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12.31.18: Five things you should plan for the week ahead based on unscientific evidence of guaranteed importance

1oneHow do the 12-4 Chargers cause chaos in any team’s drive to the 2019 Super Bowl? By simply playing. As a No. 5 seed with perhaps the second-best team in the AFC — their play of late might not show that — they can make life difficult for those who finished ahead of them in the divisional races. A story in the Washington Post assessing these playoffs gives the Houston Texans the easiest road to the Super Bowl out of the AFC if teams like the Chargers start playing as they did in mid-season and begin knocking everyone out. Their first playoff game, however, comes with a trip to Baltimore (Sunday, 10 a.m., Channel 2) and a rematch of a Week 16 loss to the AFC North Division winning Ravens, with the smell of a 22-10 loss still hanging in the holiday air. Win there, and it’s likely another rematch is set up against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC semifinals.
The Ravens won their last three in a row and six of their last seven (only a three-point loss to Kansas City in that run) to take the first division title since 2012, sporting the NFL’s top-ranked defense and watching Lamar Jackson wake up the offense. The Chargers sported a 7-1 road record this season, for what that’s worth, tied with New Orleans for the best away mark in the NFL. But when California kids have to go to the brutal chill of an East Coast destination, things can turn frosty pretty fast.
If you’re looking at other hypotheticals, like ESPN’s Football Power Index, the Rams have the third-best chance of winning the Super Bowl (16.8 percent, behind New Orleans’ 30.5  percent and Kansas City’s 24 percent) with the Chargers as the fifth-best (4.2 percent). Over at FiveThirtyEight.com, New Orleans and Kansas City are almost even at 20 percent to win it all, with the Rams fourth behind New England, and the Chargers seventh. Hmmm.

As the Rams get a bye week, here’s the wildcard round to start things:
Saturday:
* Indianapolis at Houston, 1:30 p.m., Channel 7/ESPN
* Seattle at Dallas, 5:15 p.m., Channel 11
Also Sunday:
* Philadelphia at Chicago, 1:40 p.m., Channel 4

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1twoReally, could this be the year California sends four teams to the NBA Finals? Only the New York Times could be that observant with a headline that actually ran on a story posted. Aside from the fact only two teams make the finals, and only one could be from California …
The point of the piece was that the four NBA teams playing in California – the Lakers, Clippers, Warriors and Kings – have never made the Western Conference playoffs in the same season, but less than halfway through this regular season, it seems possible. It’s also impossible to note that while the Warriors are back atop the Western Conference, the Lakers and Clippers are wedged in the middle and the Kings are barely holding on to the No. 8 spot, it is so tightly packed with 11 teams having at least 18 wins, a dozen teams could change all kinds of places in a matter of weeks.
The Lakers’ radar this week includes:
* Vs. Oklahoma City, at Staples Center, Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet, ESPN
* Vs. New York, at Staples Center, Friday at 7:30 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet
* At Minnesota, Sunday at 12:30 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet
On the Clippers’ schedule this week:
* Vs. Philadelphia, at Staples Center, Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., Prime Ticket
* At Phoenix, Friday at 6 p.m., Prime Ticket
* Vs. Orlando, at Staples Center, Sunday at 12:30 p.m., Prime Ticket

