March Madness

By: Charles Fragrassi

If you follow college basketball, then you surely are aware of March Madness. March Madness is a 64 team tournament, with the 64 best college basketball teams. The teams are ranked one through 16 based on their record, strength of schedule, and overall talent.

This year, the teams are in a “bubble” which is a bunch of hotels where the players are quarantined and not allowed to leave to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

A common part of March Madness is filling out a bracket; anyone can fill out a bracket on who you think is going to win the tournament.

If someone were to fill out a bracket and have it be perfect, they would win the Warren Buffet One Million Dollar Challenge. Warren Buffet says he would award anyone one million dollars a year for life if they were to fill out a perfect bracket. Filling out a perfect bracket is nearly impossible, in fact the odds are 1-10 billion.

March Madness is also a huge event for gamblers as the AGA (American Gambling Association) estimates 10.4 billion dollars will be gambled, while only 3% of that money will be gambled legally.

In my opinion, March Madness is one of the exciting, fun times of the year. I love filling out brackets and watching games with my friends. March Madness is expected to have record breaking numbers in viewers this year due to the fact that they couldn’t even have the tournament last year due to COVID.

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The Timberwolves’ coach change

By: Alexandra Rimbu

The MN Timberwolves lost to the New York Knicks on Sunday, Feb 21, reaching a league-worst of 7-24 this season. This loss was ultimately what caused management to fire head coach Ryan Saunders, whose replacement, Chris Finch, was named shortly after on Monday.

Saunders’s association with the Timberwolves first began in 2019 when he took an assistant job and was later named interim coach after the firing of Tom Thibodeau. Next season, he took on the job permanently, and at age 33, he became the youngest head coach in the league.

The Timberwolves went 43-94 under Saunders, in a little less than two full seasons. They finished with the third-worst record in the league last season and had the worst record so far before his firing.

CBS Sports claimed that Saunders was stuck in “an impossible situation” on some level. They went on to state there was almost “total roster upheaval during his tenure” and that more games were “lost to injury” than you could have counted. And, of course, the absence of star player Karl-Anthony Towns from a majority of the games did not help the situation.

However, with results like that, the coaching change came as no surprise. Finch was a frontrunner for numerous jobs this offseason, and Rosas, the Timberwolves president, said “Chris brings a wealth of basketball experience from his time in the NBA, G League and Internationally. He is one of the most creative basketball minds in the NBA, has success maximizing players, and I am excited to see him bring our team to the next level and beyond.”

The future looks promising for the Timberwolves, and we’ll have to see if Finch lives up to everybody’s expectations.

Editor’s Note: Since this writing, the Timberwolves have yet to get their 1st win under coach Finch.

Who’s ready for the 20-21 NBA season⁉

By: Khadar Greer

Here are some players to keep an eye on in this upcoming NBA season:

Rookies: The NBA has upcoming rookies like: LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman, and Cole Anthony. They are all very gifted young talents that have worked very hard to get to where they are now. I cannot wait to see what they do playing against the best of the best in the NBA.

Sophomore season: We have some rookies from last year that are looking very, very good, like: Ja Morant, Zion Williamson, Tyler Herro, and Coby White. These are all great young talents that are looking really good down the road in the future. Can’t wait to see what they have in store in the 2021 season.

Returning Players: The NBA also has players coming from very career threatening injuries like: Kevin Durant coming back from a torn Achilles, John Wall coming back from tearing his ACL, DeMarcus Cousins coming back from a torn ACL, and more. They’ve all been playing so far so good in the preseason, looking very good. Can’t wait to see what they’ll actually do in the regular season.

Veterans: And we also have some veterans who could really be passing down knowledge to the upcoming generation before they retire. We have veterans like: Chris Paul, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Marc Gasol.

Be sure to watch the best of the best battle to win a NBA championship ‼️

By Khadar Greer

The playoffs have been amazing so far with a lot of shocking upsets and endings that you never would’ve seen coming. Especially to East; the East was full of surprises.

I mean, look at how the Miami Heat eliminated the number one seed in the Eastern Conference, the Milwaukee Bucks, in the semifinals with the reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo on that team.

