The coming week in the world of sports will involve some college football and college basketball, while the NFL still commands center stage on the larger scene.
NCAA Basketball: Duke Blue Devils vs. UCLA Bruins (In New York – Thursday)
This is a game in Madison Square Garden, and it’s one in which UCLA will be asked to prove itself. The Bruins, under new head coach Steve Alford, are trying to regain the aura and consistency they possessed from 2006 through 2008, when they made three straight Final Fours. UCLA will have its hands full with one of the more athletic Duke teams Mike Krzyzewski has fielded in quite some time. The Blue Devils play an above-the-rim game, and UCLA will have to be very active on defense in the paint if it wants to contain Duke’s offense. NCAA Football: New Orleans Bowl Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns vs. Tulane Green Wave
This is an all-Louisiana affair, played in Tulane’s home stadium. There should be a big crowd in the Superdome for this game, which involves two teams that, a few years ago, had no momentum at all. Now, ULL is making its third straight bowl appearance, while Tulane is making its first appearance since 2002. This will be a special game for every player involved, especially on the Tulane side. Players will need to channel their emotions and not get caught up in the moment.
NFL Football: Chicago Bears @ Philadelphia Eagles
This is one of the more attractive games of the week in the NFL. The Eagles hope that Dallas loses to Washington. If that happens, Philadelphia could clinch the NFC East with a win here. Chicago is involved in a three-team race with Detroit and Green Bay in the NFC North. The Bears would suffer a huge blow if they lost here.