Masin-Moyer: Predicting championships for three teams
Lucas Masin-Moyer | Thursday, April 25, 2019
In what is the first of many lasts in my final few weeks as an undergrad here at Notre Dame, today I’ll be submitting my last-ever Observer Sports Authority. So I figured there’d be no better way to end my sports-writing career than by writing about the three teams that have occupied pretty much every column inch I’ve ever had — the Philadelphia 76ers, Liverpool FC and the UCF Golden Knights football team — and explaining to you why each one will win their respective championships this year (very, very likely, I know).
I am writing this like 15 minutes after Manchester City beat Manchester United, ensuring their path to the title involves only victories over much-lesser sides, but I still have hope for South Bend’s new favorite Premier League club.
There’s no reason to believe the Reds will drop points in their remaining games against Huddersfield, Newcastle and Wolves, as a resurgent Mo Salah and a dynamic Sadio Mané have been scoring in bunches in front of reported Professional Footballers’ Association Players’ Player of the Year, center back Virgil van Dijk. With the Reds likely winning out, I think City might slip up and drop a point somewhere along the way, as the team is perhaps too overconfident heading into the final weeks.
I had my doubts about the Sixers after they dropped their first game of the series to the Brooklyn Nets, but four wins later, they are looking primed for a deep playoff run. They absolutely destroyed the Nets in game three without their star Joel Embiid, and with him in the rotation they continued to dismantle their opponent, which had been one of the hottest teams in the NBA heading into the postseason. The Sixers are hitting their stride at the exact right time in the season, and their biggest competitors in the East — the Raptors and Bucks — are lacking in successful playoff experience.
The Sixers’ biggest challenge will likely come from the Western Conference, but I have boundless confidence for no real reason the Sixers will come out on top. The Warriors don’t look like the unstoppable force they once were. The Rockets are too reliant on James Harden. The Nuggets don’t have experience and have struggled in their first-round matchup against the seventh-seeded Spurs. In any case, I think it’s time the process is completed.
I’m going to be honest, there’s almost no way UCF will win the College Football Playoff next year, but a boy can dream the systemic disadvantages against this team will miraculously break down in the next year. Until they do, however, you can find me on Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat arguing for the Golden Knights’ cause.
Thanks a ton for listening to me rant for the past couple years. It’s been fun.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.