As we strategy a brand new 12 months, it is at all times enjoyable to look forward for what 2018 may maintain in retailer for us, however to additionally admire all the things that 2017 gave us.
Whereas this previous 12 months was stuffed with highs and lows regarding social points in sports activities, the video games themselves additionally gave us moments we’ll at all times keep in mind.
Who would have thought that Geno Auriemma and UConn would lose on a buzzer beater to Mississippi State?
Did anybody predict that the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers would flip the World Collection into a house run derby?
And after the season lengthy hype of Warriors/Cavaliers Half III, did not all of us really feel a bit of cheated that the NBA Finals solely lasted 5 video games?
Who is aware of what 2018 has in retailer for us, however listed here are just a few predictions for what I believe we might be on the point of witness within the coming months.
January eight, Faculty Soccer Playoff Nationwide Championship
Whereas I imagine that Clemson is essentially the most full group within the nation, Dabo Sweeney’s bunch is not going to beat Alabama two years in a row. Nick Saban is not letting that occur. Revenge is a superb motivator.
Within the different semifinal, Oklahoma can be an excessive amount of for the Bulldogs as a result of “UGA gon’ UGA.” Search for the Oklahoma offense to attain large early, placing Georgia in a gap from which it will not have the ability to climb out.
Within the championship recreation, search for Baker Mayfield to shine. Saban would not do effectively towards cellular quarterbacks with large arms. Simply ask Tim Tebow, Cam Newton and Johnny Manziel. Oklahoma did not make it this far due to its protection, so you may rating on that group. Nonetheless, the query is, are you able to rating with them?
Oklahoma averages 44.9 factors per recreation, and I do not see Alabama maintaining with it in a shootout.
Sooners win, and Mayfield vegetation the OU flag in the midst of the brand new Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
February four, Tremendous Bowl LII
After the Carson Wentz damage in Philadelphia, NFL followers have been questioning who would step up as one of the best contender to return out of the NFC, because the Eagles do not look as threatening with out their begin quarterback.
Properly, what if a bit of historical past takes place and the Minnesota Vikings emerge to characterize the NFC in Tremendous Bowl LII, changing into the primary group to ever have home-field benefit within the Massive Recreation.
However, I do not suppose the house crowd can be sufficient to knock off the New England Patriots. The addition of James Harrison will assist the Patriots knock off the Pittsburgh Steelers within the AFC Championship Recreation, after which Tom Brady will take over late to safe his sixth, and closing Tremendous Bowl ring.
In addition to, there’s one thing a few group successful a Tremendous Bowl on its residence area that simply would not appear honest.
April 1, Ladies’s NCAA Nationwide Championship Recreation
UConn, Notre Dame, South Carolina, and Mississippi State would be the 4 groups that make it to Columbus, Ohio on the finish of March. One aspect of the bracket will see UConn and Notre Dame face off in one other chapter of their rivalry, because the Huskies will come away victorious. Whereas Mississippi State will get some revenge on South Carolina, after falling to them in final 12 months’s nationwide title recreation.
Within the championship recreation, it’s going to be over earlier than it even begins. Mississippi State ended UConn’s 111-game successful streak in final 12 months’s nationwide semifinal, and the Huskies will get their revenge in a blowout victory that would be the program’s 12th nationwide title.
April 2, Males’s NCAA Nationwide Championship Recreation
Duke, Florida, Michigan State and Villanova ought to get their resort reservations set, as a result of they’re my picks to make it to San Antonio this 12 months for the Ultimate 4.
The primary semifinal will pit the Gators towards the Wildcats in a shootout that may set data for essentially the most Three-pointers made in a Ultimate 4 recreation. However in the long run, Villanova’s expertise can be an excessive amount of for Florida.
The second semifinal can be a rematch of the Champions Basic between Duke and Michigan State. Search for the Blue Devils to return away victorious on this one, as they’re going to have Marvin Bagley wholesome this time round, after successful with out him again in November. The loss can be one other powerful tablet for Tom Izzo to swallow, as his report towards Coach Okay can be an embarrassing 1-12.
Monday evening’s closing can be a conflict of youth and expertise. The majority of Villanova’s starters and main reserves are made up of upperclassmen, as they’re going to face a Duke group that solely has one senior on the roster (Grayson Allen) and begins 4 freshmen.
All season lengthy, the Wildcats had been essentially the most polished and constant group within the nation. Nonetheless, after studying tips on how to win and play protection, the potential that Duke confirmed glimpses of early within the season all comes collectively, because the Blue Devils are simply too proficient for Nova to comprise.
Coach Okay will return from his 13th Ultimate 4 journey with a sixth ring on his finger.
Let’s cease kidding ourselves, as a result of everyone knows that the Golden State Warriors can be again within the NBA Finals. Nonetheless, it will not be as it has been in earlier years. Groups just like the Houston Rockets, Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder and San Antonio Spurs will push the Warriors like by no means earlier than, as each group they face within the West will push them to at the very least six video games.
Within the East, we will get the Japanese Convention Finals we have all been ready for in a rematch between the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Make no mistake, that is going to be Kyrie Irving versus LeBron James in a seven-game sequence. Nonetheless, the Cavs can be too outdated and too drained to maintain up with the younger legs of the Celtics, and we’ll see LeBron’s streak of seven consecutive NBA Finals appearances come to an finish.
The Celtics and the Warriors will give us an entertaining sequence, however it will not final lengthy. Search for the Warriors to win in 5 video games. Nonetheless, that does not imply that every recreation will not come right down to the ultimate possessions.
Whereas the Celtics will lose within the Finals, will probably be a useful expertise for a younger group that may wind up being the champions in 2019.
In 2016, the Los Angeles Sparks survived to defeat the Minnesota Lynx in an epic five-game sequence within the WNBA Finals.
In 2017, the Minnesota Lynx survived to defeat the Los Angeles Sparks in an epic five-game sequence within the WNBA Finals.
In 2018, it will be the identical two groups, doing the identical two issues.
There is no manner you may persuade me that Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike are going to lose in back-to-back years. For the final two years, the Sparks and the Lynx have been the WNBA’s model of the Cavs and Warriors. They’ve given us two historic championship sequence in a row, and I do not anticipate a change anytime quickly.
I will be the primary to confess that I am not the most important baseball scholar.
Nonetheless, I’m sensible sufficient to know that the Yankees’ batting order is loaded, and any lineup that features Aaron Decide, Gary Sanchez and Giancarlo Stanton is totally insane.
I perceive that the Yankees have to tighten up their beginning rotation. However final 12 months’s World Collection between the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers proved that the homer is king.
Who will the Yankees be dealing with within the Fall Basic?
The Chicago Cubs.
Anticipate this factor to be over in 5 video games, if that. The Yankees went out and purchased essentially the most highly effective lineup that cash may purchase, and it will repay.