2018 Pac-12 Football Predictions: Washington runs away with the North but the South should be fun

Since Fall camp is right around the corner and with it the best time of the year approaching, it’s time to break down how I believe the Pac-12 conference will shape up in 2018.

Below I’ll project each team’s record (overall and in-conference) and give a bold prediction (at least I hope so) for each team.

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Continue reading “2018 Pac-12 Football Predictions: Washington runs away with the North but the South should be fun”

My NBA Mock Draft – The Top-16 Picks (with projected trades)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…the best part of the NBA season is the draft. The regular season, with the exception of the occasional notable game is BORING and PREDICTABLE. The playoffs were thoroughly BORING and predictable.

Last year I wrote this in my draft column about the 2017-18 season:

For now here’s what I do know (yes, know not think):
-Golden State will win the 2017-18 NBA Championship.
-Boston or likely Cleveland will again face the Warriors in the NBA Finals.
-Next Summer, LeBron James will leave Cleveland for a destination in Southern California.

Two of those predictions came true and the third one is an extremely good bet at this stage.

Now it’s the fun time for Suns fans who once again can dream about a light at the end of the tunnel for their team. My predictions this year are a bit out there (from picks 2-16) but we’ll see how correct I end up…

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1. PHOENIX SUNS: Deandre Ayton (C, Arizona)
It’s a great thing when you land the #1 pick and a potential franchise center is in the draft. Ayton is a home run pick for the Suns franchise who hasn’t been relevant in terms of winning in nearly a decade. Please tell me they won’t screw it up… Continue reading “My NBA Mock Draft – The Top-16 Picks (with projected trades)”

Friday, June 15th Quick Hitters: Arizona Sports Teams Edition

I haven’t written a Quick Hitters column in month so time to bring it back this time with an Arizona sports-only theme!

-First, let me commend the Diamondbacks for turning things around quickly after it seemed like their season was going in the absolute dumpster. It also helped that Paul Goldschmidt hit .620 last week. Assuming A.J. Pollock comes back and produces at a solid level by the All Star Break, it might be an exciting 2nd half for this squad.

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-But if you think I’m picking them to win the division, as of now, well…yes I am. I have a feeling they’ll make a move in July for starting pitching help and potentially another bat. The Dodgers are playing well but I’m still not bullish on their hitting minus Corey Seager, who’s out for the season.

-I’ve said it many times but just to refresh…if the Suns don’t select UofA center DeAndre Ayton in next Thursday’s NBA Draft, I’ll relinquish whatever fandom I have left! To pass on a potential franchise player, a 7-footer with a polished inside and outside game would be a borderline travesty. I’ll literally jump on the bandwagon of any other team in that case. Fortunately I don’t think I’ll have to worry about that.

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-I’ll do a full mock lottery next week but for now my top 5 would be:

1. Phoenix: DeAndre Ayton (C, Arizona)
2. Sacramento: Marvin Bagley, III (F, Duke)
3. Atlanta: Luke Doncic (F, Slovenia)
4. Memphis: Mohamed Bamba (C, Texas)
5. Dallas: Jaren Jackson, Jr. (C, Michigan State)

Let me also say how NOT confident I am in ANY of those picks as of now.

-I also plan on predicting that the Suns will trade pick #16 and the Heat’s #1 pick in 2021 to move up into the late lottery to select a PG. Find out whom in this column next week…

-4 years, $32 million for David Johnson, $20 million guaranteed. Who says no, his agent or the Cardinals? One way or another, this contract will get done within 30 days.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals

-If you’re one of those people who thinks Josh Rosen will start Week 1 over Sam Bradford, I have a private island to sell you in the Caribbean! How do you bench a guy, right away, that is making $20 million if he’s healthy? The answer: you don’t!

-What do I want to see from the Arizona Coyotes this offseason? Maybe just bring in a scorer or two whose name I might recognize. Seriously this team is full of so many young, unknown players that it’s hard for me, the casual hockey fan, to get excited about them.

