• How did the U.S. get into the gold medal men's curling match? It's one of the best upset/redemption stories in recent memory.

John Shuster, Team USA's skip and a native of Chisholm, was on the bronze medal-winning USA team in 2006 but had two rocky Olympic experiences in 2010 and 2014 that ended well short of medals. It looked like more of the same early on in Pyeongchang, as the U.S. fell to 2-4 through the first six matches of the tournament. But the Americans have won their past four matches to make the final.

• Is curling exciting? That's up to you to decide. It doesn't inherently sound exciting to watch competitors slide giant rocks down the ice, while teammates frantically sweep the ice to clear a path, but it is oddly mesmerizing. At its best, it's like watching a high-stakes golf tournament. The drama is in the tension and the thin margin for error.

Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. michael.rand@startribune.com.