Non-April Fools' Predictions: Orlando to Be NBA Champs, Plus More

Jake LivinstonCorrespondent IApril 1, 2009

I bet that we have all been surfing the web, looking for great April Fools' jokes to play on our siblings, co-workers, girlfriends, spouses, etc. I willingly admit that I have.

But you'd know for sure it was a joke right off the bat if I told you that the Phoenix Suns were going to win the NBA Finals or that the Cincinnati Reds were going to win the World Series.

Heck, I'd almost have to say "April Fools'" in order to keep my sports sanity in those cases.

But all that being said, allow me to present you with some dead-serious predictions.

Lots of people will disagree with me, but I expect that to happen. Keep in mind that I am just tossing out events that have a chance of happening but have been largely crossed out in most peoples' minds.

Enough talking, let's get to the list:


NCAA Basketball Predictions

First, North Carolina will win the NCAA tournament without scoring 75 points in regulation. Looking ahead at the teams that they will play, Villanova and (most likely) UConn, they will struggle to score 100 points against either.

Though 75 is a very low number for the Tar Heels, Villanova can hold them to this by employing intense defense and using Scottie Reynolds to lock down Ty Lawson. UConn can do the same with Price and, of course, Thabeet.

But UNC will be able to adapt to these good defenses and still will force the opponent to run and take bad shots. Their speed cannot be beaten, and they showed they can win without huge numbers when they put up just 72 against Oklahoma.


Hasheem Thabeet will not be very effective against Michigan State.

The All-American will be matched up against Spartan center Goran Suton, who has showed his range against Louisville, and Thabeet will be forced to play on the perimeter. This will decrease his block totals and allow MSU to drive.

Suton is the best rebounder Hasheem has faced yet, so Thabeet's offensive board totals will suffer. I expect a 10-point, eight-rebound, and one-block game from the gigantic Husky.


Seth Curry will become a better player than his brother.

With news of his transfer to Duke, we know he will become better coached, and that his skills will therefore improve.

Seth's point totals may go down due to tough ACC comp, but he won't be putting up as many shots as Stephen must. Coach K will get him to become a better passer and shooter.


NBA Predictions

The Orlando Magic will win the NBA Finals. They have the best center in the NBA, and he can win the battle down low over any other big man in the league.

To boot, Orlando is a good road team, shown with a win in Boston. Their guards and Rashard Lewis can light it up from triple land on any given night, and Hedo Turkoglu can get to the hole and draw fouls.


Boston won't advance past the first roundof the Playoffs. They are not a good road team and have problems winning when two of their "Big Four" (the trio now expands to include Rondo) aren't on. They lost in Milwaukee, for Pete's sake!

They struggled away from Beantown in the postseason last year and will have trouble against a team like Chicago, Detroit, Miami, or Philadelphia in the first round.


NFL Predictions

The Jets won't have a quarterback come September.

They may be stuck with Kellen Clemens or Eric Ainge. They've got to feel pretty stupid for getting rid of Pennington.


Devin Hester will be the Bears' leading receiver.

He showed his skill at the position over the seven or eight games and will continue to improve. He is elusive and can rack up tons of yards after catch.


MLB Predictions

The Yankees won't make the Playoffs. Just look at their stacked AL East division.

Only two teams at the most can make the postseason out of that group of five, and the Yankees are too star-studded. Teams need the role players to be successful, and the Bronx Bombers don't have enough guys willing to swallow their pride.


The Cubs will win the World Series.

This year may be their best shot in ages; they're loaded with more talent and a phenomenal pitching staff. I'm firmly of the belief that the Cubbies can rock their way to the Fall Classic, where Sweet Lou will work his magic and bring joy to the Windy City.

Or at least its North Side.


Other Predictions

A surprising 20 percent of Americans that claim to be "sports fans" will know who won the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship.

Apparently, lacrosse is growing in popularity across the nation. The men's final is, believe it or not, the most-attended NCAA Championship.

By the way, Syracuse won last season.


Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will make a summer run and win the NSCS Cup. He's due for a championship.

Only Jimmie Johnson has a shot at taking it from him.


If you have any other predictions that aren't April Fools' Day jokes, feel free to tell me about them.


    Yu Darvish and the Good Fastball

    Chicago Cubs logo
    Chicago Cubs

    Yu Darvish and the Good Fastball

    Jay Jaffe
    via Fangraphs

    Addison Russell Shrugging Off the Rumors, Turning on the Bat

    Chicago Cubs logo
    Chicago Cubs

    Addison Russell Shrugging Off the Rumors, Turning on the Bat

    Michael Cerami
    via Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

    Darvish’s Scary First Preceded a Change in His Fastball

    Chicago Cubs logo
    Chicago Cubs

    Darvish’s Scary First Preceded a Change in His Fastball

    Michael Cerami
    via Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

    Magic Sorting Through What’s Left as Part of Rebuild

    Orlando Magic logo
    Orlando Magic

    Magic Sorting Through What’s Left as Part of Rebuild

    Philip Rossman-Reich
    via Locked On Magic