Time for stars to shine

From the ice to the tropical sun, the best players gather this weekend.
The NHL holds its All-Star game Sunday at 4 p.m. in Ottawa, just before the NFL’s Pro Bowl in Hawaii.
Due to his action last Sunday, the Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin plans to miss the festivities on NBC Sports Network. Who’s going to be playing on which team Sunday? They host a Fantasy Draft Thursday at 8 p.m., and the skills competition is Saturday at 7 p.m.
The Pro Bowl now kicks off Super Bowl week, meaning the best players of the best two teams will miss the event. Instead of canceling the trip after the big game. NBC has the coverage starting at 7 p.m.
The stars of the future play in the Senior Bowl Saturday at 4 p.m. on NFL Network.
For other stars on ice, NBC shows the U.S. Figure Skating Championships Saturday at 4 p.m. and again at 9 p.m. Only two more years until the next Winter Olympics.
The stars of tennis close out the Australian Open this weekend, with the women’s final Saturday at 3 a.m. and men’s final Sunday at 3 a.m.
The PGA tour begins the new year on CBS, with coverage of the Farmers Insurance Open Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m.
Virginia Tech faces Maryland in ACC basketball Saturday at 2:30 p.m., after Wake Forest plays Clemson at noon. Sunday at 1 p.m., Miami takes on Boston College.
CBS has Texas vs. Baylor Saturday at 1 p.m., then Michigan battles Ohio State Sunday at 1 p.m.
ESPN brings the ACC clash between North Carolina and N.C. State Thursday at 7 p.m. Saturday starts with St. John’s at Duke at noon, followed by Kansas taking on Iowa State. Georgetown faces Pittsburgh at 4 p.m., and Washington heads to Arizona at 7 p.m.
ESPN2’s Thursday includes three games, beginning at 7 p.m. as Florida battles Mississippi. Indiana meets Wisconsin at 9 p.m., then it’s Gonzaga-Portland. Saturday, Marquette plays Villanova at noon. Three more games follow at 4 p.m., as Purdue takes on Northwestern and Auburn plays Tennessee. The night closes with Virginia traveling to N.C. State at 8 p.m.
Comcast has CAA action Thursday at 8 p.m., with William & Mary visiting James Madison. At 11 p.m., Washington State heads to Arizona. It’s a CAA doubleheader Saturday, with James Madison going to George Mason at 2 p.m. followed by William & Mary vs. Old Dominion.
MASN features the WAC Thursday at 9 p.m. as Hawaii visits Utah State. Saturday begins in the Big 12 as Oklahoma State plays Texas A&M at 4 p.m, then it’s off to the Big East for a pair of games. Cincinnati meets Rutgers at 6 p.m, followed by Louisville-Seton Hall. The night ends with Hawaii’s game in Idaho at 10 p.m.
Sunday, Notre Dame battles Connecticut at noon.
ABC starts a new season of Sunday afternoon NBA, with the Bulls meeting the Heat at 3:30 p.m.
TNT shows the Celtics facing Orlando Thursday at 8 p.m., followed by the Grizzlies at the Clippers. ESPN offers the Knicks against the Nets Friday at 8 p.m., and the Spurs’ visit to Dallas Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
The Wizards head to Houston Friday at 8 p.m. on Comcast, then visit Charlotte Saturday at 7 p.m.
ESPN’s Winter X Games fill the weekend, starting Thursday at 9 p.m. on ESPN. There’s more from Aspen Friday at 10:30 p.m., Saturday at 9 p.m. and Sunday at 2 and 9 p.m.
The Virginia Tech women host N.C. State Sunday at 1 p.m. on Comcast. At 7 p.m., CAA women take the stage with Delaware at James Madison. ESPN2 offers Penn State taking on Michigan State Sunday at 3 p.m., followed by Tennessee-Georgia.
NBC Sports Network has college ice hockey Friday at 7:30 p.m., with Harvard meeting Yale.
The CONCACAF women’s qualifying tournament will be Sunday at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Network.

Who’s going to Super Bowl XLVI?