Also, the Heat eliminated their rivalry team, the Indiana Pacers, in the first round with key players like Jimmy Butler, averaging 19.9 points per game in the playoffs, and and Bam Adebayo averaging 17.8 points per game.

They also have rookie Tyler Herro averaging 13.5 points per game in the playoffs and it’s only his rookie year⁉️ And, they have great role players coming off the bench.

At the time of this writing, the Eastern Conference Finals had the Heat with a 3-1 lead against the Boston Celtics (who had also been on an amazing path eliminating last year’s NBA champions, the Toronto Raptors, and what a fantastic battle they had).

The Celtics and Toronto Raptors went to game 7, with only one team coming out on top. The Celtics also eliminated their rivals the Philadelphia 76ers, which was a squashed series because the Celtics dominated that series 4-0.

The Celtics have some incredible talent too with 2 All Stars on this team: Jason Tatum, averaging 25.2 points per game, and Kemba Walker, averaging 19.9 points per games.

A lot of people thought that the Milwaukee Bucks we’re going to be winning this whole thing, or at least make it to the finals, but now since that’s out the picture, this series should be interesting.

Will the Miami Heat beat the Boston Celtics 4-1 or will the Boston Celtics come back from a 3-1 lead to overcome the Miami Heat? Who Ya Got? 

*Note: We obviously know how that one played out now.

Now, let’s talk about the Western Conference with the Denver Nuggets shocking the world with defeating the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Nuggets came back from the Clippers having a 3-1 lead, and also came back from a 3-1 lead by the Utah Jazz. This left them as the only team to come back from a 1-3 deficit twice to win both series.

This is why NBA fans feel that the Nuggets are very underrated. It is a very crazy day to be the number 2 team in the Western Conference.

But now they have an even tougher challenge.

Right now (at the time of this writing) let’s see if they can come back from another 1-3  deficit. Though now, they’re playing the number one team in the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Lakers, and that team has LeBron James (the debatable greatest of all time everyone says that he’s a goat but it’s hard because he’s very debatable) and they also have five All Stars that have played the Lakers.

I mean, they even say LeBron is better than Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, so this series has to be tough, and and I’m pretty sure everyone’s going with the Los Angeles Lakers, but with the Nuggets being the underdogs, we can’t sleep on the Denver Nuggets. Especially with the intensity and energy they’ve been playing with so far in the playoffs. Can the Nuggets dethrone the Lakers, or will the Lakers beat them? For only one can advance to the finals: who you got?

*Note: The finals are now set, and it will be Heat vs. Lakers.

Gender pay gap between the NBA and the WNBA.

Image taken from: ttps://www.slamonline.com/wnba/wnbpa-opt-out-cba-after-2019-season/

It’s no secret that the NBA has a larger fan base than the WNBA, but why? People have shown that they don’t really care about the WNBA, and they have been given many opportunities show that they care. According to Sports Illustrated, “In 2007, the WNBA and ESPN reached an eight-year television agreement, thus assuring high-impact exposure.” Even with that exposure, the WNBA is still less popular. Another reason why this is is that they play in the summer and play about half as many games as the NBA teams will play in a season.

Another argument against the WNBA is that it is simply not as fun or interesting as the NBA; you are more likely to see somebody dunk or fly over an opponent in the NBA. Most of that is just genetics and the fact that most women physically are unable to dunk. 

The WNBA started on April 24, 1996 when the NBA board of governors approved the idea of the WNBA to start playing in June of 1997. This year they are celebrating their 23rd season.

They have 12 teams, with either 11 or 12 players on each team, meaning that they have a total of 144 roster spots available. The NBA has 15 players per team with 34 teams, this leaves them with 510 open roster spots. The WNBA has less spots so they are a more exclusive organization, but they still have a smaller fan base. 

The largest difference between the NBA and the WNBA is the pay gap. The average salary for an NBA player is $7.7 million, according to CNBC. The rookie salary for the #1 draft pick, Deandre Ayton, is set at $6.7 million dollars, the #2 draft pick will start at $6 million. Comparatively, the average salary for a WNBA player is only $75,000. The rookie salary in 2019 was $41,965. The WNBA has decided for the 2021 season that they will have a maximum salary of $130,000. 

