If there's any weekend to lounge around the house and twiddle your thumbs amidst nothingness (i.e. watching sports for hours on end), it's next weekend. Last-minute Christmas shoppers ... shame on you.
My only advice is to go to the restroom after every other media timeout on Saturday.
Here's the docket:
Saturday, December 20
Duke v. Xavier, 2pm (in East Rutherford – i.e. a home game for Duke). Two of the most versatile teams in the nation face off in this one. What measures will each coach take to limit the production of the other's top player (Kyle Singler and Derrick Brown)?
Michigan State @ Texas, 2pm (in Houston). While I don't buy Jimmy Dykes's assertion that Texas is the 2nd-best team in the nation, one has to commend Rick Barnes's ability to reload after losing a top 10 pick each of the last two years. Michigan State had better bring their hard hats if they want to compete.
UConn @ Gonzaga, 4pm (in Seattle). Despite the Zags' loss last night in Phoenix to Arizona, they are still a Top 10 team. UConn welcomes Stanley Robinson back to the team. The AJ Price/Jeremy Pargo matchup will be one of great intrigue.
Davidson @ Purdue, 4pm (in Indianapolis). Purdue has the athletic bodies to match up with Stephen Curry (I assume Chris Kramer will be assigned to him), but they have yet to put it all together this season. This one may come down to the hustle plays.
Syracuse @ Memphis, 6pm. With the Devendorf suspension on the horizon, Syracuse needs to make its mark now. I finally had an opportunity to see Tyreke Evans play and I am not sure that the 'Cuse has a player who can match up with him.
Baltimore @ Dallas, 815pm. Watching the Ravens bore me to tears, but there's no denying that they have a good team. Dallas is exciting, and they're more exciting when there's drama. If Tony Romo is on his back or throwing picks, then you can expect drama. I doubt that happens after Baltimore lost a heartbreaker.
VCU @ Oklahoma, 10pm. Clement's alma mater. Hashemi's man-crush. Blake Griffin will not have a repeat of his dreadful performance against Utah. Eric Maynor is a legit 1st-round pick. Mark it.
Sunday, December 21
Liverpool @ Arsenal, 11am. The Reds are atop the table, but it's never easy to play at The Emirates Stadium. The Gunners can dive back into the top 4 with a win and a non-win by Aston Villa.
Pittsburgh @ Tennessee, 1pm. The best game of the weekend, Pittsburgh is riding high on momentum. If Tennessee is without Haynesworth, then Pittsburgh should be able to run the ball effectively.
Arizona @ New England, 1pm. Arizona is locked into either the #3 or #4 seed, so the importance of this game is more for the Patriots, who are tied with the Jets and Dolphins in the AFC East.
Philadelphia @ Washington, 415pm. If the Eagles have a game plan which includes a healthy diet of run and pass, they will win against a team that is ripping apart at the seams.
Atlanta @ Minnesota, 415pm. Minnesota is flying under the radar and dominating teams at the line of scrimmage. If they win the battle on both lines, then Tarvaris Jackson can throw the deep ball. Meanwhile, Matt Ryan is starting to hit the rookie wall.
Carolina @ New York Giants, 815pm. Even if Jacobs is back, can the Giants defense stop the running attack of Williams and Stewart? Eli will need to bring his A game and Jake Delhomme will need to be hypnotized into thinking that he's playing at home.