The Playbook: Everything important in sports


Benny Burke, Writer

The end of March and first week of April have brought about a busy schedule in the sports world. The Ultimate Fighting Championship bouts, the end of March Madness, National Hockey League playoffs, the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup, National Basketball Association (NBA)  playoffs and Major League Baseball (MLB) had a lot of opening days scheduled for April 8th including the Tigers. 

At the end of March Madness, the Kansas Jayhawks faced off against the underdog, the North Carolina Tar Heels. For the odds going into the game, the most popular choice was Kansas winning by a 3.5 point deficit (which means they’d have to win by four points). The final score ended up being 72–69 leaving a lot of people out of money. At the second half, North Carolina was up by 15 points and lost the lead when it mattered. Kansas overcame this record setting deficit in the following third and fourth quarters to pull out the dazzling win.

In other news, the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers continue into the spring and so far 29 of 32 teams have qualified. These teams can be found here. The qualifiers have been set to end in June and the tournament itself will take place in November in Qatar. This is the first time the tournament has been held in the Middle East. Normally, the tournament takes place in May, June or July, but because of the high temperatures in Qatar it will be held in November— another first.

As for the MLB, many teams are starting up their season including the Tigers. Their opening day was April 8 against the Chicago White Sox (last year’s American League Central first place team) which they unexpectedly won in a walk-off win in the ninth inning. The new shortstop Javier Báez hit a walk-off single in the last inning to drive the winning run home. The highlights are right here. The next two games in the series were won by the White Sox putting the Tigers uncomfortably in fourth in the American League Central.

Back to the basketball world— the NBA starts its playoffs on April 16 (they go until June first). The finals will run from June 2 to June 19. Following that will be the annual NBA awards. This is where the Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year (ROTY), Defensive Player of the Year, Most Improved Player of the Year and many more awards are handed out.. The ROTY race as of now is looking like Evan Mobely in first with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Cade Cunningham behind him with the Detroit Pistons and Scottie Barns in third with the Toronto Raptors. Cunningham has a chance to overtake Mobely considering he averaged 22.9 points per game (ppg), 5.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists in March. Mobley averaged 15.4 ppg, 8.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists in March. Cunningham could take home ROTY in June.

Spring doesn’t only bring a change in nature, but an evident change in sports as well. Sports all across the world are changing and transitioning in preparation for spring.