Ridaught: Big week in sports ahead

Amelia Arena in Tampa
The Amalie Arena is home to the Tampa Bay Lightning NHL hockey team.

It’s not “the dog days of summer” yet.

In fact, summer doesn’t officially begin until next Tuesday, June 21.

The quote has long been attributed to that period of time when there is not much going on in the sports world (end of June and most of July).

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It pales in comparison to a week like this week, when there is so much going on in the world of sports.

This week, there’s the NBA Finals, NHL Finals, U.S Open, and the College World Series in Omaha.

Game five of the NBA Finals is tonight, with games six and seven, if necessary, on Thursday and Sunday.

The Boston Celtics and the Golden State Warriors are tied at 2-2. The Warriors need ‘force’ to be with them in Game 5 vs. the Celtics, but what exactly does that mean?

The Warriors’ Stephen Curry has been on fire behind the arc in the NBA Finals, shooting 49% on more than 12 attempts per game. Will Ime Udoka adjust in Game 5?

Here’s why the Warriors and Celtics need their big men in a big way.

The Tampa Bay Lightning are back in the NHL Finals for the third straight year.

The Lightning defeated the NY Rangers, 2-1, in game six of the Eastern Conference finals to seal an ‘unbelievable’ third straight berth in Stanley Cup Final.

Only eight franchises have gone back-to-back-to-back in the history of the four major North American sports leagues, and it hasn’t happened in 20 years.

If Tampa Bay is to win its third straight, there’s no secret what the Lightning want to do.

The U.S. Open begins on Thursday.

But the biggest news is taking place off of the golf course.

Phil Mickelson has arrived at Brookline, Massachusetts, for the 2022 U.S. Open, where a wild week awaits. That’s because of this current feud between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour.

The LIV Golf International Series just wrapped up its first event.

The CWS begins on Friday in Omaha. 

Six of the eight teams have clinched a spot – Notre Dame, Texas, which advanced to the CWS for the 38th time, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Arkansas and Ole Miss.

Tennessee haters, you got your wish

The top-ranked and overall national No. 1 seed Vols were upset by the Irish, 7-3, on Sunday in Game three of their Best-of-3 series. 

That marks the third straight year that the No. 1 seed has failed to make it to Omaha.

In fact, it’s been over 20 years since the No. 1 overall seed won it all (1999 – Miami).

Oklahoma, which defeated the Gators in the Gainesville Regional to advance to this past weekend’s super regionals, took two out of three from No. 4 Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, including an 11-2 win on Sunday to make their first CWS since 2010.

There are two super regionals today, with the winners advancing to Omaha as each series is tied 1-1.

UConn will play at No. 2 Stanford at 4 p.m. (ESPN2), followed by No. 14 Auburn at No. 3 Oregon State at 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2).

So far, seven of the top 11 national seeds have been eliminated, including five teams who lost at home (Virginia Tech, East Carolina, North Carolina, Southern Miss, and Tennessee) in the super regionals.

The CWS begins on Friday, with the finals beginning on Saturday, June 25 (best of 3). Game three of the CWS Finals, if necessary, would be on Monday, June 27.

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