Best football weekend of the year

The four teams with the best regular season records.
The four teams that survived the elements and opposition on the road last weekend.
They meet with hopes of advancing to the league championship games.
The best NFL weekend of the year begins Saturday at 4:30 p.m. when the Chiefs visit the defending champion Patriots on CBS.
The Packers head back to the desert Saturday at 8:15 p.m. on NBC, meeting the Cardinals a few weeks after losing big there.
NFC top seed Carolina hosts Seattle Sunday at 1 p.m. on Fox. The Panthers’ 14-0 start included a come-from-behind win over the Seahawks early in the season.
Peyton Manning and the Broncos take on the wounded Steelers in the final contest at 4:40 p.m. on CBS. It will be the eighth postseason meeting between the squads, with the last one in 2011 ending with Tim Tebow’s overtime touchdown pass.
By Sunday night, we’ll be down to the final four teams.
The Cavaliers visit San Antonio on TNT Thursday at 8 p.m., followed by Lakers-Warriors. Oklahoma City hosts the Timberwolves on ESPN Friday at 7 p.m., then it’s Cavaliers-Rockets.
The Wizards head to Indiana Friday at 7 p.m. and host Boston Saturday at 7 p.m. on Comcast.
Michigan State meets Iowa on ESPN Thursday at 7 p.m., followed by Pittsburgh-Louisville. ESPN2 offers Connecticut against Tulsa at 7 p.m. Thursday before Gonzaga takes on BYU.
FoxSports1 goes to the Pac-12 Thursday, with Arizona-Washington at 9 p.m. and California clashing with Stanford at 11 p.m.
George Washington faces Dayton Friday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2, and it’s Evansville-Illinois State in the nightcap at 9 p.m.
Georgetown tangles with Villanova Saturday at 1 p.m. on CBS, and Sunday it’s Michigan State-Wisconsin.
Wake Forest hosts Syracuse on the ACC network Saturday at noon and Miami meets Clemson at 2 p.m.
ESPN visits Tobacco Road Saturday at noon, with North Carolina taking on North Carolina State. TCU takes on Kansas at 2 p.m. and it’s Kentucky against Auburn at 4 p.m.
There’s six games on ESPN2 Saturday, starting at noon with Maryland meeting Ohio State. Duke duels with Notre Dame at 2 p.m. and West Virginia looks for another big upset at Oklahoma at 4 p.m. Oklahoma State takes on Texas at 6 p.m., followed by Florida-Mississippi and San Diego State against Boise State in the nightcap.
The Big East has three contests on FoxSports1 Saturday. Butler faces St. John’s at noon before Xavier meets Marquette and Seton Hall-Providence at 4:30 p.m. Creighton clashes with DePaul Sunday at 1 p.m.
Comcast brings three contests Saturday, starting at noon with Virginia Tech-Georgia Tech. Boston College battles Pittsburgh at 2 p.m. followed by Drexel taking on Towson.
Massachusetts meets Davidson Saturday at 12:30 p.m. on NBC Sports network, followed by LaSalle-Rhode Island. George Mason tangles with St. Louis Sunday at 3 p.m.
Southern Mississippi heads to Florida Atlantic on MASN Thursday at 7 p.m., followed by Missouri-Kansas City against New Mexico State.
MASN starts Saturday in the Northeast Conference at noon, with Mount St. Mary’s facing St. Francis. Texas El-Paso tangles with Texas-San Antonio at 4 p.m., then it’s St. Bonaventure-Duquesne and Marshall meets Rice at 8 p.m.
Old Dominion hosts Middle Tennessee Saturday at 4 p.m. on MASN2, with Xavier-Marquette at 8 p.m.
There’s high school basketball Saturday at 6 p.m. as Athlete Institute faces Findlay Prep on ESPN.
On the women’s court, ESPN2 offers South Carolina against Texas A&M at 1 p.m. and Baylor-Texas at 3 p.m.
William & Mary meets Hofstra on Comcast Sunday at 1 p.m.
MASN2 has Florida Atlantic against Southern Mississippi Thursday at 9 p.m. Oklahoma State faces Oklahoma on MASN2 Saturday at 1 p.m.
MASN brings Campbell-High Point Sunday at 1 p.m., then it’s Lehigh against Holy Cross.
Butler battles DePaul Friday at 7 p.m. on FoxSports1.
The Capitals host Vancouver Thursday at 7 p.m. on Comcast and the Rangers Sunday at 5 p.m.
NBC Sports network has Blackhawks-Canadiens Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and Flyers against the Red Wings Sunday at 7:30 p.m.
The Stars take on the Sharks Saturday at 10:30 p.m. on Comcast.
On the college ice, Merrimack meets Notre Dame on NBC Sports network Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 7 p.m.
Boston University battles Boston College on MASN Friday at 7 p.m.
Sunderland takes on Tottenham Hotspur Saturday at 7:40 a.m. on NBC Sports network. It’s Liverpool-Manchester United Sunday at 9 a.m. before Stoke City goes against Arsenal.
First round play starts at the Australian Open Sunday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.


Who wants to finish 5-8?

