As we strategy a brand new yr, it is at all times enjoyable to look forward for what 2018 might maintain in retailer for us, however to additionally respect the whole lot that 2017 gave us.
Whereas this previous yr was filled 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 slightly 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 a number of predictions for what I feel we could possibly be on the point of witness within the coming months.
January eight, School Soccer Playoff Nationwide Championship
Whereas I consider that Clemson is probably the most full crew 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 will probably be an excessive amount of for the Bulldogs as a result of “UGA gon’ UGA.” Search for the Oklahoma offense to attain massive early, placing Georgia in a gap from which they will not have the ability to climb out.
Within the championship sport, search for Baker Mayfield to shine. Nick Saban would not do properly towards cellular quarterbacks with massive arms. Simply ask Tim Tebow, Cam Newton and Johnny Manziel. Oklahoma did not make it this far due to their protection, so you possibly can rating on them. Nevertheless, the query is, are you able to rating with them?
Oklahoma averages 44.9 factors per sport, and I do not see Alabama maintaining with them 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 LLI
After the Carson Wentz damage in Philadelphia, NFL followers have been questioning who would step up as the most effective contender to return out of the NFC, because the Eagles do not look as threatening with out their begin quarterback.
Nicely, what if slightly historical past takes place and the Minnesota Vikings emerge to signify the NFC in Tremendous Bowl 52, changing into the primary crew to ever have home-field benefit within the Huge Sport.
However, I do not assume the house crowd will probably 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 Sport, after which Tom Brady will take over late to safe his sixth, and ultimate Tremendous Bowl ring.
In addition to, there’s one thing a few crew successful a Tremendous Bowl on their dwelling area that simply would not appear truthful.
April 1, Girls’s NCAA Nationwide Championship Sport
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 facet of the bracket will see UConn and Notre Dame faceoff 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 yr’s nationwide title sport.
Within the championship sport, it’s going to be over earlier than it even begins. Mississippi State ended UConn’s 111-game successful streak in final yr’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 Sport
Duke, Florida, Michigan State and Villanova ought to get their lodge reservations set, as a result of they’re my picks to make it to San Antonio this yr for the Last 4.
The primary semifinal will pit the Gators towards the Wildcats in a shootout that can set information for probably the most Three-pointers made in a Last 4 sport. However ultimately, Villanova’s expertise will probably be an excessive amount of for Florida.
The second semifinal will probably 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 will probably be one other powerful tablet for Tom Izzo to swallow, as his document towards Coach Ok will probably be an embarrassing 1-12.
Monday evening’s ultimate will probably 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 crew that solely has one senior on the roster (Grayson Allen) and begins 4 freshmen.
All season lengthy, the Wildcats had been probably the most polished and constant crew within the nation. Nevertheless, after studying the right way 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 gifted for Nova to include.
Coach Ok will return from his 13th Last 4 journey with asixth ring on his finger.
Let’s cease kidding ourselves, as a result of everyone knows that the Golden State Warriors will probably be again within the NBA Finals. Nevertheless, 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 crew they face within the West will push them to not less than six video games.
Within the East, we’ll 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. Nevertheless, the Cavs will probably be too previous 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, but it surely will not final lengthy. Search for the Warriors to win in 5 video games. Nevertheless, that does not imply that every sport will not come all the way down to the ultimate possessions.
Whereas the Celtics will lose within the Finals, will probably be a useful expertise for a younger crew that can 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’ll be the identical two groups, doing the identical two issues.
There is not any approach you possibly can 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 count on a change anytime quickly.
I will be the primary to confess that I am not the largest baseball scholar.
Nevertheless, I’m good sufficient to know that the Yankees’ batting order is loaded, and any lineup that features Aaron Choose, Gary Sanchez, and Giancarlo Stanton is totally insane.
I perceive that the Yankees must tighten up their beginning rotation, in addition to strengthen their bullpen. However final yr’s World Collection between the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers proved that the homer is king.
Who will the Yankees be going through 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 probably the most highly effective lineup that cash might purchase, and it’ll repay.
And there you will have it: 2018 the yr in preview.