Some people argue that the WNBA players are overpaid as it is. Others believe that they deserve their pay because in 2017 the WNBA made $25 million in revenue and the NBA made $7.4 billion that same year, according to GrandStand Central. It’s obvious that male sports are generally more popular than their female counterparts playing the same sports. 

Sports schedule for: Mar 2-7

MONDAY DATE:   March 2nd
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
3:15 p.m.   Badminton Practice Begins    
4:30 p.m.   Adapted Hockey PI vs.

Dakota United

at Humboldt High School  
TUESDAY DATE:  March 3rd
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
         
WEDNESDAY DATE:   March 4th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
7:00 p.m. 5:30 / 8:20 p.m. Boys Basketball Sectional vs. South St. Paul at South St. Paul

High School

 
THURSDAY DATE:     March 5th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
         
         
FRIDAY DATE:    March 6th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
         
         
SATURDAY DATE:    March 7th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
1:00 p.m.   Boys Basketball Sectional TBD  
         
SUNDAY  

 

Sports schedule for: Feb 24-29

MONDAY DATE:   February 24th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
4:00 / 5:30 / 7:00 p.m.   C-Squad / JV / Varsity

Boys Basketball vs Central

HOME  
TUESDAY DATE:  February 25th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
         
WEDNESDAY DATE:   February 26th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
5:30 p.m.   Adapted Hockey PI vs. Rochester at Rochester Friedell

Middle School

 
7:00 p.m.   Girls Basketball Section vs. Henry Sibley at Henry Sibley

High School

 
THURSDAY DATE:     February 27th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
5:30 / 5:30 / 7:00 p.m.   C-Squad / JV / Varsity Boys Basketball vs. MPLS Roosevelt HOME  
6:00 p.m.   Class AA State Meet:

Boys Diving Prelims

at U of M Aquatic Center  
FRIDAY DATE:    February 28th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

4:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

  Wrestling Individual State Meet

Class AA:

First Round & Quarterfinals

 

at Xcel Energy Center

 
6:00 p.m.   Class AA State Meet:

Boys Swimming Prelims

at U of M Aquatic Center  
SATURDAY DATE:    February 29th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

4:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

  Wrestling Individual State Meet Class AA:

Semifinals & Championship

 

at Xcel Energy Center

 
6:00 p.m.   Class AA State Meet:

Boys Swimming & Diving Finals

at U of M Aquatic Center  
SUNDAY  

 

Sports schedule for: Feb 17-22

MONDAY DATE:   February 17th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
         
TUESDAY DATE:  February 18th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
4:00  / 5:30 / 7:00 p.m. C-Squad / JV-3:15-8:15 p.m.

Varsity 5:00-8:15 p.m.

C-Squad / JV / Varsity Boys Basketball vs. Humboldt at Humboldt High School  
4:30 / 6:00 p.m.   JV / Varsity Girls Basketball vs. Humboldt HOME  
WEDNESDAY DATE:   February 19th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
5:30 / 7:00 p.m. 4:15 / 8:15 p.m. JV / Varsity Girls Basketball vs. Como Park at Como Park  
THURSDAY DATE:     February 20th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
5:30 / 5:30 / 7:00 p.m. 4:30 / 8:15 p.m. C-Squad / JV / Varsity Boys Basketball vs. Harding at Harding High School  
6:00 p.m. 2:45 p.m. Boys Swimming Sectional Prelims at Art Downey

Aquatic Center

 
TBD   Boys Hockey Sectional TBD  
FRIDAY DATE:    February 21st
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
11:00 a.m.   Gymnastics: STATE MEET –

Team Championship

at Roy Wilkins Auditorium  
4:30 / 6:00 p.m.   JV / Varsity Girls Basketball vs. New Life Academy HOME  
6:00 p.m.   Boys Swimming Sectional Diving at Art Downey

Aquatic Center

 
SATURDAY DATE:    February 22nd
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
10:00 a.m.   Wrestling Individual Sectional at Mahtomedi High School  
10:00 a.m.   Boys Diving Sectional Finals at Art Downey

