Basketbrawl, the sequel?
NBA: Last time the Lakers and Knicks met, things didn't end well. Kobe Bryant and Amare Stoudemire got snippy, Ron Artest showed off his WWE moves and Andrew Bynum got tossed. Tonight, the Lakers will try to beat the Knicks for an eighth straight time and the fans at MSG may be in for a wild one. ... After winning 10 straight games, the Hornets have lost a season-high four straight contests and six of their last seven. They'll try to get back on track tonight when they visit the Orlando Magic, who have won two straight. ... The Hornets can't put all their energy into the matchup with Dwight Howard and company, though, as they'll have to welcome Derrick Rose and the Central-leading Bulls to town Saturday night. ... The Celtics and the Heat meet in a huge Eastern Conference battle on Sunday afternoon. Right now they're the top two teams in the East and they boast matching 38-14 records.
Women's college basketball: If they haven't already, basketball fans at DePaul better jump on the women's hoops bandwagon. While the men's team still hasn't won a Big East game, the 14th-ranked Blue Demon women are 22-3 overall and 9-1 in their conference. They host the 22nd-ranked Marquette Golden Eagles Saturday night. ... Two more ranked teams meet Sunday afternoon, as No. 21 Miami visits No. 10 UNC. The Tar Heels and the Hurricanes trail only the Duke Blue Devils in the ACC.
Men's college basketball: Saturday afternoon the top-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes put their sparkling 24-0 record on the line against a 14th-ranked Wisconsin team that really enjoys its home cookin'. The Badgers haven't welcomed a No. 1 team to the Kohl Center since 2005 and they've lost four straight to the Buckeyes, but they're 13-0 at home this season and have won 16 straight home games dating back to last year. ... No. 13 Syracuse pays a visit to No. 15 Louisville, looking to overtake them in the Big East standings. It'll be a battle of two competing styles, as the Cardinals will try to push the tempo against a Cuse team that likes to slow things down. ... Down South, the 18th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats will take on No. 24 Vanderbilt. Both teams sport matching 17-6 marks overall and 5-4 records in conference play. The difference in this one may be Vandy junior Jeffery Taylor, who has averaged 14 points a game in his four contests against the Wildcats.
NHL: A couple new faces in new places make their debuts this weekend. Former Panthers forward Michael Frolik will don the Indianhead for the first time when his Blackhawks take on the Dallas Stars Friday night. ... 37-year-old Peter Forsberg will play in his first NHL game since 2008 when he takes the ice with the Avs Friday night to battle the Blue Jackets in Columbus. He signed with the Avalanche in February of 2008, but he played only nine regular-season games and seven playoff contests. ... On Saturday, Mr. Carrie Underwood, Mike Fisher, will play for the first time as a member of his wife's (adopted) hometown Predators. Nashville acquired Fisher for a first-round pick in this year's draft and a conditional pick in 2012, no doubt making his country singer wife very happy. He can't feel the love from that country crowd just yet though, as the Preds will be in Colorado for that one.