This Weekend in Sports: USC-UCLA, UFC 154 and NASCAR’s Chase Ends
A longstanding college football rivalry, an Ultimate Fighting Championship event and NASCAR’s last race of 2012 highlight the upcoming sports calendar. Here’s what to watch this weekend:
Friday, November 16
New York Knicks at Memphis Grizzlies
FedEx Forum, Memphis; 9:30 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
Two of the NBA’s hottest teams meet on Friday night. New York (5-0) has started a season unbeaten through five games for the first time since 1993-94. The Knicks are allowing opponents just 87.8 points per game, the NBA’s lowest total. Memphis (6-1) has won six straight games, including a road victory over Oklahoma City on Wednesday night. It’s the Grizzlies’ best start in franchise history.
Saturday, November 17
Arsenal vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Emirates Stadium, London; 7:30 a.m. (ET) on ESPN2
Arsenal and Tottenham meet in the North London derby. Both teams are suffering through difficult starts to their respective Premier League seasons. Arsenal clobbered the Spurs, 5-2, in February. Tottenham has suffered several injuries this season, including losing midfielder Mousa Dembele for the past month to a hip injury.
(18) USC at (17) UCLA
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif.; 3:05 p.m. (ET) on FOX
USC (7-3, Pac-12: 5-3) travels to Pasadena to battle crosstown rival UCLA (8-2, Pac-12: 5-2) with the Pac-12 South division championship at stake. USC quarterback Matt Barkley threw for 423 yards and six touchdowns to beat the Bruins, 50-0, in 2011. UCLA running back Jonathan Franklin can help the Bruins control the ball and keep Barkley off the field.
(13) Stanford at (2) Oregon
Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Ore.; 8 p.m. (ET) on ABC
Oregon (10-0, Pac-12: 7-0) looks to extend its winning streak to 14 games and clinch the Pac-12 North division title by beating Stanford (8-2, Pac-12: 6-1). The Cardinal has the nation’s best run defense, allowing just 58.8 yards per game, so Ducks’ quarterback Marcus Mariota could be key for Oregon. Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor may look to control the clock and keep the Ducks’ explosive offense off the field.
Boxing: Adrien Broner vs. Antonio DeMarco
Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City; 10 p.m. (ET) on HBO
Undefeated contender Adrien Broner (24-0, 20 KOs) squares off against WBC lightweight champion Antonio DeMarco (28-2-1, 21 KOs) for the title. Broner, a former WBO junior lightweight champ, is quick both in and out of the ring. Beating DeMarco could be a star-making opportunity for this audacious, up-and-coming fighter.
UFC 154: Georges St-Pierre vs. Carlos Condit
Bell Centre, Montreal; 10 p.m. (ET) on Pay-Per-View
The UFC welterweight title is on the line as champion Georges St-Pierre faces challenger Carlos Condit. Condit is expected to attack St. Pierre in an effort to unseat the champ. Martin Kampmann vs. Johny Hendricks and Francis Carmont vs. Tom Lawlor are among the fights on the undercard.
Sunday, November 18
Ford Ecoboost 400
Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestad, Fla. ; 3:15 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
The Sprint Cup title is Brad Keselowski’s to lose in the 2012 NASCAR Chase’s last race. Keselowski leads Jimmie Johnson by 20 points and Kasey Kahne by 50 points. Clint Bowyer and Denny Hamlin round out the top 5, but neither driver is likely to challenge Keselowski’s run to the championship.
Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots
Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.; 4:25 p.m. (ET) on CBS
Rookie quarterback Andrew Luck leads Indianapolis (6-3) against New England (6-3) and Tom Brady. The Patriots’ suspect pass defense ranks 29th in the NFL, while the Colts hope to pressure Brady into mistakes and rushed throws.
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
Heinz Field, Pittsburgh; 8:20 p.m. (ET) on NBC
Pittsburgh (6-3) hosts division rival Baltimore (7-2) with Byron Leftwich starting in place of injured Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback for the Steelers. Pittsburgh’s top-ranked defense will look to contain a Ravens offense that scores 28.2 points per game.