Coyotes at Kings
Don't expect Wayne Gretzky (above) to get all sentimental when he makes his first trip as Coyotes coach to L.A., where he played for seven seasons. In his freshman year behind the bench, the Great One has already cut Brett Hull's minutes so significantly that his pal retired, and he has also traded Jeff Taffe--who is his niece's fiancé. Check listings 10:30 p.m.
Steelers at Vikings Give Mike Tice his due: The man is a survivor. The Minnesota coach has weathered a Super Bowl--ticket-scalping embarrassment, his team's sex-cruise scandal, a 1-4 start and the loss of his starting quarterback--and he still has the Vikings in the wild-card hunt. Thirty-seven-year-old QB Brad Johnson (below) has led the Vikings to six straight wins since taking over for Daunte Culpepper. CBS 1 p.m.
December 19, 2005
New Orleans Bowl: Arkansas State vs. Southern Mississippi
It's only fitting that Southern Miss is playing in a bowl that's been relocated. The game has been shifted to Lafayette, La., due to damage from Hurricane Katrina. The storm had forced the Golden Eagles to postpone their Sept. 4 season opener until Nov. 26, when they beat Tulane 26-7 to become bowl eligible. The Indians, meanwhile, are making their first postseason appearance since 1970. ESPN 8 p.m.
In Stores: Our Greatest Hopes, Our Worst Fears
While Steven Spielberg's new Munich (page 34) tells the story of the aftermath of the 1972 Olympic massacre, this gripping hourlong documentary sticks to the 22-hour standoff.
No. 23 North Carolina at USC
O.K., so it's not a 34-gamer like the one Reggie Bush and the Southern Cal football team are on, but the Trojans' five-game jag is a nice uptick for a squad that finished 12-17 last season. In the Tar Heels, USC will face its toughest test to date. Apparently someone forgot to tell North Carolina freshman forward Tyler Hansbrough (below) that this is supposed to be a rebuilding year in Chapel Hill. His 15.4 points per game have helped the Heels sneak into the top 25 despite losing their top seven scorers from last year. Fox Sports Net 10:30 p.m.
SI PICK OF THE WEEK
As fallback options go, Cal could have done worse. A 5-0 start and a top 10 ranking had the Golden Bears dreaming of a BCS bid, but they dropped out of contention--way out of contention--by losing four of their next five. So Cal landed in the Las Vegas Bowl, where it will face BYU. Here's a safe bet: The Cougars' defense, which ranked 93rd in Division I-A, will have its hands full with Cal's tailback tandem of Marshawn Lynch (right) and Justin Forsett (left). The duo combined to rush for 2,014 yards and 13 touchdowns this season. ESPN 8 p.m