Basketball takes center stage

There are a slew of games competing for our attention tonight, and most of them involve basketball. I'm talking about New York first because that's where I live, and I know somebody else might want to watch the all-L.A. NBA matchup (Ahem, Adena!) but I won't be up that late.

Raptors at Knicks, 7:30 p.m.: Do the Knicks have a basketball team this year? A franchise that has flirted with irrelevance in the last decade is 13-9 and hosting the Raptors at Madison Square Garden. No LeBron, but Amare Stoudemire is helping New York forget the summer's free-agent drama as the Knicks have won 10 of the last 11. The Raptors are 8-13 and have only won two games on the road. But the big news is that people are excited about coming to the Garden to watch the NBA again.

Two matchups in women's hoops caught my eye, and the first is Nebraska vs. Creighton at 8:05 p.m. This game is in Omaha at the relatively new DJ Sokol Arena, and the Cornhuskers are 6-1 this season and had a tough loss to Indiana on Sunday snapping a 37-game regular-season winning streak. Senior guard Dominique Kelley is averaging 17 points per game.

No. 11 Oklahoma is playing Stephen F. Austin, an unranked team. This may not be the most competitive game. Sometimes these early season games, non-conference matchups can be tough for the underdog to win, but this is the time of year to start getting to know teams like Oklahoma, who will likely be in the mix in March.

In men's college basketball, Bradley heads to undefeated Duke tonight. Expect the Blue Devils to be even more motivated since coach Mike Krzyzewski could take over third place on the NCAA career wins list with their ninth straight and will have to do so without star freshman point guard Kyrie Irving (toe).

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