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The pretenders will fight, but the veterans will win

By Lingfeng Li | June 24, 2007, midnight | In Professional »

The Grand Slams this year have played out much like an episode of "American Idol" " dead dull and dreadfully melodramatic. Moreover, the drama at Wimbledon this year, much like "American Idol" again, seems to have been cryogenically collected from this time last year and defrosted.


They're French Open champions - again

By Lingfeng Li | June 10, 2007, midnight | In Professional »

For a moment, the girl who had grown up playing tennis in an empty swimming pool in her war-stricken hometown of Belgrade seemed poised to complete her rags to riches tale. During Saturday's final, Ana Ivanovic, the 19-year-old upstart from Serbia, was up a break and 40-0 in the second game against top seed Justine Henin.


'07 NBA Finals preview

By Andrew Kung Nitin Sukumar | June 7, 2007, midnight | In Professional »

After a long month and a half of intense playoff action, the NBA Finals are finally upon us. Beginning today, the Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers will square off against the San Antonio Spurs, victors in the West, in a matchup billed as LeBron James versus Tim Duncan. Can King James lead Cleveland to the Promised Land, or are the Big Fundamental and crew just too sound to lose? We take a look at the factors at play with the Larry O'Brien Trophy at stake.


Anything but "Open" at Roland Garros

By Lingfeng Li | June 1, 2007, midnight | In Professional »

The middle weekend of a Grand Slam tournament is always entertaining, if only to survey the damage of week one. On the men's side, the seeds have been dropping like flies, many of them ousted by little-known clay court specialists. The women, on the other hand, have kept matches routine and predictable. But the main players are all still here after fairly straightforward wins, which should lead to some mouth-watering showdowns in the next week.


A fortnight in Paris

By Lingfeng Li | May 26, 2007, midnight | In Professional »

For the tennis world, the end of May is dedicated to the French Open, the culmination of the clay season: a tumultuous globe-trotting, two-month span where winning is more about patience than power, topspin than pace and fitness than flamboyance.


The stars shine (for now) in Washington

By Andrew Kung | May 3, 2007, midnight | In Professional »

Disappointment and DC sports have gone hand in hand for over a decade now, as overspending by the Redskins, the so-called curse of Les Boulez on the Wizards and the penny-pinching ways of the Nationals and Capitals have led to traditions of futility.


2006-2007 NBA midseason report

By Andrew Kung Nitin Sukumar | Feb. 12, 2007, midnight | In Professional »

The National Basketball Association has been a roller coaster full of surprises, highlighted thus far by dominating stretches by top teams (two 15+ game win streaks by the Phoenix Suns, 13 in a row by the Dallas Mavericks), uniform changes (Allen Iverson, Chris Webber) and an ugly brawl at Madison Square Garden. With the All-Star break fast approaching, we break down the top teams and dish out midseason hardware.


NFL Conference championships preview

By Pia Nargundkar, Abe Schwadron, Josh Zipin | Jan. 21, 2007, midnight | In Professional »

The NFL's Final Four is set, and the smell of the Super Bowl is in the air. Will it be the Pats, Colts, Bears or Saints, time will only tell. But before we get to the Big One in Miami, today's games will be fought. So as you enjoy the day's snow flurries, be sure to holla at the TV, too, because some great NFL action is goin' down. Here are our picks:


NFL Divisional playoffs

By Pia Nargundkar, Abe Schwadron, Josh Zipin | Jan. 13, 2007, midnight | In Professional »

This year's NFL divisional playoffs are loaded with questions. Can Manning win on the road? Will the Pats stun the Chargers? Can the Saints keep hope alive? Can Rex Grossman not throw an interception? SCO's team of NFL experts does its best to answer those questions and more. Read on...


NFL Wild Card predictions

By Pia Nargundkar, Phillip Allen, Abe Schwadron | Jan. 6, 2007, midnight | In Professional »

Wild-card weekend is in full effect, and although the Redskins couldn't make it this year, there are still four intriguing matchups to look forward to. Oh, and in case you were wondering, Pia held on to take the top spot in this year's NFL picks.


NFL Week Seventeen predictions

By Phillip Allen, Abe Schwadron, Josh Zipin | Dec. 30, 2006, midnight | In Professional »

When we started NFL picks this season, Pia was the underdog. Now, the rest of us are fighting to get out of last. From the three (lovable?) losers, Abe, Josh and Phil, this is our last set of picks from the past two years. And we finished where we started—the bottom of the barrel. Peace out NFL predictions, it's been real. Happy New Year!


NFL Week Sixteen predictions

By Phillip Allen, Abe Schwadron, Josh Zipin | Dec. 21, 2006, midnight | In Professional »

Happy Holidays! Overall
Josh 130-93
Abe 129-94
Pia 139-84
Phil 131-92


NFL Week Fifteen predictions

By Pia Nargundkar, Abe Schwadron, Josh Zipin | Dec. 14, 2006, midnight | In Professional »

Last week, we had the pleasure of picking alongside Mike Wilbon, and in the process we proved our mighty pick 'em smarts, as only Josh couldn't top the new guy. As usual, Pia continued to fry the rest of us, as Abe closed the gap with Phil and Josh. As for week fifteen, there's some good games, some ugly games and of course the Redskins game in New Orleans. Think Drew Brees is licking his chops?


