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614Sports: Buzzer beater in the Bus

jimmy lentz

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CBJ: Playoff Hopes Will Be Determined in 3-2-1…

A 5-4 OT loss to the Vancouver Canucks this past weekend prevented the Columbus Blue Jackets from clearly separating themselves from the ready-to-pounce Philadelphia Flyers as they are equal on points with the CBJ yet stuck playing second fiddle because of a tiebreaker.

With three games remaining in the regular season (two at home, one away), the Blue Jackets could finish second in the Metro Division, earn one of the Wild Card spots, or—dare I even write it—miss the playoffs.

This razor-thin margin for error will make for some intense, consequential battles on the ice that proves the notion that every game matters in the NHL’s demanding 82-game season. And if the CBJ can maintain its recent pace of scoring (16 goals in the last three games), then the climb into the playoffs could be just the beginning of this team’s eventual summit this season.

The Columbus Blue Jackets (94 points) host the Detroit Red Wings (71 points) tonight at Nationwide Arena at 7 p.m. on Fox Sports Ohio.

Columbus Had the Thrills & Villanova Had the Wright Stuff

The NCAA Women’s Final Four in Columbus was, by all accounts, a wonderful success on and off the court.

Both of the two semifinal games went into OT—one of which saw the undefeated juggernaut UConn Huskies upset—and the national championship was won at the buzzer 61-58 on a déjà vu play by Notre Dame’s star guard #24 Arike Ogunbowale that broke the hearts of Mississippi State players, coaches and fans. The ESPN announcers even asked when they’re going to get to come back to Columbus.

 

On the men’s side, the Wolverines from that team up north fell just short were thoroughly defeated in a 79-62 loss to the Villanova Wildcats. With this win, Nova head coach Jay Wright and his program earned its second national championship in three years with the three-point shooting equivalence of a Rocky Balboa punch.

Speaking of which, it’s a very good time to be a Philadelphia sports fan right now. As Jim Nantz said late last night, Philly’s sports fans are experiencing a “supernova” with that velvety voice of his (according to Charles Barkley).

From the first ever #16-seed UMBC Retrievers not only beating but beating down the overall #1-seed Virginia Cavaliers to Ohio State’s promising future with Chris Holtmann to brackets being busted in record time to Villanova earning serious name recognition and respect nationally to the equally inspiring and informative 98-year-old Sister Jean of Loyola-Chicago, this March delivered every kind of madness we could’ve (and never could’ve) imagined.

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Columbus is a frontrunner to host return of the NHL in proposed plan

Mike Thomas

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With some teams telling players to report for workouts on May 15, the future of the current NHL season is still anything but certain. For now, it seems hockey commissioner Gary Bettman is eyeing a a plan to finish out regular season play by centralizing games at four locations. According to a report from the New York Post, Columbus and the facilities at Nationwide Arena are among the frontrunners being considered to host one of these proposed "quadrants," should the NHL resume play this summer.

Hockey blog thehockeywriters.com offers a deep-dive into the many factors that have put Columbus on the short list of candidates for this modified NHL season, including the abundance of hotels in the area of Nationwide Arena, the more-than-adequate facilities of the arena itself, and the encouragingly low number of Covid cases in Franklin County.

While it's still way, way too early to say whether or not this plan will move forward, it's encouraging nonetheless to see Columbus recognized as a frontrunner for the return of national televised sports. Just don't count on sitting in the stands with 80k of your fellow fans anytime soon.

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Memorial Tourney gets mid-summer date but will fans be allowed?

614Now

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It may be a little early to break out the polo shirt and comfy walking shoes, but the good news is that one the city's most visible sporting events will be held this year after all. The big question remains: will Gov. DeWine allow fans to attend?

Thursday, the PGA Tour announced The Memorial Tournament will play the week of July 13-19 at Muirfield Village Golf Club and feature an increased field from 120 to 144 players. The invitational’s one-time expanded field size allowance will provide additional playing opportunities for touring professionals in light of the TOUR’s reduced schedule.

“This is an unprecedented time in our world, as well as the world of sports,” said Founder and Host Jack Nicklaus. “I can’t emphasize enough the message related to doing your part by social distancing and helping our nation and world by slowing this pandemic. But while we all need to come together and be strong, we also need to be understanding and flexible."

Recognizing Governor DeWine’s Ohio Stay at Home order and public gatherings ban guidelines currently in place, the Memorial will proceed with an understanding that its operation may require alterations. The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide will continue to offer patron badges, enhanced with a special offer that includes honoring original presale badge rates – starting at $185 for a weekly patron badge – and a complimentary $20 merchandise card (limit one per order, per household) redeemable at all on-site golf shops during Tournament week.

The Tournament plans to monitor the State of Ohio COVID-19 regulations and will employ changes relative to patron access if needed. If it is determined that the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide will be staged without patrons, a full refund policy will be implemented.

“This has been a couple months we would soon like to forget, but hopefully we can make this a summer to remember," added Nicklaus.

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Goodbye Yellow and Black? Columbus Crew could change name

614now Staff

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With the announcement of the new downtown stadium in the post-"Save the Crew" era, the future of Columbus Crew SC seemed secure.

Now, a report from The Dispatch is once against casting doubt on the club's continued existence—at least in its current form. According to "sources close to the Crew’s front office," management is giving serious thought to changing the team name, colors, and logo by the time the new stadium opens in the summer of 2021.

For commentary on the situation, including a statement from a team spokesperson, read the full rundown at The Dispatch.

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