Overtime

Story by Ashley Hofer and Nick Gourdoux

Overtime is a weekly prediction column where sports editor Ashley Hofer and staff writer Nick Gourdoux make their picks concerning upcoming sporting events. Questions about Blugold outcomes comprise the first four quarters, while the overtime question poses a national scenario. The staffer with the most correct picks wins the all-important bragging rights for the week.

For the third time this semester it was Ashley who came away with the win as she edged out Nick 4-3. After both columnists failed to pick the outcome of the track and field question, it was Ashley’s correct pick about the gymnastics meet that crowned her victorious. This week, Ashley and Nick face a challenge with a unique Overtime: the four quarters feature national-stage questions while the overtime pick concerns a Blugold outcome instead.

First Quarter – Who will be the victor in Friday’s game five of the Big Ten tournament? (A) Wisconsin (B) Illinois

Ashley: This game will be the second meeting in a week between the Badgers and the Fighting Illini. Just last Sunday, Wisconsin beat up on Illinois 72-57. Though the teams’ game in early February ended in a seven-point Illinois victory, I think this game will be closer to last weekend’s outcome. Besides, the Badgers have won four straight, while the Fighting Illini dropped their last three. My pick: (A) Wisconsin.

Nick: The Badgers are one of the better teams in the nation – no matter how slow and boring their offense is. I think the first loss to Illinois was more of a fluke, and this weekend’s game will more closely resemble last Sunday’s game. My pick: (A) Wisconsin.

Second Quarter – Who will win Sunday’s NHL matchup of Washington and Chicago? (A) Washington Capitals (B) Chicago Blackhawks

Ashley: This is the only regular-season meeting of these two top teams, and I expect a great game. The teams are well-matched with similar records, with the Capitals leading slightly with 97 points compared to 91. The teams are also ranked No. 1 and 2 in goals per game, Washington again edging ahead of Chicago with 3.88 compared to 3.22. But in the end, I think having the NHL’s top-scorer will help lead the Capitals to victory. My pick: (A) Washington Capitals.

Nick: Why did I decide to do a prediction column during the spring? Spring sports, especially at this time of the spring? All my favorite sports take place during the summer and fall. Yes, I enjoy basketball, but that’s basically it. Hockey? NASCAR? Curling? Give me something I like. At least it’s only a matter of weeks before baseball season starts. Washington seems like the better team, so I’m going to pick them. My pick: (A) Washington Capitals.

Third Quarter – Who will win Friday’s basketball game? (A) Milwaukee Bucks (B) Utah Jazz

Ashley: Though my gut says to go with the Bucks, I can’t allow myself to agree with Nick that many times. If you need some statistical reasoning, the Jazz have the better record (41-22 compared to the Bucks’ 34-29) and have won seven of their last 10. Yes, the Bucks have had a great stretch of games recently, but I’ll still go with the Jazz. My pick: (B) Utah Jazz.

Nick: The Bucks are on quite a roll now. They’ve won 10 of their last 11 games, including back-to-back victories over the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics, while the only loss was an overtime loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Utah, on the other hand, is currently holding the fourth seed in the highly competitive Western Conference with a 41-22 record. This game will go a long ways towards proving whether or not the Bucks should be included among the better teams in the Eastern Conference. I think, mainly because the game is being held in Milwaukee, that the Bucks can come away victorious. My pick: (A) Milwaukee Bucks.

Fourth Quarter – Who will win Sunday’s match between the Timberwolves and the Kings? (A) Minnesota Timberwolves (B) Sacramento Kings

Ashley: Spoiler alert: don’t believe Nick when he said he doesn’t want to do another NBA question. Obviously my knack for making wrong picks on NBA results has nothing to do with it. Just kidding, Nick, but I’ll admit I have a tendency to pick the losing team for basketball questions this semester. Maybe I can apply that logic to this game, where both teams have less-than-spectacular records. The Timberwolves are only 5-27 on the road, and since the game is in Sacramento, I don’t see the game going well for Minnesota. My pick: (B) Sacramento Kings.

Nick: I decided to be fair and include this question for our readers in Minnesota – and Sacramento. I didn’t really want to do another NBA question, but there really isn’t much else going on. Neither of these teams are in the playoff hunt, but with 21 victories, the Kings are seven games ahead of the last-place Timberwolves. Minnesota does have some talented players, but I don’t think they’ll fare well against Sacramento. My pick: (B) Sacramento Kings.

Overtime – How will Blugold softball fare against East Texas Baptist University in the NFCA Leadoff Classic? (A) Win (B) Lose

Ashley: It’s tough predicting results for teams that haven’t played a game yet this season. We know the lady Blugolds will be tough – they had a 28-16 record last year and are ranked No. 19 in a March 3 poll – but East Texas is already showing its strength this season. Last year, the Tigers were 39-9 overall and 22-3 in their conference. They are currently 6-0 this year and are ranked No. 2 in the same March 3 poll. I hope for the best for Eau Claire, but I’m going to go with the team already winning this season. My pick: (B) Lose.

Nick: As much as I’d love to disagree with Ashley on this one, I can’t. The Blugolds haven’t played a game yet this season, while East Texas has been dominating already this year. My pick: (B) Lose.