Overtime

Story by Ashley Hofer and Nick Gourdoux

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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.

As the semester approaches the end, so does Overtime. Nick is still clinging to a lead, though both he and Ashley managed to pick only 20 percent of the picks correctly. The tie gives Nick the one-week lead, so the pressure is on Ashley this week if she wants any chance of winning the Overtime semester championship. It won’t be easy, however. With two national games thrown into the mix, anything could happen.

First Quarter – Where will the men’s outdoor track and field team finish in the WIAC tournament? (A) First through third (B) Fourth through sixth (C) Seventh through ninth

Ashley: Get this: UW-La Crosse has won the last 19 WIAC outdoor championships. 19. That’s incredible. Two other UW schools – Oshkosh and Platteville – are ranked in the top 25 by the April 28 USTFCCCA NCAA Division III rankings (it’s a mouthful, I know). It’s safe to say the Blugolds are going to face stiff competition. Eau Claire finished sixth last year, but I expect them to do better after the decent results they’ve had this spring. However, with such tough opponents, I don’t see them stealing the show. My pick: (B) Fourth through sixth.

Nick: As much as I hate to do it, I have to agree with Ashley. UW-La Crosse is basically guaranteed the win, and the other competitors are pretty good themselves. A top-three finish, in my opinion, isn’t very likely. My pick: (B) Fourth through sixth.

Second Quarter – Will UW-Eau Claire win the WIAC tournament? (A) Yes (B) No

Ashley: While Eau Claire is second in the WIAC standings, much of the team’s success came at home. While the NCAA tournament will be held in Eau Claire, the WIAC tournament is in Oshkosh. Plus, the Blugolds play Oshkosh in the first game. Facing the only home team right off the bat could put the Blugolds in a tough spot – not to mention having to (probably) face the undefeated Eagles. My pick: (B) No.

Nick: Eau Claire has a 19-19 overall record on the season, but it also boasts an impressive 11-5 record in WIAC play. That is good enough for second in the conference and should make them a serious contender. Still, it’s hard to pick the Blugolds when they will probably be facing UW-La Crosse, which is 16-0 in WIAC play and 32-6 overall. My pick: (B) No.

Third Quarter – Where will the women’s outdoor track and field team place in the WIAC tournament? (A) First through third (B) Fourth through sixth (C) Seventh through ninth

Ashley: As in the men’s competition, UW-La Crosse has won the last few WIAC outdoor championships – but only three, this time. In the women’s version of that same top 25 poll (I won’t even try writing that abbreviation again), the Blugolds actually were ranked at No. 18, showing they have a solid team. But UW-Oshkosh was rated third and UW-Whitewater 16th, so nailing one of the top spots won’t be easy. I think Eau Claire will finish near its mark at the last WIAC championship: third. My pick: (A) First through third.

Nick: I was torn between a third and fourth place finish for the lady Blugolds after doing research. It may be worth noting that in four competitions this season, the Blugolds have finished third three times and fourth once. I have no idea what that suggests, so I’m just going to randomly pick the second option. My pick: (B) Fourth through sixth.

Fourth Quarter – How will the Brewers fare in the series against the Diamondbacks? (A) Win all three games (B) Win two games (C) Win one or no games

Ashley: After the last few series of games, I don’t know what to think. From setting record after record against the Pirates to falling to being shut out multiple times against the Padres, this has been a bewildering season. Though both teams are under .500 – the Brew Crew is now 12-15, while the Diamondbacks are at 13-15 – the Brewers just scored 22 runs in the last two games. Last night, they posted an impressive 11-3 win over the Dodgers. I’m banking that the Brew Crew’s offense will keep it rolling into the next series. My pick: (B) Win two games.

Nick: The Brewers are so up and down this season that it’s impossible to try to pick what they’ll do. At times their offense has been one of the best I have ever seen, but then a day later it could be practically nonexistent. The pitching has been pretty shaky, too. The Diamondbacks have scored a lot of runs themselves but have also allowed more – 156 to be exact, which is 12 more runs than the Brewers. My pick (B) Win two games.

Overtime – Who will win this Round Two NHL matchup on Friday? (A) Chicago Blackhawks (B) Vancouver Canucks

Ashley: Though the Canucks got off to a quick 5-1 start in game one, the Blackhawks quickly regrouped and came back for the 4-2, 5-2 wins in the second and third games, respectively. Even though Vancouver is only down one game, I think the momentum is on the side of Chicago. I think the Canucks will win another game – maybe even two – during the series, just not on Friday. My pick: (A) Chicago Blackhawks.

Nick: I know next to nothing about the NHL. So, after a little bit of research, I was surprised to find out that it was a professional hockey league. Who knew? I jest, but I really don’t know what stats to look at to try to find a winner. Chicago finished one seed above Vancouver, so they’re the favorites. For that reason alone, I’m going to have to pick them to win. My pick: (A) Chicago Blackhawks.

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