The Villanova Wildcats are number one in college basketball for the 2016 season. The Wildcats took down No. 1-seeded North Carolina in an ultimate NCAA Finals thriller 77-74 on Monday. Kris Jenkins of Villanova hit a three ball at the buzzer which will live forever in NCAA Tournament history. Jenkins, who took a sweet pass from Ryan Arcidiacono on a designed set up play by coach Jay Wright, sent “Nova” fans into a frenzy with his heroics. The fact that we got to this point was remarkable as Marcus Paige hit an unreal off-balance three to tie the game for North Carolina. The star of the game for me was Phil Booth, who came off the bench for a career high 18 points. What makes the win for Villanova sweet for me is very simple. The Wildcats have no “one and dones” or superstars on the team. This team plays hard defense and collective team basketball and it was an awesome watch throughout their tournament run. Villanova waited 31 years for its second-ever NCAA Tournament Championship with the last coming in 1985. All I can say is, the Madness of March once again did not disappoint college basketball fans!
April in the “D”
We all know around here it’s called April in the “D”. It’s when the Detroit Tigers open up the baseball season. The Detroit Pistons are usually eliminated from the NBA Playoffs by now, too. The Detroit Red Wings are in the NHL Playoffs as we all come to expect after 24 years of playoff hockey. However, here in 2016 for the Pistons and Red Wings, things are not the norm we are used to. The Pistons are looking like they will make the NBA Playoff picture. The Red Wings are in a dog fight to make the playoffs with only three games left in the NHL season. Let’s look at all three teams and what April will mean to each of them.
Let’s start with the Detroit Pistons. Detroit is fighting Indiana to see who will be the eight- or seven-seed come playoff time. They both currently sit in the Eastern Conference at 41-36. The Chicago Bulls are chasing both with a 39-38 record, but the Bulls will not catch either one, in my opinion. It’s cut and dried for the Pistons. If Detroit finishes in the eighth spot, they will play the Cleveland Cavs. If they finish in the seventh spot, the Toronto Raptors will be the opponent. The bottom line is Detroit will not advance pass the first round. However, this team is trending in the right direction.
The Detroit Red Wings have three games left and currently sit just one point ahead of the Boston Bruins. The good news is, the Red Wings control their own destiny with games Wednesday at home against the Philadelphia Flyers and Thursday on the road at Boston. They end the season on Saturday in New York against the Rangers. Detroit wins against Boston and Philadelphia and they in the playoffs for the 25th consecutive year; it’s that simple. My prediction is the Red Wings will miss the playoffs I just don’t see them going into Boston and winning that hockey game! Boy, I really hope I am wrong.
The Tigers open up Tuesday night in Miami and then come home Friday to chilly Detroit for a Friday home opener against the New York Yankees. The American League Central is one tough division and I see a four-way race with only Minnesota having no chance to win the division. I will get more in-depth on the Tigers next week.
My favorite golf tournament is this weekend with the Masters! There is nothing better than Sunday’s watching of the Masters, especially as the golfers move through Amen Corner. Who will put on the green jacket here in 2016? Will Jordan Spieth become a repeat champion? Is this Ricky Fowler’s year? Or, will Jason Day continue his hot streak? Day skipped the Houston Open to rest up for the Masters.
We shall see this weekend. Moving Day on Saturday is always interesting and then we see who handles the big pressure cooker on Sunday. Jim Herman won the Houston Open on Sunday with a 15 under. Fowler tied for 10th at -9 and Spieth tied for 13th at -8. firstname.lastname@example.org