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Division rivals Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals are set to meet for the second time this season in St. Louis, Missouri. The Pirates won two out of the three games they played earlier this season, and will be trying to get their season back on track against the Cardinals, who knocked them out of the payoffs last year.
The defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks finished third in the Central division, behind the surprising Colorado Avalanche, a team that had the second worst record in the NHL last year, and the St. Louis Blues, which means they will start their Stanley Cup defense on the road as the 5th seed in the Western Conference. They finished the season as the top scoring team in the NHL, and had the 5th best home ice record in the league. They also finished the season ranked 12th in goals allowed per game, but weren't very good on the road compared to last season when they were one of the best road teams in the league.
The Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors are two of the most exciting and high scoring teams in the NBA, the Clippers scored 107.9 points per game during the regular season, and had the league's best offense, while the Warriors scored 104.3 per game, which was the league's 10th best offense.
The Memphis Grizzlies are a team that nobody wanted to play in the playoffs, because they have been one of the hottest teams in the league since the middle of January. They create a matchup nightmare for most teams in the league because of their big men Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, who can score and play defense, and generally have their way with their opponents' big men.
After failing to make the playoffs last season, the Dallas Mavericks made it in this year as the eight seed, and are rewarded for their trouble with a first round matchup against the defending Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs.
The Miami Heat headed into the playoffs having lost 6 of their final 10 games, and three games in a row, which cost them the number one seed in the Eastern Conference. Even with their unimpressive finish to the season, they are still the favorite to win the NBA Finals, repeating as champions for the third straight year.
Both teams didn't have any problems with their first round matchups, Oregon needed a second half run to put away the #10 seeded BYU by 19 points, while Wisconsin didn't have any problems dispatching #15 American University by 40 points.
On the first day of tournament play, the Dayton Flyers won the battle of Ohio teams, and had the first upset of the tournament by stunning their better known and higher seeded interstate rivals Ohio State with a layup by Vee Sanford with 3.8 seconds left in the game, ending Ohio State's bid to make it to the sweet sixteen for the fourth straight year. They are hoping for some more magic against the #3 seed Syracuse Orange.
The Washington Wizards continue to roll along despite being without their top big man. The Wizards seek their fifth consecutive victory Thursday night as they visit Toronto for a date with the Raptors.
Just as Ohio State thought its season couldn’t get any worse last month, Penn State proved that it could when it ended an 18-game losing streak to its Big Ten rival.