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November 17, 2018

Sport Sunday: CFL Football Finals! NCAA Basketball

The 2018 CFL season is the 65th season of modern Canadian professional football. Officially, it is the 61st season of the league. Edmonton is scheduled to host the 106th Grey Cup on November 25, 2018.  The regular season began on June 14, 2018, one week earlier than usual, and concluded on November 3, 2018.  The Final Four teams will play for spots in the final today.  

Today the Hamilton Tiger-Cats will take on the Ottawa Redblacks, and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will play the Calgary Stampeders.  The Bombers and the Ticats have the longest droughths  in the Grey Cup.  The Redblacks and the Stamps are hungry for another title, to extend recent domination. 

 Winnipeg has waited since 1990 for another title, and Manitobans' hopes are running very high.  The Redblacks shocked the Stampeders two years ago in Toronto to claim the championship. Calgary has played in back-to-back Grey Cup games, only to lose both in dramatic fashion. The Stampeders did win the Grey Cup in 2014, however.

This final showdown of the season between Hamilton and Ottawa at 1 p.m. has all sorts of drama surrounding it. The two teams have met three times this year, with the Redblacks always victorious.  The Ticats are looking to get back to the Grey Cup for the first time since 2014 when the team thought it had beaten Calgary, only to have a late Brandon Banks punt return touchdown called back on a penalty. They also lost the championship game in 2013 to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Calgary has been in this exact same situation so many times before. In fact, the Stamps have hosted a home playoff game and made the West Final seven consecutive years.  They have not been good in Grey Cup competition.   The past two seasons have ending in bitter disappointment. 
An overtime loss to Ottawa two years ago, and a late interception against Toronto last year, ended Grey Cup dreams for the Stampeders.  Their season ending string of losses this season, ending in a win just when they needed it to advance, should also temper their hopes.  Winnipeg has won six of their last seven games.  Their game should make for an exciting, if unpredictable,  finish for a Sunday afternoon, and a great prelude to next week's season crowning Grey Cup.  

NCAA College Basketball has returned in full force, and is well on display today.  In addition to literally dozens of off brand games,  the preseason National Invitational Tournament, this year called the NIT Season Tip Off, reaches semifinals on Wednesday, with games between Louisville and Tennessee, and between Marquette and Kansas.   This is one of the three main preseason tourneys, along the Maui Invitational and the Great Alaska Shootout.  

Number 5 Tennessee faces Louisville on Wednesday in the Brooklyn, New York classic.  A meeting with No. 2 Kansas — the preseason No. 1 — could await Friday, if Kansas manages to get by Marquette.  Marquette is hungry, having made the national top 25 last week,  for the first time in several years, and then losing to Indiana.   Basketball fans will find no shortage of games to bracket their Thanksgiving Turkey. 

In the Locker Room

Angelo Garcia
Claudio Bravo
Alex Vanderlinden
 Taylor Kitsch
 Fellipe Florencio

November 16, 2018

Saturday Sport: Soccer and Golf

World Soccer fans will be unsurprised to know that today and tomorrow the Europeans players are all involved in nations play, specifically the UEFA Nations League.  Nations play began in early September, and this weekend, Days Five and Six are being played out across Europe.  The conclusion of matchday six comes on Tuesday.  Those teams advancing to the semifinals will play in June, and later that month, for the championship. 

Of the 55 teams involved, the vast majority are truly in what could be widely described as "Europe." Kazakhstan is the farthest east.  Israel is also included in the tournament.  Today's matches include Turkey vs. Sweden, Malta vs. Kosovo, Romania vs. Lithuania, Serbia vs. Montenegro, Azerbaijan vs. the Faroe Islands, Albania vs. Scotland, and Italy vs. Portugal.  

Spain, Portugal, Belgium and France seem solid in League A, but Germany has already been relegated for League B for next year's play.  Denmark is certain of League A in next year's play. 

Golf fans may want to watch the European Golf Championships from Dubai.   Namely, this is the DP World Tour Championship third-round play from Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai. This season finale has a purse of $8 million, plus bonuses for top Race To Dubai finishers.

Jon Rahm won the event last year.  Matt Wallace currently leads at -11, with two other Englishmen, Danny Willet and Jordan Smith, just behind at -10, with Spaniard Adrián Otaegui Jaúregui also at -10, and American Patrick Reed in fifth place at 9 under par. 

PGA fans will want to catch the The RSM Classic from the Seaside course at Sea Island Resort in Georgia. This is the ninth year of this $6.4 million event, the last official full-field Tour event until 2019.  

Emirates Australian Open final-round play is held today from The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney. Australia's Cameron Davis shot a final-round 64 to win last year, edging Jonas Blixt and Matt Jones by one shot.

Ready for Swim

Pietro Boselli
Braeden Wright
 Caian Maroni
 Charlie Matthews
Chase Mattson
Christian Bendek
Colton Ford
Cristiano Savani
Daniel Barp
Daniel Benjamin
Daniel Gavrilov
 David Castilla
 David Henao
David Rich