Alright, so here I present to you a new little feature I hope to do almost everyday, as time allows here on Bleacher Report.
From each given sport league I will choose, what I believe, to be the match-ups of the night. Please bear in mind, on some evenings in a given sport there may only be one game on (see tonight's college football matchup), and therefore, it is obviously the game of the night in that given sport.
I will present brief analysis and my awe- inspiring predictions about the given game, as well as any broadcast information I can supply to you, the reader, so you can catch it on your tube.
Please feel free to disagree and comment, as prediction's are always different person-to-person. And that's what makes sports fun—the debate!
Okay, and we kickoff the inaugural edition with the following must-see match-ups tonight...
Atlanta Hawks (6-0) @ Boston Celtics (7-1). 7:30 PM ET. TV: No National. Regional: CSNE, Turner Sports South.
Analysis: How can this not be the match-up of the night in the NBA? You have the defending NBA Champions, against the surprisingly young, and more importantly, undefeated Atlanta Hawks.
Don't forget this is the same Hawks team that took the defending champs to the max—seven games—in their first round playoff match-up, even further than the Detroit Pistons could. These Hawks are young, and look like the real deal, though it's easier to chalk up their record as a fluke than just admitting that.
The Celtics on the other hand are showing absolutely no signs of a post-championship letdown. To the contrary, they look just as good if not better than last year's team.
The Winner: It's in Boston, so this makes it an even tougher choice for me because they have a great home crowd. But I have to take the Hawks. They are going to be geared up for this game and ready to prove they are for real, and their record is no fluke.
Joe Johnson of the Hawks is averaging over 20 points per game, and i expect him to step up huge tonight. The wild card is the Boston defense, which is incredible and can shut any team down on any given night, but the Hawks aren't to shabby on the defensive side themselves. This should be a great game to watch if you have an NBA satellite TV package.
Central Michigan (7-2, 5-0) at Northern Illinois (4-2, 5-4). 8 p.m. ET. TV: ESPN 2, ESPN360.com
Analysis: I know, I know, most of you are thinking right now, "goodie, MAC football, I rather watch the World Series of Poker." Well to that I say, you don't know what you're missing this year. The Mid American Conference is back (well, maybe they never really were there per say, but I digress...).
Ball State is ranked No. 14 in the country, and CMU and Western Michigan University both received votes in the AP poll this week. If CMU beats NIU tonight, and Ball State the following week, they will most certainly be ranked. And if WMU wins out, they will be ranked as well most likely. Quite possibly three MAC teams, all from the west, could be ranked by seasons end.
This isn't the old doormat conference anymore folks, they are giving the BCS teams a run for their money (see Big 10 goes down and Pittsburgh, what?). You want more of a reason to watch? Just check out the possible future great MAC quarterback in the NFL—Dan LeFevour. He has missed two of the last three games due to an ankle injury, and no status has been declared for tonight's game, but this kid, if he plays is fun to watch.
The Winner: Now I will make this clear upfront, I do go to CMU, i feel it is only fair I make this known so my journalistic integrity isn't stricken away from me. This really is the only college football game on TV tonight, and I promise if Alabama was playing Florida that would be my game of the night, not this one.
Objectively, I just have to take CMU in this game. They are back-to-back MAC Champions, and they know, they have to focus on this game, because next Wednesday they will play the biggest game ever on their home turf (if they win tonight) against Ball State.
They might start off slow, looking ahead, but they have proved time and time again, when the game is on the line, they are clutch. Even if LeFevour doesn't play, backup Brian Brunner has proved he truly is QB 1A, and deserves respect. 34-21 CMU over NIU.
Boston Bruins (8-3-3) at Chicago Blackhawks (7-3-3). 8:30 p.m. ET. TV: No national. Regional: NESN, CSNC.
Analysis: Lastly, how about a good old fashioned original six hockey match-up to cap the night off? This is truly great for the game of hockey, to see two long time original six teams with winning records taking each other on. The Blackhawks after many-a-dismal seasons are finally on the right track, and the Bruins are definitely not a pushover.
Both teams are evenly matched as you can be, giving up nearly as many goals, 35-34 to the Blackhawks, and scoring as many goals 48-42 Blackhawks.
Winner: Another tough one for me to choose, but I have to take the Blackhawks. I see them play a lot because they play in the division I follow most closely, the Central, and they have some great young talent. In hockey, it's anyone's guess though. 4-3 Blackhawks.
Alright, so there you have it, the games of the night. Tune-in, discuss, debate, and enjoy. It may not be the Superbowl night of sports, but there are some great match-ups for fans of every sport.
Until next time.