What 2 Watch (Jan. 6-8)

The first full weekend in 2012 will feature a number of great games as the year kicks off with a great weekend of sports. The Sport Addiction is here to sort all of the sport events for this weekend so take a look at the games to watch this weekend. Basketball continues to roll as the NBA will see two bottom feeders face off with one having a better than expected season. The NCAA is continuing to role as two teams from the bottom of the rankings face off in a Big Ten matchup. Meanwhile Football continues as the NFL regular season is over and the postseason begins with the Wild Card weekend starting. NCAA Football also ends their season with the final bowl games coming up featuring the two best teams and some unknowns in a number of bowls. The NHL also continues with another Hockey Night in Canada that will feature two Original Six teams. While all of these leagues continue or end the National Lacrosse League just starts their season with the defending champions looking to start their season off great. The year kicks off great with a full weekend of great games and The Sport Addiction is here to sort everything out.

 

NBA Basketball: Toronto Raptors vs. New Jersey Nets

 

 

 

 

 

The NBA Season continues to roll as the Raptors will be featured on Friday Night when they take on the New Jersey Nets. The Nets are playing as a New Jersey team for the last season this year as they will move to Brooklyn, New York at the end of the year. They are not doing much to please their fans either as their performance has added to the frustration over the relocation. The Nets have not had a good year in the young season as they have suffered a number of big injuries. They have suffered for their injuries with a 1-6 record this year as they continue to remain bottom feeders in the Atlantic Division. Meanwhile the Raptors, who are usually fighting the Nets to stay out of last place, are actually looking better than many expected. They are by no means a dominant team but new coach Dwane Casey has proven his reputation as a defensive mastermind. The Raptors are playing good defence at this point in the year and are hoping that Andrea Bargnani, who is averaging just over 27 points per game, can lead their offence into a good spot with a short season. The Raptors are looking to stay out of the basement this year where they have been for years and right beside them have been the Nets. This year though there was a small shift as the Raptors look to be a better team while the Nets hope to prove that the short run will be just that, short.

 

When: Friday January 6th

Time: 7:00 pm

Channel: TSN

 

NCAA Football: AT&T Cotton Bowl

 

 

 

 

 

The Bowl Season draws to a close this weekend as there are only few games left until the official end of the NCAA Football Season. This last weekend will start with the Cotton Bowl Classic as the #8 Kansas State Wildcats take on the #6 Arkansas Razorbacks. Both teams did not expect to play in the Cotton Bowl this year though as the two top 10 teams were hoping for much more. The Kansas State Wildcats started their season 7-0 and were hoping to make a run at the National Championship. Two losses to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State ended their hopes of the National Championship but they had some hopes left. With a season ending ranking of #8 K-State did not see many other teams ahead of them in a berth for a BCS Bowl. Unfortunately the Wildcats did not get a bid in a BCS Bowl and instead need to settle for ending a three-year bowl losing streak in the Cotton Bowl. The Arkansas Razorbacks had the same hopes as K-State this year as they made a late season push into the top 10. They fell just short against the LSU Tigers in the SEC Championship game but were still hoping for a BCS bid. They too did not get a bid into a BCS bowl and will have to settle for the Cotton Bowl and are looking to improve their 3-7-1 record in the Cotton Bowl. Both teams average more than 30 points a game with the Wildcats leaning on their 29th ranked rushing offence while the Razorbacks lean on their 12th ranked passing offence. Both teams have something to prove in this game and will look to kick off the last bowl weekend with a bang.

 

When: Friday January 6th

Time: 8:00 pm

Channel: Sportsnet One

 

NCAA Football: BBVA Compass Bowl

 

 

 

 

 

The Bowl Season marches ever closer to the big game, the National Championship, but before the top two teams play there are a number of great bowls to be played. One of these is the BBVA Compass Bowl between the SMU Mustangs and the Pittsburgh Panthers. The Mustangs are in a unique position than many teams as they are still recovering from the biggest NCAA sanction to ever be handed out. In 1987 the NCAA discovered that SMU had been using booster money to pay their players. This was one of the first times the NCAA had seen a violation of this magnitude and because of that they created the worst penalty to be created. The NCAA decided to cancel the SMU football program for one year as punishment for the rule violations. The SMU season had been cancelled in 1988 and the school decided to cancel the next year as well in an attempt to recover. It took the Mustangs years to return to the glory they once had and they are still not completely done the process. They have, however, made bowls in three consecutive year including this years bid for the Compass Bowl. The Mustangs barely got in though as they started the season 5-1 and finished with a 7-5 record losing 4 of their last 6 games. They will try to recover from the bad end to their season by beating the Pitt Panthers. The Panthers will be making their second straight appearance in the Compass Bowl and qualified with their last game of the season. Neither team is spectacular in any aspect of the game but the Panthers are known for their run game that suffered big blow with the loss of the feature back in the beginning of the season. Both teams did not have the season they had hoped for but will look to end the season on a big note with a win at the Compass Bowl.