How many bowls are there this season?
So many that three had to take a 5-7 team to have a contest.
One of those teams – San Jose State – plays Saturday as the bowl season kicks off with six games.
ABC starts the day at noon from Atlanta, as Alcorn State and North Carolina A&T meet in the Celebration Bowl. It’s off to New Mexico at 2 p.m. for Arizona-New Mexico on ESPN.
New Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall closes his BYU career as the Cougars battle Utah at 3:30 p.m. on ABC.  Ohio faces Appalachian State in the Camellia Bowl on ESPN at 5:30 p.m.
San Jose State tries to avoid a 5-8 finish on CBS Sports network against Georgia State at 7 p.m. The night closes in New Orleans with Louisiana Tech meeting Arkansas State at 9 p.m. on ESPN.
Big Ten teams Nebraska and Minnesota get their chances to finish 5-8 after Christmas. Thirty-five bowl games remain to be played, with the National Championship game on Jan. 11.
Richmond meets North Dakota State in the semifinals of the Championship Series Friday at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.
West Virginia’s Shepherd University vies for the Division II championship against Northwest Missouri State Saturday at 4 p.m. on ESPN2.
NFL network has a pair of contests this weekend, with Bucs-Rams on Thursday and Jets visiting the Cowboys Saturday. The Eagles try to maintain their spot atop the NFC East on Sunday night, battling the Cardinals on NBC, while ESPN offers Lions against Saints Monday night.
The Redskins host the Bills on Fox Sunday at 1 p.m. CBS has Ravens-Chiefs at 1 p.m. followed by Broncos facing the Steelers.
The Thunder face the Cavaliers on TNT Thursday at 8 p.m., with the Rockets meet the Lakers in the nightcap. ESPN brings the Clippers and Spurs Friday at 8 p.m., followed by Pelicans-Suns.
Comcast has the Wizards battling the Hornets Saturday at 7 p.m.
CBS offers UCLA-North Carolina at 1 p.m. followed by Ohio State against Kentucky.
Utah heads to Duke Saturday at noon on ESPN.
It’s Virginia-Villanova Saturday at noon on ESPN2, then Indiana meets Notre Dame at 2 p.m. Coverage goes west at 9:30 p.m. for Arizona taking on UCLA, then Texas faces Stanford at 11:30 p.m.
St. John’s meets Incarnate Word on FoxSports1 Friday at 7 p.m. Auburn visits Xavier Saturday at noon, followed by Northwestern-DePaul at 2 p.m. Florida faces Oklahoma State at 8 p.m.
It’s St. John’s against NJIT Sunday at noon.
Syracuse clashes with Cornell Saturday at noon on Comcast, then it’s College of Charleston against Miami. American meets Maryland-Eastern Shore Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
NBC Sports network brings Michigan State’s visit to Northeastern Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
Belmont battles Middle Tennessee on MASN Thursday at 7 p.m. Georgia State goes to Southern Mississippi Saturday at 5 p.m. before South Florida hosts Alabama-Birmingham at 7 p.m.
MASN2 has a trio of games Saturday, starting with Georgetown against UNC-Asheville at noon. Florida State faces Florida Atlantic at 5 p.m. and Rider tangles with Providence at 8 p.m.
On the high school court, ESPN2 offers Cypress Lakes against Foothills Christian Friday at 6:30 p.m.
FoxSports1 has a pair of women’s contests Sunday, with Arkansas meeting Texas at 2:30 p.m. before Oklahoma plays Texas A&M at 5 p.m.
Michigan State meets Northeastern on MASN Friday at 8 p.m.
The Capitals host Tampa Bay Friday at 7 p.m. on Comcast and visit the Rangers Sunday at 7 p.m.
On the college ice, Michigan State takes on Northeastern on NBC Sports network Saturday at 7 p.m.
NBC Sports network has Manchester United against Norwich City Saturday at 9:55 a.m. and Aston Villa clashes with Newcastle United on NBC at 12:30 p.m. Watford battles Liverpool Sunday at 8:25 a.m., followed by Swansea City-West Ham United.
The NCAA crowns its women’s volleyball champion this weekend. Texas takes on Minnesota Thursday at 7 p.m. one ESPN2 followed by Kansas-Nebraska. The winners meet Saturday at 7:30 p.m.


