Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Greg Herenda has one of the best stories in March Madness. 

By Dan Gartland
March 20, 2019

Dinner’s on me

March Madness got off to a pretty exciting start with Fairleigh Dickinson’s comeback win over Prairie View A&M in the First Four last night. The Knights trailed by as many as 13 in the second half before ending the game on a 48–29 run. 

It was FDU’s first ever NCAA tournament win in its sixth appearance and the first postseason win for head coach Greg Herenda, who was even winless in four Division II tournament appearances at UMass Lowell. 

After the game, Herenda was in the mood to celebrate and really let loose. 

He also rewarded the hardcore FDU fans who made the 10-hour drive from New Jersey to be in Dayton to support their team by offering to buy them dinner. 

Herenda has one of the best stories in this year’s tournament. He was at the Final Four in San Antonio last year when he was hospitalized with blood clots and spent eight days in intensive care. He ended up spending 15 days in the hospital before he could return home to New Jersey. 

“I told my wife, I didn’t want to die in Texas. There was a reason to live,” Herenda told the New York Post. “In the hospital, I had two major blood clots, and a very high fever, I was intensive care for eight days, but I just thought of my team. Every time I talk to them about getting back, and working hard, and just chipping away, well, that’s how I got out of there.

“I was in a bed, I was in a wheelchair, then a walker, a cane, and now we’re dancing. It’s amazing. It’s not real. It’s like it couldn’t happen. It would be a fantasy, fiction, if someone were to write it. But I lived it and I’m cherishing this moment. … This team has rallied around me, but it’s not about me or my illness. They’re kids and they want to play basketball and win games.”

Standing ovation for Ichiro

The MLB regular season is officially underway in Tokyo this morning. Ichiro started the game and got two plate appearances before being pulled in the fourth inning to a standing ovation. 

That’s an odd list of demands

A Scottish man took some people hostage inside an apartment in a Glasgow suburb on Monday night. Police arrived and he told them he wanted “a bag of cans” (slang for some beers) and “Brendan Rodgers back,” referring to the former Celtic manager who recently left to take over at Leicester. He was quickly arrested and no one was hurt

It’s just getting embarrassing for Stephen A. at this point

It was only last week that Stephen A. Smith went on TV and told everybody that punter Tress way started one game at quarterback for Washington. Is he doing more research before he goes on the air? Nope! Not enough, at least. Here he is breaking down Mike Trout’s new deal with the Angels and what it means for Mike Scioscia, who left the team after last season. 

Let’s get this guy a better production assistant. 

The best of SI

Photographer Erick Rasco traveled to Alaska to follow the Iditarod and brought back some incredible images. ... These are the 10 most likely national champion picks for your bracket. ... Legal expert Michael McCann breaks down what’s next for Robert Kraft after he was offered a plea deal

We scored a long, exclusive interview with Le’Veon Bell

Bell spoke with the MMQB's Jenny Vrentas about why he chose to sign with the Jets. 

Around the sports world

Here’s how a piece of rock gets turned into a curling stone. ... Kurt Angle’s brother was charged with assault for picking up a youth wrestler by his neck. ... The Mets have a new ticket deal where you can pay a monthly fee for the ability to download as many tickets as you want. ... The Society for American Baseball Research has a new project exhaustively examining myths about the Black Sox scandal

Comeback of the year by the Nets

Brooklyn trailed by 28 in the second half and came storming all the way back, let by a career-high 28 points from D’Angelo Russell. 

The Hurricanes keep topping themselves with these celebrations

Take that, Steph

Can of corn

Clay Matthews is going back to L.A.

Stick to baseball

Kyle Kuzma knows what’s up

Seven minutes of clutch March Madness shots

Duke stars discuss their favorite NBA players

A look into the future?

Not sports

Kit Harington started going to therapy after his Game of Thrones character died in a major cliffhanger. ... Anthropologists believe early humans first developed agriculture so they could brew beer. ... A Texas man found 45 snakes under his house

Sophie Turner enjoyed the Rangers game

What are the odds?

Google actually went back and blurred out the guy’s whole body

Australia is such a strange place

Rapper Meyhem Lauren makes a mean sandwich

A good song

Email dan.gartland@simail.com with any feedback or follow me on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.

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