Reporting Taylor Zarzour
10. #4 Michigan State at #18 Ohio State on Sun at 4pm: After one of the best games of the season, it’ll be interesting to see if Sparty can bounce back on the road in a very hostile environment. There is no doubt that the Big Ten is the best conference this season, but I wonder if this makes these two teams more prepared for the tournament, or if it will wear them out. But have the talent to make plenty of noise.
9. Carolina Hurricanes vs Tampa Bay Lightning on Sat at 7pm: That was a tough loss for the Canes at home to Winnipeg last night, and after a disappointing week its important for them to get back on track. Everyone seems to believe the Canes have the talent to make a run towards the Stanley Cup Finals, but in a shortened season they are tied for the 8th best record in the Eastern conference with the Lightning. the winner of the division will get a top 3 seed but the loser could very easily miss the playoffs. I know its still early, but beating the team you’re likely to battle the divsion title for is always important.
8. The WGC Match Play: This lost a tremendous amount of luster after Tiger and Rory were both knocked out in the first round. Plus, Phil decided not to play so it could be a disappointing weekend for ratings. But its still fun to see the world’s best players using a different format. I do think they should consider stroke play for the first two rounds and then take the best 16 players that are left in a match play format. It seems like you’d have a better chance of the stars sticking around.
7. The Nationwide Race in Daytona at 1:30 on Sat: Most of the races on this circuit are for die hard fans, like me. But this race feels almost the same as a cup race. These are some of the drivers in the field: Kasey Kahne, Regan Smith, Danica Patrick, Trevor Bayne, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Elliot Sadler, Brad Keselowski, Matt Kenseth, Austin Dillon, and Tony Stewart. The final ten laps should be must see TV.
6. Bobcats vs Denver Sat night: see number 5 for an explanation…
5. Bobcats vs Bulls tonight at 7: these back to back home games are important for the Bobcats. Like the Panthers, if the Bobcats can finish the season strong it’ll instill some confidence for the future. Beating a couple of playoff teams would be a great start, and more importantly, give this community something to cheer about.
4. #2 Miami at Wake on Sat at 1pm: There really isn’t anything else for the Deacs to play for at this point. A win over the #2 team in the country would be the biggest win the program has had in three years, and more importantly, probably save Jeff Bzdelik’s job. And Miami has looked vulnerable lately, with close calls at home against Virginia and at Clemson.
3. #8 Syracuse vs #11 Georgetown Sat at 4pm: I’m excited about the Orange joining the ACC, but disappointed that this great rivalry will basically end because of it. Maybe they’ll keep playing each other once a season, but it won’t be the same. This game is undoubtedly one of the five best rivalries in the last thirty years. I’m sure there will be plenty of nostalgia tomorrow in the Carrier Dome.
2. State at Carolina Sat at 4pm: If Carolina is truly a ournament team these are the sort of games they need to win. If State is the kind of team we should take seriously in March these are the kinds of games they need to win. In fact, I would argue it would be their biggest win of the season given what the environment should be like. I can count on one hand the times that this game felt close to even in the last ten years so I’m excited to see it up close and personally.
1. The Daytona 500 Sun at 1pm: It’s still The Super Bowi of Motorsports. With a brand new car I’m very curious to see how aggressive the racing is. There was an early wreck in the first testing session last month, an early wreck in practice last week, and an early wreck in the Unlimited race last weekend. No matter how aggressive they are, you would certainly expect the racing to be four wide anc crazy once there’s ten laps to go.