An observation from reader Gil Parmele: There are 32 teams left in the NCAA Tournaments and eight are from the Pac-12. Breaking down that observation further, UCLA and Oregon are alive in both the men's and women's tournaments. On the women's side, Stanford, Washington and Oregon State also remain. On the men's side, there also is Arizona. ... Parmele also wondered if having two teams, UConn and Quinnipiac, make the Sweet 16 on the women's side was a first for the state. Certainly seems so. Hartford, under Jen Rizzotti, went to the tournament six times, making it twice to the second round but never to the Sweet 16. ... Wednesday in this space I asked how many people had Quinnipiac in their bracket making it this far; a West Hartford reader responded by saying she did and so far has only two wrong. Maybe she should be sports editor. ... Trinity plays St. Norbert College Friday night in the Division III hockey semifinals. St. Norbert is in De Pere, Wisc., and is one tough hockey school, seeking its fifth title since 2008.
Resting NBA players prompted commissioner Adam Silver to send a memo to teams, so this issue has been swirling all week. It has been going on for a while, but when the Cavs sat LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love Saturday night in a nationally televised game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Silver acted. As LeBron said, he has played through injuries and deserves a rest now and then. But who sits and watches that 30-point Cavs' loss on TV with those three resting or who wants to be the family that chooses to attend that game, pay the big bucks and find out 71.5 points a game is sitting on the bench? To say nothing of the advertisers who might have had some words for the commish.
Have to appreciate the Red Sox braintrust. On April 2, the day before the Red Sox open at Fenway, a 30-minute animated show called "Wally's Opening Day," will air on NESN at 5 p.m. It's part of an initiative to get younger fans interested in the game and it happens to be Wally's 20th anniversary with the Sox. Mascots do little for me, but then again I'm no kid. Here's the plot: "It's Wally's job to get Fenway Park ready for Opening Day, but when he misses his ride back home from spring training and a freak spring snowstorm rolls in, Boston's annual April tradition is almost canceled." Now that I would watch with the grandkids. ... Players representing Puerto Rico bleached their hair before the World Baseball Classic. By the time the team made Wednesday's final vs. the U.S. the fad had meant a run on men's hair dye in the country.