The Winter Olympics have concluded and March Madness is just around the corner, but even in this brief lull between two of the year’s biggest events in sports, it’s a great week to watch a variety of games.
In NCAA basketball, the regular season wraps up this week and the conference tournaments are next on the agenda. Selection Sunday is March 11 with the tournament kicking off on March 13. Yes, it’s that close. Time to start thinking brackets. The Louisville Cardinals, whose 2013 NCAA championship was vacated last week, are in a fight for a playoff berth. A win over top-ranked Virginia could be the ticket. It should be a good matchup on Thursday night.
In the National Basketball Association and National Hockey League, the playoffs don’t start until April, but the jockeying for position is getting serious now. The NBA trade deadline is past, and the NHL will wrap up all trades on Monday. Then it’s full-speed ahead.
On schedule in the NBA this week, there are a handful of games that should be entertaining, with the Philadelphia 76ers at the new-look Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night, and the East-West showdown between the Boston Celtics and the Houston Rockets on Saturday night.
If you haven’t borne witness to the phenomenon that is the Vegas Golden Knights yet, you have a chance to watch on NBCSN when they meet the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night. The Knights, a first-year NHL expansion team, have wildly surpassed expectations and have a comfortable hold on first place in the Pacific Division. Expansion teams are expected to struggle in their first season, but apparently the Knights didn’t get the memo.
The Olympics are over and the playoffs are on the horizon. It’s a great time to slow down and enjoy some of the best competitions of the regular season.