W2W: Christmas Edition (Dec. 23-27)

The Sports world will enter the end of the year and that means more big games and tournaments. This weekend will be the start of that as the Christmas Long Weekend will feature four days of sports. As the Christmas holidays start it seems as though there is a lot fewer games as the NHL and other leagues take their holiday breaks. Although some major leagues are on break there is still plenty of big sporting events this weekend and The Sport Addiction is here to be your guide this Christmas weekend. With the NHL off all weekend the feature game will be on Friday as the Leafs and Isles play their last game before a two-day Christmas Break. NCAA Basketball will be the same as Louisville takes on the Hilltoppers before an NCAA break for Christmas. As these leagues take a break the NBA will be in overdrive as they start their season with a massive marathon on Christmas Day. Meanwhile the tournaments will start as the Spengler Cup and World Junior tournaments start on Boxing Day as they continue the holiday tradition. With all of this there is still a number of NCAA Football Bowl games to keep you busy this weekend. The Christmas long weekend will be full of great games and events as there will be plenty to watch with family, or without, this Christmas season.

 

NHL Hockey: Toronto Maple Leafs vs. New York Islanders

 

 

 

 

 

The NHL will have one more night before their Christmas Break and a featured game will be the usual suspects. The Leafs will be featured yet again on the last night before the break as they take on the New York Islanders. After a 3-6 month the Leafs will be looking to finish the month on a streak as they go into the second half of the season. They have already started this streak on Thursday when they beat the Buffalo Sabres and will be looking to make it a streak. Meanwhile the Islanders have not had a good season sitting in last place in the Atlantic Division. After a small surge in December, they went 4-4-2 in December, the Isles are looking to make a second half comeback starting at the end of this month. Both teams are looking to start an upswing and will put together a good game before the NHL takes their Christmas Break for the weekend.

 

Date: Friday December 23rd

Time: 7:00 pm

Channel: TSN

 

NCAA Basketball: #4 Louisville Cardinals vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

 

 

 

 

 

 

The #4 Louisville Cardinals are on their way to the best start of a season as they hope to tie the 13-0 start that they have reached multiple times. They will take on the unranked Western Kentucky Hilltoppers as a last tune up game before they move into the toughest part of their schedule. Western Kentucky could win but it seems obvious that this game will focus on the Louisville Cardinals. The Cardinals will move to 12-0 if they can get past the Hilltoppers and will enter the toughest part of their schedule. After this game they will move on to face #16 Georgetown to open their conference play and then will move on to face their biggest rivals in #3 Kentucky. Of course with all the focus on the Cardinals there is something to say about the Hilltoppers who could have some magic. As with almost any college sport upsets are common place and Western Kentucky would like nothing more than to prove that they shouldn’t be overlooked in this game. They will try to take out the undefeated Cardinals but of course will have a tough time as the Cardinals have one of the better defences in the NCAA. This will be the last game before the NCAA takes their Christmas break.

 

Date: Friday December 23rd

Time: 7:00 pm

Channel: TSN2

 

NFL Football: New York Jets vs. New York Giants

 

 

 

 

 

The NFL will move the majority of their games to Christmas Eve as they will only feature one game on Christmas. Christmas Eve will be the new Sunday this week and one of the most interesting games of the day will be the Battle of New York. The Jets and Giants will face off in a classic sports rivalry that transcends every major sport. The Giants and Jets are automatic enemies as they divide a city and play in the same stadium, even though it is in New Jersey. This battle is essentially to find out who deserves to own MetLife Stadium and with the quite confidence of the Giants against the brash in your face style of the Jets the two teams are destined to be enemies. This year the game will mean that much more as they face off with only two weeks left in the season and both teams in the thick of a playoff battle. The Giants are fighting for their division as they are one game away from the Dallas Cowboys and are looking to stop a late season collapse again. Meanwhile the Jets are out of their division race but they still have the ability to win an AFC Wild Card spot. This game means so much to the city where the fans of both teams look to gain the upper hand in the trash talk for the year. With so much on the line in this game the Battle of New York will be the highlight of the Christmas Eve schedule.

