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World Cup Round of 16 Predictions

By Zach Malamud

 

Uruguay vs Portugal, Saturday, 2:00 pm-
It was a rough group stage for Cristiano Ronaldo and company as they narrowly finished in second place with a win and two draws. They will have to step it up against a strong Uruguay side led by attackers Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani and defenders Jose Maria Gimenez and Diego Godin. Uruguay finished the group stage undefeated in three fairly easy matchups against Russia(3-0), Egypt(1-0), and Saudi Arabia(1-0). The attacking and defensive forces of Uruguay will be too strong for this Portugal side and they will be sent home early in possibly Ronaldo’s final World Cup.
                                            
France vs Argentina, Saturday, 10:00 am-
The world was shocked when Messi and Argentina were on the brink of going out of the World Cup in the group stage but they found a way with Marcos Rojo’s 86th minute goal against Nigeria. Now sadly for Argentina it doesn’t get any easier. They will take on a French side who has had their ups and downs but is still no doubt one of the top teams in the world. France finished in the group with two wins and a draw but the opposition which included Peru, Denmark and Australia was not very challenging. We have yet to see the best of Lionel Messi so it should be interesting to see if he can step it up in this really tough game. That said, I think Jorge Sampaoli’s men just got a kickstart from the group stage and will move on in a very close game.
                                     

Spain vs Russia, Sunday, 10:00 am-
Spain went through a tough group stage surprisingly finishing with a win and two draws. Iago Aspas scored a last minute goal against Morocco in their thrilling last day of the group stage to help secure first place over Portugal in Group B.This could end up being a tough matchup against a Russian side that finished with two wins in the group stage. Denis Cheryshev and Alexander Golovin led the way for Russia and they have a slight chance of beating Spain. I don’t believe it will happen this time though even with the home field advantage. Spain will come out on top but not by much.
                                           
Croatia vs Denmark, Sunday, 2:00 pm-
What a start from Croatia! Luka Modric and company were unbelievable in the group stage. They beat Messi and Argentina 3-0 while also beating Nigeria and Iceland to go undefeated in the group. Croatia can really shock the world and go far into the knockout stages. They first have to beat a Denmark side led by world class midfielder Christian Eriksen. Denmark, who finished the group stage with one win and two draws are not gonna beat Croatia. The Croatians will move on to play Spain in the quarterfinals.
                                    
Brazil vs Mexico, Monday, 10:00 am-
This game should be an extremely exciting offensive affair. Both Brazil and Mexico have better attacks then defense. Hirving Lozano has been outstanding for the Mexico side on both offense and defense, putting his body on the line every time he has the chance. But, we saw Mexico’s struggles in their last game against Sweden when they lost 3–0, and their lack of a solid backend  will probably see them fall to Brazil. Brazil star left back Marcelo limped off 10 minutes into their final group stage matchup against Serbia with an apparent back injury. It doesn’t look to be that serious and he will most likely play. Brazil has done well so far finishing the group stage with two wins and a draw. They did have a close call in a very exciting matchup against Keylor Navas’ Costa Rica where Phillipe Coutinho scored in the 90th minute to get Brazil the win. Tite’s men should come out on top with Neymar having his best game of the tournament.
                               
Belgium vs Japan, Sunday, 2:00 pm-
This should be the most one sided game of the tournament. Belgium has been astounding so far going undefeated in the group stage scoring nine goals while only letting up two. Belgium was so dominating in their first two matches that they were able to rest most of their starting 11 for their final group stage victory over England. Japan had a shocking upset of Colombia in their opener when a Colombian red card left them with 10 men for most of the match. They finished the group stage with a draw and a loss. Belgium is undefeated in their last 22 games with 17 wins and five draws. I think they will add to that win column very easily. This matchup won’t be close, and Belgium should come out on top.
                                
Sweden vs Switzerland, Tuesday, 10:00 am-
This matchup could end up going into extra time or penalties. This is a very strong Sweden side that beat Mexico 3-0 and just couldn’t get a point from their second match because of a last second winner by Germany. They ended up finishing first in their group with two wins and a loss. Switzerland on the other hand, got a huge result with a tie against Brazil which really helped them secure a spot in the knockout stage. A last minute winner by Xherdan Shaqiri against Serbia also really helped this team to get to the knockout stage. Both teams are very strong but I believe Sweden will come out on top in a tight match that quite possibly needs extra time to determine the winner.