The ball is tipped…

Can Kentucky complete the 40-0 run?
finalfour15The Wildcats take aim at college basketball history this weekend, facing Wisconsin Saturday in the second semifinal at the Final Four.
TBS has coverage of Saturday’s contests, starting at 6 p.m. when Duke battles Michigan State.
CBS carries Monday’s final at 9 p.m., finishing with the cutting down of the nets and a new edition of One Shining Moment.
The women hold their Final Four Sunday, with four top seeds taking the court. South Carolina clashes with Notre Dame at 6:30 p.m., followed by Maryland-Connecticut. The women’s championship contest will be Tuesday.
Stanford takes on Miami in the NIT championship Thursday at 9 p.m.
ESPN has a boys high school championship game Saturday at noon, after semifinals on ESPN2 Friday at 3 and 5. The best girls teams play Saturday at 10 a.m. on ESPN2.
NBA basketball returns to TNT Thursday, with Cleveland hosting the Heat at 8 p.m. before the Suns meet the Warriors.
Oklahoma City battles Memphis on ESPN Friday at 8 p.m., with Trail Blazers-Lakers as the nightcap.
The Wizards meet the Knicks Friday at 7 p.m. on Comcast.
The Thunder take on the Rockets Sunday at 1 p.m. on ABC, followed by Bulls-Cavaliers.
With the Wrigley Field bleachers under construction, the Cubs and Cardinals open the season Sunday at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.
The Orioles and Braves get ready for Opening Day with a contest Friday at 6 p.m. on MASN, while the Nationals host the Yankees Saturday at 1 p.m. ESPN has the Yankees and Tigers Thursday at 1 p.m.
The Capitals hit the road this weekend, visiting Montreal Thursday at 7:30 p.m. on Comcast before meeting Ottawa Saturday at 7 p.m. and Detroit Sunday at 5 p.m.
Comcast offers Flyers-Hurricanes Saturday at 1 p.m. and NBC has the Flyers’ battle with the Penguins Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
The Red Wings face the Bruins Thursday at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports network and the Blues battle the Blackhawks Sunday at 7:30 p.m.
Arsenal tangles with Liverpool Saturday at 7:45 a.m. on NBC Sports network, followed by Manchester United-Aston Villa. Burnley battles Tottenham Hotspur Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and Newcastle United takes on Sunderland at 11 a.m.
San Jose takes on Real Salt Lake Sunday at 5 p.m. on ESPN2 and Philadelphia meets Kansas City at 7 p.m. on FoxSports1.
There’s an international women’s friendly between the United States and New Zealand Saturday at 4 p.m. on FoxSports1.
The PGA tour gears up for the Masters at the Houston Open this weekend, with NBC coverage Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m.
NBC Sports network has the road to the Kentucky Derby with the Wood Memorial and Bluegrass Stakes Saturday at 5 p.m.
Arizona meets Las Vegas in Arena Football Saturday at 10:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
ESPN2 offers action from the Miami Open Thursday at 1 and 7 p.m. The men’s semifinals are Friday at 1 and 7 p.m. with the women’s championship Saturday at 1 p.m. The men’s crown will be decided Sunday at 1 p.m. on ESPN.
FoxSports1 has Villanova against Denver in college lacrosse Friday at 8:30 p.m.
Oregon takes on UCLA in college softball Sunday at 3 p.m. on ESPN2.


Best football weekend of the year – plus one

ESPN’s Chris Berman always lauds this NFL weekend – the top four teams of the season hosting playoff games.
This year, the NFL has company.
After the four big playoff games over the weekend, Oregon and Ohio State will meet Monday at Cowboys Stadium for the first National Championship playoff finale. ESPN has coverage at 8:30 p.m.
The Ducks rolled over Florida State with a big third-quarter rally at the Rose Bowl New Year’s Day while Ohio State knocked top-ranked Alabama out of the field at the Sugar Bowl.
Around midnight, the winner will hoist this National Championship trophy for the first time.
The playoff series crowns its champion Saturday at 1 p.m., as North Dakota State faces Illinois State on ESPN2. The Bison will be seeking their fourth straight crown.
NBC Sports network has the Medal of Honor all-star bowl game Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
The NFL weekend begins on NBC Saturday at 4:30 p.m. as top-seeded New England hosts Baltimore. The sixth-seeded Ravens ousted Pittsburgh last weekend, and have won two of three playoff games against the Patriots in recent years.
Defending champion Seattle takes on Carolina Saturday at 8:15 p.m. on Fox. The teams met earlier in the season, with the Seahawks taking a 13-9 decision during the Panther’s seven-game winless string.
Prepare for plenty of “Ice Bowl” talk as the Packers face Cowboys Sunday at 1 p.m. on Fox. It’s the first postseason meeting between the teams at Lambeau Field since then, and the Packers have won all eight of their home games this season.
Peyton Manning’s new team meets his former squad on CBS at 4:30 p.m., with the Broncos hosting the Colts. Indianapolis advanced last Sunday by beating the Bengals, and Manning looks to add a Denver Super Bowl championship to the one he won with the Colts eight years ago.
TNT offers Rockets at Knicks Thursday at 8 p.m., with the Heat at the Trail Blazers in the nightcap.
The Wizards battle the Bulls Friday at 8 p.m. on Comcast and ESPN, and the Cavaliers travel to Golden State in ESPN’s nightcap. The Wizards visit Atlanta Sunday at 3 p.m.
On the college hardcourt, Michigan meets Iowa Thursday at 7 p.m. on ESPN with Stanford facing UCLA in the nightcap. ESPN2 offers LSU-Missouri at 7 p.m. followed by Memphis against SMU.
Arizona State battles Oregon State on FoxSports1 Thursday at 9 p.m.
CBS has Kentucky’s visit to Texas A&M Saturday at 1 p.m., and Duke takes on N.C. State Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
Ohio State travels to Indiana Saturday at noon on ESPN, followed by Louisville against North Carolina.
Cincinnati clashes with Connecticut Saturday at 11 a.m. on ESPN2. Baylor takes on TCU at 4 p.m., followed by Virginia-Notre Dame and Iowa State meeting West Virginia at 8 p.m.
The ACC network offers Georgia Tech-Wake Forest Saturday at noon.
Comcast has three contests Saturday, starting at noon with Clemson-Pittsburgh. Northeastern travels to Towson in the CAA at 2 p.m., followed by Boston College against Miami.
FoxSports1 has Big East action Saturday, starting at noon with Georgetown-Providence before Seton Hall takes on Creighton at 2:15 p.m. It’s off to the Pac-12 Sunday evening, with California taking on UCLA at 7:30 p.m. before Arizona heads to Oregon State at 10 p.m.
Richmond hosts George Mason on NBC Sports network Thursday at 7 p.m.
Southern Mississippi visits Texas-San Antonio Thursday at 8 p.m. on MASN. Rhode Island faces Duquesne Saturday at 1 p.m. and Coastal Carolina clashes with Liberty at 7 p.m.
On the women’s hardcourt, top-ranked South Carolina plays Kentucky at 1 p.m. on ESPN2 and Maryland meets Minnesota at 3 p.m.
Duke duels with Florida State on Comcast Sunday at 1 p.m. Fordam faces St. Bonaventure on NBC Sports network Sunday at 4 p.m.
Butler plays St. John’s on FoxSports1 Friday at 8 p.m. and Georgetown battles Villanova Sunday at 5 p.m.
Texas takes on Iowa State Saturday at noon on MASN2. Alabama-Birmingham plays Florida International Sunday at noon, followed by Kansas-Kansas State.
Oak Hill Academy takes on Hamilton of Tennessee Saturday at 4 p.m. on ESPN.
The Capitals visit the Flyers Thursday at 7 p.m. on Comcast, and the Red Wings come to Washington Saturday at 7 p.m.
NBC Sports network offers the Wild’s trip to Chicago Sunday at 8 p.m
On the college ice, Dartmouth takes on New Hampshire on NBC Sports network Friday at 7:30 p.m. Western Michigan faces Notre Dame Saturday at 6 p.m., followed by Harvard-Yale at 8:15 p.m.
Warmup with some PGA golf from Hawaii, as NBC shows the Tournament of Champions Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Crystal Palace meets Tottenham Hotspur on NBC Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Sunderland takes on Liverpool at 7:45 a.m. on NBC Sports network, with Chelsea-Newcastle United at 10 a.m. Arsenal takes on Stoke City Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and Manchester United meets Southampton at 11 a.m.