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1threeThere is a eight-day waiting period between the national semifinals and the Jan. 7 title game at Santa Clara, but still plenty of meaningful (or meaningless) bowls to be played out.
That includes the still-in-tact Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual Which Does Not Include Northwestern By Mutual Decision of Big Ten. The Wildcats lost the conference title game, so instead we have the awkwardness of No. 6 Ohio State, in what is supposed to be Urban Meyer’s final game, against No. 9 Washington, which somehow survived a mild Pac-12 schedule (Tuesday, 2 p.m., ESPN).
Also this week:
Monday:
* Military Bowl in Annapolis, Md.: Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech, 9 a.m., ESPN
* Sun Bowl in El Paso, Tex.: Stanford vs. Pittsburgh, 11 a.m., Channel 2
* Redbox Bowl in Santa Clara: Michigan State vs. Oregon, noon, Channel 11
* Liberty Bowl at Memphis, Tenn.: Missouri vs. Oklahoma State, 12:45 p.m., ESPN
* Holiday Bowl in San Diego: Northwestern vs. Utah, 4 p.m., FS1
* Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla.: North Carolina State vs. Texas A&M, 4:30 p.m., ESPN
Tuesday:
* Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla.: Mississippi State vs. Iowa, 9 a.m., ESPN2
* Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla.: Kentucky vs. Penn State, 10 a.m., Channel 7
* Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz.: LSU vs. Central Florida, 10 a.m., ESPN
* Sugar Bowl in New Orleans: Texas vs. Georgia, 5:45 p.m., ESPN

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1fourGoing into the final week of non-conference play, the Pac-12 had just one team in the Top 25 college basketball poll – Arizona State, No. 17 in the AP, and No. 18 in the coaches’ poll and, if you’re going by the new NCAA NET rankings, a dismal No. 31, best in the conference. And this was before the Sun Devils fell to No. 45 after they were upset at home against Princeton last weekend. Accurate or not, that’s still the highest placed school in the Pac-12.
Or is it the Pathetic 12?
After UCLA’s fourth loss in a row, this time at home to Liberty, the 7-6 Bruins dropped from No. 61 to 94 in the NET. USC is at No. 130 out of 353, trailing schools such as Gardner-Webb, Brown, Austin Peay, UC Irvine (No. 106), Radford, San Diego (of the WCC) … Let’s just end this.
As the rumors swirl about Steve Alford’s job status at UCLA — update, he’s been fired —  the problem is now that any Pac-12 team trying to improve it status between now at the selection of the 68-team tournament in early March has really no chance to do so now that non-conference play is over. In the AP and coaches’ polls, not one of the 11 non-ASU teams were even mentioned in the “others receiving votes.” Remember last season, when the Pac-12 had only three reps in the tournament, and UCLA had a play-in game.
Another unbalanced Pac-12 basketball season begins with the Bay Area teams visiting Southern California. God speed to them:
For UCLA:
* Vs. Stanford, at Pauley Pavilion, Thursday at 8 p.m,, ESPN
* Vs. Cal, at Pauley Pavilion, Saturday at 1 p.m., Pac-12 Network
For USC:
* Vs. Cal, at the Galen Center, Thursday at 7 p.m., Pac-12 Network
* Vs. Stanford, at the Galen Center, Sunday at 5 p.m., ESPNU
To start the West Coast Conference:
* Thursday: Loyola Marymount at Pepperdine, Firestone Fieldhouse, 7 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet
Also this week in the Southland:
* Loyola Marymount vs. Portland, Saturday at Gersten Pavilion, 3 p.m.
* Pepperdine vs. USF, Saturday at Firestone Fieldhouse, 5 p.m.
* Pepperdine vs. Alabama A&M, at Firestone Fieldhouse, Monday at 3 p.m. (non-conference)
Local non-conference:
* Long Beach State vs. Bethesda, Walter Pyramid, Saturday at 7 p.m.
* Cal State Northridge at San Diego State, Tuesday at noon
* Cal State Northridge vs. Yale, at the Matadome, Saturday at 7 p.m.
National games of interest:
* Tuesday: Notre Dame at Virginia Tech, 10 a.m., ESPNU; Marquette at St. John’s, 4 p.m., FS1; Cal State Fullerton at Washington, 7 p.m., Pac-12 Network
* Wednesday: Oklahoma at Kansas, 6 p.m., ESPN2; Harvard at North Carolina, 4 p.m., ESPN2
* Thursday: Penn State at Michigan, 4 p.m., ESPN; Illinois at Indiana, 4 p.m., FS1; Utah at Arizona State, 5 p.m., Pac-12 Net; Colorado at Arizona, 6 p.m., FS1
* Saturday: Clemson at Duke, TBA, ESPN; Michigan State at Ohio State, 9 a.m., Channel 11; Kentucky at Alabama, 10 a.m., ESPN; Utah at Arizona, 11 a.m., Pac-12 Net; Florida State at Virginia, noon, ESPN2; Colorado at Arizona State, 3 p.m., Pac-12 Net; Oregon State at Oregon, 5 p.m., Pac-12 Net; Santa Clara at Gonzaga, 6 p.m.; Washington State at Washington, 7:30 p.m., Pac-12 Net.
* Sunday: Indiana at Michigan, TBA, Channel 2

