By Aaron Oda
This week in sports we saw teams in NCAA basketball battle in conference tournaments for a coveted ticket to the big dance, (A.K.A. the NCAA tournament), a basketball player hit a milestone and a sniff of real baseball.
This week in sports we see all of you eager sports gamblers start betting on March Madness by entering a pool with money or putting it down on that cinderella team.
“The longest offs in the world are those against getting even.”
– Joe Moore
This week in the NBA we saw a player hit a momentous milestone. Dirk Nowitzki has become the sixth player in NBA history to score 30,000 points in his career. He added his name to a list that consists of Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain. Of the players who reached the achievement before him, four of five are in the Hall of Fame.
Also, if you were to ask any basketball expert, fan or periodical watcher, they would know or at least have heard of all of these names.
What makes this accomplishment even more special is that Nowitzki is only the third player ever in history to score 30,000 points with a single team, the other players being Malone and Bryant.
The tournament is finally here. Let March Madness begin. The tournament includes 68 teams looking to be the next National Champion. Four of these teams begin play on Tuesday and Wednesday in what is called the play-in games, with the rest playing on either Thursday or Friday. What makes this tournament so special is that it is set up in a bracket and a single elimination format, so once you lose, it’s time to pack the bags and go home.
We will see everything from buzzer beaters to my Rainbow Warriors, winning their first ever game in the tournament and knocking out the Pac-12 conference California Berkeley Bears. People all over the country fill out brackets in hopes of correctly picking all of the winners, and the task is a lot harder then you think. Doing some quick research, NCAA.com says that the longest perfect bracket from last year’s tournament lasted the first 25 games out of a total of 63 games played in the tournament. This includes all of the people in the sports world who cover sports for a living and even our past Commander in Chief, President Obama.
Another important number is that there are over 9 quintillion different combinations of a bracket you can make, and yes, 9 quintillion is not a typo. So good luck to all of you sports fans or casual fans making brackets this year, because it is really hard and should really be played for fun.
Another sporting event that is taking place right now is the World Baseball Classic. This event is like the Olympics for baseball because it only happens every four years and it pits country against country in a pool play and tournament like style.
The United States advanced to the second round of pool play going 2-1 with wins over Canada and Colombia. The lone loss was to the Dominican Republic in which they took the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning scoring four runs in the process. The inning involved two monstrous homeruns from Nelson Cruz and Starling Marte. The surprise team of the tournament thus far is Israel, who swept the first round of pool play and advanced to the second round.
Until next week, K DEN!