39 bowls

You’ve got to get up early to catch the first kickoff of the 2014-15 bowl season.
The first of 39 postseason games starts Saturday at 11 a.m. in New Orleans, with Nevada meeting Louisiana-Lafayette on ESPN.
The action heads to New Mexico at 2 p.m. as Utah State faces UTEP. ABC joins the action at 3:30 p.m. from Las Vegas with Utah against Colorado State and there’s two more contests on ESPN to close out the night – Western Michigan battling Air Force from Boise at 5:45 p.m. and the Camellia Bowl from Birmingham as South Alabama battles Bowling Green.
Winning teams will be hoisting various trophies now through January 12 – when one team holds the national championship trophy aloft.
The final Thursday night game of the season matches Tennessee and Jacksonville on NFL Network. The Redskins have a Saturday afternoon contest with the Eagles on NFL Network before CBS shows the Chargers and 49ers in primetime.
The Ravens face the Texans on CBS at 1 p.m. Sunday before the Colts visit the Cowboys. Fox in Harrisonurg will offer something Sunday – still to be determined Wednesday night although Saints-Falcons tops the potential slate.
Arizona visits Seattle on NBC Sunday night, and the Bengals host the Broncos in the Monday night finale on ESPN.
North Dakota State hosts Sam Houston State on ESPN2 Friday at 8 p.m. in one of the championship series semifinals.
NCAA Division II crowns its champion Saturday at 4 p.m. as Minnesota State-Mankato battles Colorado State-Pueblo on ESPN2.
TNT offers the Knicks against the Bulls Thursday at 8 p.m., with Thunder-Warriors as the nightcap. Portland visits San Antonio on ESPN Friday at 8 p.m. and the Thunder meet the Lakers at 10:30 p.m.
The Wizards battle the Heat Friday at 7:30 p.m. on Comcast and host the Suns Sunday at 6 p.m.
Duke tangles in Connecticut Thursday at 8 p.m. on ESPN.
CBS has a big doubleheader Saturday, with Ohio State-North Carolina at 1 p.m. followed by UCLA against Kentucky. Villanova hosts Syracuse on Fox Saturday at 1 p.m.
ESPN2 has four games Saturday, starting with SMU meeting Michigan at noon and Missouri facing Illinois at 2 p.m. N.C. State travels to West Virginia at 9:30 p.m., and the night closes with Utah-UNLV.
FoxSports1 has three games Friday, starting with St. Mary’s at St. Johns at 7 p.m. Marquette hosts Texas A&M at 9 p.m. before Arizona takes on UTEP. Western Kentucky faces Louisville Saturday at noon, then it’s Butler-Indiana.
Mount St. Mary’s meets American on Comcast Saturday at 1 p.m.
George Mason tackles Iona on NBC Sports network Saturday at 7 p.m.
MASN offers Appalachian State against Charlotte Thursday at 8 p.m. and Chattanooga-Middle Tennessee Friday at 8 p.m. Sunday at 3 p.m., Middle Tennessee battles Tennessee State.
Texas Tech hosts Arkansas-Pine Bluff Friday at 9 p.m. on MASN2. There’s a pair of games on the slate Saturday, starting at noon with Charlotte-Georgetown. South Florida faces Florida State in the Orange Bowl Classic at 2 p.m., and Creighton clashes with North Texas Sunday at 2 p.m.
ESPN2 offers high school basketball from Illinois Friday, with Simeon against St. Rita at 6:30 p.m.
The Capitals take on the Blue Jackets Thursday at 7 p.m. on Comcast and visit the Devils Saturday at 7 p.m.
NBC Sports network brings Manchester City against Crystal Palace Saturday at 7:45 a.m. There’s a pair of games Sunday, with Newcastle United facing Sunderland at 8:30 a.m. and Liverpool-Arsenal at 11 a.m. NBC plans to show a game Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
The NCAA crowns its volleyball champion this weekend. BYU meets Texas on ESPN2 Thursday at 7 p.m., followed by Penn State against Stanford. The final will be Saturday at 7:30 p.m.


