Fun Fact of the Day: According to ESPN’s BPI (Basketball Power Index—a fancy mathematical rating of team performance), Virginia is now favored to win March Madness!
Baseball diplomacy. Yesterday, the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Cuba National Team in Havana (4-1). The game got people talking about President Obama’s wave-skills and his new guidelines to create a safe path for Cuban players to join MLB. How do Cuban players get to the majors now? They have to defect (i.e., denounce) their Cuban nationality and risk dangerous human-trafficking to escape Cuba. What could change? Cuban citizens will be allowed to work in the U.S. without violating the trade embargo, if no money goes to the Cuban government. It’s unclear whether the Cuban government will allow it, because currently they take a cut of all Cuban players’ salaries even in foreign leagues.
Spotlight on the Stanley Cup Playoffs outlook
The end of the NHL regular season is less than 3 weeks away, so it’s time to spotlight this year’s playoff race!
Who’s coasting? The Washington Capitals have been leading the standings by a mile. Last night they clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference, giving them home-ice advantage for the playoffs. Senioritis alert. Now, their big challenge is to stay motivated until the playoffs start in mid-April. Need a motivation buddy? The L.A. Kings and Dallas Stars are also sitting pretty because they’ve also clinched their playoff spots.
Who else is hot? Florida and California, literally and figuratively. The Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning are leading the Atlantic division, and the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks are keeping the Kings company on top of the Pacific standings.
Who is still fighting for a spot? In the Western Conference, the Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche are duking it out for the final Wild Card spot. Meanwhile in the East, it’s a complete free-for-all with 6 teams neck-and-neck in the standings.
What a-boot Canada? When you think of hockey, you think Canada, right? Not so much. No Canadian team has won the Stanley Cup in 23 years and this year is no different because all the Canadian teams are stinking it up. As of today, no Canadian team is in playoff contention—the last time that happened was back in 1970.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Spotlight to learn more about the league-leading, Washington Capitals!
Seen and Heard
Media blackout! It’s nearly the NBA playoffs, so Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James is getting down to business. Please don’t leave us again!!!! Cavs fans freeeaked out when LeBron stopped following the Cavs on Twitter and Instagram. LeBron was not amused by the overreaction. Chillax. He explained that he’s just in “playoff mode” and doesn’t want to be distracted by what the media is saying about him.