Skip to main content

Patriot League Championship on ESPN2

Spring sports are early in the season, and the NCAA Wrestling championships are net week. That means for Lehigh fans the most important game of the weekend is happening at 4:30 on ESPN2: the Patriot League championship in Worcester, Mass between Bucknell and Holy Cross.

It's fitting that the two teams that were head-and-shoulders better than the rest of the league should be playing in the final (though Holy Cross escaped on Sunday against feisty American, 55-53). What should be worrying Bill Simmons and the rest of the insane Holy Cross fans is that Bucknell is finally healthy, and if their inside-out game of screens, C Chris MacNaughton and F Donald Brown are clicking, it's hard to picture the Crusaders getting the win, even if Keith Simmons and Torey Thomas are doing their thing.

I did like this from Bill Simmons' Monday posting though:

• Get your TiVo ready for Bucknell at Holy Cross, Friday, 4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2, winner advances to the NCAA Tournament! It's just too bad that Rob Stone and Bill Simmons won't be calling the action -- I could have broken Tommy Heinsohn's "most shameless homer of all time" benchmark for basketball announcing. They should have done an ESPN Full Circle and had us announce the game for ESPNU. Has an announcer ever gotten kicked off the courtside table for arguing with the refs before? Could have happened.

(Note: A few readers pointed out that Joe Lunardi's latest "Bracketology" column had No. 4 Texas pitted against No. 13 Holy Cross in Round 1. That's just cruel. I think Joe's trying to mess with my head.)

Note to Bill: I will gladly volunteer to do for free the first-round game with you should Holy Cross make the big dance. I personally guarantee you would get the most biased coverage on the planet. Picture this:

Chuck: Oden with the dunk over Clifford! Ouch! Bill, I think there was a DEFINITE change on that play.

Bill: I'd like to call Oden a student at OSU, but I have to keep the word student in quotes, since I can't prove he actually took any classes. Yes! Thomas for three!

Chuck: Are you freakin' kidding me? How could you not call a travel on Conley there? BOOO... Bill, are you leading the cheers from the announcer's booth again? That's not exactly kosher.

Bill: I'm going to give you a Tommy Point Chuck, just so you'll shut up.


Popular posts from this blog

Nick Shafnisky Is Pushing Hard to Get To Play at the Next Level in Football

"Don't take anything for granted, just keep pushing."
Those are the words of QB Nick Shafnisky, told to The Whitehall-Coplay Press all the way back in 2013, about his preparation as a high school athlete.
And they seem to summarize the Whitehall, PA native perfectly, then as now.
Dubbed the "Male Athlete of the Year" by that publication, the article goes on about Shaf's many exploits at Whitehall high school - leading the Zephyr football team to a co-Lehigh Valley Conference title, becoming the first player ever in that conference to rush and pass for over 1,000 yards, and earning the league's co-MVP award as well.
He also was a member of the Zephyrs playoff basketball team, and for good measure also helped set a record for the 4x100 relay team as well.
At Whitehall, and at Lehigh, coaches pushed him, but it was his own hard work that helped make him the best athlete he could be.
This weekend, Shaf, like every eligible college football player, will be …

#TheRivalry Flashback: November 21st, 1987: Lehigh 17, Lafayette 10

Since becoming an undergrad at Lehigh back in the late 1980s, I first heard about the historic nature of the football team and "The Rivalry" through the stories that fellow students would share.

I did not attend the final meeting between Lehigh and Lafayette at Taylor Stadium, which was the final time a football game would be played there.

Those that did attend said that was that it was cold.

"I remember it being one of the coldest games ever," Mark Redmann recollected, "with strong Northwesterly winds and the temperature hovering around 20.  By the end of the game, the stands were half empty because most of the fans just couldn't take the cold.

"Fortunately, several of my fraternity brothers snuck in flasks to help fend off the chill."

Dominick Bragalone Goes Into Monster Mode As Lehigh Is One Win Away From Title

It has been a most unusual season for Lehigh.

Starting the year off at 0-5 and getting swept in their out-of-conference schedule, the Mountain Hawks were in danger of having their season go off the rails.

But two things have come together over the last five football games that have put Lehigh on the brink of back-to-back championships.

The first is the late blooming of the Lehigh defense, which kept battling every week since the low point of the September 30th loss to Wagner to do the job in four of their five Patriot League conference games. 

The second is the development of junior RB Dominick Bragalone into a bellcow running back, a back who has to be in the conversation for Patriot League offensive player of the year.

In five Patriot League games, Bragalone has run for 863 yards in 5 games, rushing for 11 touchdowns and adding two more receiving touchdowns as well. 

The South Williamsport, PA native certainly wasn't unknown before this week - after all, as a freshman and a sop…