One Shining Moment

Ready for the Final Four?
Check your local listings.
2014 final fourTBS gets the Final Four Saturday action this year. Top-seed Florida takes on the court against Connecticut at 6 p.m. and Wisconsin meets Kentucky’s freshmen five in the nightcap.
If you head to CBS like you’ve done since 1982, you’ll be disappointed.
CBS will be there Monday at 9 p.m. for the final.
And for “One Shining Moment” to roll after the nets come down.
The women’s Final Four will be on ESPN Sunday. ACC newcomer Notre Dame bids farewell to Big Ten-bound Maryland at 6:30 p.m., then Connecticut battles Stanford. The final will be Tuesday.
The NIT concludes Thursday at 7 p.m. when SMU meets Minnesota on ESPN.
ESPN shows the boys final of the National High School championship Saturday at noon. The semifinals are Friday at 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on ESPN2. The best girls teams meet Saturday at 10 a.m. on ESPN2.
The Wizards continue their contest for the playoffs, visiting the Knicks Friday at 7 p.m. on Comcast and hosting the Bulls Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
TNT offers the Spurs’ battle with Oklahoma City Thursday at 8 p.m., followed by the Mavericks at Clippers. The Nuggets and Grizzlies tangle on ESPN Friday at 7 p.m. before the Thunder visit the Rockets.
The Heat and Knicks play on ABC Sunday at 1 p.m., and it’s the battle of Los Angeles between the Lakers and Clippers at 3:30 p.m.
FoxSports1 takes over the Saturday afternoon baseball coverage in 2014, and begins the season with a twinbill. The Twins face the Indians at 1 p.m., then the Dodgers face the Giants. The Dodgers return to Sunday night baseball on ESPN2 at 8 p.m.
The Orioles close out their season opening series with the Red Sox Thursday at 7 p.m. on MASN, and visit Detroit Friday at 1 p.m. on MASN2, Saturday at 1 p.m. on MASN and Sunday at 1 p.m. on MASN2.
The Nationals face the Mets Thursday at 1 p.m. on MASN, then host the Braves in the home opener Friday at 1 p.m. The series continues Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. on MASN.
On the college diamond, North Carolina State heads to Clemson Saturday at 1 p.m. on Comcast and Middle Tennessee State faces Southern Mississippi on FoxSport1 Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
ESPN has college softball between Arkansas and Alabama at 3 p.m. Sunday.
Comcast offers the Blue Jackets against Flyers Thursday at 7 p.m. while the Capitals take on the Islanders Saturday at 5 p.m.
NBC Sports network has a pair of games Thursday, with the Wild at Blackhawks at 8 p.m. followed by the Kings taking on the Sharks. The Capitals take on the Devils Friday at 7 p.m., and Buffalo meets Philadelphia Sunday at 7:30 p.m.
The Blackhawks host the Blues Sunday at noon on NBC.
NASCAR heads to Texas this weekend, with the Sprint Cup race on Fox Sunday at 3 p.m. The Nationwide racers go Friday at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
Bahrain hosts Formula One racing this weekend, with the race Sunday at 11 a.m. on NBC Sports network. There’s qualifying Friday at 11 a.m.
Getting ready for the Masters, the PGA tour visits Houston on NBC Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m.
In the MLS, Seattle battles Portland Saturday at 3 p.m. on NBC Sports network.
Chelsea takes on Stoke City Saturday at noon on NBC. Manchester City meets Southampton on NBC Sports network at 7:45 a.m., followed by Newcastle United-Manchester United at 10 a.m. Everton plays Arsenal Sunday at 8:30 a.m.
FoxSports1 has a Europa League quarterfinal between Olympique Lyonnais and Juventus Thursday at 3 p.m.
ESPN2 offers the Family Circle Cup Thursday at 1 p.m. There’s quarterfinal play Friday at 1 p.m., a semifinal Saturday at 1 p.m. and final Sunday at 1 p.m.
Preparations for the Kentucky Derby continue on NBC Sports network, with the Wood Memorial and Santa Anita Derby at 5:30 p.m.