I wrote a column last month predicting the UofA football season. But I failed to mention how I thought ASU would fare. So game-by-game, here goes nothing:
(Home teams underlined)

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9/1: ASU 33, UTSA 17
9/8: Michigan State 27, ASU 17
9/15: ASU 26, San Diego State 23
9/22: Washington 34, ASU 16
9/29: ASU 41, Oregon State 21
10/6: ASU 38, Colorado 34
10/18: Stanford 30, ASU 17
10/27: USC 30, ASU 20
11/3: ASU 27, Utah 20
11/10: ASU 38, UCLA 27
11/17: Oregon 41, ASU 28
11/24: Arizona 35, ASU 31

There you have it…6-6 with a trip to the Cactus Bowl at Chase Field. Would you be happy with that Sun Devils fans?

-Let me also go on record and predict and NCAA Basketball Tournament appearance for Sean Miller and the Wildcats. Bobby Hurley and his improved ASU team…well, throw them in the First Four again this year.

-And finally, a bit off topic…but here are my projected championship game / matchup predictions in all major sports:

MLB: Houston vs. Chicago Cubs
NFL (2019): Pittsburgh vs. New Orleans
College Football (2019): Alabama vs. Michigan
College Basketball (2019): Duke vs. Gonzaga
NHL (2019): Pittsburgh vs. Nashville
NBA (2019): Golden State vs. Boston

To read previous entries of my blog, click here. Also make sure to follow me on Twitter @eacohen83.

Arizona Wildcats Football: Pre-Preseason Game-By-Game Predictions for 2018

I wrote a similar column to this one last year, when I first debuted the blog…and while I was WAY off (Arizona went 7-5, not 5-7), at least I got two things correct…that Rich Rodriguez wouldn’t be the Wildcats’ head football coach come 2018 and that “Arizona football will look a lot different in 2018.” In my wildest dreams, however, I would never have expected Arizona to land a coach with the successful track record that Kevin Sumlin brings to Tucson.

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Rodriguez had his moments of success but in the end his lack of successful recruiting and lack of fan interest was key to his demise. I know there were off-the-field things…but I’ll leave those out of this column.

For those of you who know me personally, I’m most passionate about two sports teams: the Chicago Cubs and Arizona Wildcats football. Some of you may think I’m drinking the Kool-Aid with these predictions…but here’s how I feel about UA’s chances in 2018:

Continue reading “Arizona Wildcats Football: Pre-Preseason Game-By-Game Predictions for 2018”

The Suns Got The 1st Pick…Now What?? My Early NBA Mock Draft Top-10

I’ve always believed that history is a good predictor of the future. In the case of the NBA Draft Lottery, in 2018, that went out the window.

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Apparently the “Curse of the Coin Flip” is no more.

In 1969, the Bucks beat the Suns by a flip of the coin for the #1 overall pick. Milwaukee selected Lew Alcindor (who later became Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) and Phoenix got Neal Walk. One of these two centers became among the best NBA centers of all-time…the other wasn’t as fortunate.

But luck changed for the better on Tuesday night when the Suns were awarded the #1 pick and the chance to draft potential superstars DeAndre Ayton or Luke Doncic.

Continue reading “The Suns Got The 1st Pick…Now What?? My Early NBA Mock Draft Top-10”

Predicting 2018’s College GameDay Saturday Locations

My favorite time of the year – college football season is only less than four months away! Seriously…Summer can’t go fast enough this year especially with my (extreme) optimism for my Arizona Wildcats and new coach Kevin Sumlin.

With college football comes the best LIVE television show – ESPN’s College GameDay. I’ve been to the show a handful of times, in Tucson twice (2009 & 2015) as well as before the 2016 National Championship Game in Glendale.

Will GameDay make another appearance in the state of Arizona this season? If so, it certainly won’t be in Tempe!

Here are my best guesses as to where we’ll see Rece Davis, Desmond Howard, Kirk Herbstreit, and of course the legend Lee Corso in 2018:

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Continue reading “Predicting 2018’s College GameDay Saturday Locations”

EC’s Kentucky Derby Selections

This Saturday is one of my favorite days of the year: the betting spectacle that is the Kentucky Derby! Now let’s be honest…the Belmont Stakes full card is better than what we’ll say on Saturday at Churchill Downs. But the unpredictability of what will happen in America’s largest and arguably most significant yearly race can’t be beaten.

I’ll return with a full column or two next week but for now, take these winners to the betting window on Saturday and let’s make a few bucks!

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Continue reading “EC’s Kentucky Derby Selections”