London Olympics 2012: Pick ‘Em Challenge, Day 1

The Summer Olympics in London are about to get underway tomorrow with the Opening Ceremonies. Well, to be fair, the games actually already started. Nevertheless!

Two of our writers, Greg Kaplan and Vinny Ginardi, have undertaken ESPN’s Pick ‘Em Challenge for the games this year, and will try to accurately predict just about every event at this years games, including Men’s Archery.

Some of the best events, the two have decided to share their picks with you and give you some advice and insight. As always, take what these two say with a grain of salt. They aren’t the same since they left college…

Women’s Basketball: Russia vs. Canada – Pick ‘Em – Russia wins by 25+ points vs. Any Other Result

VG: I’ve decided to use videos and pictures to help me make my selections because I frankly don’t know all that much about many of these events or those participating in them.

Why I’m not picking Canada.

The Pick: Russia wins by 25+ points

GK: I’m pretty sure there are a couple of Americans playing on the Russian team (Becky Hammon) because there are way too many talented Americans to all play on the same team. However, I don’t think there are many, if any, on Team Canada. I’m going with Russia. Also, reason #4526 why its hard to watch women’s basketball: the gap between the haves and the have-nots is just unfair. We’re featuring three games. All have spreads of 25 points. And it seems crazy to pick against them even by spotting other teams the 25 points. Yikes.

The Pick: Russia wins by 25+ points

Women’s Basketball: United States vs. Croatia – Pick ‘Em – United States wins by 25+ points vs. Any Other Result

VG: Here are the results when you Google “Top 10 things to do in ____” when you plug “United States” and “Croatia” into the blank.

Croatia gives you the top 10 things do in Croatia…respectable. But the United States gives you 50 things to do because 10 is too small of a list.

The Pick: United States wins by 25+

GK: The United States is the heavy favorite. And by heavy favorite, I mean there’s a chance a team they play scores less than 20 points in a game. This feels like one of those games.

The Pick: United States wins by 25+

Men’s Swimming: 400m Individual Medley – Who will have better result? Michael Phelps vs. Ryan Lochte


But in all seriousness, Lochte actually has been outperforming Phelps as of late, so I’m going Lochte.

The Pick: Ryan Lochte

GK: Lochte is the defending world champion in both the 200IM and 400IM. Michael Phelps has called these games his quest to “put as many toppings on his sundae as possible”. I’m not sure that’s the type of analogy I want from an Olympic champion.

However, Phelps is an Olympic champion. Maybe the greatest of all time. I think he’s going to crank it to 11 once he’s in the water when a medal is on the line.

The Pick: Michael Phelps

Women’s Swimming: 4×100 Freestyle Relay – Who will win gold? United States vs. Any Other Country

VG: I mean, I had to use this at some point right?

The Pick: United States

GK: The United States is very fast. I can’t name another country in this race. AMERICA!

The Pick: United States

Women’s Basketball: Australia vs. Great Britain – Pick ‘Em – Australia wins by 25+ points vs. Any Other Result


That’s me (when I still had hair) just hanging out with an emu in Australia. What was the other choice again?

The Pick: Australia wins by 25+

GK: Australia is widely regarded as the favorites to take home silver in these Olympics. And when I say they’re the favorites to win silver, that means they’re likely the only team that’s going to keep the United States within 25 points. I’m not sure again why I chose this game as a highlight match-up. Maybe because it was either this or Men’s Archery. I don’t know.

The Pick: Australia wins by 25+