For my first column of the new decade, I figured I would put forward some predictions so if they happen in the next 10 years, I can pull this article up and pretend I am some incredible seer. In reality, I am just a sports fan with some takes that may or may not happen, but if future me is looking at this, then I must have been right about something.
A double-digit seed will win March Madness
I know it has never happened. The lowest seed to ever win the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament was an eight seed back in 1985 when Villanova upset Georgetown. Three other eight seeds have made the title game, but none have ever won it all. I believe that changes this decade.
I don’t think this season will be a fluke. There is more parity than ever before in college basketball, which explains the shakeup in the rankings every week. There are some really solid teams in conferences you wouldn’t expect, and the gap between the “Blue Bloods” and the rest of the pack is smaller than ever. I think it is only a matter of time before a No. 10, 11 or 12 seed wins it all. In the next 10 years, we will see an unprecedented run by a Cinderella team. Heck, it could even happen this year at this rate.
There will be at least three first-time Super Bowl winners
This one may not be that bold, especially with the end of the New England Patriots dynasty imminent, but I think it’s likely that we see some new teams hoisting the Lombardi trophy this decade. There are 12 NFL teams that have never won a Super Bowl, and by the end of the 2020s, that number will have decreased to at least nine.
The era of Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers is waning, and there is a youthful presence in football that is great for the game. With that, I believe there will be some fresh champions in this decade. If I had to pick which teams I think will win for the first time, I would say the Cincinnati Bengals, the Houston Texans and the Arizona Cardinals, but any of the 12 (except the Cleveland Browns) have a good chance.
The Celtics and Lakers will meet in multiple NBA Finals
This could be wishful thinking, but it seems to me that both teams are built to compete for championships for the next number of years. A renewal of the game’s greatest and most historic rivalry could be on the doorstep.
The amount of legends to have played in this rivalry is astounding. First it was West vs. Russell, then it was Bird vs. Magic then Pierce vs. Kobe. Now you could have Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown going up against LeBron James and Anthony Davis for the next handful of seasons. That would be pretty special and a lot of fun to watch.
Mike Trout will tie Barry Bonds’s record seven MVP awards
Trout just won his third MVP this past season and he appears to be just now arriving at the prime of his career, which is scary. Four MVP awards this decade is completely on the table as long as he remains healthy.
If Trout decided to retire today, he would probably already be a Hall of Famer. He is now going to start to approach an all-time great level and he’s still just 28 years old. Trout is the best player of this generation and by the end of this decade, he will be considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time. His seven MVP awards will only be the tip of the iceberg.
Photo courtesy of the Associated Press.