We know Madonna’s going to be doing the halftime show February 5.
We know there’s going to be some good commercials.
Sunday night, we’ll know which teams will meet in Indianapolis for Super Bowl XLVI.
The AFC goes first, at 3 p.m. on CBS. New England and its dominant offense face the Ravens and their tough defense – third in the NFL for the season.
The teams met two years ago in Foxborough, with the Ravens bursting out of the gate on Ray Rice’s 83-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage. Tom Brady sure remembers his first home playoff loss.
On Fox at 6:30 p.m., the 49ers host the New York Giants for the NFC crown. The teams met in the playoffs several times in the 1980s, and New York’s trip to Super Bowl XXV included a victory at San Francisco in the NFC championship.
San Francisco has five Super Bowl trips on its resume, but hasn’t been to the big game since 1994. The Giants have won all four NFC championship games they’ve played.
Virginia tries to bounce back from its second loss of the season, visiting Georgia Tech Thursday at 8 p.m. on the ACC network. NBC29 has the game while CW29 has Boston College at North Carolina State. Saturday at noon, Boston College hosts Wake Forest followed by Georgia Tech facing Clemson at 2:30 p.m.
Virginia Tech tries to get an ACC win Thursday at 9 p.m. against North Carolina on ESPN, after Wake Forest plays Duke. Saturday starts in the Big Ten at noon with Purdue-Michigan, followed by a top-five battle between Baylor and Missouri. It’s ACC action at 4 p.m. with Florida State taking on Duke, then top-ranked Syracuse plays Notre Dame. The night closes at 9 p.m. with Louisville visiting Pittsburgh.
CBS has a college basketball tripleheader Saturday. Play begins at noon with Alabama at Kentucky, followed by Michigan taking on Arkansas. At 4 p.m. it’s split coverage between Kansas-Texas and Connecticut vs. Tennessee.
ESPN2 offers a Thursday doubleheader, beginning at 7 p.m. Vanderbilt plays Alabama before Penn State meets Illinois. Saturday starts at 1 p.m. with Dayton taking on Xavier. Indiana State plays Creighton at 3 p.m., followed by Iowa State-Texas Tech and Mississippi State against Vanderbilt.
There’s PAC-12 action on Comcast Thursday at 10:30 p.m. with UCLA traveling to Oregon State. Saturday starts in the Atlantic 10 with St. Bonaventure meeting Fordham at noon. It’s off to the Patriot League for Army-American at 2 p.m., then Towson plays George Mason at 4 p.m. There’s more CAA at 8 p.m. as Old Dominion battles VCU.
MASN has four games Saturday, starting and ending in the Big East. Rutgers visits Georgetown at noon, and at 9 p.m. Marquette takes on Providence.  In between, Winston-Salem meets Fayetteville State at 4 p.m. and Charlotte faces George Washington in an Atlantic-1o game at 7 p.m.
Kobe and the Lakers head east this week, meeting the Heat Thursday at 8 p.m. on TNT. The nightcap matches Dallas and Utah. Friday on ESPN, the Lakers play the Magic before the Clippers host Minnesota. 
The Wizards host Denver Friday on Comcast-plus and take on the Celtics Sunday at 1 p.m. on Comcast.
The Capitals host Carolina Friday at 7 p.m. on Comcast, then play the Penguins on NBC Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
The third round of the Australian Open gets coverage Thursday at 11 p.m. on ESPN2. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, ESPN2 hits the air at 9 p.m.
NBC Sports network has college ice hockey Friday, as Michigan plays Notre Dame.
Saturday at 6 p.m., the network has a new college football all-star game – the NFLPA Bowl. The NFL Network shows the East-West Shrine Game Saturday at 4 p.m.
In Big East women’s basketball, MASN shows West Virginia at Pittsburgh Saturday at 2 p.m. while Comcast offers CAA play between Delaware and Drexel Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ESPN2 has a pair of games Sunday afternoon – Iowa vs. Penn State at 3 p.m. before Louisville plays Georgetown.
Looking for some outdoor extreme sports? NBC has the Pantech Invitational from Vermont Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3:30 p.m.

