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Mitch's Sports Report: UVM Primed For America East Title Game; NY Giants Make Baffling Trade

Backed by a record-setting night from sophomore guard Stef Smith, the University of Vermont men's basketball team dispatched the Binghamton Bearcats 84-51 at Patrick Gym last night, setting up a rematch of last year's America East title game.

Smith was a long range threat all night, especially in the first half when he knocked down seven buckets from beyond the arc en route to a 28-point performance. His eight three-pointers overall set a new America East semi-final playoff record.

Anthony Lamb added 17 for UVM and now all eyes will turn back to Patrick Gym Saturday when the Catamounts try to avenge last year's loss in the title game to the UMBC Retrievers, who survived a double overtime win against Hartford last night.
 
The Castleton University men's Nordic ski team placed first overall to win the US Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association National Championships in the 7.5-kilometer classic yesterday at the Trail Creek Nordic Center, marking the first such title in the school's history.

Castleton placed its top 3 skiers in second, third and 12th place overall to earn the win, led by second and third place finishes by Andrew Doherty and John Paluszek.  

The Castleton women's Nordic team finished in fourth place overall, and the Castleton women's alpine ski team raced its way to a second-place finish in Tuesday's giant slalom competition.

Moving to the world of the pros, we have to start with football, and even though it's the NFL's off-season, fans of the NY Giants may be feeling like there's no point to starting their season at all come September.

That's because the Giants have traded perhaps the most purely talented wide receiver in the game, Odell Beckham Jr., to the Cleveland Browns.

This is a baffling move on a lot of levels, first because of Beckham's overwhelming skill set. Look up highlight reel catches on Youtube and Beckham will pop up repeatedly, making spectacular one-handed grabs and showing off bursts of speed that leave defenders chasing his shadow more often than not. But it's also a shocker because the Giants signed the 26-year old to a five year, 98 million dollar deal less than a year ago, indicating he was very much the cornerstone of the franchise.

In exchange, as reported by ESPN, the Giants will get Cleveland's first-round pick this year, and that'll be number 17 overall, and a third round pick, 95th overall, as well as safety Jabrill Peppers.

But the trade makes little sense for New York. Beckham is in his prime years, and will instantly transform Cleveland into the team to beat now in the AFC North. The Giants lose their best overall player and didn't even get two first round picks from Cleveland, which you would assume would be the minimum asking price for a player who's ranked third in receiving yards since entering the league in 2014.

Sorry, Giants fans, but you can spin this deal like the top in the movie Inception and it still won't make any sense, pretty much like that movie itself.

In the NHL the Boston Bruins have come down to earth with two straight losses following their run of recording at least one point in 19 straight games. Last night in Columbus they played run and gun pond hockey with the Blue Jackets and got run into the ground in a 7-4 loss. Boone Jenner scored a hat trick for the Blue Jackets. The Bruins trailed 5-1 at one point before scoring three unanswered goals to make a game of it in the second period but Columbus tacked on two more in the third to complete the blow-out.

A milestone for Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price, who made 20 saves in front of the home crowd at the Bell Centre last night in Montreal's 3-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings and in doing so, notched win number 315 for his career. That victory moves him past the legendary  Jacques Plante to become the winningest goalie in Montreal Canadiens history.

Plante is the man who invented the goalie mask and is arguably the best net-minder in hockey history, so that is no small feat for Price to pass him for most Montreal goaltender victories.

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