Going streaking: Dec. 3, 2009

Story by Frank F. Pellegrino and Nick Gourdoux

Going Streaking is a weekly prediction column in which Nick Gourdoux and Frank F. Pellegrino, the sports editors of The Spectator, compete head-to-head in an attempt to see who can accurately predict more sporting events.

Men’s hockey – How many total goals will be scored on Friday in the game against UW-Stout? (A) Less than five (B) five or more

Frank: This is a heated conference battle because of proximity, and it continues to grow each year for different reasons. I’m not positive I know who’s going to pull this one out, but I know that things will be physical.

Eau Claire’s offense averages just 1.8 goals a game and its defense gives up just 2.3 per game. However, I think both of those totals will be exceeded because Stout is averaging exactly 3.5 for each of those stats. Because of that, I see this being an offensive shoot-out with a 5-3 type score. My prediction: (B) five or more.

Nick: Yes, the Blue Devils are averaging 3.5 goals per year, but on the road they are only averaging 2.25. The Blugolds are averaging 2.2 goals per game in home games. That, coupled with the fact that Stout appears to have a porous defense, leads me to believe that the teams will combine to score more than four goals. My prediction: (B) five or more.

Men’s basketball – Who will win this match up? (A) UW-Eau Claire (B) UW-La Crosse

Frank: This is going to be a great early season WIAC matchup with the Blugolds coming in at 4-1 and La Crosse entering the match at 5-1. Eau Claire is off to its best start in over five years and looks to be a vastly improved team, contrary to what some conference ‘experts’ originally thought.

The Blugolds are also statistically the better team, but they have faced weaker competition. The one mutual opponent both teams saw was Winona State (Minn.), a Div. II powerhouse; however, it was an exhibition game in both cases. The Blugolds dropped this matchup, but La Crosse came away with an impressive narrow victory. My prediction: (B) UW-La Crosse.

Nick: The two teams are, as Frank mentioned, similar. Both are off to awesome starts, and, with the small sample sizes available for both teams, it’s hard to pick a winner. This game is going to be played in Eau Claire, which gives the Blugolds a slight advantage, so I’ll predict a narrow victory for them. Besides, agreeing with Frank won’t help me catch up in the standings. My prediction: (A) UW-Eau Claire.

Swimming and diving – Who will finish higher at the Falcon Invite this weekend? (A) Men’s team (B) Women’s team

Frank: I have to admit I don’t know much about swimming and diving other than that I dated a diver in high school, and those pool areas were always so damn humid during meets. But we hadn’t had any predictions about our only underwater team, and I thought it was about time. Each time this season when both teams only had one meet, they both won. And the one time both teams had two meets in the same day, they both lost. To me, both teams are incredibly even, but I’m going with the women because they are narrowly averaging more points per match than the men. My prediction: (B) women’s team.

Nick: I too don’t know much about swimming and diving, but I probably still know more than Frank. Unlike Frank, I haven’t dated a diver, so I don’t know what the atmospheric conditions are like inside the pool area; however, I do know that the women’s team, on average, wins by a wider margin than the men do. Because of that, I’m forced to agree with Frank that the women’s team will finish higher. My prediction: (B) women’s team.

Women’s hockey – In its two games against Concordia College this weekend how many wins will the team pick up? (A) none (B) one (C) two

Frank: The last few weeks we’ve had a question with more than two options, so I decided to stick with it for another week. With that said, I think this is going to be a very even matchup all weekend. The Blugolds enter the series with a 3-3-1 record, while Concordia comes in at 3-3. The teams share no common opponents so it’s hard to gage who the superior team truly is. Because of the uniquely even records for each team, I’m going to go ahead and predict a split. My prediction: (B) one.

Nick: The Blugolds have yet to string together consecutive wins this season. It does appear, however, that they are a strong road team – they are 2-1 on the road, as opposed to 1-2-1 at home. Eau Claire also boasts an impressive 5-2-1 all-time record against Concordia College. I’m going to, once again, pick Eau Claire to come away the victor. My prediction: (C) two.

National – Who will win this Sunday matchup? (A) New Jersey Nets (B) New York Knicks

Frank: These are two of the worst teams in the NBA, and sadly enough for people from the New York/New Jersey part of the country, they both reside in your area. Picking the winner of this matchup is really trying to predict who sucks less. The Nets have tied the worst start in NBA history at 0-17 and were recently ranked the worst team in NBA history. That’s a long time. Comically, these 09-10 Knicks also showed up on the list, but only as the 12th worst team of all time. If the Nets are ever going to win a game, this would be one of their best chances, but I still don’t see it happening. The Knicks come away with the victory and push the Nets further into the depths as worst team in history. My prediction: (B) New York Knicks.

Nick: The Nets are clearly rebuilding. It was only a year or two ago that they had their big three – Jason Kidd, Richard Jefferson and Vince Carter. Now, Devin Harris appears to be the only note-worthy player. The Knicks, on the other hand, have been bad almost all decade.Through bad management and coaching, they amassed bad contract after bad contract and essentially forced themselves to clean house. Now, their biggest concern will be whether or not LeBron James will sign as a free agent next year. Both of these teams are terrible, but both are building for the future. I like the youth of the Nets, and I am going to go out on a limb and predict the Nets’ first victory of the season. My prediction: (A) New Jersey Nets.