                                    

Colombia vs England, Tuesday, 2:00 pm-
Finally, the last round of 16 game will be Colombia taking on England. Colombia had an injury scare with James Rodriguez leaving their final group stage matchup after 30 minutes with an apparent calf injury. However, he should be able to play against a strong England side. England went through the group stage with two wins and a loss with their backups against Belgium. One of those wins was a staggering 6-1 win against Panama in their second group stage game. England will be a tough matchup for Colombia but I think James and his team will come out on top to play Sweden in the quarterfinals.

                                   

So that is it for the round of 16 predictions. Check back next weekend for the World Cup quarterfinals predictions. Here is what it could look like:

          

 

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Never Louder Than In Silence

By Michael Burgner

By now most people have heard of the horrible events that took place Sunday in an Orlando nightclub. In the early hours, tragedy struck a nightclub when a gunman took 50 lives including his own and injured many others. That same night, game 6 of the Stanley cup Finals was to be played. The Penguins won the game 3-1 and took home the cup. What I remember most about that game though is the moment of silence that the players and stadium took just before the game started in honor of the victims of Orlando.

This is something unique to sports that transcends the game itself. No matter what team you root for or against, when there is a moment of silence everybody in the stadium, arena, and at home can feel the solidarity that comes from it. Sports have the unique ability to bond us all in times of need, no matter what walk of life we come from. When a tragedy strikes our great country sports have always been there to honor those moments and reflect upon what it means to be a citizen of the United States. Sports are a constant in America whether you are a Hockey, Baseball, Basketball, Football or just all around fan there are only two days in 365 that sports are not played. Every single other day of the year sports can be counted on to be there for us in our times of need or joy.

Tonight is Game 5 of the NBA finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors the Warriors lead in the series three games to one. They took the time to acknowledge the tragedy our country has undergone taking to twitter saying “Stepping away from the court to send our heartfelt condolences to all those impacted by the tragedy in Orlando.”. The NBA sent out similar feelings “Heartfelt condolences to the family and friends impacted from this morning’s tragedy in #Orlando.” . Tonight there will be a moment of silence before the game to remember those lost and injured in Orlando. In that moment even at the highest level of competition and a championship on the line, there will be unity felt on that court and throughout the country. I will be watching to pay my respects and take on my own moment of reflection and silence.

 

 

 

Take It To The Bank- NFL Week 16

By Brett Malamud

Congratulations! You made it all the way to the end of the year untouched and into the finals of your fantasy football league. Let’s help you out in completing your journey to the promised land and take home that title! It all starts with making the right decisions and that’s where this week’s column of Take It To The Bank comes in handy. Let’s get to it!

He is…SuperCam!

There’s no reason to think that Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton will be stopped anytime soon. While the Atlanta Falcons have had a dangerous secondary this season, they’ve been shaky over the last few weeks and that’s where Cam comes in. I’m very confident in his abilities to get it done on Sunday.

CAM

He got you this far, and now, it’s time for Cam Newton to do his thing for you in the finals (Via USATS)

To Belichick…Or Not To Belichick?

That is the question. The New England Patriots defense has been great all year. They’ve scored 35 fantasy points over their last two games, but head to MetLife Stadium this weekend to take on the New York Jets. This might be the week for you to look elsewhere for another defense because the Jets passing game has been phenomenal between wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. I’d also bench the Jets defense, even with knowing that wide receivers Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman will be sitting this game out. There’s two reasons for that. Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski.

 

Gurley Birds: Finals Edition

Did St. Louis Rams running back Todd Gurley propel you into the finals? Gurley fell to me as the 93rd overall pick before I swiped him up, setting up a fun season once he hit the field. Now, he heads into Seattle to take on the Seahawks, who haven’t allowed more than 46 rushing yards to an opposing running back during their five game win streak. Gurley is touchdown dependent for me this week, and belongs as a RB2/Flex play.

 

Choosing Charcandrick 

In the finals, you have to take the easy matchups when given. For me, this one is simply Kansas City Chiefs running back Charcandrick West against the Cleveland Browns. While there isn’t much explanation needed for this pick, the Browns have allowed the second most rushing yards in the entire league, and West is due for a big day. If you have West on your team, you certainly should start him in your lineup if you want any chance of winning it all.


Brett Malamud is an English Rhetoric Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

Take It To The Bank: NFL Week 13

By Brett Malamud

It’s getting to the end of the line. Many fantasy leagues are in the last week of the regular season and some have even started the playoffs. Here’s some tips to get you through week 13.

