forward to more events and time spent at Hudson River Museum as well as events involving the following. Please click below for more information.

Cooperstown Graduate Program | SUNY Oneonta

Theatre | Sarah Lawrence College

Hudson River Museum

 

 

Hudson River Museum, pictured above.

 

 

 

 

 

Matt Vecere Helped So Many and Gave So Much: He Will Be Missed

Matt Vecere, 43, was one of eight Americans killed onboard Ethiopian Airlines flight 302. The plane went down on Sunday in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people on the plane.

I need not embellish this nor give the many reasons that this man’s life and tragic end moved me so. After all, most of it is obvious.

This is dedicated to Matt Vecere and the many others who do volunteer work and help so many people. Maybe some of you and I should increase our “giving” efforts.

Click below to read more about Matt Vecere. It is a moving article by Chris Haire in The Long Beach (California) Press-Telegram

 

Matt sent this photo with a friend, when he was helping people in Haiti.

 

NHL Original Six Teams Update

In all likelihood, at most two, but at least one Original 6, NHL team will be in this season’s quarterfinal playoffs round.

The Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs will almost certainly meet in one first round NHL series. Thus one will be in the NHL “quarters.”

Original 6 teams, the Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks and the New York Rangers will not qualify for the NHL ‘offs.

Right now the Montreal Canadiens, the other original six team, are in a fierce race for playoffs qualification.

 

N.L. East Preview

Despite the addition of Bryce Harper, the Philadelphia Phillies, the favorites, face a tough task in trying to win, what I think is a wide open National League East race.

Last year’s winners, the Atlanta Braves, the Washington Nationals, perhaps better without Harper and I believe with some good intangibles and the New York Mets all are considered viable contenders.

None of those teams are long shots to win the division.

Only the Miami Marlins are considered such and even them, I expect to improve.