TV Picks For The Week

Sam SchleismanContributor IFebruary 5, 2010

Monday (1/8): (College Basketball) 7:00 pm MTN. ESPN. Rivalry week on ESPN gets off to a hot start with #1 Kansas heading to Austin to play #9 Texas. Kansas' roster is filled with future NBAers, highlighted by Cole Aldrich. Aldrich is considered the future #1 overall pick in the draft by many experts and he should play a huge role in Kansas' success. Texas has lost three of their last five and will have to shut down Aldrich and have a big game from superstar Damion James if they want a chance to win this one.

Tuesday (1/9): (College Basketball) 7:00 pm MTN. ESPN. In a matchup of the top two teams in the Big Ten. #8 Purdue, led by E'Twaun Moore and Robbie Hummel, travel to East Lansing to take on reigning Big Ten player of the year, Kalin Lucas, and Michigan State. If State wins they will remind the country why they are the best team in the Big Ten.

(NBA) 7:00 pm MTN. Altitude. George Karl and the Denver Nuggets welcome Mark Cuban, Rick Carlisle, and the Dallas Mavericks to the Pepsi Center in a matchup of top Western Conference opponents. It is unclear whether or not Carmelo Anthony's ankle will be healed in time to play and his presence is essential to the Nuggets' success. Regardless, his supporting cast of Chauncey Billups, Kenyon Martin, J.R. Smith, and Chris "Birdman" Anderson, will have to have big games to hold off Dirk Nowitzki and the rest of the Mavs.

Wednesday (1/10): (College Basketball) 7:00 pm MTN. ESPN. Some call Duke vs. North Carolina the greatest rivalry in all of sports but this game has potential to be disappointing. Rivalry games, especially between these two storied programs rarely get out of hand but Duke is #10 and leading the way in the Atlantic Coast Conference while North Carolina has lost six of their last eight and is on the bubble for the NCAA tournament in March. Don't wait until the second half to tune into this one; you might miss all the action.

Thursday (1/11): (College Basketball) 9:00 pm MTN. ESPN. In potentially the weeks best game, between two teams that are vastly underrated, St. Mary's (CA.) travels to Spokane, Washington to take on Gonzaga in McCarthey Athletic Center. Whoever wins this game will take over sole possession of first place in the West Coast Conference. Games between the Gaels and the Bulldogs usually come down to the last shot don't be surprised if the Bulldog's student section, the Kennel Club, empties onto the court at the end of the game (not that they should).

(NBA) 8:30 pm MTN. TNT. The Nuggets play their last game before the All-Star break and end their Texas-themed home stad when Tim Duncan leads the San Antonio Spurs into town. The Spurs are finally healthy but still look like a team from the local old man's league night in and night out. Anthony will most likely play in Thursday's game but it is anyone's best guess whether he'll be 100% or not. The role players will have to step up again and home court advantage could be difference in this prime time matchup of Western Conference powerhouses.

Friday (1/12): (College Basketball) 7:00 pm MTN. ESPN. There is a reason why West Virginia and Pittsburgh basketball games are called "The Backyard Brawl." Rivalry week on ESPN wraps up with the game that has the most potential to turn into a fist fight. In a game played last week between the two teams at West Virginia, things turned ugly when fans started throwing objects onto the court. The events came to unfortunate climax when Pittsburgh assistant coach Tom Herrion was hit in the eye with a coin during a timeout. Hopefully it will be the people ON the court that own the highlights this time around.

(NHL) 7:00 pm MTN. Altitude. The Colorado Avalanche host the Phoenix Coyotes who they trail by five points in the Western Conference playoff race. In a game that features great goaltending the Avs are led by Craig Anderson who is 8th in the NHL in wins (27) and save percentage (.922) while also tallying 5 shutouts. Not to be outdone by his counterpart, Ilya Bryzgalov is 3rd in wins (30), 6th in goals against average (2.27), and 2nd in shutouts with 6. The Avs are going to have to score to win and the points will most likely come from Matt Duchene and Paul Stastny. Expect a good game that won't be decided until late in the 3rd period.

Saturday (1/13): (Winter Olympics) 1:00 pm MTN, 7:00 pm MTN. NBC. The 2010 Winter Olympics from Vancouver kick off with gold medals being awarded in ski jumping, speed skating, and women's biathlon. The nightcap involves the beginning of men's singles luge, short track prelims, men's downhill, and women's moguls. A live look of Apolo Ohno highlights the first day of 2010 games as he eyes gold in the men's 1500m.

(NHL) 8:30 MTN. Altitude. The Avs play their second game in two days against a team ahead of them in the playoff standings. They go up against the Los Angeles Kings who boast the 2nd best record in the Pacific Division behind the 26 goals and 35 assists of Anze Kopitar and the league leading 33 wins of USA Olympian Jonathan Quick. The Avs are going to have to play some great hockey and get a few bounces if they plan on winning this one in the Staples Center.

Sunday (1/14): (Winter Olympics) 12:00 pm MTN, 6:00 pm MTN. NBC. Day 3 of the Winter Olympics gets underway with the early session including a live look at the U.S. Nordic team going for their first ever Olympic medal as well as speed skating, luge, and biathlon. The evening will showcase alpine stud Lindsey Vonn making her first appearance in women's combined plus live coverage of pair's short program figure skating.

(NBA) 6:30 pm MTN. TNT. The 2010 NBA All-Star Game from American Airlines Center in Dallas where Commissioner David Stern expects 90,000 fans. This mark would beat the previous record for a basketball game by almost 12,000 people. LeBron James and Kobe Bryant highlight the many big names participating in what has become the most entertaining All-Star game in sports. The Nuggets will be represented by Carmelo Anthony, George Karl, and Chauncey Billups who was added as a replacement for injured Chris Paul. Although the game doesn't mean anything like the MLB's All-Star game, it should feature huge dunks, behind the back passes, and absolutely NO defense. It should be a fun-filled night to say the least.