Best NFL weekend of the year

Chris Berman is pumped.
NFL fans should be also.
 nfl playoffsThe four winners from last weekend advance to face the best of each conference in the divisional round Saturday and Sunday.
The action begins Saturday at 4:30 p.m. on Fox, with the Saints heading to Seattle. The teams met three years ago, with the 7-9 Seahawks pulling the upset in Pete Carroll’s first postseason trip, and Seattle won their meeting this season.
 CBS gets the primetime game, matching the Patriots and Colts. Andrew Luck notched his first playoff victory last weekend, while Tom Brady wants to add a fourth Super Bowl title.
Sunday, the Panthers host San Francisco on Fox at 1 p.m. Carolina won at Candlestick Park earlier in the season, part of their run to the second seed in the NFC.
Peyton Manning and the Broncos have the final game of the weekend, meeting division rival San Diego on CBS at 4:30 p.m. The Broncos have the top seed in the AFC for the second straight year, but last year lost in double overtime to eventual champion Baltimore in this round.
By Sunday evening, just four teams will be left on the road to the Meadowlands on Groundhog Day.
Down under, the Australian Open begins Sunday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
The Wizards take on Indiana Friday at 7 p.m. on Comcast before coming home to face Houston Saturday at 7 p.m.
The Heat head to New York Thursday at 8 p.m. on TNT, followed by Oklahoma City-Denver. ESPN has the Heat visiting Brooklyn Friday at 8 p.m., with the nightcap matching the Lakers and Clippers.
ESPN has top-ranked Arizona facing UCLA Thursday at 9 p.m., after Louisville takes on Memphis at 7 p.m. Second-ranked Syracuse hosts North Carolina Saturday at noon, followed by Kansas State-Kansas.
Auburn battles Mississippi on ESPN2 Thursday at 7 p.m., then it’s Nebraska-Michigan. Virginia’s game against North Carolina State at 5 p.m. caps the slate of four games on ESPN2 Saturday. The day starts at 11 a.m. when Saint Louis meets Dayton. Florida faces Arkansas at 1 p.m. before Memphis plays Temple.
There’s three games on FoxSports1 Thursday, beginning at 7 p.m. with DePaul-Butler. Marquette travels to Xavier at 9 p.m., with California against Oregon as the nightcap. Villanova plays St. John’s Saturday at 1 p.m. and Georgetown battles Butler at 7 p.m., and there’s two games from the Pac-12 Sunday – Colorado-Washington at 3 p.m. followed by Stanford-Oregon.
CBS offers Kentucky-Vanderbilt Saturday at 3:30 p.m. and Iowa goes against Ohio State Sunday at 1 p.m.
The ACC network has Georgia Tech against Notre Dame Saturday at noon, with some areas getting Wake Forest at Pittsburgh.
Comcast has three contests Saturday, starting at noon with Virginia Tech against Boston College. Duke meets Clemson at 2 p.m., then it’s off to the CAA for Delaware-James Madison.
MASN has a Big 12 doubleheader Saturday, with TCU-Baylor at 1:30 p.m. followed by Oklahoma’s visit to West Virginia.
George Washington battles LaSalle Thursday at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports network. There’s Atlantic 10 action between St. Bonaventure and Massachusetts at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, followed by Rhode Island-George Washington. Princeton takes on Pennsylvania in an Ivy League contest at 6 p.m.
Duquesne hosts La Salle Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
In women’s basketball, North Carolina heads to Florida State Sunday at 1 p.m. on Comcast. ESPN has a Sunday doubleheader, with Purdue against Penn State at 3 p.m. before Tennessee takes on Vanderbilt.
MASN2 offers Tulane at Marshall Thursday at 9 p.m. Texas-San Antonio faces Southern Mississippi Saturday at 4 p.m. on MASN2 and Texas takes on West Virginia Sunday at noon.
There’s high school basketball between Oak Ridge and Montverde Saturday at 4 p.m. on ESPN.
The Capitals visit Tampa Bay Thursday at 7 p.m. on Comcast and host Buffalo Sunday at 3 p.m. NBC Sports network brings the Flyers against Rangers Sunday at 7 p.m.
On the college ice, Notre Dame takes on Alabama-Huntsville Friday at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports network and Harvard meets Yale Saturday at 8 p.m.
Manchester United faces Swansea in Premier League play Saturday at 12:30 p.m. on NBC. There’s a pair of games on NBC Sports network Saturday morning, as Hull City faces Chelsea at 7:45 a.m. before Tottenham Hotspur battles Crystal Palace. Sunday, Newcastle United faces Manchester City at 9 a.m. and Stoke City takes on Liverpool at 11:15 a.m.
Getting ready for Sochi, NBC shows the United States Figure Skating championships Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m.
Bowlers gather for the Japan Cup Sunday at 1 p.m. on ESPN.


