IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: Baseball is back; Sharks limp toward playoffs
GIANTS/A’S GET IT STARTED: The A’s open up better than the Giants. In their four-game series with the Angels, they go 2-2 while the Giants sit at 1-3 after a set with the Diamondbacks. A’s shuffle bullpen as John Axford goes on the disabled list. For the Giants, Madison Bumgarner looks strong with a good start and two home runs. However, they cannot hold the lead. Johnny Cueto shines, but poor efforts from Jeff Samardzija and Matt Moore. A’s will need consistent ball. Giants need to harvest the skills of their starters.
SHARKS SUFFER PLAYOFFS BLOW: Jumbo Joe Thornton’s contributions to San Jose Sharks success cannot be underestimated. Yet, on Sunday night, he leaves the ice with a severe left leg injury. He collapses in route to the dressing room late in the first. He is out the rest of the game and is listed as day-to-day. Big blow for the men in teal who have been lackluster down the stretch. Their recent inability to win may make it a short playoff run.
NHL TO SKIP SOUTH KOREA: The decision is made. Commissioner Gary Bettman proclaims that the NHL will skip the 2018 Olympic Games. He says it is too disruptive to the NHL season. Here comes the firestorm as the players decry the edict. Many weigh in and it becomes a true lightning rod. Some say a missed opportunity. Owners agree with the new direction.
MORE HELP ON ITS WAY: Warriors forward Kevin Durant is tentatively slated for today against the Pelicans. Golden State staggers after his February 28 injury. Great progress since. Did his absence help Steph Curry? Can he maintain this superhuman form he has exhibited during this stretch? Is the team peaking at the right time? Durant gets a few tune-ups before the playoffs. Two of the final three games are against non-playoff teams. Dubs appear ready to roll.
KINGS WRAP IT UP: Two wins over Dallas and Minnesota. The Kings are fourth in the league in 3-point percentage and 14th in field goal percentage. However, as they strive for a 30-win season, someone needs to figure this out. Too many losing seasons. Poor decisions. A dysfunctional, confused front office. Lackluster leadership and another lost season. How do they right this ship and by when? Ranadive appears lost.
TAR HEELS ARE NATIONAL CHAMPS: It took a game-ending 8-0 run, but it is North Carolina that denies Gonzaga for the NCAA basketball championship. After failure a year ago vs. Villanova, this time they strike gold. Gonzaga is left to feel the pain of second-best in this 71-65 loss in Phoenix. Isaiah Hicks finds redemption for UNC and they get it done. Great contest with shaky officiating.
UCONN STUNNER: A buzzer-beater ends UConn women’s 111-game win streak. It is a 66-64 overtime triumph by Mississippi State. Big win. Notable statistics: 22-13 first quarter deficit is the largest for UConn at the end of one during their streak, 36-21 halftime hole was the largest in the run, 48-48 going into the fourth was the first time in the streak they faced a tie. Last time they faced each other in the playoffs? A Sweet 16 match-up in which the Huskies won by 60. On this night, Mississippi amazingly gets it done.
GAMECOCKS BEST STANFORD: Down 29-20 at halftime, South Carolina rattles off 13 consecutive points to send the Cardinal ladies packing. Brilliant season for Stanford, but on this night, their foe takes advantage of a Karlie Samuelson ankle injury just before halftime. It is the Gamecocks from there.
TIGER MISSES MASTERS: Woods still suffering from back problems. He is a shell of his former self. He has no timetable for his returns, but posts, “I did about everything I could to play, but my back rehabilitation didn’t allow me the time to get tournament ready.” Once the shining star, Tiger tries to just get back into compete-mode.
FINAL THOUGHT: Have we heard enough about Brady’s lost jersey (now found) and the Aaron Hernandez murder trial?
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The Nevada Union Junior Miners Football and Cheer teams traveled to Roseville to take on the Oakmont Junior Vikings in Sacramento Youth Football League action last Saturday.