 

When: Saturday January 7th

Time: 1:00 pm

Channel: TSN2

 

NFL Football: AFC Wild Card

 

 

 

It is January and that means one of the best times for NFL fans as the season finishes and the march toward the Super Bowl begins. The playoffs will begin on Saturday as the AFC kicks off the playoffs with their wild card games. First on Saturday at 4:30 pm two unlikely teams will face off for a chance to continue in the playoffs. The Cincinnati Bengals will be riding the breakout performances of two rookies as Andy Dalton and A.J. Green lead the team into the playoffs. Almost being eliminated last week the Bengals made it in to the last spot with some help. They will look to improve on their first time in the playoffs in years as they have been one of the big surprises in the season. The Houston Texans are not as big a surprise as their big competition, the Indianapolis Colts, failed to perform and allowed them to take control of the division. They will be playing a playoff game for the first time in franchise history but will be hard pressed to continue their season success. With third string QB TJ Yates and recent signee Jake Delhomme under centre for the Texans the QB position has been the biggest question for the Texans as they have struggled to maintain their pace at the end of the year. The Texans and Bengals will both try to prove that they belong in the playoffs with a win in the first game. The second wild card game will feature a familiar face and an unlikely one. On Sunday at 4:30 pm the second AFC wild card game will feature the Pittsburgh Steelers going to Mile High Stadium to face the Denver Broncos. The Steelers are used to the playoffs as the defending AFC champions but they are not used to playing away in the playoffs, which will be the case this year as they will travel to Denver. The Steelers are banged up as well with Ben Roethlisberger still recovering from injury and leading rusher Rashad Mendenhall out for the playoffs with a knee injury. The Broncos will be looking to capitalize on their playoff appearance that has been a rare sight in Denver. They will do this behind one of the biggest names in football Tim Tebow who has only been a starting QB for half of a season. In this time Tebow was able to bring his team into the playoffs thanks to a number of 4th quarter comebacks. Tebow’s magic seems to be waning though with two straight losses to end the season and when he takes on one of the best defences in the league he will be put to the test. The playoffs in the NFL will begin this weekend as the AFC kicks thing off on Saturday and ends the first weekend on Sunday.

 

When: Saturday January 7th/Sunday January 8th

Time: 4:30 pm

Channel: NBC/CBS

 

NHL Hockey: Detroit Red Wings vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

 

 

 

 

Two original six teams will be featured on Hockey Night in Canada as the Toronto Maple Leafs host the Detroit Red Wings. The Toronto Maple Leafs have shown signs of being a good team this year and then have shown signs of being a terrible team. The Leafs started their season off great with an explosive start that launched them to the top of the league. They then cooled down as they began losing more games but they still stayed active at the top of their division. Lately the Leafs have not been able to repeat their great performances but they have also shown flashes of good hockey. As the midseason approaches the Leafs are looking to set themselves up in good position before the playoff race as they hope to break a long playoff drought. The Red Wings on the other hand have been to the playoffs year after year and are looking to be on the path to the playoffs again this year. Sitting second in their division only to the Chicago Blackhawks the Red Wings are trying to keep pace with the top teams in the league. With Pavel Datsyuk leading the charge again the Red Wings will look to take the only meeting of these two this season and continue keeping pace with the Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks. The Leafs will be looking to take the win in front of a home crowd to try to chip away at the Bruins big lead in the division and to pull away from the Ottawa Senators for second place.

 

When: Saturday January 7th

Time: 7:00 pm

Channel: CBC

 

NFL Football: NFC Wild Card

 

 

 

The AFC will open the playoffs in the NFL while the NFC will be featured in the middle of the weekend with some great games. The NFC’s first playoff game will be on Saturday at 8:00 pm as a dominant team will look to overwhelm their wild card counterparts. The Detroit Lions and New Orleans Saints will face off in primetime as the Saints look to continue an amazing season. The Saints were one San Francisco loss away from getting the 2nd place spot and earning a first round bye as their earlier struggles hurt them. They are past all of those now as they are playing their best hockey going into the playoffs. Led by their explosive offence the Saints have been able to overwhelm their opponents as Drew Brees has had a career season breaking Dan Marino’s single season passing record. Brees will look to continue this season against the Detroit Lions who looked great at the beginning of the season but stumbled into the playoffs with a small uptick in the last few weeks. The Lions are considered one of the dirtiest teams in the NFL earning the most personal foul penalties in the NFL. The attitude that the Lions have makes them a tough team though with a front four that can take over a game and will look to do just that against Brees. The second game will be at 1:00 pm on Sunday January 8th as the Atlanta Falcons leave the comfort of their Dome to face the New York Giants in the freezing cold of MetLife Stadium. The Atlanta Falcons came on late in the season but did not get enough to knock off the Saints but will hope to ride their hot offence into the wild card playoffs. They may have some issues in the open air stadium in New York as the Falcons are known for being one of the best teams inside but are not the best for outdoor games. The New York Giants are the hottest team going into the playoffs this year getting in on their last game against the Dallas Cowboys. The Giants will hope that Eli Manning and Victor Cruz can continue to make clutch plays and bring them past the Falcons. The NFC will see some great games in what promises to be a great playoff weekend and it all starts on Saturday.