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1fiveIt’s one of 1,271 NHL regular season games, but the one that the Bruins and Blackhawks will play on New Year’s Day in Notre Dame Stadium (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Channel 4) should be among the most spectacular of the league’s outdoor games that go back to 2008. Maybe Garth Brooks will even come back and do a concert or two between periods.
Also this week for the Kings:
* At Colorado, Monday at 5 p.m., FSW
* At Vegas, Tuesday at 6 p.m., FSW
* Vs. Tampa Bay, at Staples Center, Thursday at 7:30 p.m., FSW
* Vs. Edmonton, at Staples Center, Saturday at 7 p.m., FSW
Also this week for the Ducks:
* Vs. Tampa Bay, at Honda Center, Monday at 5 p.m., Prime Ticket
* Vs. Vegas, at Honda Center, Friday at 7 p.m., Fox Sports West
* Vs. Edmonton, at Honda Center, Sunday at 5 p.m., Prime Ticket

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The U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio’s Alamodome (Saturday, 10 a.m., Channel 4) is a high school All Star exhibition on one hand, but mostly a place for more players to announce their college intentions on national TV. That will include Mater Dei receiver Bru McCoy (the L.A. Times high school player of the year), Orange Lutheran receiver Kyle Ford and St. John Bosco cornerback Chris Steele. They are among the few who didn’t sign a national letter of intent a couple weeks ago. According to the 247Sports recruiting site, only five of the 32 five-star prospects are not signed up yet – including McCoy (USC, Texas) and Ford (USC, Oregon, Colorado, Washington, Michigan). Steele was an early commit to USC but recently backed off after visiting Florida, Oregon and Oklahoma. Can this save USC’s recruiting class? We shall see, apparently.

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12.24.18: Five things you should plan for the week ahead based on unscientific evidence of guaranteed importance

Ho, ho, ho. And even more ho …

1oneChristmas, twice in one week?
The Lakers’ trip to Oakland on Tuesday to face Golden State – a LeBron James Is In the Western Conference Now notice to the world that hasn’t been paying attention – has become the spotlight of a five-game Christmas Day NBA schedule (5 p.m., Channel 7).
Mike Breen, calling another Christmas Day game for the network, has already seen James in a Laker uniform a couple times this season on an ESPN telecast — his L.A. opener against Houston on Oct. 20 (which turned into an interesting fight toward the end) and his love-fest return to Cleveland on Nov. 21 (which turned out as an equally entertaining reception). What happens in Oakland?
NBA: Chicago Bulls at Dallas Mavericks“Because of the rivalry the previous four years (with James in Cleveland, in the NBA Finals against Golden State), it’s not just the same old guy wearing different colors,” said Breen. “To me right now, with these teams, there are fascinating possibilities. The Warriors aren’t playing  as well as we’d all thought (but leading the Western Conference). The Lakers, even with a recent skid, are playing better than most thought. So because this season isn’t necessarily going to plan, it’s going to make it real fun.”
And if that’s not enough, 36 games into the season, the first Lakers-Clippers matchup rolls in at Staples Center on Friday (7:30 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet and Prime Ticket, with the Lakers as the home team). The other three meetings: Jan. 31 (before both head out on a two-week long Grammy Awards road trip break), March 4 and April 5.
Also on Christmas Day:
* Milwaukee at New York, 9 a.m., ESPN
* Oklahoma City at Houston, noon, Channel 7
* Philadelphia at Boston, 2:30 p.m., Channel 7
* Portland at Utah, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Also this week for the Lakers:
* At Sacramento, Thursday at 7 p.m., SSN
* At Staples Center vs. Sacramento, Sunday at 6 p.m., SSN
Also this week for the Clippers:
* At Staples Center vs. Sacramento, Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., Prime Ticket
* At Staples Center vs. San Antonio, Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Prime Ticket Continue reading “12.24.18: Five things you should plan for the week ahead based on unscientific evidence of guaranteed importance”