NFL Week Fourteen predictions

By Pia Nargundkar, Abe Schwadron, Josh Zipin | Dec. 7, 2006, midnight | In Professional »

Last Tuesday, the SCO sports staff had the honor and privilege of meeting one of the best local and national sportswriters we know, and a guy that we look up to: Michael Wilbon. This week, he found the time to send us his picks for this week. Read on as our SCO staff take on the legendary Wilbon.


NFL Week Thirteen predictions

By Phillip Allen, Abe Schwadron, Josh Zipin | Nov. 30, 2006, midnight | In Professional »

Thursday night games premiere this week on NFL Network, which means either more excitement or more frustration for football fans, and earlier deadlines for us. But either way you slice it, it's football.


"Rasheed Rule" is unnecessary straitjacket

By Nitin Sukumar | Nov. 24, 2006, midnight | In Professional »

Everyone loves David Stern. The NBA's babysitter decides what clothes the athletes wear to games and what ball the players should start using after 35 years of success. What's his latest change? Refs are now whistle-happy when it comes to arguing. Before the season started, Stern discussed with the referee association what his image of NBA players consists of. Accordingly, refs now have an unspoken, zero-tolerance policy for player rants on the court.


NFL Week Twelve predictions

By Phillip Allen, Abe Schwadron, Josh Zipin | Nov. 23, 2006, midnight | In Professional »

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our loyal readers out there, and be sure to plop down in front of the tube for some post-stuffing NFL football.


NFL Week Eleven predictions

By Phillip Allen, Abe Schwadron, Josh Zipin | Nov. 19, 2006, midnight | In Professional »

As we reviewed the standings this week, we noticed that there was a discrepancy in the number of games we had each picked. Somehow, Pia had two less games than the rest of us. Josh suggested giving her two losses, hoping to even the field. Phil said we should hand her one win and one loss, keeping her totals even. Wondering what to do and where we had gone wrong, we poured over the last ten weeks of predictions, hoping to find a clue as to where we had done some bad math. As fate would have it, we found the mistake. So what did we find? We omitted two of Pia's correct predictions. Her two more wins plus another week of superiority mean she's pulling away fast, as the rest of us are left stunned and embarrassed. As for this week…


NFL Week Ten predictions

By Phillip Allen, Abe Schwadron, Josh Zipin | Nov. 11, 2006, midnight | In Professional »

The SCO sports staff is currently Ballin'!!, and with a full docket of games on the schedule, all our senior experts will be looking to close the gap between their records and Pia's. Too bad she never has a bad week.


NFL Week Nine predictions

By Pia Nargundkar, Abe Schwadron, Josh Zipin | Nov. 5, 2006, midnight | In Professional »

Forget the records, the injuries, the controversies and anything else you've heard this week. Dallas vs. Washington is all that matters…


NBA Eastern conference preview

By Andrew Kung Nitin Sukumar | Nov. 1, 2006, midnight | In Professional »

Chicago snatched the upper hand over rival Detroit by signing four-time Defensive Player of the Year Ben Wallace. With a talented core of young athletes, the Bulls already have their eyes set on championship rings, but Miami is hungry for more glory and Cleveland and Toronto are on the rise. Here’s a look at the Eastern Conference’s squads, ranked within their divisions.


NBA Western conference preview

By Andrew Kung Nitin Sukumar | Nov. 1, 2006, midnight | In Professional »

Following Phoenix's suit, the West is moving toward a general run-and-gun offense. The teams that can actually do this have a shot at the championship. And once again, that means Dallas, San Antonio and Phoenix. But key additions in Houston and Minnesota have at least two more teams eyeing the trophy in June. Here’s a look at the West, with teams ranked in order of predicted finish within their divisions.


NFL Week Eight predictions

By Phillip Allen, Abe Schwadron, Josh Zipin | Oct. 29, 2006, midnight | In Professional »

It's the beginning of the end for Pia. I see it now. Last week was just the beginning as she lost ground. Amazingly, Phil was the best last week, even though as a group we unanimously picked six games wrong. There are a couple of real tough games this week, including Denver versus Indy in a matchup with playoff implications. Abe makes his return to the picks and looks to gain ground from his last-place standing, which is highly unlikely. Check it out for yourself"


NFL Week seven predictions

By Pia Nargundkar, Phillip Allen, Josh Zipin | Oct. 22, 2006, midnight | In Professional »

Another week in the NFL, and another probable Redskins loss. I hate to say it Skins fans, but this week looks bleak. With a loss here, we could be looking at a quarterback switch. As you can see, last week was a stalemate as we all picked horribly. Pia maintains her lead of four games, while Abe, the most egotistical of us all, retains sole possession of last place, a whopping nine games out. R.I.P. Abe's comments. Check out what the rest of us experts have to say this week…


Baseball's rejuvenated farmer's market

By Andrew Kung | Oct. 20, 2006, midnight | In Professional »

The New York Yankees, backed by the pocketbook of free-spending owner George Steinbrenner, touted a 2006 payroll of $200 million-plus, exceeding the GDP of many a small country. With what was considered by many to be the greatest lineup assembled in history, the Yanks looked to cruise through the raw American League and add another World Series banner to illustrious Yankee Stadium.

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