Tuesday, April 9, 2019

NCAA Wrap-up and NHL Playoffs Information

                Last night, the NCAA tournament kings were crowned. Congrats to the Virginia Cavaliers! Thank you for proving once again that, even in 2019, defense can and does still win championships. It was a hard fought game and honestly provided much more excitement and a far better pace of play than I had expected in this match-up.

                The biggest story out of the entire tournament seems to be the officiating. A blown travel call may have cost me a few dollars but, let's not forget the officials are human too. When we as sports fans come out of a great time of year like March madness talking about the officiating more than the great plays that were made, the exciting moments that were had, and the great players that were unveiled, we are doing ourselves a disfavor with all the negativity. So when you reflect on or talk about the tournament today, keep it positive.

                There are three main points of interest I will look back on in the 2019 tournament. The first is my Iowa Hawkeyes providing a win in round one and a thrilling comeback that fell just short in round two. The second being Virginia going from the first one seed to lose to a 16 seed, and then one year later, cutting down the nets. My third takeaway from another memorable March is the storybook run by Auburn beating three of the four top blue-bloods of the 2000s in route to the final four.

                Now it's time to move on to the NHL and NBA playoffs. I do not consider myself an NHL expert by any means so I will lean on my best NHL source, Aaron Peeples, for that information. Aaron is not a gambler but is strictly a lover of the game with knowledge like no other. I have used his insight to make my hockey bets over the years and my betting account balance is the better for it. Use his opinions as you see fit, but remember, his picks are for "entertainment purposes only" as they say. That being said he likes Lightning in 5 games, Maple Leafs in 7, Capitals in 5, Penguins in 6, Flames in 7, Vegas Golden Knights in 6, Predators in 7 and Jets in 6. You can catch his full breakdowns on each series in his next podcast premiering tomorrow on the California State University Northridge (CSUN) newspaper's web-page at https://sundial.csun.edu/section/listen/.

                It's time for my attention to shift to NBA, but I am going to delay my weekly full-length post until the playoff match-ups have been determined. My breakdowns and opinions on the first round of the playoffs will be posted on Friday. Don't forget to check back then for all the NBA news and breakdowns you need to know before the playoffs start.

(Follow me on twitter @Jake_Ruch for updates on when I post new articles on my blog and tweets on my real-time sports related thoughts.)

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