Let the bowls begin

You’ll be bowled over the next 17 days.
The college bowl season kicks off Saturday with four games. There’s only three days without a contest before Auburn and Florida State battle for the National Championship on January 6.
The New Mexico Bowl starts the action at 2 p.m. on ESPN, with Washington State meeting Colorado State. There’s a battle of top 25 teams on ABC at 3:30 p.m. with Fresno State against Southern Cal in Las Vegas.
It’s off to the blue turf for Buffalo-San Diego State in the Potato Bowl at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN. Tulane and Louisiana-Lafayette meet in the New Orleans Bowl at 9 p.m.
New Hampshire heads to top-seeded North Dakota State in a semifinal for the FBS Division Friday at 8 p.m. on ESPN2. The best of Division II meet when Lenoir-Rhyne faces Northwest Missouri State Saturday at noon on ESPN2.
Candlestick hosts its last regular season game Monday when the 49ers take on the Falcons at 8:40 p.m. NBC used the flex to grab the Eagles’ game with the Bears Sunday night.
The Ravens and Patriots have the second game on CBS Sunday at 4:25 p.m., following Broncos-Texans. The Redskins and Cowboys play on Fox at 1 p.m.
TNT’s Thursday doubleheader starts at 8 p.m. when the Bulls visit Oklahoma City. San Antonio travels to Golden State in the nightcap. The Rockets visit Indiana Friday at 8 p.m. before the Timberwolves face the Lakers.
It’s a Saturday afternoon matchup for the Wizards and Celtics Saturday at 1 p.m. on Comcast.
CBS offers Michigan State facing Texas Saturday at 4 p.m.
Duke takes on UCLA Thursday at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN. Georgetown faces Kansas Saturday at noon.
ESPN2 has four contests Saturday, starting at 3:30 p.m. with Gonzaga against Kansas State. Illinois plays Missouri at 5:30 p.m., followed by Notre Dame-Ohio State. Oklahoma State battles Colorado at 11:30 p.m.
St. John’s takes on Youngstown State Saturday at 2 p.m. on FoxSports1, then Villanova hosts Rider. Sunday, Seton Hall meets Eastern Washington at 5 p.m. before California plays Creighton.
Comcast brings Houston against Rice Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and Ohio-Richmond Sunday at 1 p.m.
Dayton hosts Iona Thursday at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports network. James Madison faces Hampton Saturday at 3 p.m. before Virginia Tech meets VCU.
Among the women, Connecticut clashes with California on ESPN Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
ESPN has high school basketball between Huntington Prep and West Arsenal Thursday at 9:30 p.m.
The Capitals play Carolina Friday at 7 p.m. on Comcast and the Devils Saturday at 7 p.m. The Flyers play Columbus Thursday at 7 p.m.
Getting ready for Sochi, the United States women play Canada Friday at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports network.
The NCAA crowns its volleyball champion this weekend. ESPN2 has the semifinals Thursday, with Wisconsin against Texas at 7:30 p.m. before Washington heads to Penn State at 10 p.m. The championship will be Saturday at 9:30 p.m.
In the Premier League, NBC Sports network offers Liverpool-Cardiff City at 7:45 a.m., followed by Manchester United against West Ham United. Southampton faces Tottenham Hotspur Sunday at 8:30 a.m., then it’s Swansea City-Everton.
It’s the Scorpion Championship on the PBA tour Sunday at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN.


Army-Navy

There’s one final act to the college football regular season – Army vs. Navy.
army-navy-logoThe Cadets and Midshipmen will march into Lincoln Financial Field at Philadelphia before their mates battle in the 114th contest between the service academies. CBS has coverage beginning at 3 p.m.
Navy has won 11 straight games, including last year’s 17-13 triumph. The Middies will advance to a bowl game, and can claim the Commander-in-Chief trophy with a win.
Six of the top collegiate players gather in New York for the presentation of the Heisman Trophy Saturday at 8 p.m. The other awards will be given Thursday at 7 p.m. on ESPN.
There’s eight teams left in the Bowl Championship Subdivision. ESPN2 has Towson’s visit to Eastern Illinois Friday at 8 p.m., while Coastal Carolina heads to North Dakota State Saturday at noon on ESPN.
Peyton Manning and the Broncos host San Diego Thursday on NFL Network at 8:25 p.m.
A pair of 2012 playoff teams finish out the string Sunday when the Redskins visit Atlanta at 1 p.m. on Fox. The Packers and Cowboys try to stay in the playoff hunt at 4:25 p.m., while CBS offers Jets-Panthers at 4 p.m.
NBC brings the Steelers and Bengals at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, then ESPN has Ravens-Lions Monday at 8:40 p.m.
The Clippers head to Brooklyn Thursday at 8 p.m. on TNT, followed by Rockets at TrailBlazers. The Thunder host the Lakers Friday at 8 p.m. on ESPN, with the nightcap featuring the Rockets at Warriors.
The Clippers continue their road trip in Washington Saturday at 7 p.m. on Comcast.
On the college court, Michigan hosts Arizona Saturday at noon on CBS.
Rivals clash on ESPN Saturday, with Notre Dame-Indiana at 3:15 p.m. before Kentucky takes on North Carolina.
ESPN2 brings five contests Saturday, starting at noon with Louisvile facing Western Kentucky. There’s Tennessee against Wichita State at 2 p.m., followed by Michigan State-Oakland and New Mexico facing Kansas. The night concludes with Illinois playing Oregon at 9 p.m.
DePaul battles Florida Atlantic on FoxSports1 at 9 p.m. It’s Marquette against IUPUI Saturday at 3 p.m., and Xavier takes on Cincinnati at 8 p.m.
After years of battling in the Big East, new ACC member Syracuse meets St. John’s Sunday at noon. Villanova host LaSalle at 2:30 p.m., then DePaul meets Chicago State at 4:30 p.m.
Comcast offers Pittsburgh against Youngstown State Saturday at noon, followed by Florida Atlantic-Maryland. Georgia Southern takes on UAB Sunday at 8 p.m.
Massachusetts meets Northern Illinois Saturday at 3 p.m. on NBC Sports network.
Oklahoma takes on Tulsa on MASN Saturday at 5 p.m., then Troy travels to Kansas State Sunday at 6 p.m.
In women’s hoops, Kentucky takes on DePaul Thursday at 7 p.m. on FoxSports1.
There’s high school basketball on ESPN2 Thursday at 7 p.m. with Whitney Young faces Apple Valley.
The Capitals face Florida Friday at 7 p.m. on Comcast and the Flyers Sunday at 3 p.m.
Wisconsin meets Colorado College Friday at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports network.
NBC Sports network offers a trio of games from the Premier League Saturday. Manchester City faces Arsenal at 7:45 a.m., followed by Chelsea-Crystal Palace and Hull City against Stoke City at 12:30 p.m. There’s two more contests Sunday as Aston Villa battles Manchester United at 8:30 a.m. before Tottenham Hotspur takes on Liverpool.
NBC brings the Franklin Templeton shootout Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.
The Dew Tour hits the slopes Saturday and Sunday at noon on NBC.


