Happy New Year! 2017 is finally here. Last year brought us some great moments in sports, but no matter what you thought of 2016, it’s in the past and it’s time to move on. This year will be bigger and better in the world of sports and I’m here to tell you why. I will try and hit every sport I can think of, so with that being said, here are my bold predictions for 2017:
College Basketball: A 16-Seed Will Beat a 1-Seed
Leading off my predictions is something that’s never been done before: a 16-seed defeating a 1-seed in the NCAA Tournament. For the longest time, the 1 vs 16 games were blowouts, but that’s a thing of the past. We’ve seen in the past few years that teams like Florida Gulf Coast and Coastal Carolina have the ability to start games hot, but struggle to hold on. This year could be different, with how open the current season has been. Powerhouses like Duke, UNC, and Kentucky have struggled to stay consistent, leaving the 1-seed selection a toss-up. There’s still a ways to go till March, but this is the year that David beats Goliath.
College Football: Alabama Will Lose…Eventually
How good have Alabama been this season? They haven’t lost a game since September of 2015, no one in the SEC is even close to competing with them, and no matter who they lose, Nick Saban finds a way to stay on top. With Clemson the only team left standing in their way on their quest for a second-consecutive national championship, a loss may not happen this season. However, the rest of the SEC will strive to knock Bama off next season, and with away games against Texas A&M and in the Iron Bowl, I see a loss coming.
NBA: A New MVP Will Be Crowned
This one may not be the boldest prediction, but it’ll happen nonetheless. The individual performances that James Harden and Russell Westbrook have produced so far this season have blown the rest of the league out of the water. Currently, Westbrook has 15, again, 15 triple-doubles, while Harden has nine. The next closest player has three and that’s Lebron James. With Lebron, Steph Curry, and Kevin Durant all having to share the ball this season with their team’s other stars, the scoring leader Westbrook and the assist leader Harden should have one hand on the MVP trophy already.
MLB: Baseball Will Be Fun Again!
Crazy, right?! I will be the first one to tell you that I started to lose interest in baseball a few years ago right after all the steroid cases. The same few teams making playoff runs every year got boring and everything before the All-Star break seemed pointless, but those days are long gone. With basement dwellers of the past now contending and fresh, young superstars like Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and Tim Tebow (jk…maybe), baseball is looking up. C’mon, the Indians and the Cubs were in the World Series last year; dreams do come true.
Soccer: Neither Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, or Barcelona Will Win the Champions League
These European powerhouses are usually safe bets for reaching the Champions League Final every year, but this year will be different. All three had their fair share of struggles in the group stage, with Barcelona being the only team to win their group. Don’t get me wrong, these teams are great, but with teams that had strong group stage displays, like Atletico Madrid, Arsenal, PSG (who have already strengthened their squad in the January Transfer Window, adding Julian Draxler), Juventus, Borussia Dortmund, and even Leicester City, I smell upsets.
NHL: The Columbus Blue Jackets Win the Stanley Cup
I know, I’m not a hockey expert and this is a bandwagon pick for this season, but how can you not root for the Blue Jackets? As we speak, they are on a 16 game winning streak, one win away from tying the NHL record. Yes, some good teams stand in their way of reaching the final, for example, the New York Rangers and the reigning champs, the Pittsburgh Penguins, but they’ve shown that this streak isn’t a fluke (they beat the Pens 7-1 back in December). The Blue Jackets literally started from the bottom, now they’re here. (I apologize for the over-used Drake reference, but I couldn’t help myself)
NFL: The Patriots Will Cheat Again
It’s bound to happen, right? Water is wet, grass is green, and the Patriots are cheaters. They are consistently good, but whether it’s Spygate, jamming opposing teams’ radios, or deflating balls, Bill Belichick’s team is always testing the limits, and they receive a lot of hate for it. This season, they may not have cheated (yet), but they’ve seen plenty of backlash from signing DUI charged, BAC level of 0.217 (that’s borderline superhero) wide receiver Michael Floyd. The Patriots look to be Super Bowl LI favorites, but how they’ll make it there will likely involve some “extracurriculars.”
NASCAR: Dale Earnhardt Jr Wins His First Title
What?!?! The Break Room knows something about NASCAR?! You bet your lug nuts we do! (At least I do) So boogity, boogity, boogity, lets go racing! My prediction for the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (what a mouthful) season is that Dale Jr wins the title. The most popular driver since 2003, Junior is coming off a shortened season due to a concussion, so he’s due for a successful rebound as the true #2 at Hendrick Motorsports. NASCAR is the WWE of motorsports, so the script will finally please all the Dale Jr and Dale Sr (never forget…#3) fans.
There you have it, my Bold Predictions for 2017. Do you think they will come true? Do you have any bold predictions of your own? Let me know by commenting below or tweeting at us: @BreakRoomShow.
Until next time, Qapla’!, and remember:
“With great power comes great responsibility.” – Uncle Ben