Congratulations to UHar hoops
Men’s team going to NCAA’s for first time
Good morning, all! I hope you had a great weekend and remembered to set your clock ahead one hour.
Congratulations to the University of Hartford men’s basketball team. They are going to the dance; the big show, the NCAA Tournament. It is the first trip into March Madness for the men’s program. On Saturday, the Hawks won their first-ever America East Conference championship by defeating UMass-Lowell, 64-50.
I am excited for the program, because I know how hard everybody at the school has worked to achieve this moment, led by coach John Gallagher and his staff. (Full disclosure here. I broadcast the Hartford games on radio for five seasons in the early 2000s, before passing the baton to Jeff Dooley. Over the last three seasons I have reunited with the school and “Dools” to provide commentary on select men’s and women’s games over ESPN+ and ESPN3.)
Here is all you need to know about coach Gallagher. When I was told by a certain Hartford radio station in 2012 that my services were no longer required, “Gal” was one of the first people to call me and offer help. “Is there anything I can do?” he asked. And that is the kind of person he is to everybody. He has the knack of giving you his undivided attention, a trait not everyone possesses.
Gallagher is a Philadelphia guy, through and through. And I write that as a compliment. Philadelphia has a rich, basketball history. I still get thrills to think I broadcast several games from the historic, Palestra, the home to many collegiate and professional basketball classics over the decades. Some of my greatest memories are of walking through the caverns of that facility with the late K.C. Jones, regaling me with stories of when he played there.
So good luck to coach Gallagher and the Hawks. Savor the moment, knowing you have already achieved a plateau the men’s program at Hartford had never reached, until Saturday.
Golf the way it should be
For the second straight PGA Tour tournament, Bryson DeChambeau and Lee Westwood comprised the last pairing in the final round. No wonder the tour’s television ratings are on the rise.
This is the way it should be, reminiscent of the days when Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus would go head-to-head on almost every weekend, or so it seemed. The story lines are many. The young DeChambeau becoming the new face of the tour, with a workout regimen more comparable to Charles Atlas than Ben Hogan. And Westwood, the 47-year-old tour vet, who has been playing with reckless abandon, rejuvenated by his fiancé-caddy.
Last week DeChambeau beat Westwood by a stroke, having to sink a putt on the final hole to avoid a playoff. As Westwood stated after Saturday’s third round, now it’s on to “Round 2.”
As it turned out, with DeChambeau and Westwood, missing more fairways than a weekend hacker, Justin Thomas came from the outside to win. He is another, young, compelling tour player. Currently, golf has numerous storylines, making the tour a fun watch.
Sportscaster Dan’s Monday Musings
Interesting note by Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaugnessy. Since 1998, only one major league player has made the All-Star team, after being drafted as the fourth pick in the first round: Ryan Zimmerman. For the record, the Boston Red Sox have the fourth pick this season...Surprised to read that the Los Angeles Angels will be going with a six-man starting rotation this season. Remember the days of the four-man staff? McNally, Palmer, Cuellar and Dobson each won 20 games for the Orioles one season. No staff had ever accomplished that feat. That is one record that will not be broken...In case you missed my latest The Sportscaster Dan podcast, I opine about MLB’s move to once again use the minor leagues as an incubator for rules changes.
Well, we are off and running on another week. As always, thank you for your support.