 

Date: Saturday December 24th

Time: 1:00 pm

Channel: Fox

 

NCAA Football: Sheraton Hawaii Bowl

 

 

 

 

The Bowl Season is in full swing and the annual Christmas Eve Bowl, The Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, is back with a good game. This year the Hawaii Bowl will feature the #22 Southern Miss Golden Eagles from C-USA and the Nevada Wolf Pack from the WAC. The Golden Eagles have been known for one main figure as they have always been the school that Brett Favre came from. Now they are known for much more as they are ranked #22 in the NCAA and are coming off of a win against one of the best schools this year in Houston. QB Austin Davis was able to outduel Case Keenum and the best offence in the NCAA in order to remain #22 in the BCS Rankings. After the win Southern Miss head coach, Larry Fedora, lobbied for a BCS bid as they had just beaten one of the best teams in the NCAA but it wasn’t to be. Instead the Golden Eagles would travel to Hawaii to take on the Wolf Pack from Nevada. They will be no push over either as they ranked 8th in the NCAA in rushing yards with 251.8 yards per game. The Wolf Pack are very successful on the ground with their Pistol attack and will cause a challenge for the Golden Eagles. Both teams are focused on the run but the Eagles do have a great QB, Austin Davis, who broke all of Brett Favre’s school records. The Hawaii Bowl should be a good one this weekend as both teams average more than 32 points per game providing some great firepower for the Christmas Eve matchup.

 

Date: Saturday December 24th

Time: 8:00 pm

Channel: TSN 2

 

NBA Basketball: 2011 NBA Tip-Off

 

 

 

 

 

With the NBA Lockout over the basketball season starts again and it will start in a big way. The NBA will open their season with a 5-game marathon on Christmas day. The day will start with a classic Boston vs. New York matchup between the two rival cities. The Boston Celtics will kick off their season against the New York Knicks in the opening game of the NBA season. With the Celtics looking to continue their dominant play while the Knicks look to Carmelo Anthony in his first full season in New York. After these two teams open the season the Miami Heat will take on the Dallas Mavericks at 2:30 pm in a rematch of the NBA Finals last year. The Heat will be hoping that their big three, Wade, James, and Bosh, will pay-off this year while the Mavs look to defend their title with Dirk Nowitzki. In the third game of the day the L.A. Lakers will take on the Chicago Bulls at 5:00 pm. The Lakers will be moving on with new coach Mike Brown as they look to get back to their domination while the Bulls will continue their resurgence behind Derrick Rose. In the fourth game of the day the Orlando Magic will take on the Oklahoma City Thunder at 8:00 pm. The Thunder are continuing to become a force after relocating from Seattle in 2008 and coming off of a Western Conference appearance last year while the Orlando Magic will be looking to Dwight Howard again this year to continue their success. The final game will feature the Los Angeles Clippers and the Golden State Warriors at 10:30 pm. The Clippers will be looking to Blake Griffin and new acquisition Chris Paul to jumpstart their offence while the Warriors try to continue their resurgence after a good season last year. It will be an NBA fan’s dream, after all the presents are open they can sit down and veg out on basketball for the rest of the day as the NBA begins their shortened season.

 

Date: Sunday December 25th

Time: 12:00 pm

Channel: TSN/TSN2

 

2012 Spengler Cup: Canada vs. HC Vitkovice Steel

 

 

 

 

The Oldest Invitational Hockey Tournament in the world will get underway for the 88th time as the best clubs from Europe, and the Canadian team, compete for the Cup. The tournament features the top clubs from Europe as well as a team made up of Canadian players who mainly play in Europe. The tournament will open up with Team Canada taking on the HC Vitkovice Steel. Team Canada has had some success in this tournament with 11 titles and a number of runner-up finishes. This was true for last year as the team finished second to SKA Saint Petersburg and will be looking to get back to the gold medal game this year. They will do this with a host of Canadians who are playing in Europe along with some former NHL players including Marty Turco who will help lead the Canadians against the European clubs. They will open the tournament with their first game on Boxing Day against the team representing the Czech Republic League. HC Viktovice was the runner-up in the Czech Extraliga and are looking to get their first Spengler Cup after being one of the best teams in the Czech Extraliga. The Spengler Cup will kick off their 88th tournament as Canada looks to win again against the club teams from Europe in what is a tradition at the end of the year.

