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Minnesota’s  Willians Astudillo  rounds the bases after homering Saturday, the Phillies’ first less-than-three-hour game of the season  (Matt Slocum)
Minnesota’s Willians Astudillo rounds the bases after homering Saturday, the Phillies’ first less-than-three-hour game of the season (Matt Slocum)|Associated Press

Monday Quickie Quiz & Single Digits

Bob Vetrone

Bob Vetrone


>>> In three consecutive seasons, the initials of the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Players were: P.E., E.P. and P.E. Name the players, schools and the years.

(Answer Below)

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>>> Rhys Hoskins has the only two home runs the Phillies have hit over their last 162 plate appearances as a team.

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>>> It took the Phillies until Game 7 Saturday night to finish a contest in under three hours this season. That is the longest into a season the club has ever gone with a string of three-hour games.

But it is not the longest any club has gone this year. The Mariners took until Game 8 to get a game in under 180 minutes and the Cubs still haven’t done so through nine games, although they came close with a 3:04 4-2 loss to the Brewers Sunday.

By the way, the MLB “record” (via would be the 2016 Pirates, who managed to go over three hours in each of their first 11 games that season.

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>>> In the first semifinal of Saturday’s Final Four, Virginia was accessed a 30-second violation for not getting a shot off with 4:44 remaining in the first half. It would be the last stoppage before intermission, meaning that since there was no foul, no ball out of bounds, no technical to call, there was never a stoppage under the 4:00-minute mark that would have resulted in a mandatory media (nee TV) timeout.

And it was glorious.

(They did tack two minutes onto the halftime intermission for the lost time, so no commercials were harmed in the making of the broadcast.)

One of the many reasons we love college basketball moreso than the NBA is that play often flows so continuously that those media timeouts (under 16, 12, 8 and 4) often bump into one another in consecutive stoppages, especially when the game is being played at a crisp, clean level.

We notice these things because we kept stats for radio way back in the early 1980s, before there were official media timeouts every game (some times when the games were just on radio) and they were basically agreed upon by the two coaches and the TV/Radio network doing the game, even when broadcast just locally. If memory serves, many of those games back then incorporated a 13/7 or a 15/10/5 rotation.

There was much criticism of them as they became mandatory, but through the years, coaches learned how to use them to their advantage for things such as substitution patterns and momentum shift.

They are also extremely helpful if you are trying to flag down a bartender and not miss any of the game . . . Or so I am told.

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>>> With a late flurry (four in his last three games), the Sharks’ Joe Thornton ended the 2018-19 regular season with the eighth highest career assist total in NHL history. Here are the 13 players with 1,000 or more:

1,963 . . . Wayne Gretzky
1,249 . . . Ron Francis
1,193 . . . Marl Messier
1,169 . . . Ray Bourque
1,155 . . . Jaromir Jagr
1,135 . . . Paul Coffey
1,079 . . . Adam Oates
1,065 . . . Joe Thornton
1,063 . . . Steve Yzerman
1,049 . . . Gordie Howe
1,040 . . . Marcel Dionna
1,033 . . . Mario Lemieux
1,016 . . . Joe Sakic

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>>> Those Final Four’s Most Outstanding Players:
1984: Patrick Ewing, Georgetown
1985: Ed Pinckney, Villanova
1986: Pervis Ellison, Louisville