We’re now a week into the 2013 MLB season and despite being a 162 games in the season ESPN the Magazine and Sports Illustrated have already predicted that the Washington Nationals will be the World Series champs come October.
The Nats appear to be poised for a great season and boast one of the best lineups in baseball, on paper. Obviously, the game is not played on paper and the season is long but manager Davey Johnson may have the formula according to SI’s senior writer Tom Verducci. Verducci went into detail saying, “Washington has young power pitching, a deep bullpen with multiple closers, a blend of power and speed, and an unmistakable swagger.”
ESPN the Magazine went on to actually predict how many wins the team would rack up this year. The Nationals are projected to win 88 games but if everything falls into place for the team the Magazine thinks they could hit 98 wins. Former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling, who was a six time all-star, was quoted saying that, “This is the most talented team in the National League, and they could have a Braves-like run in them for the next five, six, seven, eight, or nine years.”
ESPN the Magazine, SI Both predict Nats Win World Series
President Obama has a history with pretty successful brackets and so far, his Final Four are alive and well. Obama picked the No. 1 seeds Louisville and Indiana of the Midwest and East Regions, respectively, to reach the Final Four. Aside from the favorite No. 1s, Obama went with Ohio State who is a No. 2 seed and Florida, a No. 3 seed, to round out the Final Four.
In 2010 and 2011 none of Obama’s Final Four picks even made it to that round. Last year the Commander in Chief picked half of the Final Four correctly and even predicted the National Champions Kentucky to win it all. If the president’s predicting abilities are on the upswing, 2013 may be a good year for Obama’s bracket.
If the Miami Heat can manage to win their next nine games, they will tie the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers’ record of 33 consecutive wins. The Heat have continued to win and many nights it appeared to be because of sheer will alone.
Recently LeBron James loaded the team on his back against his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, to battle back from a 27-point deficit in the third quarter. James did his fair share in the fourth quarter alone as he posted 14 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Wednesday night’s comeback win tied the NBA’s biggest comeback this season as well as brought the team that much closer to 33 consecutive wins. James went on to say after the game, ”the streak wasn’t on my mind, but us getting blown out was.”
Though, the team is insisting breaking the record isn’t a goal of theirs it’s hard to believe it’s not on their mind. If the Heat do tie or break the record it would be tough not to envision their season ending the same way as the Lakers’ did in ’71; That’s with an NBA Finals title.
We saw what ESPN thought about the Final Four this year now it’s time to see how President Obama will fare. Last year Obama correctly predicted half of the Final Four with Ohio State and Kentucky. His pick for the national champion, the North Carolina Tar Heels, fell short in the Elite Eight.
This year President Obama is going with two No. 1 seeds to reach the Final Four in Louisville and Indiana. Aside from his two No. 1 picks Obama went with Ohio State and the Gators from Florida; ranked No. 2 and 3 respectively.
It’s the time of year where employers see production drop and sick days increase, yes that’s right, it’s March Madness. Some people go with their heart, some with their gut, and some just pick at random. We’re here to round up what the “experts” have to say.
ESPN is the go-to source for the majority of people, so let’s start there. Their panel of college basketball coverage is made up of some major heavyweights such as Jay Bilas, Seth Greenburg, Dick Vitale, among others. The overwhelming majority have picked the No.1 seeded Louisville Cardinals and Indiana Hoosiers to reach the Final Four of the tournament. In fact, of the 14 polled, only two chose Michigan State to represent the Midwest Region the rest went with the Cardinals.
For the East Region the Hoosiers were the easy pick with the No. 1 spot, though the hot Miami Hurricanes had a few votes, including some from the likes of Digger Phelps and Jay Williams. When it comes to the West and South Regions the field is a bit tighter, at least according to the field of analysts.
The No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes have the majority of votes to win the South Region with personalities like Dickie V leading the charge behind Ohio State. The Gonzaga Bulldogs are always a popular pick and this year is no different with them receiving four picks to reach the Final Four. Jason King was the only one to differ from either of those two when he went with the No. 3 New Mexico Lobos.
The No. 3 Florida Gators lead the South Region in ESPN votes, however there’s a nice array once you get past the Gators. The No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks received four votes to hit the Final Four, which leaves them as the tied as the least voted for No. 1 seed to reach the Final Four. Following those two the No. 5 Virginia Commonwealth Rams received votes of confidence from Jay Bilas, Andy Katz, and Dana O’Neil. The Hoyas of Georgetown were picked only twice despite being the No. 2 seed. The No. 4 seed Michigan Wolverines were picked only by Dickie V.
It’s always interesting to see how this all plays out. There always seems to be at least on cinderella team that upsets the board and once the play proceeds past the first round of 68 teams, the seeding matters less and less.
Men’s College Basketball
With the NFL season winding down more and more games become must-wins for teams battling for a coveted playoff spot; This week is no exception. One of the NFL’s most historic rivalries, the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears, will meet in Chicago with both teams needing a win to ensure their playoff hopes. One of the perennial powerhouses of the AFC, the Pittsburgh Steelers, will find themselves on the brink of elimination if they cannot beat the Dallas Cowboys. If the Steelers find themselves in the loss column and the Cincinnati Bengals can win over a very-beatable Philadelphia Eagles, the Steelers may find themselves out of the playoff discussion.
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