The University of Virginia won the men’s NCAA basketball national championship on Monday night, defeating Texas Tech in overtime, 85-77.
Also, the Red Sox prepare for the team’s home opener on Tuesday afternoon against the Blue Jays. First pitch is set for 2:05 p.m., while the team will also get their 2018 World Series rings during a pregame ceremony.
Is there an issue with honoring the Patriots and Red Sox together? While many Boston fans are excited for the prospect of the Red Sox welcoming the Patriots at today’s home opener to honor both teams for winning championships, one Boston radio host isn’t as enthused.
Lou Merloni, a host on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni and Fauria,” expressed his disapproval of the move during Monday’s show.
The Red Sox should NOT be honoring the Patriots at the Home Opener. Raise the banner, hand out the rings. Tomorrow should be about the World Series Champs. Honor the Pats on another day
— Lou Merloni (@LouMerloni) April 8, 2019
“I would contact [the Patriots] and say, ‘We would like to honor the Super Bowl victory. You tell me what’s better, Saturday or Sunday? Which day do you want to do? Saturday’s game or Sunday’s game? But we won the World Series, and Opening Day is a ring ceremony and we’re going to put our banner up there,'” said Merloni. “‘That is for us.'”
Merloni, who was a Red Sox infielder from 1998-2003, continued with his point.
“Are the Patriots going to honor the Red Sox at their Opening Day?” he asked.
“You won the World Series, your banner’s going up, you’re getting rings. That’s it. End of story, end of story” exclaimed Merloni from a Red Sox standpoint. “No Patriots. Sorry, it’s stupid.”
— OMFonWEEI (@OMFonWEEI) April 8, 2019
As expected, there’s some disagreement over the double-ceremony.
— Boston Sports Tonight (@NBCSBST) April 9, 2019
Trivia: Virginia won the NCAA Tournament on Monday night, a year after falling in a shocking upset in the first round. What men’s NCAA basketball team was the last to win the national championship one year after losing in the opening round of the tournament? (Answer at the bottom).
Hint: One player on that team was on the roster for both the first round exit and the subsequent national championship (though he never started a game for them). He later transferred to another school, from which he was drafted by – and still plays for – the Celtics.
More from Boston.com:
- Here are the details for the Red Sox’ World Series ring ceremony
- 7 Celtics listed as ‘out’ for regular-season finale
- Your guide to what’s new at Fenway in 2019
- Give the Red Sox one last celebration, then it’s time to play ball
- Bruins notebook: David Backes may be odd man out in Game 1
- How ‘Sweet Caroline’ became Fenway’s beloved (and detested) ballpark anthem
- Olympic cyclist Kelly Catlin seemed destined for glory. Why did she kill herself?
- A college gymnast broke both her legs attempting a blind landing
The national championship wasn’t just a defensive slugfest: The start of the game was slow (the first shot was an airball), but instead of defense dominating the entirety of the Texas Tech-Virginia national championship, some much-needed offense shined through. The result was a dramatic final game of the season. [The Boston Globe]
UMBC basketball, after shocking Virginia in the first ever 16-seed upset last year, tipped its cap to this year’s champion:
What an incredible season for UVA. That was truly a turnaround for the ages! Congratulations, champs! 🏆
— UMBC Men's Basketball (@UMBC_MBB) April 9, 2019
Jake DeBrusk reflected on his playoff debut: A year ago, Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk was making his playoff debut against the Maple Leafs. It proved successful, as the Bruins won and DeBrusk totaled seven points in seven games (including five goals). Before Boston prepares for another series against Toronto, the 22-year-old revisited his initial playoff experience. [Boston Sports Journal]
Players the Patriots could draft: Along with the Giants, the Patriots have the most picks of any team in the 2019 NFL draft (with 12). New England could certainly use some reinforcements, but who might Bill Belichick take? Here are eight possibilities, including a few Saban-Alabama players [Patriots Wire]
Fenway Park looks ready to go:
*zooms in* pic.twitter.com/YcOSz8fBYZ
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) April 8, 2019
Not all of the Steelers/former Steelers are fighting: After a very public and ugly social media fallout between former Steelers receiver Antonio Brown (now with the Raiders) and his ex-teammate, JuJu Smith-Schuster, another former Steeler tweeted his own interaction. Le’Veon Bell, who left Pittsburgh in the offseason, shared a message he received from former teammate James Conner, who is his replacement as the Steelers’ running back.
— Le'Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) April 8, 2019
On this day: In 1912, the Red Sox played their first ever game at Fenway Park. The opponent was not another Major League team, but instead Harvard baseball.
“More than 3000 dyed-in-the-wool fans sat out in Boston’s new baseball park yesterday afternoon, all shivering with the cold, while snow flurries flew everywhere about, to watch the Boston Red Sox player their annual game with the Harvard Varsity nine,” wrote the Boston Globe’s Melville E. Webb Jr.
The Red Sox won, 2-0, though Webb noted of Harvard that the “Crimson [were] none too easy.” The opening season of Fenway Park witnessed one of the best Red Sox teams of all-time, as the 105-game winners went on to defeat the Giants in the World Series.
Daily highlight: What else could it be today?
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) April 9, 2019
Trivia answer: 2015 Duke (Semi Ojeleye)