Conference tournament predictions and state championship ends in tie

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Michael Kowaleski

NCAA basketball conference tournaments are wrapping up just in time for Selection Sunday. The Mike’d Up guys give their picks:

Kowaleski:

American—Louisville

A10—VCU

ACC—Virginia

Big 12—Oklahoma State

Big East—Creighton

Big Ten—Michigan State

Pac-12—Oregon

SEC—Florida

 

Kelley:

American— Louisville

A10— UMass

ACC— Duke

Big 12— Kansas

Big East— Villanova

Big Ten— Michigan State

Pac-12— Arizona

SEC— Florida

 

After seven overtimes, the Ohio high school state hockey championship was declared a tie.

Kowaleski:

Mike, I hate this. I mean, that’s the only logical first reaction if you care about recognizing the best teams in sports. But even looking at the reasoning behind the decision, I don’t agree with anything in this situation.

The Sylvania Northview Wildcats and Saint Ignatius Wildcats (God, schools need to start using their imagination when it comes to mascots) ended up sharing the championship after their game. Sharing championships isn’t new to America, even in the upper echelon of collegiate sports—Division I NCAA football teams were sharing titles up as recently as 2003.

Difference is, that was because there wasn’t a championship game of any kind. It wasn’t until 2006 that the BCS National Championship was a separate bowl. The Ohio High School Athletic Association doesn’t have that excuse. They’re a much more advanced entity.

The OHSAA cited player safety as a primary reason for the tie, as shootouts aren’t allowed by rule (this is fine…shootouts should be outlawed everywhere, including the NHL). But what about a hiatus for players to rest? Resume the overtime periods on a different date. That’s a much better solution than just splitting the championship.

What do you think, Mike? Was there an alternative solution?

Kelley:

Believe it or not, this has happened before in the 2008 Michigan hockey state championship, which went to eight overtimes. Players from both Orchard Lake St. Mary’s and Marquette posed for pictures with the trophy together as one unit. Both teams said they were so exhausted they could barely walk their bags out of the stadium.

It is disappointing to say the least. But all in all, given the circumstances, it was probably wise to end both. Reading the write-up from the reporter present, it seemed there were multiple near scores. But as time ticked, the periods added up, and the exhaustion then set in, prompting the adults to “step in.” Players threw down their equipment before shaking hands and in their post game interviews, said that they supported the decision, although they were disappointed.

Coaches claimed players were suffering frequent cramps and were dehydrated. 45.73%, or 1,050, of the 2,296 voters in an online poll said that both teams were robbed and the game should have gone on. 29.62% of voters said that an alternative should have been proposed, such as playing OT with fewer skaters. And 24.65% said that yes, the game should have ended because player safety was the primary concern.

I am with the 29.62% and I know you are too: an alternative should have been decided. If only shootouts were allowed – the image of Gordon Bombay and the Mighty Ducks keeps coming to mind.