Let’s look at the winners and losers from this week in the wide world of sports.
Winner: Colorado Avalanche
The Avalanche, who finished with the NHL’s worst record last season, have surged into a playoff position this year. They are coming off a stunning 10 game winning streak, bringing them into the second wild card position in the Western Conference with 57 points.
At the start of the season it appeared that Colorado would spend another year continuing its rebuild. Despite finishing last in the league in 2016-17, they did not win a single lottery draft pick, leaving them with the fourth overall selection despite their dismal year. They also lost a recent draft pick and the reigning Hobey Baker Award winner, Will Butcher, when he chose to sign with the New Jersey Devils after finishing college. They also traded top center, Matt Duchene, at the beginning of the season in exchange for prospects and draft picks.
The organization made some decent acquisitions, such as adding young winger Alexander Kerfoot, but it seemed they would have another poor season. Instead, they have hung around in striking distance of the playoffs, using their recent winning ways to rise above the cutoff line.
Stars like Nathan Mackinnon and Gabriel Landeskog have led the way with exceptional play lately.
Loser: UConn Men’s Basketball
The Huskies, formerly one of the powers of the American Conference, have, over the past few years, morphed into one of the weakest within it. They are most comparable now to programs that lack any sort of winning history on the court such as East Carolina, Tulsa, and Tulane.
This year, UConn has even made teams like Coppin State and Stony Brook look like they are at the same level as the once mighty Huskies. The Huskies especially showed that they belong aside these teams on Saturday, when they were destroyed by top ranked Villanova, 81-61. Of course, no one could expect the Huskies to take down the Wildcats, who have lost just one game all season. However, UConn fans were hoping that they would compete and show that they are still a respectable program.
Kevin Ollie’s squad did not rise to this task, as the game was over by halftime, being down 39-18. They were lucky that the score was even that close, as Villanova shot very poorly to begin the game.
With injuries and consistently insufficient play, UConn is looking at another lost season, but the worst part is that things may not improve any time soon. By the time UConn meets with Villanova again next year, will the Huskies be any better? Just as bad? Or even worse?
Kevin Ollie may be on the hot seat, but after buying out Bob Diaco from his contract last year, UConn might not have the money to get rid of him before his contract expires.
Loser: MLB Hall-of-Fame Voting
The MLB announced its 2018 inductees into its Hall of Fame on Wednesday, shining light on the flaws in the voting system. For each class, some of baseball’s longest tenured writers vote to decide who should be inducted. Although many of them have followed the game closely for many years, there are others who have been removed from the game for some time. This means they often make unreasonable choices when voting. The writers are also more likely to use biases when making their selections. They tend to select players that they watched more closely over the years. If they followed a certain team, they are prone to choose players from them.
The voters are also limited to selecting only ten players each year, which can be insufficient in times when there is a surplus of deserving candidates. This especially becomes an issue as players that do not receive a high enough percentage of the vote get removed from the ballot forever.
The biggest controversy involving the Hall of Fame voting is the induction of steroid users. The league and Hall have not given voters any guidelines as to how they should approach such players. Unlike players like Pete Rose and “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, who have been banned from the game for life, steroid users like Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Roger Clemens are eligible to be inducted.
Some argue that these drug users should not be chosen, as the Hall should represent superiority and purity in the game. Others say that since they are eligible, they should be inducted since their career statistics would otherwise show that they are worthy.
The uncertainty of how voters should fill out their ballots, and the problems coinciding with the voting rules and procedures presents how the system needs an overhaul.
Dylan Barrett is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.