This Weekend in Sports: Super Bowl & UFC 156
The Super Bowl, the most watched television event of the year, is scheduled for Sunday. Several other interesting contests highlight the upcoming sports calendar. Here’s what to watch this weekend:
Friday, February 1
Miami Heat at Indiana Pacers
Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis; 7 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
After blowing out Brooklyn on Wednesday night, Miami (29-13) faces another possible playoff team in Indiana (27-19). With superstar LeBron James leading the way with 26.6 points per game, the Heat have the Eastern Conference’s best record and lead Atlanta by four games in the Southeast Division. The Pacers are led by swingman Paul George, who is averaging 17.5 points per game.
Saturday, Feb. 2
(14) Miami (FL) at (19) N.C. State
PNC Arena, Raleigh, N.C.; 4 p.m. (ET) on CBS
Fourteenth-ranked Miami (16-3, 7-0 ACC) has won eight games in a row, including a blowout of then-No. 1 Duke. Guards Shane Larkin and Durand Scott fuel the Hurricanes’ attack. Nineteenth-ranked N.C. State (16-5, 5-3 ACC) is undefeated at home. The Wolfpack is coming off a 58-55 loss at Virginia on Tuesday and will most likely have to win this game to stay in the Top 25 rankings.
(16) Mississippi at (4) Florida
Stephen C. O’Connell Center, Gainesville, Fla.; 7 p.m. (ET) on ESPN-U
With guard Marshall Henderson fast becoming the most entertaining player in college basketball, No. 16 Mississippi (17-3, 6-1 SEC) has become a threat to win the Southeastern Conference title. The Rebels will be without forward Aaron Jones, who is out for the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during Tuesday’s loss to Kentucky. Fourth-ranked Florida (16-2, 6-0 SEC) has yet to lose a conference game this season. Kenny Boynton leads the Gators in scoring at 13.6 points per game.
(1) Michigan at (3) Indiana
Assembly Hall, Bloomington, Ind.; 9 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
Top-ranked Michigan (19-1, 6-1 Big 10) is enjoying its first stay atop the A.P. poll since 1992 — the days of Chris Webber, Jalen Rose and the rest of the Fab Five. Guards Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. give the Wolverines one of the nation’s best backcourts. Third-ranked Indiana (18-2, 6-1 Big 10) relies heavily on forward Cody Zeller, who leads the Hoosiers by averaging 16 points and 8.1 rebounds per game.
UFC 156: Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar
Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas; 10 p.m. (ET) on Pay-Per-View
UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo will face relentless challenger Frankie Edgar in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Aldo is an accurate, fierce striker and a savvy technician. Edgar is a smart, veteran fighter who can wear down opponents. He’s hoping to join Randy Couture and B.J. Penn as the only men to have held UFC belts in two divisions. Rashad Evans vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira; Alistair Overeem vs. Antonio Silva; Jon Fitch vs. Demian Maia and Joseph Benavidez vs. Ian McCall highlight the undercard.
Sunday, Feb. 3
Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals
Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.; 12:30 p.m. (ET) on NBC
The Pittsburgh Penguins (3-3-0) take on the Washington Capitals (1-4-1) in an Eastern Conference battle. Six games into the lockout-shortened NHL season, both teams are near the bottom of their respective divisions. Sidney Crosby is still the Penguins’ best player, while center Mike Ribeiro already has five assists for the Caps.
(25) Marquette at (12) Louisville
KFC Yum Center, Louisville, Ky. ; 2 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
Two of the Big East’s best teams duel on Super Bowl Sunday. Twenty-fifth ranked Marquette (15-4, 6-1 Big East) counts on junior guard Vander Blue to lead its offense. Twelfth-ranked Louisville (17-4, 5-3 Big East) was ranked as the nation’s best team until consecutive losses to Syracuse, Villanova and Georgetown in the past two weeks.
Super Bowl XLVII: Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers
Mercedes Benz Superdome, New Orleans; 6:30 p.m. (ET) on CBS
The Baltimore Ravens face the San Francisco 49ers for the Lombardi Trophy. Baltimore and San Francisco are coached by brothers John and Jim Harbaugh, respectively. The Ravens hope that quarterback Joe Flacco can continue to play at an elite level. The 49ers ranked first in the NFC in total defense during the regular season, but they have given up points and yards more frequently in the first-half of their playoff games. San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick is mobile and can throw accurately. He faces a Ravens defense anchored by linebacker Ray Lewis, who is playing in the final game of his 17-year NFL career.