Ohio State vs THE University of Maine

Are you ready for Maine to shock the world?

Ohio State vs THE University of Maine

How's your bracket doing?

Gotta love March Madness.

As I'm sure you've heard, the women from THE University of Maine play Ohio State today in the first round and who better to give us an idea of what to expect than the longtime voice of the Black Bears, Hall of Fame broadcaster Don Shields.

Don joins me from Columbus to give a preview of Ohio State and, since I had him, we did a quick look at what the Midcoast teams he covers all year might look like next season. As always, a conversation with Don is a delight.

You can watch it on YouTube...

Or you can listen to it on Spotify or wherever else you do podcasts.

Subscribe so you get new episodes as they're released. And obviously you should mute the TV and listen to Don's call of the game.

I also recorded a podcast with Sam Federman of Mid-Major Madness previewing the tourney, including why Indiana State didn't make it and a lot more.

He's a very smart guy.

Sometimes, you don't know what to expect from your boss when you interview for a new job, but sometimes you do.

Long Beach State fired their coach prior to the conference tournament and players went ahead and won the tournament anyway. It's one of the great stories of the year.

And then their AD went and said this:

“My belief and hope is that by doing what I did and the timing of it, they would play inspired, and that’s what they did,” Bobby Smitheran told The Associated Press. “I’m not trying to pat myself on the back, but it worked.”


You're not going to believe this, but he's had the job a whole 6 months. Hopefully he doesn't make it to the end of March.

Monson’s boss says timing of ouster at Long Beach State was designed to inspire March Madness run
Long Beach State’s athletic director says the timing of his decision to part with coach Dan Monson was done with the hope it might trigger the exact run that led the team on its unexpected trip to March Madness.

We got JP Estrella minutes last night.

Also, he has his own hype account.

He finished with 6 points and a rebound as my St. Peter's money line bet didn't work out.

There was some speculation that the MPA should move the Heal Points weights back to 5 points (ok, it was mostly me) to try and rectify the issue of teams like Maranacook and Mount View that have their seeding either elevated or suppressed by playing schedules outside of their class.

So I re-ran the Heal Points for those two regions using the old 5 point weights.

Here's B North.

Maranacook drops to 3, but they still have a bye. There's a difference, but it's marginal.

And here's C North Boys.

Surprisingly, Mount View doesn't move. BUT, they were pretty far behind GSA and in the old weights they're right on the heels of #5 Hodgdon. Also, Machias and Fort Fairfield flip.

I think the takeaway here is that we can move the weights back, but what needs to change is the schedules.

I'll say it again: don't let the conferences close their schedules, every team has to play X games in their region (8? 10?), fill out the rest from there.

Last call.

Submit your players for All-State consideration or explain to their parents why you didn't.

All-State Teams
Submit your player today!

In other awards news, Orono's Pierce Walston is the Gatorade Player of the Year.

Pierce won the 2023 - 2024 Gatorade Player of the Year in Maine for Boys Basketball

Cooper Flagg was Florida's POTY, which means that Maine produced TWO Gatorade POTY winners.

Finally, we lost one of our own and way too soon.

Reid Durost was an essential part of the experience at Husson and tourney games in Bangor.

I never had the opportunity to meet Reid in person, but he made a point of reaching out to me when he had every reason not to and was nothing but generous and kind with his time. And from what I've read since his far-too-early passing, that was just who he was.

I was hoping to finally meet up with him in Bangor this year, but clearly that wasn't an option.

He will very much be missed.

Eastern Maine sports community mourns loss of two contributors
Every local sports community needs people like George Bishop and Reid Durost.