Category Archives: Sports Opinion

March Madness begins with upsets and surprises

By Evan Bainbridge

The month of march is all about college basketball and the NCAA tournament. These games are all about crazy upsets, huge blowouts and a chance to take a national championship back to school.

The tournament starts out with 68 teams, and then after the first four play-in games are done the round of 64 starts. This is the first actual round of the NCAA tournament and many people, nationwide, fill out brackets to try and win money and enjoy many games of basketball.

After the round of 64, there are usually no perfect brackets left (occasionally there is but…) because there is bound to be a couple upsets in the first round that nobody expects. This round is followed by the round of 32, then the Sweet 16, then the Elite 8, followed by the Final Four and finally the NCAA Championship game.

“I think it has been the best one I have ever seen, just because of all the upsets and the Cinderella stories, like UMBC beating Virginia,” junior Jackson Carlson said.

March Madness this year has been an exciting one for most fans because of the upsets and close games, but that can also crush someone’s bracket. The biggest upset thus far in the tournament was the 16 seeded UMBC Retrievers beating the one seeded Virginia Cavaliers in the first round of the tournament, 74-54. This was the first time in NCAA history that a one seed has ever lost to a 16 seed, and it was unexpected by everyone because Virginia was suppose to be the number one team in the whole tournament.

“This year’s tournament was full of upsets and exciting games with my favorites being UMBC and Loyola of Chicago. I loved UMBC’s energy and presence in the tournament. This was one of the most exciting first rounds in a couple years, but my bracket was destroyed after round one,” sophomore, Matthew Duffy said.

UMBC ended up losing in the round of 32, but they were the talk of the nation and still are today because they will go down in history forever. Loyola of Chicago came in the tournament as an 11 seed, and they have upset two teams in the first two rounds to advance to the Sweet 16.

The Sweet 16 games will be this Thursday and Friday where four games will be played each night. As the games get closer and closer to the championship, they start to get better and better because they are all fighting to be the National Basketball Champions of the NCAA in 2018.

2018 NBA All-Star Game

By Evan Bainbridge

The 2018 NBA All-Star game was done a little differently than in years past. Instead of doing an East vs West game (which is how it is usually done), the NBA decided to switch it up and have two team captains draft their teams for the game this year.

On January 25, team captain, Lebron James, from the Cleveland Cavaliers, and team captain, Stephen Curry, from the Golden State Warriors drafted their teams. James got the first pick in the draft and selected Kevin Durant, from the Golden State Warriors.

Each team was composed of 12 players, and the team captains selected players back and forth until their rosters were filled. The teams, for the first time ever, were made up of players from both the Eastern and Western Conferences.

“I loved the new format they used this year. It made the game a lot more fun and competitive. The only thing that they could have improved would have been televising the All-Star draft,” sophomore Matthew Duffy said.

Much talk has been going on about next year’s game already, and the NBA thinks they will be doing the same format with the team captains, but they will make the draft on TV because everyone wanted to see it. People were tired of seeing the same old East and West teams, so this mix up was a nice way of seeing something that has never been seen before.

The game took place on Sunday, Feb. 18 in Los Angeles, California. The starters for Team Lebron were James, Durant, Kyrie Irving (Boston), Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City) and Anthony Davis (New Orleans). The starters for Team Stephen were Curry, James Harden (Houston), Demar DeRozan (Toronto), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee) and Joel Embiid (Philadelphia).

The final score of the game was 148-145 in favor of Team Lebron. At the end of the game, the winning team selected an MVP of the game, and team captain, Lebron James himself won that honor. James ended the game with 29 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists, and he also scored the game-winning bucket at the end to put his team up three points.

Club vs School Volleyball

By Molly Richards

    JO volleyball and school volleyball are two very diverse programs, from the games and practices to the over all goals, both have benefits for players of all levels.

    JO volleyball or Club volleyball can vary in the different age groups and levels of play. In the younger age groups, the schedule is much less intense than the schedule at the high school level.

    Club teams ages fourteen to eighteen, especially national and American teams, tend to have a much heavier schedule. This means having more practices during the week, and as players get farther into the season, tournaments are scheduled almost every weekend.

    During the high school season, the goal is obviously to win as many games as the team can and hopefully advance into Championships. So most of the practices involve preparing for the teams they are going to play.

    The setup is different for Club volleyball. During practices, coaches tend to focus more on individual progression and team chemistry.

     Along with the schedule, the goals of each season also tend to vary. In high school, the goal for the season is to advance as far as the team can.

    The goals each team makes during Club season can vary on the level at which the team plays. It could be about winning however many tournaments, qualifying for Nationals or even winning them.

     As far my season usually goes during Club, my teams goals in the past have been qualifying and going to Natio and also making it to the gold bracket (the top bracket) in every tournament.    

    Considering the team and chemistry between players, the school season is where I have become closest with other athletes.

    While Club season does create new friendships and close knit bonds with players who are not from an individual’s school, during the school season the team becomes a big family.

    In high school, team members are always together whether it be during practices and games or outside of school.

    The experiences may be different, but the bonds created with other players and improvements players can achieve in both seasons makes each special in their own way.    

    

Super Bowl should be treated as national holiday

The Super Bowl is one of most important events in modern American culture, and advertisers spend millions on commercials and marketing leading up to the Super Bowl.

Almost every American watches the game or attends a Super Bowl party of some sort on the first Sunday night in February. Even individuals who do not regularly watch football stay up late to enjoy the big game.

An event as large as the Super Bowl is obviously more important to many than some holidays. If the Super Bowl is as important as a holiday, why should it not be recognized as one? The Super Bowl already has traditions surrounding it such as eating wings, throwing parties, the halftime show and funny commercials. Animal lovers even have the Puppy Bowl to look forward to every year.

With all of the festivities on Sunday night, Monday is always a challenge for many. The game itself commonly ends around 11:30 p.m. but celebrations, the MVP announcement and trophy presentation can go on until 12:30 or later.

Almost everyone stays up for these festivities, so Monday is always somewhat of a wasted day. Teachers and students alike are exhausted from the night before and do not have any desire to be at school the next day. Parents do not want to wake up early to take their kids to school the next day. Employees of other businesses and companies are sleep deprived and do not accomplish much on that Monday.

Simply put, nobody gets anything done on Super Bowl Monday. It is a day that is miserable for millions of people nationwide. The Monday after the Super Bowl is characterized by groans of exhaustion from football fans across the country.

The Super Bowl clearly deserves to be treated as a national holiday. Super Bowl Monday should be a day for people to rest and stay home with family and friends.