12.17.18: Five things you should plan for the week ahead based on unscientific evidence of guaranteed importance

1oneThe afterglow of the Chargers’ Thursday night win in Kansas City carries on more than a week before they’re back in prime time again. A Week 16 face off against Baltimore at the soon-to-be-name-changed StubHub Center (Saturday, 5:20 p.m., NFL Net) is important to stay on track for a possible AFC West title and playoff bye (Kansas City goes to Seattle for a 5:20 p.m., Sunday game on NBC). A playoff spot is already guaranteed for the Chargers, as well as the Rams who visit Josh Rosen and Arizona (Sunday, 1:05 p.m., Channel 11). The Rams squashed the Cardinals in Week 2, 34-0, when Sam Bradford was the opposing quarterback (17 of 27 passing, 90 yards, 1 interception). And what do the Cardinals have to lose here? Maybe the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 draft. According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, the 3-11 Cards have an 82 percent chance of landing the top pick if they play their cards right from here on. The 3-11 Raiders have lower odds based on a 23-21 win over Arizona in Week 11.
The end of Week 15:
* New Orleans at Carolina, Monday at 5:15 p.m., ESPN
The rest of Week 16:
* Washington at Tennessee, Saturday at 1:30 p.m., NFL Network
* Pittsburgh at New Orleans, Sunday at 1:25 p.m., Channel 2
 * Houston at Philadelphia, Sunday at 10 a.m., Channel 2

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12.10.18: Five things you should plan for the week ahead based on unscientific evidence of guaranteed importance

1oneWho’s in charge of the NFL’s AFC West with three weeks to play? The 10-3 Chargers, who’ve won nine of 10 coming off a Week 3 loss to the Rams, are still looking up at 11-2 Kansas City. Add to that the Chiefs’ season-opening 38-28 win at StubHub Center in Carson over the Chargers. This Week 15 rematch at Arrowhead Stadium in K.C. (5:20 p.m., Channel 11) has a chance to figure out how the AFC will shake out, considering the Chiefs are also No. 1 in the conference (with New England at No. 2, Houston at No. 3 and Pittsburgh at No. 4 based on leading their respective divisions, which makes the Chargers at No. 5 and Baltimore at No. 6). The Chiefs, by virtue of a 27-24 OT win over Baltimore, have secured a playoff bid, and the Chargers can pretty much do the same with a win here. If the Chargers win on Thursday and draw even in the standings, the Chiefs would hold the tie-breaker at that moment with a better division record. The Chiefs would be 4-1, the Chargers 3-2.
If the Chiefs win on Thursday, they’ll clinch the division, having swept the season series with two games remaining, and then it will be a matter of getting the best seed possible.
Meanwhile, the 11-2 and NFC West secure Rams have another Sunday night prime-time contest against the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles (5:20 p.m., Channel 4) at the Coliseum. These two also faced off at the Coliseum in Week 14 last season, and the Eagles pulled away with a 43-35 win that was marked by Carson Wentz throwing for four TDs before he tore his left ACL and missed the rest of the season.
The end of Week 14:
* Minnesota at Seattle, Monday at 5:15 p.m., ESPN
The rest of Week 15:
* Houston at N.Y. Jets, Saturday at 1:30 p.m., NFL Network
* Cleveland at Denver, Saturday at 5:20 p.m., NFL Network
* New England at Pittsburgh, Sunday at 1:25 p.m., Channel 2
* Dallas at Indianapolis, Sunday at 10 a.m., Channel 11
* Oakland at Cincinnati, Sunday at 10 a.m., Channel 2 Continue reading “12.10.18: Five things you should plan for the week ahead based on unscientific evidence of guaranteed importance”

