Best NFL weekend of the year

The end is near for NFL football. Time to savor the best weekend of action.
nfl playoffsThe final eight set their sights on Super Bowl XLVII – four teams coming off wins and four teams that earned first-round byes.
The action begins Saturday with a Harbaugh doubleheader. John Harbaugh and the Ravens travel to Denver as part of Ray Lewis’ farewell tour Saturday at 4:30 p.m. on CBS. Peyton Manning and the Broncos rolled to a 34-17 victory over the Ravens – the third of Baltimore’s three-game late season losing streak.
Fox has the Saturday prime time game, matching the Packers and Jim Harbaugh’s 49ers. They met on the season’s opening weekend, with the 49ers posting the victory. The Packers have won four of the five postseason meetings between the squads.
Sunday’s play begins at 1 p.m. on Fox, with the Falcons hosting Seattle. The Seahawks won at Washington last Sunday, the first road playoff win by the franchise since 1983. The Falcons have made the playoffs four times in the past five seasons, but are still awaiting their first postseason win since the Michael Vick era.
New England hosts Houston Sunday at 4:30 p.m. on CBS. The Texans were riding high at 11-1 when they made their first visit to Gillette Stadium, and the Patriots cruised to a 42-14 victory.
By Sunday night, we’re down to the final four teams and last four NFL games of the season.
Virginia takes on Clemson Saturday at noon on the ACC network, followed by Virginia Tech against Georgia Tech.
CBS offers Ohio State against Michigan Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
North Carolina faces Miami on ESPN Thursday at 7 p.m., then Kentucky takes on Vanderbilt. Saturday, ESPN offers a pair of ACC games with Duke-N.C. State at noon before the Tar Heels battle Florida State.
There’s three games on ESPN2 Thursday night. Michigan State takes on Iowa at 7 p.m. before Arizona meets Oregon. St. Mary’s plays Gonzaga at 11 p.m. There’s three more on Saturday, starting in the Big East with Georgetown-St. John’s at 11 a.m.  Tennessee battles Alabama at 1 p.m. before Oklahoma meets Oklahoma State.
MASN has four Big East games on the schedule Saturday, starting at noon with Villanova-Syracuse. It’s Connecticut against Notre Dame at 2 p.m., followed by South Florida traveling to Louisville. Cincinnati plays Rutgers at 8 p.m. The Big South takes the stage at 6 p.m. with Coastal Carolina meeting Liberty.
MASN2 shows Kansas State at West Virginia Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Sunday on MASN, Seton Hall hosts Providence at noon.
George Mason plays Old Dominion Thursday at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports network. Four games fill the slate on Saturday, with Butler meeting Dayton at 2 p.m. It’s James Madison-Drexel at 4 p.m. then Pennsylvania faces Princeton before the Colorado State meets San Diego State at 8 p.m.
Delaware and Georgia State meet on Comcast at noon, and the Boston College-Wake Forest game is joined in progress at 4:30 p.m.
TNT’s Thursday doubleheader features the Knicks against the Pacers at 8 p.m. and a nightcap of Heat-Trailblazers. ESPN shows the Bulls at Knicks Friday at 8 p.m., with the Thunder meeting the Lakers at 10:30 p.m.
The Wizards host the Hawks Saturday at 7 p.m. on Comcast.
ESPN2 shows a pair of women’s basketball games Sunday. Nebraska faces Penn State at 2 p.m. and California meets Stanford at 4 p.m. On Comcast, it’s Boston College-Clemson at 1 p.m. followed by Miami-Florida State.
There’s high school basketball Saturday at 4 p.m. on ESPN, with Huntington Prep taking on Cape Henry.
The Australian Open starts its two week run Sunday at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
While awaiting the start of the lockout-shortened NHL season, NBC Sports network has a college ice hockey doubleheader Friday. Union plays Princeton at 7:30 p.m., followed by Nebraska-Omaha at Denver.

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