Aquatic Center

 
11:00 a.m.   Gymnastics: STATE MEET – Individual and All-Around Championship  

at Roy Wilkins Auditorium

 
1:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. Boys Swimming Sectional Finals at Art Downey

Aquatic Center

 
SUNDAY  

Sports schedule for: Feb 10-15

MONDAY DATE:   February 10th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
5:00 / 7:00 p.m. 3:45 / 9:00 p.m. JV / Varsity Boys Hockey vs. Simley at VMCC  
TUESDAY DATE:  February 11th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
4:00  / 5:30 / 7:00 p.m. 3:15 / 8:15 p.m. C-Squad / JV / Varsity Boys Basketball vs. Como Park at Como Park High School  
5:30 / 7:00 p.m.   JV / Varsity Girls Basketball vs. Como Park HOME  
WEDNESDAY DATE:   February 12th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
4:30 p.m.   Adapted Hockey PI vs. South Suburban at Bloomington Kennedy  
THURSDAY DATE:     February 13th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
10:00 a.m. 7:30 a.m. (Wednesday) Boys and Girls Nordic Ski:

STATE MEET

at Giants Ridge  
5:15 / 7:00 p.m. 3:15 / 9:00 p.m. JV/Varsity Boys Hockey vs.

St. Francis

at East Bethel Ice Arena  
5:30 / 5:30 / 7:00 p.m.   C-Squad / JV / Varsity Boys Basketball vs. Johnson HOME  
5:30 p.m. 3:10 / 6:45p.m. Varsity Girls Basketball vs. Johnson at Johnson High School  
FRIDAY DATE:    February 14th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
4:30 / 6:00 p.m.   JV / Varsity Girls Basketball vs. SPA HOME  
SATURDAY DATE:    February 15th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
10:00 a.m.   Wrestling Sectional vs. Mahtomedi at Mahtomedi High School  
5:00 p.m.   Gymnastics Sectional at Stillwater High School  
5:00 / 7:00 p.m. 3:15 / 9:00 p.m. JV/Varsity Boys Hockey vs. Johnson (Como) at Phalen Arena  
SUNDAY  

Sports schedule for: Feb 3-8

MONDAY DATE:   February 3rd
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
5:00 / 7:00 p.m. 3:30 / 9:00 p.m. JV / Varsity Boys Hockey vs. Pine City at Pine City Civic Center  
TUESDAY DATE:  February 4th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
10:00 a.m. 7:30 a.m. Boys and Girls Nordic Ski Sectional at Theodore Wirth Park  
4:30 / 6:00 p.m. 2:30 / 8:15 p.m. JV / Varsity Girls Basketball vs. MPLS Patrick Henry at Patrick Henry

High School

 
5:30  / 5:30 / 7:00 p.m.   C-Squad / JV / Varsity Boys Basketball vs. Washington HOME  
WEDNESDAY DATE:   February 5th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
4:30 p.m.   Adapted Hockey PI vs. Rochester at Humboldt High School  
5:30 / 7:30  p.m.   JV/Varsity Boys Hockey vs. Coon Rapids Highland Ice Arena  
6:00 p.m.   JV/Varsity Gymnastics Conference Meet HOME  
5:30 p.m. 2:45 / 7:30 p.m. Boys Swimming

Twin Cities Meet

at Minneapolis Southwest

High School

 
THURSDAY DATE:     February 6th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
 

5:30 / 5:30 / 7:00 p.m.

  C-Squad / JV / Varsity Boys Basketball vs.

Bloomington Kennedy

 

HOME

 
 

4:00 / 5:30 / 7:00 p.m.

 

3:10 / 8:15 p.m.

C-Squad / JV / Varsity

Girls Basketball

vs. Henry Sibley

at Henry Sibley

High School

 
FRIDAY DATE:    February 7th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
 

5:30 / 5:30 / 7:00 p.m.

  C-Squad / JV / Varsity Boys Basketball vs.

Como Park

 

HOME

 
5:30 / 7:30 p.m.   JV / Varsity Boys Hockey vs.

Waseca

at Highland Ice Arena  
SATURDAY DATE:    February 8th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
TBD   Danceline Sectional TBD  
TBD   Girls Hockey Sectional TBD  
SUNDAY