Hello again friends, The Eternal Season is back, on this night that closes the door on one half of the sports year, and begins the next.
That is, the NCAA title game, Louisville v. Michigan, a game that wraps up the major portion of the college sports calendar. Football from the fall into winter, college hoops from winter into spring.
Sure, other winter sports are still going - the NBA, which we don't care about, and the NHL, which we do love.
And tonight, we find that our Caps are two points clear of the Jets for the southeast lead, and with one game in hand as well. Washington won't be catching the Pens or Habs for first or second, but 3rd is fine, and all the Caps have to do it take care of business, and they can't be knocked out of the division lead. They have put together a 4 game winning streak, with points in 6 straight, just as Winnipeg has gone into a tailspin. A rather huge Caps/Habs game in Montreal tomorrow night - a chance to put more distance on the division. But just as the team has surged, Alex The Gr8 has exploded from his early season slumber, to rocket to the top of the NHL in goals scored. A great sign with the postseason looming.
And this shortened season will be the last for the current NHL divisions - next year, the Caps will be playing against all these teams in the wider tri-state area. And it will begin a new golden age for hockey, and NYC based Caps fans will be seeing them in our City several times per year.
Of course, the game that bridges the halves of the sporting calendar together, baseball, is now into the second week. Our Dodgers, at 4-2, are a half game behind the Rockies and DBacks, both at 5-1. If LA could start Clayton 'Koufax Light' Kershaw all season, it could be a foregone conclusion. In two starts, 16 scoreless innings, 6 hits, 1 walk, and 16 strikeouts. And in his first start, the complete game shutout over the Giants, he hit his first career home run. A swing the gave the Dodgers the lead, and ultimately, the winning run. The Boys Of Summer have arrived, and they will take us well into football season, as The Eternal Season rolls on.
Of note this week, the Masters begins Thursday. An annual sign that spring in here, and voila, forecast high of 80 here in Gotham tomorrow. The only real question is will a top ranked Tiger take home another green jacket.
This summer will also feature another sport we will be closely watching, the US Men's National Team, in pursuit of the 2014 World Cup. The next game in this round of qualifying at Jamaica, is not until June 7th. And that will start up a summer of key CONCACAF games to determine who heads to Brazil next summer. USA! USA!
And while this section of the TES plays out, we are always aware of what comes next. And that's 144 days, and counting, until the 2013 Iowa Football season kicks off. And that will lead to the next Iowa Hoops season - which off our NIT title game run, has Hawk fans planning on heading to neutral courts for the post season in March of 2014.
At halftime, the Wolverines lead 38-37, but they had Louisville down 12 with just over 3:00 minutes left. After a year with so much atrocious basketball, between the grabbing, hand checking, and terrible officiating, the last game may be the best. But pulling for the Big Ten team, all the way.
And for tonight, TES signs out, so we can focus full time on the last 20 minutes of the NCAA hoops season. Until next time - enjoy the games!