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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sport Sunday: Speed Skating, Basketball and Rugby

Speed Skating, Basketball and Rugby.  Could there be a better day?

In the Netherlands, the short track speed skating world championships are holding their final day  of skating today in Rotterdam.  Competition continues with continues with 1000m, 3000m and finals of the 5000m and 3000m relays.  Canadian Samuel Girard of Ferland-et-Boilleau, Quebec, stands third overall with 29 points after a silver medal in the 1,500 metres and fourth in the 500 metres. Sjinkie Knegt of the Netherlands leads with 39 points while Sin da Woon of South Korea is second at 34.  In the men's 1,500 metre, Sin da Woon from South Korea earned the victory in 2:16.919 nudging Girard in second place in 2:16.982. Seo Yi Ra of South Korea was third in 2:17.051. Charles Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, Quebec, and Charle Cournoyer of Boucherville, Quebec, were third and fourth in the B final for 11th and 12th position.

Derek Schell
A special type of craziness is set to infest the USA on Sunday afternoon.  Breakouts have already been seen in many cities.  Crowds scream and yell like fools because they have entered the bracketology phase.  Certainly, boy, what else?  NCAA March Madness begins.  Today.  Many conference tournaments wrapped up yesterday, and so their winners have already been entered in the brackets.  Others will be determined today. The NCAA tournament Selection Show is one of the most hotly-anticipated off-the-field events on the sports calendar.  They have vowed, this year, to announce the chosen ones within a few minutes of the show's opening, and not drag it out as they have been known to do.  The luck 68 teams, their rabid supporters, and the entire basketball fandom will be enthralled for the next three weeks by brackets, squeaky shoes, and swishing hoops.  Office pools will assault American workers as they eagerly report for work on Monday morning.  Actual tournament play begins with the opt in games on Tuesday. 

Jesse Hogan
Round Robin play continues in the World Baseball Classic.  In exciting action yesterday, Italy, who stunned Mexico on Friday, almost stunned Venezuela, but was finally put down in the 10th inning.  Chicago Cubs great Anthony Rizzo is playing again this year for Italy's team.  Today, in continuing Round Robin play,  Italy meets Puerto Rico, Canada takes on the United States, Venezuela meets Mexico and Japan takes on the Netherlands.  

In Cricket, Afghanistan's  tour of India continues in their 3rd Twenty20 contest, against Ireland this afternoon at Greater Noida, in Northern India.  Afghanistan, led by Rashid Khan, leads the series 2-0, and indeed has ten straight wins in T20 competition, a record.  Greater Noida, with its recently constructed Cricket Ground, actually serves as the home stadium of the Afghan team, unable to find a stable home in their war torn country.

 Danny Care
In England, in Six Nations Rugby, England powered to its second straight Six Nations title by unexpectedly thrashing Scotland 61-21 at Twickenham on Saturday.  The Georgies recorded their highest points total against their oldest international rival.  England heads to Dublin next weekend looking to win their 19 in a row since October 2015, breaking the world record streak at rugby’s highest level achieved by the All Blacks over 2015-16.  In the overall standings, England has an unassailable eight-point lead over second-place Ireland after four rounds.

IN NHL hockey action, the New York Rangers travel to the Detroit Red Wings  in a clash of these Original Six rivals at the Joe Louis Arena. The Rangers have won both previous meetings with the Red Wings this season, but hope springs eternal, as they say.

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