SIDELINES: this week in sports


Another week of sports is in the books — and we inch closer to regular seasons ending and playoffs starting.

March Madness

The madness is upon us as the bracket has been revealed for the 2018 NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Let’s start with the play-in games which will be played at UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio.

St. Bonaventure will likely have most of the crowd cheering for them as they play in the same conference as Dayton (A-10). UCLA will put up a tough fight, but I have St. Bonaventure meeting Florida in the first round.

My picks for the other play-in games: Radford over LIU-Brooklyn, Texas Southern over NC Central, and in the Syracuse vs. Arizona State game, I have to go with Syracuse. ASU has impressive wins over Xavier and Kansas this season, but they’ve only won one game in their past six games. I take the Orange in a close one.

My first number one seed to exit the big dance? I have to go with Virginia — and I may heavily regret choosing them to be out first of the other three number ones. But, Virginia has the toughest test ahead of them to get to the final four. They should be able to get passed UMBC, but their round 2 matchup will be tough. I see them squaring off with Sean Miller and Arizona in the Sweet 16, and I take Arizona in that game.

First round upsets — I don’t go too crazy with these — cause there will be that one team who shocks everyone and who no one saw coming. I’ve got San Diego State over Houston, Davidson over Kentucky and Loyola Chicago over Miami.

What is goalie interference?

Here’s the problem with what’s going on — the NHL’s inability to respond to the inconsistency with goalie interference calls has given a clear answer: it’s going to take some goalie getting seriously injured for them to step back and really take a look at what they call as goalie interference. Every team is within about 15 games of completing their regular season schedule. The playoffs are fast approaching, and yet, no one knows what qualifies as goalie interference. No one knows when a goal is going to count or be called back.

Why does the league wait on these issues? How can the league let these bizarre calls and non-calls go on night after night and not address the problem with their officials. Coaches want answers, players want to know what they can or cannot do, and goalies want to be protected from goals going in on them that are out of their control.

Brock Sports

A sold out crowd at the Seymour-Hannah Centre on Saturday night at the Queen’s Cup proved one thing to me: Brock has got to get a rink on campus. There’s no reason that every Brock home hockey game shouldn’t be packed. There are a ton of NCAA college hockey rinks that are right on campus, and there are some that seat too many. Value City Arena at the Jerome Schottenstein Center in Columbus (home to Ohio State men’s hockey) seats over 15,000 people. Sure, they’ve had lots of games where the arena was packed, but trying to fill an arena of that capacity for every home game? It’s tough and it’s unrealistic.

My point is, building a new arena, while it will cost the school money, the return will be huge. Building an arena that seats 2000-2500 (if you only have one sheet of ice) is a great size for a collegiate hockey team. Brock has been able to pack the Meridian Centre for basketball and hockey games this season (the capacity at the Meridian is 5300 for hockey and 4030 for basketball). Having a rink on campus improves the lives of the student athletes who no longer have to carpool or bus to and from the Seymour-Hannah Centre. Having a rink on campus makes it easier for students, faculty, and community members to come to games.

Put it this way — there were plenty of people turned away at the door on Saturday night. Yes, it was a big game, but the way Brock Sports is heading, there are going to be a lot of teams who are consistently good from year to year. Brock will be back in big games — whether it’s hosting an OUA semi-final basketball game, or home games for men’s and women’s hockey playoffs. Brock has proven that there are good teams here, it’s time to put them in good facilities, too.

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