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SELVIG: Efficient look ahead

Efficiency, streamlining ... these are words a lot of us are wrestling with at our jobs these days.

We're no different here at the newspaper, we're trying to thread that needle too.

So in an effort to do that, from time to time we'll try to cover a few topics we might not have space for otherwise.

For example, this is a busy sports weekend both locally and nationally.

On the college front, the Jimmie baseball and softball teams play back-to-back doubleheaders in Dickinson today and tomorrow. It's the fourth year in a row and fifth in the last six the Jimmies have played games in North Dakota this early. It wasn't that long ago March was exclusively an indoor month. Not anymore. But no, the climate is not changing.

There's high school softball here today. There'd be baseball too, but the Jeff Gould family dugouts, or at least that's what they should be called, aren't quite done yet. The project is nearly complete, all that's left is to repair the right-field grass and a few other trimmings around the edges.

Speaking of baseball, the Major League season starts on Sunday. The Twins get going on Monday against the Kansas City Royals. Even Michael Savaloja, ultimate-Twins-optimist, is tempered heading into the 2017 campaign—407 wins and 565 losses over the last six years will do that.

Over-under on the Twins' win-total this year? The Atlantis Casino in Las Vegas has the number at 70.5. Based on Minnesota's roster, more specifically the continued sorry state of the starting pitching, I'll take the under and your money.

Far more interesting than the Twins is the Final 4 tonight in Arizona. Not only is it three teams that basically have never been there (everybody except North Carolina), it's also the anti-1-and-done Final 4. While it is an anomaly to be sure, this year is proof you don't need a roster full of future pros to win.

In the latest NBAdraft.net projections—those folks are very good at this—only two players on the court tonight are forecasted as first-round picks: Justin Jackson of North Carolina and Zach Collins of Gonzaga. I'm a college basketball dork and I've barely heard of Mr. Collins, a 7-footer, who does not start. Jackson's more of a household name, he's a junior, and a fringe first-rounder.

But most importantly this weekend (only to me) is my fantasy baseball draft. It's my 21st year in the same league—that's two-plus decades of caring about Jake Odorizzi, Jonathan Villar, Jackie Bradley Jr. and the like—I gotta get a life.

We'll have recaps of everything mentioned in this column in Monday's paper, except my draft. We don't have space for that, and more importantly, nobody cares.

Dave Selvig
Selvig has been a sports writer at The Sun since 1999 and sports editor since 2009.
(701) 952-8460
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