Battle of NY

The matchup between the Jets and the Giants should be a good heated matchup. I’ll take wide receivers Eric Decker, and Brandon Marshall, plus  running back Chris Ivory on the Jets, just as I have in weeks past. But when it comes to the Giants, the only player that I can see having a big week is Odell Beckham Jr. because he won’t have to face Darrelle Revis. I don’t recommend taking quarterback Eli Manning, as you probably have a better option.

Chi-Town Committee

Bears running backs Matt Forte and Jeremy Langford both have a cap on their performance, now that Forte has returned from injury. They’ve got a running back by committee in Chicago, but this week, I’m throwing that out the window. Both Forte and Langford should have a big day against the San Francisco 49ers. A thing to watch out for: If the Bears go up big, look for Langford to take over, as the team rests Forte.

050414-NFL-Bears-Matt-Forte-TV-Pi.vresize.1200.675.high.97.jpg.d10e03ce2e28a5078f0a36bdfa1354bc

Matt Forte is due to have a big week this week against the Niners (Via PFS)

Gurley Out of Gas?

For most of this season, Rams running back Todd Gurley has been the top running back in the NFL. But in the last four weeks, Gurley has failed to reach 100 rushing yards. A touchdown bailed him out in the first three weeks, but last week, Gurley was held to just 19 yards on nine carries for a shocking total of two fantasy points. This week he looks to turn the page as the team returns home to face the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals haven’t allowed a 100 yard rusher since way back in week four, when it was Gurley. I think that he can recreate the magic and have a big day Sunday.

 

 


Brett Malamud is an English Rhetoric Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

NFL Week 12 Predictions

By Brett Malamud

BYES: Panthers, Steelers
-FINAL: Chiefs 20 (7-4) at Raiders 24 (5-4), Thursday
FINALLY! The Raiders pick up their first win of the season.

-Browns (6-4) at Falcons (4-6), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

The Browns will beat the league’s worst defense this week. Verdict: Browns

-Titans (2-8) at Eagles (7-3), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

Looking forward to watching Mark Sanchez here. I think that he’ll play well and that the Eagles will win the game. Verdict: Eagles

-Lions (7-3) at Patriots (8-2), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

This will be a great game. However, I think that Brady takes down the league’s top defense. Verdict: Patriots

-Packers (7-3) at Vikings (4-6), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

The rivalry continues. I don’t see any way that the Packers lose here.  Verdict: Packers

-Jaguars (1-9) at Colts (6-4), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

This one could be ugly. Luck is going to take over the game in route to a Colts victory. Verdict: Colts

-Bengals (6-3-1) at Texans (5-5)Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

I’m going based on my gut. I think that the Texans pull a win out this week. Verdict: Texans

-Buccaneers (2-8) at Bears (4-6), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

Bucs should be a factor in this one. Verdict: Bears

-Cardinals (9-1) at Seahawks (6-4), Sunday @ 4:05 PM EST

This is my game of the week. The Cardinals will have a rough time. I think that the 12th man comes through this week. Verdict: Seahawks

The 12th Man should be a factor this week

The 12th Man should be a factor this week

-Rams (4-6) at Chargers (6-4), Sunday @ 4:05 PM EST

This should be close, but not too close. Chargers will coast to the victory. Verdict: Chargers

-Redskins (3-7) at 49ers (6-4), Sunday @ 4:25 PM EST

The Niners should manhandle them. Verdict: 49ers

-Dolphins (6-4) at Broncos (7-3), Sunday @ 4:25 PM EST

The Dolphins have been good, but not great. Peyton and co. will take care of them. Verdict: Broncos

-Cowboys (7-3) at Giants (3-7), Sunday @ 8:30 PM EST

This could be a great game. I don’t think that it will be though, and expect the cowboys to get out to an early lead and not look back. Verdict: Cowboys

 

-Jets (2-8) at Bills (5-5), Monday @ 7:00 PM EST

This game got moved to Detroit, an indoor facility. I think that the Jets run game takes advantage of that and grinds out for the upset. Verdict: Jets

-Ravens (6-4) at Saints (4-6), Monday @ 8:30 PM EST

I’m going to take the high powered Saints offense in this one. Currently they rank 2nd among the league. Verdict: Saints


Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

2014-15 NHL Predictions

By Brett Malamud
At last, the predictions are here! For the Metropolitan Division Preview, click here. For the Atlantic Division Preview, click here. For the Central Division Preview, click here. For the Pacific Division Preview, click here. Have a great NHL season everybody!
EAST

METROPOLITAN

1. Pittsburgh Penguins*
2. New York Rangers*
3. New York Islanders*
4. Washington Captals*
5. Columbus Blue Jackets*
6. New Jersey Devils
7. Philadelphia Flyers
8. Carolina Hurricanes

 

ATLANTIC
1. Boston Bruins*
2. Tampa Bay Lightning*
3. Montreal Canadiens*
4. Detroit Red Wings
5. Toronto Maple Leafs
6. Ottawa Senators
7. Florida Panthers
8. Buffalo Sabres

 

WILD CARD
1. Washington Capitals
2. Columbus Blue Jackets

 

The Penguins are still the team to beat in the Metropolitan. They’ll coast to the division title. The Rangers and the Islanders follow, setting up a playoff series between the two that is sure to have New Yorkers on the edge of their seats. Alex Ovechkin has 43 goals and leads the caps in as the first wild card team. The Blue Jackets take the other wild card spot.

 

The Atlantic Division standings this season remain very similar to last season’s. Tukka Rask leads the Boston Bruins to their second straight division title. Tampa Bay takes the league by storm, showcased by Jonathan Drouin and Steven Stamkos. Montreal belongs here at three, a spot they’re familiar with. The Red Wings get ousted after facing strong teams in four out of their last six games to finish the season. Phil Kessel has a good season, but the Maple Leafs do not. Florida Panthers rookie Aaron Ekblad gets sent down to juniors nine games into the season. The rebuild is in full swing for the Ottawa Senators and the Buffalo Sabres put themselves in position for Connor McDavid.

 

WEST
CENTRAL
1. Chicago Blackhawks*
2. St. Louis Blues*
3. Dallas Stars*
4. Colorado Avalanche*
5. Minnesota Wild*
6. Nashville Predators
7. Winnipeg Jets

 

PACIFIC
1. Anaheim Ducks*
2. Los Angeles Kings*
3. San Jose Sharks*
4. Vancouver Canucks
5. Arizona Coyotes
6. Edmonton Oilers
7. Calgary Flames

 

WILD CARD
1. Colorado Avalanche
2. Minnesota Wild

 

The Chicago Blackhawks win the division on the last day of the season after taking down the Blues twice in the last week of the season. The Blues settle for the second spot in the Central. The Stars leapfrog the Avalanche for the third spot, and Colorado gets knocked into the Wild Card spot. Minnesota takes the second Wild Card spot. Nashville has another big disappointment, and barely misses taking the spot from Minnesota. The Jets sets themselves up for the second pick in the draft before the lottery.

 

Anaheim takes the division after the Kings fall out the top spot when they lose four out of five games on their road trip in late March. The Sharks trade Joe Thornton on deadline day and get Patrick Marleau out earlier in the season. Tomas Hertl struggles a bit in his second NHL season, but the Sharks reach the playoffs. The Canucks just miss out on the playoffs after a stellar season from Ryan Miller. Arizona, Edmonton, and Calgary struggle and finish near the bottom of the league.

 

PLAYOFFS
 
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
Boston Bruins over Pittsburgh Penguins
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
Chicago Blackhawks over Los Angeles Kings
STANLEY CUP FINALS
Chicago Blackhawks over Boston Bruins

 

Jonathan Toews will lead his team to a Stanley Cup win this season. (Via SM Sports)

Jonathan Toews will lead his team to a Stanley Cup win this season. (Via SM Sports)


Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

LeBron Agrees to Deal with Cleveland Cavaliers

By Brett Malamud
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Kingdom is restored. LeBron James has agreed to rejoin the Cleveland Cavaliers. The move was made official on Lebron James’ Instagram today. The Akron native LeBron has some unfinished business to take care of, as he never won a title with Cleveland in the seven seasons that he was there. He will team up with a championship caliber lineup that includes Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins. It should be interesting to see how the fans treat LeBron. The way he turned on the Cavs four years ago will not be easily forgotten by the fans. But I still believe that they’ll welcome him back with open arms.

All in all, the Cavs are back. And they’ll be better than they ever were.

LeBron is back in Cleveland and will try to finish what he started.

LeBron is back in Cleveland and will try to finish what he started.


 

Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy