The Collegian sports staff gives their brilliant, ridiculous and sometimes conspicuous predictions for upcoming sports news around the world.
1. Warriors lose, sign Kawhi Leonard: I know this one may be a hot take, but the numbers are all there. Golden State is running out of souls to trade for NBA success, and the devil is getting tired of rigging the league for them. James Harden will swoop in and score about 40 points per game in free throws, mostly by drawing fouls from an increasingly frustrated Draymond Green, who will be ejected in games 1, 4 and 7. Steph Curry will forget how to do anything but shoot and wave to the crowd, and KD will be so busy bullying fifth graders that he will forget to show up to at least three of the games. DeMarcus Cousins will show up in the Western All Stars uniform because that team and GSW have the same roster. Klay will not be enough to save the Warriors from their inevitable fate.
Here’s how it will all go down:The Warriors will win the first game from sheer power, then use that momentum to take game two. Houston will rally and take the Warriors down in the third. Golden State will be so flustered by losing the sweep that they will lose game 4 as well. Houston will get tired and give game five to The Town. That’s when it will fall apart for Bay Area villains. Golden State will be so jazzed about winning a championship (they really do act like they weren’t supposed to win every year) that they will be too cocky, making fundamental mistakes as the Rockets muscle away a close sixth game. Then, in game seven, Houston triumphs over Golden State with a buzzer beater.
2. Regular season play for the National Hockey League is over, and prediction markets try to decide the eventual Stanley Cup winner as usual. Using the powers of charging dice to get those high rolls, I predict the eventual winners and losers of the Stanley Cup simply by rolling Dungeon and Dragons multi-sided dice that correspond to the different seeds that teams have.
For the first few rounds of the bracket, the seeds are king, with the closest matches coming between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Columbus Blue Jackets (Tampa Bay in seven) in round one, and the Washington Capitals beating the New York Islanders in game seven in round two. Once seeds stop playing a factor, the games got closer. With both teams getting a d20 to roll, it comes down to straight chance, and an unexpected victor will appear.
In the third round, Tampa Bay will edge out the Washington Capitals in game six to head to the Stanley Cup. The Nashville Predators will meet them there after stomping the Calgary Flames in a sweep. Finally, the Stanley Cup. The dice tell the whole story. Nashville wins the first game (14 to 1), the second game (18 to 4). After that Tampa Bay will have the home field advantage but will still lose the third game (17 to 10) and get murdered the fourth game (17 to 1). This led Nashville to be the unexpected winners of the NHL’s Stanley Cup.
3. FIFA investigators will confirm the rumors that Russian President Vladimir Putin was indeed doping the 2018 World Cup Trophy. One year after Russia hosted one of the most exciting World Cup tournaments in history, the Russian patriarch will be slammed with yet another doping scandal. The evidence points to this conclusion due to the trophy’s (who has been asked to be referred to as Orlov) recent win in the “World’s Strongest Man” competition. Investigators have already left Paris and begun testing Orlov’s urine sample. The report will likely take until the summer to be released due to the difficult question of how much of President Trump’s “pee tape” Putin is willing to release as restitution for this heinous violation of international sportsmanship.
4. Despite a bad draw, the U.S. shows signs of improvement in the international soccer scene. This summer, the CONCACAF Gold Cup will be held in the United States, Costa Rica and Jamaica. The tournament features teams from North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Unlike Mexico, whose group looks like a cake walk, the U.S. has to face off against Panama, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana. Still, the younger and restructured team should be able to turn what is a minor tournament into a breakout stage. This will be the first major chance for players like Timothy Weah and Josh Sargent to share the field with already established wunderkind Christian Pulisic. If new manager Gregg Berhalter commits to a younger and more international squad, then the U.S. could use the Gold Cup as the beginning of a successful qualification campaign.