What you can watch involving real live sports this weekend (all times Eastern):
Saturday, January 23
3 a.m. Australian Open early-round, ESPN2 - Usually it's the World Cup or the Olympics, but watching global sports events as an insomniac is a very fun experience. It's like watching special event… when you're not supposed to.
12 p.m. #23 Mississippi State at Alabama or #6 Michigan State at Minnesota, CBS – I hope MSU wins.
12 p.m. #4 Villanova at St. John's, ESPN – Nova St. John sounds like a great exotic dancer name.
12 p.m. Akron at Kent State, ESPNU – Is there a hoops version of the Wagon Wheel?
1 p.m. Middle Tennessee State at Western Kentucky, ESPN2 – It's worth going to the game if you can get a hug from Big Red.
2 p.m. Oregon State at California or #21 Ohio State at #11 West Virginia, CBS – I hope OSU wins.
2 p.m. Kansas at Iowa State, ESPN – ISU will be without Lucca Staiger, who left the team abruptly to play in Germany. Or that's what the Germans want you to believe.
2 p.m. Marquette at #5 Syracuse, ESPNU – Both upstate New York and Wisconsin are lovely this time of year.
3 p.m. US Figure Skating Championships, NBC – You're a lutz.
3 p.m. East-West Shrine Game, ESPN2 – Watch college football players you might've heard of once before play against each other before they hit fourth-round NFL Draft obscurity.
4 p.m. #1 Texas at UConn, CBS – What if Texas also loses in the championship basketball game? Are they the new Ohio State?
4 p.m. Michigan at #13 Purdue, ESPN – For two hours, Ann Arbor bars and restaurants cease sales of boilermakers.
4 p.m. UMass at Baylor, ESPNU – It's cool to be a Minuteman, no matter what your ex-girlfriend says.
4 p.m. Bob Hope Classic, third round, Golf Channel – Bob Hope lived to see the Golf Channel launch, but he just missed the Golf Jokes Channel. 24 hours of how often you hit into the water!
6 p.m. South Carolina at Florida, ESPN – There's something in Gainesville's water system that causes head coaches to second-guess themselves.
6 p.m. North Carolina State at Maryland, ESPN2 – "Terrapin" sounds like a delicious cigarette.
6 p.m. Dayton at St. Joseph's, ESPNU – They get on the Big 10 for having 11 teams. But what of the Atlantic 10, for allowing Dayton?
8 p.m. Houston at Memphis, ESPN2 – Not a pro game. But that would be more fun to watch.
8 p.m. South Florida at Providence, ESPNU – Ah, the coveted "battle for 11th" in the Big East.
9 p.m. US Figure Skating Championships, NBC – What do you call someone who makes professional sounds during a figure skating move? An axel foley artist.
9 p.m. #7 Duke at #17 Clemson, ESPN – You're going to want to see Clemson win this. But you're also going to see Clemson ultimately do nothing at the end of the season.
10 p.m. UC Davis at Pacific, ESPNU – How is a team 11-6, yet nobody on their team averages more than 10 points per game? Somebody look this up for me.
10 p.m. Australian Open early-round, ESPN2 – Maria Sharapova is already out. Plan accordingly.
Sunday, January 24
3 a.m. Australian Open early-round, ESPN2 – Usually when two people are grunting against each other this late at night, you have to pay to watch it.
12:30 p.m. Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers, NBC - This was always a great intrastate matchup. One team has aerial capabilities, one doesn't.
1 p.m. PBA Tournament of Champions, ESPN – It's only fun to watch people bowl if you're up next.
3 p.m. AFC Championship: New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts, CBS - Never before has a head coach been so lauded because of his 7,000-calorie intake. Rex Ryan is the Orson Welles of football.
3 p.m. La Liga, Real Madrid vs Malaga, ESPN – Real. Spanish. Futbol.
3 p.m. (women) Michigan State at Minnesota, ESPN2 – You know how feisty those Big Ten women can be.
3 p.m. Vermont at UMass, ESPNU – No doubt this will be mentioned in my upcoming book, Great Moments in Vermont Sports History.
6 p.m. (women) #3 Tennessee at #18 LSU, ESPNU – Where Pat Summitt has more balls than Lane Kiffin.
6:30 p.m. NFC Championship: Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints, FOX – How do you like your Brett Favre: exceptional or intercept-able?
7 p.m. Australian Open, ESPN2 – Watch for the sheer bliss that it's still Sunday night for you and all the suckers in Brisbane are getting through the Monday morning doldrums.
8 p.m. Missouri State at Creighton, ESPNU – And what is the Missouri Valley girl's accent like? Equally annoying?