12.03.18: Five things you should plan for the week ahead based on unscientific evidence of guaranteed importance

1oneIt’s not too little or too late for this “L.A. Football In Prime Time” run to play out as the NFL season comes to the realization that both the Rams and Chargers remain viable NFC and AFC contenders. In Week 14, the NFC West champs Rams are in a flexed-in game at Chicago going to NBC (Sunday, 5:20 p.m., Channel 4). This comes after the Week 11 Rams-Chiefs 54-51 historic matchup and the Week 13 Chargers’ appearance on “Sunday Night Football” at Pittsburgh. Coming up: A Chargers at Kansas City Week 15 matchup on a Thursday night just before the Rams play host to Philadelphia on a Sunday night, the Chargers at home on a Week 16 Saturday night against Baltimore, and on the final Sunday of Week 17 we have both the Rams (home vs. San Francisco) and Chargers (at Denver) are in two of the three late-afternoon de-facto spotlight games (up against Arizona-Seattle) for national attention. But by that point, both teams will have likely clinched a playoff spot and be trying to make sure it’s injury free before the Jan. 5-6 playoff schedule begins.
Are we getting too far ahead of ourselves?
While the Rams have this Sunday night spot, the Chargers’ home game against Cincinnati (Sunday at 1:05 p.m., Channel 2) could be problematic. If StubHub was announced a sellout in Week 12 when the Chargers faced Arizona, and that didn’t pass the eye test, this can’t be much better from an optics standpoint. There’s always the last resort by the Tampa Bay Bucs: Give away tickets at this point. It could be as “brilliant” as the Atlanta Falcons’ reduced concession prices.
Just throwing that out there like a Philip Rivers’ toss over the middle.
The end of Week 13:
* Washington at Philadelphia, Monday at 5:15 p.m., ESPN
The rest of Week 14:
* Jacksonville at Tennessee, Thursday at 5:20 p.m., Channel 11/NFL Network/Amazon Prime
* Philadelphia at Dallas, Sunday at 1:25 p.m, Channel 11
* Atlanta at Green Bay, Sunday at 10 a.m., Channel 11

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11.26.18: Five things you should plan for the week ahead based on unscientific evidence of guaranteed importance

1oneYour San Diego Chargers of Los Angeles (8-3), now a full game back in the AFC West and sporting a 4-1 road record, were supposed to play the Steelers in Pittsburgh in a Sunday morning game in Week 13. Things changed — NBC flexed it into a “Sunday Night Football” experience (5:20 p.m., Channel 4), so make sure you’re not at LAX too early to welcome the Chargers’ players back from their trip. Seems most important to send Philip Rivers in bubblewrap and make sure he’s not damaged in any travel situation at this stage.
Meanwhile, the Rams will have had almost two full weeks to rest, recover and reconcile the true meaning of their 54-51 win over Kansas City at the Coliseum on Nov. 12, which came with a convenient bye week attached to it, since the original plan was to allow players to relax through Thanksgiving week in case there were any cases of Montezuma’s Revenge from a trip to Mexico City. All clear. Picking things up for the last five weeks, the Rams (10-1) can lock up the NFC West in Week 13 with a trip to Detroit (Sunday, 10 a.m., Channel 11) in what hopefully doesn’t smell like Thanksgiving leftovers at Ford Field.
The end of Week 12:
* Tennessee at Houston, 5:15 p.m., ESPN
The rest of Week 13:
* New Orleans at Dallas, Thursday at 5:20 p.m., Channel 11/NFL Network/Amazon Prime
* Kansas City at Oakland, 1 p.m., Channel 2
Minnesota at New England, 1:25 p.m., Channel 11