Best NFL weekend of the year

If you watch ESPN at all, you know Chris Berman’s going to be excited this weekend.
It’s time for the final eight NFL teams to meet. Four teams with first round byes hosting the four teams that won last weekend.
The weekend starts off Saturday at 4:30 p.m., as the Saints visit San Francisco on FOX. Both teams finished 13-3, and Drew Brees’ record-passing season will go against a tough 49er defense.
In primetime, the Patriots host Tim Tebow and the Broncos on CBS. New England seemed to end “Tebow magic” in week 15, but Tebow rallied Denver to an overtime victory last Sunday.
Sunday, the second-seeded Ravens host Houston at 1 p.m. on CBS. Baltimore has won four road playoff games the last three years, but hasn’t won a home playoff game since the run to the Super Bowl XXXV championship in 2001.
The Packers continue their defense of the Super Bowl XLV title when the Giants come calling at 4:30 p.m. on FOX. The Giants’ trek to winning Super Bowl XLII included a win at Green Bay in this round.
NBC starts its NHL game of the week package Saturday, with Chicago taking on Detroit at 12:30 p.m.
Thursday, Comcast shows the Flyers at Islanders at 7 p.m. Friday, the Capitals visit Tampa Bay on Comcast-plus at 7 p.m. and Sunday Carolina visits Washington at 5 p.m.
The Rangers visit Montreal Sunday at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Network.
CBS has college basketball Saturday at 3:30 p.m., with Oregon going to Arizona. Sunday after the Ravens’ game, Indiana visits Ohio State.
Virginia takes its top 20 ranking to Cameron Indoor Stadium Thursday at 9 p.m., facing the sixth-ranked Blue Devils on ESPN. The opener has Wisconsin heading to Purdue.
ESPN2’s night begins at 7 p.m. with Clemson taking on Boston College. Mississippi State hosts Tennesee at 9 p.m., followed by Saint Mary’s vs. Gonzaga.
The ACC network has two games set for the weekend – N.C. State vs. Wake Forest Saturday at 1 p.m. and Georgia Tech vs. Maryland Sunday at 4 p.m.
ESPN has a Saturday afternoon doubleheader, starting at noon with Kentucky-Tennessee before the ACC contest between North Carolina and Florida State. ESPN2 shows three games Saturday as Notre Dame and Connecticut play at 11 a.m. Then it’s off to the Big 12 for Missouri-Texas and Baylor vs. Oklahoma State at 3 p.m.
Comcast has west coast basketball Thursday, with Oregon at Arizona State at 10:30 p.m. Saturday starts with CAA action between Hofstra and Old Dominion, then Virginia Tech heads to Boston College at 3 p.m. Sunday, UCLA meets USC at 9 p.m.
MASN offers a pair of games Thursday, starting at 7 p.m. in the Big South as Radford plays Liberty. Idaho takes on Louisiana Tech from the WAC at 9 p.m. There’s four Big East games on Saturday, beginning at noon with Villanova playing Cincinnati. Rutgers takes on West Virginia at 2 p.m., followed by DePaul-Louisville and Pittsburgh against Providence. Radford meets VMI at 8 p.m.
Georgetown plays St. John’s at noon Sunday.
UNLV plays San Diego State Saturday at 4 p.m. on NBC Sports network.
ESPN2 has women’s basketball Sunday afternoon. Temple plays Dayton at 2 p.m., followed by Ohio State against Michigan State. Comcast has ACC women’s basketball Sunday at 1 p.m. – Georgia Tech at Boston College.
TNT has its Thursday doubleheader, starting the Knicks at Memphis at 8 p.m. Orlando travels to Golden State for the nightcap. ESPN starts Friday with the Bulls taking on the Celtics, then the Heat battle the Nuggets. Sunday at 9 p.m., the Suns play the Spurs.
The Wizards travel to Philadelphia Friday at 7 p.m. on Comcast, and the teams meet in Washington Saturday at 7 p.m.
NBC Sports Network has college ice hockey Friday at 7:30 p.m., matching Minnesota-Duluth and Nebraska-Omaha.
The Australian Open starts its two-week run Sunday at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
ESPN offers high school basketball Sunday at 4 p.m., with Tilton playing Brewster in New Hampshire.
The PBA World Championship final will be Sunday at 1 p.m. on ESPN.

