What I'm Watching this Week (and why)

Monday/January 18:

Australian Open (Tennis on ESPN2 and the Tennis Channel, 7:00) - I'll be watching early round play in the Australian Open all week long on both the Deuce and the Tennis Channel. TTC will have an early two hour window of coverage just about every day, starting at 7:00, but the bulk of the action will be shown on the Deuce starting at 9:00 and going pretty much through the night into the morning given the time difference. This year's tournament on the men's sidewill be as wide open as it's been in a long time. Should mean some chaotic, exciting tennis.

Texas at Kansas St. (College Basketball on ESPN, 9:00) - Texas seemed to wilt a little under the pressure of being ranked number one on Saturday, needing overtime to beat little fancied Texas A&M in Austin. They may have just been caught looking ahead to an awkward trip up to Manhattan, Kansas, to face a top ten Kansas St. team. The Octagon of Doom is not a very hospitable place for visitors, less so when it actually houses a good team. If Texas plays with the same complacency it did against the Aggies, then we'll have a new number one in a week's time.

Tuesday/January 19:

Manchester City-Manchester United in a Carling Cup Semifinal (English Soccer on ESPN360, 3:00) - This match was suppose to take a place a couple of weeks ago, but bad weather postponed it until now. But a Carling Cup Semifinal featuring city rivals? Yes please. United appears as inconsistent as ever, but a cup tie may just bring out the best in them. Roberto Mancini has now had time to acclimatize to his surroundings in Man City, but he's coming off of his first loss and the honeymoon may well and truly be over. I hope so.

Clemson at Georgia Tech (College Basketball on ESPN2, 7:00) - Is a new power base being established in the ACC? In the long term, probably not. Duke and UNC should continue to be the class of the conference year in and year out, but Clemson, Georgia Tech, and Virgina all have made some noise early on this year in conference play, and the former two face off in this top 25 matchup. Clemson has rebounded well form its blowout loss to Duke with three straight wins, including a blowout of their own against UNC on Wednesday. Tech has been a little less consistent, but does hold wins over both Duke and UNC. Even if a win over UNC isn't what it was a year ago, the Tar Heels were previously unbeaten in Chapel Hill until the Yellow Jackets rolled into town. This should be a good game.

Wednesday/January 20:

Auburn at LSU (College Basketball on the SEC Network, 8:00) - My self-masochist ways came to an end on Saturday when my Auburn Tigers actually manned up and gave #2 Kentucky all they wanted on the Plains. After being down by nineteen in the first half with the Wildcats about to deliver the knockout blow, Auburn rallied twice to tie the game and had another shot to tie with under twenty seconds to go, but alas the shot didn't go down. It remains to be seen if the same effort can be sustained in Baton Rouge, where Auburn rarely has success, but this team has earned my respect at least. Can they keep it?

Baylor at Kansas (College Basketball on ESPN2, 9:00) - This game might be interesting. It might not. With the game in Lawrence, all signs point to a decisive Jayhawk victory, but we will at least learn more about this little known top 25 Baylor squad. Same goes for Kansas who may still be trying to find itself after losing to Tennessee over a week ago.

Thursday/January 21:

Australian Open (Tennis on ESPN2 and the Tennis Channel, 7:00)

Friday/January 22:

Australian Open (Tennis on ESPN2 and the Tennis Channel, 7:00)

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