It’s perhaps a bit of a confusing time for sports fans. We are seemingly in a slow period, with football off the table—the XFL notwithstanding.
However, there are actually a lot of sports to be following right now, and also plenty of exciting things coming up.
Here is a roundup of where things stand, with a particular focus on teams and sports that might pertain to a resident of the Pacific Northwest.
The 82-game NBA season is approximately 75% over. The playoffs begin on April 18th and go all the way into June with the Finals beginning on June 4th. The playoffs are nice and long, almost like a second, miniature season. Unfortunately, the Portland Trail Blazers are not currently considered to be a playoff team. Things are not expected to change, though it is theoretically possible. At the time of this writing, they currently have the 9th-best record in the West, which makes them the first team out. Don’t hold your breath.
The 2020 season doesn’t begin until May 15th. The draft will be held on April 17th. Current projections have Oregon’s power trio of Sabrina Ionescu, Satou Sabally and Ruthy Hebard—all going in the first five picks. Don’t expect the Seattle Storm to get any of those players. The good news is that the Storm should still be very good this year. Sue Bird, maybe the greatest WNBA player of all time, recently re-signed with the Storm for the 2020 season after missing all of 2019 with an injury.
The regular season ends on April 4th with the playoffs to follow. The Vancouver Canucks are firmly in position to play in the postseason. Seattle will have to wait until the 2021-2022 season for their expansion franchise to debut. The fact that we don’t technically have a team yet isn’t stopping anyone, however. There are already fans in jerseys gathering in bars to drink beer, eat poutine and cheer for or against whoever happens to be playing.
The Seattle Mariners have their Opening Day on March 26th, hosting the Texas Rangers. There’s really not much to say about the Mariners at this point. Honestly, there’s even less to be optimistic about, at least for the casual fan.
Currently, the only Pac-12 teams in the AP poll are Oregon and Colorado. Expect both to make the men’s tournament this year. If neither of them wins the conference tournament, which begins March 11th, then the winner will get an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Of those three potential Pac-12 teams to make the postseason, the strongest, by far, is the Oregon Ducks.
It’s a good year to be a Duck! In the women’s league, it’s all about the Ducks, who are just on fire this year. You might as well pencil them in to go all the way, especially since they will be hungry to avenge last year’s heartbreaking Final Four loss to eventual champion, Baylor.
The Masters Tournament begins on April 9th. It’s hard to imagine one as exciting as last year’s when Tiger Woods pulled a stunning, come-from-behind victory on the last day.
Aside from these events, there are probably plenty of other ways to entertain yourself. Spring is just around the corner, after all. And that’s followed by something we call summer. Before you know it, it will be time for football again.