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1twoThe dust will settle on the conference championship games played out on Friday and Saturday, meaning they can settle on the final College Football Playoff poll, rankings and bowl assignments in a Sunday TV production (9 a.m., ESPN).
There will be no viewing party on the campuses of USC or UCLA.
What will lead into sorting all that out in Week 14:
Friday’s games:
* Pac-12 Championship at Santa Clara: Utah vs. Washington, 5 p.m., Channel 11
* MAC Championship in Detroit: Northern Illinois vs. Buffalo, 4 p.m., ESPN2
Saturday’s games:
* Big 12 Championship at Arlington, Tex.: Oklahoma vs. Texas, 9 a.m., Channel 7
* Sun Belt Conference Championship: Louisiana at Appalachian State, 9 a.m., ESPN
* Conference USA Championship: Alabama Birmingham at Middle Tennessee, 10:30 a.m., CBSSN
* American Athletic Conference Championship: Memphis at Central Florida, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7
* SEC Championship in Atlanta: Alabama vs. Georgia, 1 p.m., Channel 2
* Mountain West Conference championship: Fresno State at Boise State, 4:45 p.m., ESPN
* Big Ten Championship at Indianapolis: Northwestern vs. Ohio State, 5 p.m., Channel 11
* ACC Championship in Charlotte, N.C.: Clemson vs. Pitt, 5 p.m., Channel 7
Also games to be made up Saturday:
Stanford at Cal, noon, Pac 12 Network
Marshall at Virginia Tech, 9 a.m., ACC Network
East Carolina at North Carolina State, 9 a.m., ACC Network
Akron at South Carolina, 9 a.m., SEC Network
Drake at Iowa State, 9 a.m.

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1threePromoters of this Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury matchup at Staples Center (Saturday, card starts at 6 p.m., Showtime PPV, $65) call it the “most important heavyweight fight in the United States since Lennox Lewis took on Mike Tyson in 2002.” We gotta take a quick look at that one: It was held in Memphis because Nevada wouldn’t give Tyson a license after a press conference brawl he had with Lewis and admitted to biting Lewis on his leg, giving him $335,000 in restitution. Ring Magazine voted it the “Event of the Year” before the fight even took place between Lewis, with the WBC, IBF and IBO title belts, against Tyson, who used to hold all those titles and more. Lewis knocked Tyson out in the eighth round. Both won $17.5 million. Ring Magazine also called it the “Knockout of the Year.” Now there’s this: the 6-foot-7 Wilder (40-1, 39 KOs) as the WBC heavyweight champ from Tuscaloosa, Ala., against the 6-foot-9 the “linear (WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO, Ring)” heavyweight champ Fury (27-0, 19 KOs), who, when he was born in England in 1988, was named after Mike Tyson by his father. Staples Center won out over Las Vegas and New York in bidding to have the fight venue. “I’ve  worked my ass off to get to this very point in my life and now I’m here,” said Wilder. “Right now is the biggest fight in the world in the heavyweight division and we’re going to L.A. to do this thing and bring out all the stars.”

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1fourBetween the Lakers and Clippers, only one of their games this coming week draws national attention. Don’t bother guessing: It’s the Clippers contest at Sacramento on Thursday (7:30 p.m., TNT).
Otherwise, the Clippers’ home game against Phoenix (Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. Prime Ticket) is their only Staples Center appearance this week during a stretch where six of eight are on the road.
Also this week: At Dallas, Sunday at 4 p.m., Prime Ticket
Meanwhile, the Lakers’ quick trip to Denver this week (Tuesday, 6 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet) interrupts a period where they’ll have six out of seven games at home.
The rest of the week:
At Staples Center vs. Indiana, Thursday at 7:30 p.m., SSN
At Staples Center vs. Dallas, Friday at 7:30 p.m., SSN
At Staples Center vs. Phoenix, Sunday at 12:30 p.m., SSN

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1fiveBecause this is the time we look forward to measuring up Southern California college basketball teams against each other, the most intriguing may turn out to be 7-0 Loyola Marymount’s trip to UCLA on Sunday (at Pauley Pavilion, 7 p.m., Pac-12 Network). The Lions are off to the best start in school history and includes some notable wins over Georgetown, UNLV and even a two-pointer over Central Connecticut with a couple of free throws with one second left. No. 17 UCLA comes into the week 4-2 after back-to-back losses to Michigan State at North Carolina in Las Vegas.
Other inter-sectional games in the region:
Long Beach State at USC, at Galen Center, Wednesday at 8 p.m., Pac-12 Network
Also this week for SoCal teams:
UCLA vs. Hawaii, Pauley Pavilion, Wednesday at 6 p.m., Pac-12 Network
USC vs. Nevada, Saturday at 1:30 p.m., Channel 11
Long Beach State at San Diego, Saturday at 7 p.m.
Cal State Northridge at Washington State, Tuesday at 8 p.m., Pac-12 Network
Cal State Northridge vs. Sacramento State at Matadome, Saturday at 7 p.m.
Loyola Marymount vs. Bethesda College, Thursday at 7 p.m.
Pepperdine vs. Idaho State at Firestone Fieldhouse, Monday at 7 p.m.
Pepperdine vs. Abilene Christian at Firestone Fieldhouse, Saturday at 5 p.m.
This week nationally:
Tuesday: Michigan State at Louisville, 4:30 p.m., ESPN; Indiana at Duke, 6:30 p.m., ESPN
Wednesday: North Carolina at Michigan, 6:30 p.m., ESPN
Saturday: Gonzaga at Creighton, 11 a.m., Channel 11; Stanford at Kansas, 2:30 p.m., ESPN

static1.squarespace.comAlso:
The Kings and Ducks have been told to leave town.
The Kings’ road trip this week: At Vancouver (Tuesday, 7 p.m., FSW); at Edmonton (Thursday, 6 p.m., FSW); at Calgary (Friday, 6 p.m., FSW). Then they return to Staples Center on Sunday: (vs. Carolina, 7:30 p.m., FSW).
The Ducks’ road trip this week: At Tampa Bay (Tuesday, 4:30 p.m., Prime Ticket); at Florida (Wednesday, 4 p.m., Prime Ticket), at Carolina (Friday, 5:30 p.m., Prime Ticket); at Washington (Sunday, noon, Prime Ticket).

11.19.18: Five things you should plan for the week ahead based on unscientific evidence of guaranteed importance

1oneCrazy how life can change week to week. There’s a group packing passports for a Margarita-filled trip to Mexico City to join in the NFL experience South of any border walls that attempt to separate us all. Next, we’re trying to see if there are any first responders, fire fighters or displaces residents from pretty much anywhere in the San Fernando Valley heading toward Malibu in need of a ticket to a Rams game that may not seem as important as it once was trumpeted to be. Before we finalize Week 11 with a Rams-Chiefs game that’s been moved back to the Coliseum (Monday, 5:15 p.m., ESPN), featuring a pair of 9-1 teams that may not, at this point, even be playing the best ball in their respective conferences but are still expected by some to exceed the record-setting over-under of 65, we take a deep breath. Too much is happening around us. The earth is still moving below us. As someone pointed out, look how different Southern California has become since the Dodgers’ won an 18-inning World Series game about three weeks ago now. Happy Thanksgiving week. Continue reading “11.19.18: Five things you should plan for the week ahead based on unscientific evidence of guaranteed importance”