Who’s going to Super Bowl XLVII?

nfl playoffsThe last ride for Ray Lewis continues.
The Harbaugh brothers still have a chance at a Harbaugh Super Bowl.
Atlanta will host its first championship game.
Tom Brady in an AFC championship game? What a surprise.
Plenty of good storylines as the NFL holds its conference championships Sunday. Fox has the opening game at 3 p.m., with the 49ers taking on the Falcons. San Francisco lost last year’s NFC title game to the Giants, and return to the contest with a different starting quarterback.
The Falcons have made only one Super Bowl appearance in franchise history – winning at Minnesota en route to Super Bowl XXXIII.
In the nightcap, it’s a rematch of last year’s AFC championship on CBS at 6:30 p.m. The Patriots escaped with a 23-20 victory before going to their fifth Super Bowl since the 2001 season.
The Ravens won a thrilling 31-30 contest in September and will play in their third AFC championship game in five years. They last won the Super Bowl after the 2000 season, with Lewis the MVP in the win over the Giants.
College all-star games are on NFL network – East-West Shrine game Saturday – and the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl Saturday at 6 p.m. on ESPN2.
With the NHL lockout over, opening day will be Saturday. NBC offers a pair of games Saturday at 3 p.m., led by Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles starting the campaign against Chicago. Other parts of the country will see the Penguins against the Flyers. Sunday at 12:30 p.m., the Flyers take on the Sabres.
The Capitals begin their season in Tampa Bay Saturday at 7 p.m. on Comcast.
The Blackhawks meet Phoenix Sunday at 10:30 p.m. on NBC Sports network.
NBC Sports network offers college hockey Thursday at 7 p.m. when Princeton plays UMass-Lowell. Friday at 7:30 p.m., Harvard meets Yale.
In college basketball, Virginia Tech plays Wake Forest on the ACC network Saturday at 2 p.m. Virginia hosts Florida State at 4 p.m.
West Virginia travels to Purdue on CBS Saturday at 2 p.m. before UCLA meets Oregon.
It’s a top-ten Big Ten matchup on ESPN Thursday at 7 p.m., with Michigan against Minnesota. Duke battles Georgia Tech at 9 p.m. ESPN has five games on Saturday, starting with North Carolina-Maryland at noon. It’s off to the SEC for Missouri-Florida at 2 p.m., and Syracuse plays top-ranked Louisville at 4 p.m. Ohio State takes on Michigan State at 6 p.m., and the GameDay crew catches Butler-Gonzaga at 9 p.m.
Florida meets Texas A&M on ESPN2 Thursday at 7 p.m., followed by South Florida-Rutgers. Pittsburgh against Connecticut starts the day on ESPN2 Saturday at noon, then Texas Tech plays Oklahoma State and Creighton battles Wichita State.
MASN shows MAAC basketball Thursday at 7:30 p.m., with Marist playing Loyola. MASN2 has Idaho-Louisiana Tech at 7 p.m.
There’s four Big East games on MASN Saturday. St. John’s heads to DePaul at noon, then Villanova meets Providence at 4 p.m. Georgetown plays South Florida at 6 p.m. before Rutgers going against Notre Dame.
Drexel meets William & Mary Saturday at 2 p.m. on Comcast, followed by SMU-UTEP.
NBC Sports network has three games Saturday. Columbia collides with Cornell at 3 p.m., then Hofstra plays George Mason. It’s UNLV-Colorado State in the nightcap at 7 p.m.
Comcast brings a pair of ACC women’s games Thursday. Virginia goes to North Carolina at 6:30 p.m., followed by N.C. State-Maryland. There’ two more Sunday. Wake Forest meets Boston College at 1 p.m. and Florida State battles N.C. State at 3 p.m.
Seton Hall visits Georgetown in women’s basketball on MASN Saturday at 2 p.m.
ESPN2 has two games Sunday, with Maryland-Georgia Tech at 3 p.m. followed by Texas A&M against Georgia.
On TNT, the Clippers head to Minnesota at 8 p.m. Thursday. The Lakers take on the Heat in the nightcap. ESPN’s Friday night schedule starts at 8 p.m. with Bulls-Celtics, followed by the Thunder traveling to Dallas.
The Wizards face Denver Friday at 9 p.m. on Comcast, then head to L.A. Saturday to battle the Clippers at 10:30 p.m.
ESPN has high school basketball between Huntington Prep and New Hampton School Sunday at 5 p.m.
Action from the Australian Open continues Thursday at 11 p.m. on ESPN2. Play continues Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 9 p.m.