 

Date: Monday December 26th

Time: 2:00 pm

Channel: TSN2

 

2012 WJC: Finland vs. Canada

 

 

 

 

With the Spengler Cup one tradition on Boxing Day a bigger one for Canadians is the beginning of the World Junior Hockey Championships. The tournament will begin again this Boxing Day as Finland will take on Canada in the opening game for the Canadians. Finland will be looking to take the first major shot at the Canadians in their opening game. With a bad performance in the 2011 tournament that saw them finish in 6th place after losing to Switzerland in the 5th place game the Finns will be looking to get back to their winning ways. Behind the goaltending of Sami Aittokallio and the offensive power of the Granlund brothers the Finns will be looking to earn the first upset of the tournament. Meanwhile the Canadians will be looking to shake off some disappointing performances in the last two years, which in Canada means not winning gold, and win gold again in front of a home crowd. The Canadians will look to Devonte Smith-Pelly and Brett Connolly who have both spent this year in the NHL and were granted leaves to go to the tournament. The Canadians will be hoping to start their tournament off with a win as they hope to go undefeated and win gold for the 16th time. The Boxing Day Tradition starts again, as the Canadians take on the Finns in the opening game of the World Junior Championships.

 

Date: Monday December 26th

Time: 3:30 pm

Channel: TSN

 

NCAA Football: AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl

 

 

 

 

The Bowl Season continues as the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl will take place on Boxing Day. The Independence Bowl will feature two 7 win teams as the Missouri Tigers from the Big 12 will take on the North Carolina Tarheels of the ACC. The biggest story for this game will be that of the Missouri Tigers as they will represent the Big 12 for the last year. Next year the Tigers will be moving to the very tough South Eastern Conference, SEC. With the move the Tigers did not make any friends in the Big 12 and did not get an invite to any of the Bowls that are associated with the conference. Instead they accepted an invite to the Independence Bowl where they will take on the Tarheels. North Carolina will be making their fourth straight Bowl appearance under head coach Everett Withers. They will be looking to their balanced attack led by QB Bryn Renner (68.8% cmp, 2,769 yds, 23 TD, 12 INT) and Giovani Bernard (226 rsh, 1222 yds, 13 TD). The Tigers also have a balanced attack led by their QB James Franklin (63.2% cmp, 2733 yds, 20 TD, 10 INT) and RB Henry Josey (145 rsh, 1168 yds, 9 TD). The Tigers are also on the hotter streak as they have won their last three games while the Tarheels have lost 4 of their last 6 games leading into the postseason. With both teams winning 7 games and both having balanced attacks this game is promising to be a good one as both teams look to take home a bowl win.

 

Date: Monday December 26th

Time: 5:00 pm

Channel: The Score

 

NCAA Football: Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Holiday Bowl Season continues on what will be Boxing Day “observed” as the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl. The bowl will feature the Western Michigan Broncos of the MAC conference and the Purdue Boilermakers of the Big Ten. The Purdue Boilermakers are the more legendary of the two teams as they have been very successful in the past. Recently this success evaded them as they have not been in a bowl game since 2007. Oddly enough the last bowl for Purdue was played in Detroit against a team from Michigan. This year they return to Detroit to play Western Michigan in the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl. Western Michigan will look to take advantage of the location and win close to home. They will try to do this with a great passing attack that is led by QB Alex Carder (67.2% cmp, 3434 yds, 28 TD, 10 INT). They are a high-powered, high scoring offence that ranks 18th in the NCAA scoring an average of 35.6 points per game. Purdue will have their work cut out for them as they hope to have their first winning season since 2007. The Broncos will also be looking to finally beat a team from the Big Ten as they lost to two teams from the conference this year. The Bowl season is in full swing and the Little Caesar’s Bowl promises to be yet another good game in this postseason.

 

Date: Tuesday December 27th

Time: 4:30 pm

Channel: The Score

 

NCAA Football: Belk Bowl

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Long weekend will finish off with yet another Bowl as the Belk Bowl will take place on Tuesday night. The Belk Bowl will feature two 7 win teams as the Louisville Cardinals from the Big East will take on the North Carolina State Wolfpack from the ACC. Both of these teams have recovered from bad starts to become bowl eligible and are looking to finish their season on top. The Wolfpack began their season 2-3 and looked to be out of bowl contention but after two massive wins NC State was able to participate in the postseason. NC State did this by upsetting the #7 Clemson Tigers who were looking for a spot in a BCS Bowl after a great season but had it ended by the Wolfpack. NC State then moved on to win against Maryland in the largest comeback in school history making them Bowl eligible. Meanwhile Louisville had a similar path as they start the season 2-4 but then won 5 of their last 6 games. Louisville’s turnaround was thanks in large part to their QB Teddy Bridgewater (66.0% cmp, 1855 yds, 12 TD, 9 INT) who settled into the position after a rough start and led his team into bowl contention. Both teams have come into their own at the end of the season and both will look to finish off their turnarounds with a win in the Belk Bowl.

 

Date: Tuesday December 27th

Time: 8:00 pm

Channel: The Score

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