What a great Thursday we have in store in the sports world. If you’re a college hoops fan, buckle up for a top-five showdown between ACC rivals in women’s hoops and an in-state matchup with some extra juice this year on the men’s side. You can also sit back and enjoy watching Luka Dončić take on Devin Booker in the NBA or check out how the favorites to win the Australian Open continue their tournaments down under.
Here’s what I’m watching today.
A quick note: With COVID-19 cases rising, sports schedules are fluid and subject to change.
Women’s college basketball: Louisville at NC State
After losing its season opener by two in overtime, No. 3 Louisville has an unblemished résumé and is off to a 16–1 start. Meanwhile, No. 4 NC State came into the season with high expectations and has lived up to the hype, beating the two ranked opponents they’ve played this month by a combined 51 points. Expect a raucous crowd in Raleigh for a game with massive ACC title implications that could help decide which of these two teams gets a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament come March.
7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, watch on fuboTV
- Your Catch-Up Guide to the College Basketball Season (Kevin Sweeney)
- Biggest Surprises From the First Half of the Women’s College Basketball Season (Spencer Chism)
• Washington Capitals at Boston Bruins | Goals in three straight games from Tom Wilson have kept the Capitals right in the thick of things in the Metropolitan division. Can he make it four straight against a Bruins team still licking its wounds from a 7–1 loss Tuesday against the Hurricanes? 7 p.m. ET, ESPN+
• Men’s CBB: Purdue at Indiana | Always one of the most heated rivalries in college basketball, this in-state duel adds even more flavor today with it being Mike Woodson’s first game against the Boilermakers as head coach of the Hoosiers. Assembly Hall should be electric as IU looks to beat No. 4 Purdue for the first time since February 2016. 7 p.m. ET, FS1, watch on fuboTV
• Phoenix Suns at Dallas Mavericks | The Mavs have won nine of 10, the team’s best sustained stretch of the season under first-year coach Jason Kidd. That stretch has included wins over the Warriors, Grizzlies and Bulls, among the top-tier teams in the league. They’ll get another crack at an elite team tonight when the Suns come to town with the best record in the NBA. 7:30 p.m. ET, TNT
• Australian Open | World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty and two-time women’s singles champion Naomi Osaka are both in action. So is Alexander Zverev, who SI’s Jon Wertheim picked to win the men’s singles tournament. 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2 (also airing on ESPN3 and ESPN+), watch on fuboTV
Carabao Cup: Arsenal at Liverpool
Tied on aggregate 0–0 after the first leg, 90 minutes (or more, if the deadlock can’t be broken) separates one of these two clubs from a date with Chelsea in the League Cup final at the end of February. Arsenal survived the first leg despite an early red card from Granit Xhaka but now head to Anfield needing to find a breakthrough if they want to advance to the final.
2:45 p.m. ET, ESPN+
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