One more day until divisional weekend in the NFL! While we all can’t wait for what is always one of the best weekends of the sports calendar, there’s plenty to sink your teeth into tonight. Two Eastern Conference contenders collide in the NBA, and we’ve also got a top-15 showdown in men’s college hoops. Add in some high-profile matchups in the Australian Open, and there’s plenty to keep you occupied this Friday night.
Here’s what I’m watching today.
A quick note: With COVID-19 cases rising, sports schedules are fluid and subject to change.
Chicago Bulls at Milwaukee Bucks
Yet another showcase game for the Bulls, who continue what has been a gantlet of a schedule in January with a matchup with the Bucks. It ends a two-week stretch that has featured games against the Mavericks, Nets, Warriors, Grizzlies and Cavaliers. After tonight, Chicago won’t play a team currently over .500 until Feb. 6.
The Bulls will be shorthanded tonight without both Zach LaVine and Lonzo Ball in the backcourt, while Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks should be at full strength. Can Milwaukee continue to gain ground on the top spot in the East?
8 p.m. ET, ESPN, watch on fuboTV
- NBA Midseason Awards: MVP, Top Rookie, Most Improved Player (Rohan Nadkarni)
- Selecting 2022 NBA All-Star Game Starters (Chris Mannix)
- Zach LaVine Suffered No Structural Damage in Left Knee Injury Against Warriors (Wilton Jackson)
• PGA Tour: The American Express | Patrick Cantlay, Jon Rahm and Jason Day were among the stars who posted low numbers yesterday to get the weekend started at Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course in southern California. 12 p.m. ET, ESPN+, 3 p.m. ET, Golf Channel, watch on fuboTV
• New York Rangers at Carolina Hurricanes | The Canes dispatched the Bruins in a 7–1 rout earlier in the week, scoring five goals in the first period to inch closer to the top of the Metropolitan division. Tonight, they get their crack at the division-leading Rangers, who’ve won three straight. 7 p.m. ET, ESPN+
• Los Angeles Clippers at Philadelphia 76ers | With Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on the shelf with injuries, the Clippers may ponder selling at the trade deadline. Games like tonight’s on the road in Philly give them a chance to evaluate whether to push for a playoff spot as the season crosses the halfway point. 7 p.m. ET, Bally Sports SoCal/NBC Sports Philadelphia, watch on fuboTV
• Australian Open | The tournament continues into its first weekend. The match I’m looking forward to most is a showdown between Benoit Paire and world No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas, which is scheduled to start not before 10 p.m. ET. 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2 (also airing on ESPN3 and ESPN+ starting at 7 p.m. ET), watch on fuboTV
Men’s college basketball: Michigan State at Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Badgers keep winning and have built arguably the best résumé in college basketball, cementing themselves as Big Ten favorites in the process. How? It’s all about Johnny Davis, the sophomore breakout star whose meteoric rise from bench player in 2020–21 to potential National Player of the Year this season has been remarkable to watch. Davis is one of college hoops’ most prolific scorers, and the Badgers’ role players have continued to step up. Can they knock off a top-15 Michigan State team in its first action since a disappointing home loss to Northwestern last weekend?
9 p.m. ET, FS1, watch on fuboTV
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