Championship time

The best two teams in college football meet Monday.
The best of the college football playoff level meet Saturday afternoon.
Saturday and Sunday, the NFL starts its run to the Super Bowl.
It’s a good time to be a football fan.
New Orleans hosts two of the big games – a Saints playoff game and the BCS National Championship between LSU and Alabama. ESPN has coverage Monday at 8:30 p.m.
LSU enters the game as the top-ranked team in the nation, thanks to a 9-6 overtime win over Alabama in November. With other rivals dropping down the stretch, the Crimson Tide climbed back into the championship game rematch.
There’s a few more games before the Tigers and Tide battle. FOX has the Cotton Bowl Friday at 8 p.m., matching Kansas State and Arkansas. Saturday at 1 p.m., Pittsburgh faces SMU in the Compass Bowl on ESPN, and Sunday at 9 p.m. Northern Illinois plays Arkansas State in the GoDaddy Bowl.
The real Division I playoff concludes Saturday at 1 p.m. on ESPN2, with Sam Houston State playing North Dakota State.
It’s the wild-card weekend for the NFL. NBC has a pair of games Saturday, beginning in Houston as the Texans make their first-ever postseason trip against Cincinnati. In primetime, the Saints host Detroit at 8 p.m. in the Lions’ first playoff game since 1999.
Sunday, FOX shows the Falcons’ battle with the New York Giants at 1 p.m. CBS heads west at 4:30 p.m. as the Steelers take on Tim Tebow and the Broncos.
Before offering the NFL on Sunday, CBS shows Wisconsin at Michigan. Watch the clock.
The ACC Network shows Virginia Tech taking on Wake Forest Saturday at noon, followed by North Carolina-Boston College.
ESPN2 has Big East basketball Thursday with Pittsburgh meeting DePaul at 7 p.m. Then it’s off to the Big Ten for Michigan-Indiana. ESPN2 gets an early start Saturday, matching Tennessee and Florida at 11 a.m. Florida State and Clemson meet at 4 p.m.
Comcast starts in the CAA Thursday, with George Mason taking on Old Dominion at 7 p.m. At 11 p.m., Arizona visits UCLA. Saturday starts in the PAC-12, as Washington heads to Utah at 2 p.m. Then it’s CAA matchups between Delaware and William & Mary at 4 p.m. followed by Georgia State meeting George Mason at 7 p.m.
Sunday, Comcast features Arizona-USC at 5:30 p.m. before a CAA contest between VCU and Drexel.
MASN has Big East action Thursday, with South Florida playing Villanova at 8 p.m. Five games fill the schedule Saturday, beginning at noon with Georgetown at West Virginia. St. John’s visits Cincinnati at 2 p.m., then Marquette travels to Syracuse. It’s Seton Hall-Providence at 6 p.m., with the nightcap of Connecticut battling Rutgers at 8 p.m. Sunday at noon, DePaul takes on Villanova.
TNT’s Thursday doubleheader starts in Atlanta, with the Heat playing the Hawks at 8 p.m. Then it’s out west for the Lakers’ game with Portland. ESPN has the Bulls visiting Orlando Friday at 8 p.m., followed by the Trail Blazers at the Suns.
The Wizards host the Knicks Friday at 7 p.m. on Comcast and the Timberwolves Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Capitals are out west, facing San Jose Saturday at 10:30 p.m. on Comcast. The newly-named NBC Sports Network has Detroit vs. Chicago Sunday at 7:30 p.m.. The network, formerly Versus, shows college ice hockey Friday at 7:30 p.m., with Dartmouth taking on RPI.
CBS has a women’s college basketball doubleheader Saturday – Michigan State taking on Penn State at 2 p.m. before Notre Dame plays host to Connecticut. Comcast offers ACC women’s basketball Saturday at noon, as Georgia Tech battles Maryland.
From the high school ranks, the Under Armour All American Game will be on ESPN Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at 8 p.m., basketball hits ESPN2 with Simeon of Illinois vs. Miller Grove of Georgia.