“Weekly Nickel”

Washington National's 18 year old phenom Bryce Harper (pictured above) suffered a sprained ankle today in a scrimmage. Major League baseball opens up in just 9 days.

Now I will admit it is hard for me to say, but there is really not a whole lot going on in the sporting world this week outside of March Madness.  Let me rephrase that actually.  There is plenty going on, but nothing even compares to the Madness that has struck.  What a first weekend for the tournament.  I cannot wait until the Sweet 16 picks up on Thursday.  But I digress.  Here is a look at this week’s top sporting events.


5.  The MLB countdown continues.  We are just a little over 9 days away from the opening pitch.  And I for one cannot wait.  Sadly teams are already getting the injury bug such as the Cincinnati Reds.  The loss of Cueto will shake up the rotation a bit to start the season.  Luckily for Cincinnati, they have a plethora of young arms that are ready to go.  In addition, the National’s phenom Bryce Harper has suffered his first professional injury in spraining his ankle.  Lets just hope we can make it to opening day with all of the teams as near full strength as possible.  Just a week and a half away.

4.  The NHL is coming down the home stretch.  There are about 10 or so games left in the regular season.  So though most of America is focused on the Madness, the NHL is going through some madness of its own.  The West still has 10 teams that are legitimate contenders for the 8 playoff spots.  But tonight I am going to touch on a primetime matchup that pits one of the East’s best versus one of the best of the West.

Pittsburgh Penguins at Detroit Red Wings:  Both of these contenders have dealt with their fair share of injuries but are sitting fairly pretty as we enter the home stretch.  The Wings sport an explosive scoring attack while the Penguins have a very tough defensive unit.  Great defense always beats great offense right?  Not when you are on the road.  I like Detroit to handle business on their home ice tonight as they look to provide some separation between them and the San Jose Sharks for the 2nd spot in the West.

3.  College Football players are getting arrested left and right.  Alright, this is not a good thing, but sadly it is true.  The headlines today have been all about off field mishaps of guys such as Michael Floyd, Janoris Jenkins, Mark Barron, and more.  But the NFL draft continues to creep closer.  It is just over a month away, and even though we are unsure if there will be games next season, we know that a Draft will occur.  Who does not love to watch Mel Kiper and Todd McShay go at it each and every day on ESPN as they argue their draft projections?  I know I for one enjoy it.  So get ready for analysis and minutia to start to really kick off soon.  Especially with there seemingly being a halt for a least a couple of more weeks in NFL negotiations at this point.

2.  Contrary to popular belief, there is basketball outside of the College Arena taking place this week.  The NBA players love the madness just as much as the next guy, considering the majority of them participated in it at one time or another.  But the NBA guys are embarking on the stretch run, with just over 10 games remaining before the playoffs.

For my matchup of the week, I will make sure to choose a game that does not take place during the Madness.  This week’s marquee game occurs on Tuesday in Hotlanta.

Chicago Bulls at Atlanta Hawks:  Currently the Bulls are tied atop the East with Boston, while the Hawks have faded as of late and find themselves holding down the 5 spot.  At this point in the year, every game holds great significance towards making the playoffs, or playoff positioning for the majority of the teams in the League.  For these teams, the significance lies in playoff positioning.  The Bulls have not been a great road team this year, posting a decent mark of 19 and 15 on the season.  They have to learn how to win on the road against quality opponents, unless of course they lock down that 1 seed.  Well in order to secure the 1 seed, they must win games like tonight on the road against quality opponents.  Atlanta on the other hand has not been a great home squad this year, going just 21 and 14.  Well beating the top team in the East would be a major statement for the young and talented Hawks.  Will Joe Johnson put on an NBA Jam On Fire performance this evening?  Either way, the Bulls will win.  Chicago is one of the top 3 teams in all of basketball right now and play arguably the best team ball.  Too many weapons on this squad as they will teach the Hawks how to fly.

1.  The Sweet 16 and Elite Eight are this weekend.  If these games are even half as exciting as this past weekend’s, it will be a wild slate of games.  This tournament has been awesome thus far.  And I only see it getting better.  Granted, most Cinderella stories end in the 2nd weekend every year.  Lets hope it doesn’t strike midnight yet though.  Most people want the ball to last all the way into Houston for Cinderella, unless of course it hurts their favorite teams. 

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.


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