Around The Bases – Your trip around the world in sports for March 21, 2019

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The daily sports news cycle is crazier than ever. Don't have the stamina to keep up to speed? Around The Bases is your daily morning destination to stay in the know on the biggest stories in both local and professional sports. We’ll start at first base with an intriguing story or event, and bring you home with a must-read story in the North Peace sports scene.

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First Base - Siakam leads Raptors to overtime win over Thunder

This one was frustrating but had a happy ending. The Toronto Raptors had a 20 point lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder on the road last night in the second half, and a nine point lead with just two minutes left, but found a way to blow the lead and the Thunder sent the game into overtime. Once in the extra frame, the Raptors played like they did for most of the game, outscoring the Thunder 13-4 to win the game 123-114. Pascal Siakim was the star once again, as he had 33 points, 13 boards, six assists and two steals. The Raptors were without Kyle Lowry, but Fred van Vleet made up for it with 23 points and six assists. The Thunder are a good team but are struggling mightily down the stretch, and the Raptors play them again tomorrow, this time in Toronto. 

Second Base - Midget Female provincials begin today, Predators play twice

The Midget Female Predators, hosting provincials this weekend at the North Peace Arena, kicked off the tournament with an early game at 7:45 a.m. this morning against North Shore. The Predators are back in action at 4:45 p.m. today against Vancouver. The Predators play once each the next two days, tomorrow at 4:15 p.m. and Saturday at 4 p.m.

Third Base - Huskies host Kings for Game 5 tonight

With the series tied 2-2, tonight's Game 5 of the NWJHL Final between the Fort St. John Huskies and County of Grande Prairie Kings is the most important one of the series yet. A win at home for the Huskies would give them a chance to close out the series on the road, just like they did last year, in Game 6 (Saturday, March 23, 7 p.m.). However, if the Kings can win on the road like they did in Game 1, they can win the series in front of their home crowd. The Huskies didn't play hard out of the gate in Game 4, and with what's at stake in this game and given it's at home, I expect Fort St. John to come out buzzing in the first period. 

Home Base - The NCAA basketball tournament starts today

Today is the start of perhaps the best four days in sports — the first two rounds of the NCAA basketball tournament. There are 16 games both today and tomorrow, and there's nothing like it, with at least two games taking place at any given time until 9 p.m. tonight, and upsets taking place everywhere. Most of the big draws like Duke and Virginia don't play tomorrow, but Gonzaga, a one seed, plays FDU at 4:27 p.m. Murray State, a 12th seed and led by star Ja Morant, takes on fifth seed Marquette and Markus Howard. These are two of the best non-Duke players in the tournament and one of them will be eliminated after this. That game is at 1 :30 p.m. If you're stuck at work today, fear not, four games tip off after  6 p.m. Enjoy. 

Around the Bases runs Monday through Friday. If you have a news tip or story to share, email Dillon Giancola at sports@ahnfsj.ca

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