 

When: Saturday January 7th/Sunday January 8th

Time: 8:00 pm/1:00 pm

Channel: NBC/FOX/CTV

 

NCAA Basketball: #19 Wisconsin Badgers vs. #13 Michigan Wolverines

 

 

 

 

With the NCAA Football season coming to an end the focus begins to shift to the NCAA Basketball season as teams look for their spot in the March Madness Tournament. Two teams that could make an impact this year are the Michigan Wolverines and Wisconsin Badgers. Both teams want the win badly and this game will be a great one. The Michigan Wolverines are currently 12-2 in their season and 2-0 in the Big Ten Conference. Averaging 70.9 points a game and allowing 59.9 the Wolverines are not at the top of any list for the NCAA. They have been able to find ways to win though and have been ranked #13 for their efforts. The Wisconsin Badgers are not much different as they average 67.2 points per game and allow 47.3 points per game. The Badgers are currently 12-4 on their season and 1-2 in the Big Ten as they will be looking to draw even in their conference play before getting behind by too much. The Wolverines and Badgers are not considered the best teams in the nation but both will be fighting hard for a big conference win as the Wolverines look to stay undefeated in the Big Ten.

 

When: Sunday January 8th

Time: 1:30 pm

Channel: CBS

 

NLL Lacrosse: Toronto Rock vs. Calgary Roughnecks

 

 

 

 

 

The Toronto Rock is the only successful Toronto team and yet they are one of the least known teams in the city. This looks to be changing slightly as the Rock renew their deal with TSN to show their games on TV. The Rock will kick off this broadcast season against the Calgary Roughnecks. The Rock will also be looking to start their season off right with the first win of their title defence. The Rock won the NLL Championship last year which was their 6th all time and they will be looking to get their 7th this year as they try to start it with a win. The Calgary Roughnecks are looking to get back to winning after coming close last year losing in the semi-finals to the Washington Stealth. They would like nothing more than to start their season right by beating the defending champion Toronto Rock.

 

When: Sunday January 8th

Time: 6:00 pm

Channel: TSN

 

NCAA Football: GoDaddy.com Bowl

 

 

 

In the last bowl game before the biggest one there will be two teams that have not been talked about but are playing some great football. The Arkansas State Red Wolves and Northern Illinois Huskies are playing some of the best football going into their last game of the season. The Red Wolves won the Sun Belt Conference and did it in record-breaking form as they became the only team in the Sun Belt conference to win 10 games. They did this with a stifling defence that only allowed 19 points per game and a passing offence ranked 20th in the NCAA. The NIU Huskies also made history as they won their first MAC title since 1983 and won the first 10 games in back to back seasons for the first time in school history. The Huskies did this by boasting one of the best rushing attacks in the NCAA as they ranked 7th overall behind RB Jasmin Hopkins. The Huskies also lean on their QB who is a duel threat and leads the rushing with Chandler Harnish having the ability to take over games. Both teams will be featured in primetime the day before the National Championship as they look to showcase a classic matchup of offence vs. defence before the defensive battle the next day. Although both teams and conferences have not gotten a lot of press but they both have the ability to put on a great show for all college fans. The Bowl season will come to an end this weekend and just before that two unknown teams will show just why the NCAA is so special by putting on a great game.

 

When: Sunday January 8th

Time: 9:00 pm

Channel: TSN

 

Bonus Event:

 

NCAA Football: BCS National Championship

 

 

 

 

 

The NCAA Football does not finish on the weekend but the last game is too big to pass up as the BCS National Championship will take place on Monday. The National Championship has had its fair share of controversy this year throughout the selection process. The LSU Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide will face off for the National Championship this year but it did not come easy for one team in particular. The LSU Tigers were clearly the #1 team in the NCAA this year throughout the entire year. They were the only NCAA team to go undefeated this year and did it in the toughest division in the NCAA. Meanwhile the Alabama Crimson Tide had a little bit more of a tough time as they did not go undefeated. The Tide lost their only game to the #1 team in the nation the LSU Tigers and after they lost they were thought to be out of the running unless they got a lot of help. Instead they fell one spot needing only Oklahoma State to lose to get back into title contention. This is what happened and Alabama moved back into the second spot. Although there were other options that seemed a better fit the Crimson Tide and Tigers were chosen to face off for the second time this season for the National Title. The first game was not very thrilling as no TDs were scored and LSU took the 9-6 win. Both teams are led by their defences as they are two of the best in the NCAA and will hope to have a repeat of their first meeting, or at least LSU will hope. The fans will hope that the offence shows up in the game this time but make no mistake the National Championship will be a battle of defensive powers as Alabama looks to take revenge of LSU for their only loss on the season.

 

When: Monday January 9th

Time: 8:30 pm

Channel: TSN

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