This Weekend in Sports — Army-Navy Game and UFC on Fox 9
A classic football rivalry and a UFC title fight highlight the upcoming sports offerings. Here’s what to watch this weekend:
Friday, December 13
Los Angeles Lakers at Oklahoma City Thunder
Chesapeake Arena, Oklahoma City; 8 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
After missing the first month of the 2013-14 season rehabbing an Achilles injury, Kobe Bryant is back with the Los Angeles Lakers (10-11). The team needs him—and all the other help it can get—against high-powered Oklahoma City (17-4) on Friday. Thunder forward Kevin Durant is the NBA’s leading scorer thus far, averaging 28.4 points per game.
(23) Iowa at (17) Iowa State
Hilton Coliseum, Ames, Iowa; 9:30 p.m. (ET) on ESPN U
Seventeenth-ranked Iowa State (7-0) hosts 23rd-ranked Iowa (10-1) in a fierce cross-state rivalry. Big 12 Conference Player of the Week Dustin Hogue leads the Cyclones, while Melsahn Basabe, Gabe Olaseni and Jarrod Uthoff pace the Hawkeyes.
Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors
Oracle Arena, Oakland, Calif.; 10:30 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
With James Harden and Dwight Howard pacing their attack, the Houston Rockets (15-7) are one of the best teams in a loaded Western Conference. They will face Golden State (13-10), which is led by guards Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.
Saturday, December 14
Army vs. Navy
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia; 3 p.m. (ET) on CBS
A long and storied rivalry in college football is renewed this weekend when Army (3-8) faces Navy (7-4) in Philadelphia. Quarterback Keenan Reynolds will lead the Midshipmen, who have won 11 games in a row against the Black Knights. Either Angel Santiago or A.J. Schurr will get the nod at QB for Army.
(11) Kentucky at (18) North Carolina
Dean Smith Center, Chapel Hill, N.C.; 5:15 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
In college hoops, 11th-ranked Kentucky (8-2) faces No. 18 North Carolina (6-2) in a battle of traditional powers. Willie Cauley-Stein and Julius Randle are the players to watch for the Wildcats, while Marcus Paige, Brice Johnson and James M. McAdoo lead the Tar Heel attack.
UFC on Fox 9: Demetrious Johnson vs. Joseph Benavidez
Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, Calif.; (ET) on Fox Sports 1
UFC flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson puts his title on the line against challenger Joseph Benavidez. Johnson defeated Benavidez by split decision in September of 2012 to become the first UFC flyweight champion. Other matches on the card include Urijah Faber vs. Michael McDonald; Matt Brown vs. Carlos Condit; and Nik Lentz vs. Chad Mendes.
Sunday, December 15
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins
Sun Life Stadium, Miami; 1 p.m. (ET) on CBS
The New England Patriots (10-3) can clinch the AFC East title and a playoff spot by beating Miami (7-6) on the road on Sunday. Pats quarterback Tom Brady will need to find another go-to receiver after tight end Rob Gronkowski suffered a season-ending knee injury last week.
Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas; 4:25 p.m. (ET) on Fox
Green Bay (6-6-1) travels to Dallas (7-6) for a crucial matchup of teams struggling to stay in the NFC playoff hunt. The Packers will likely start reserve QB Matt Flynn, since Aaron Rodgers still hasn’t fully recovered from a broken collarbone. The Cowboys defense is closing in on an NFL record for most yards allowed in a single season.
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers
Heinz Field, Pittsburgh; 8:30 p.m. (ET) on NBC
Cincinnati (9-4) can move closer to the AFC North title by beating division rival Pittsburgh (5-8) on Sunday night. The Bengals’ offense has benefitted greatly from the contributions of rookie running back Giovani Bernard. Cincinnati beat the Steelers, 20-10, earlier this season.