Alec's Friday Five

-Written by Alec Baicher

Last week, I won't toot my own horn (but I will), all five games I gave you were exciting, had some drama, and provided some great entertainment! Let's move on to this week

1. NBA All Star Game - NBA: 8:00 PM ET 02/19 TNT

The NBA All Star Game returns to New Orleans for its 66th go around as the Eastern Conference All Stars take on the Western Conference All Stars. Now, I know what you are all thinking: The NBA All Star Game is a joke and nobody tries. This indeed, is a fact. Howeverrrrrr, we have some storylines here. Will head coach of the Western Conference Steve Kerr play Kevin Durant with Russell Westbrook? Will KD try to extend an olive branch to Russ? Will Russ purposely not pass to an open Durant on the fast break to take a contested dunk? I am mainly intrigued about the KD/Russ situation as well as everyone else. Oh, and John Legend is performing at halftime so you know its going to be a party.

 

2. Kansas Jayhawks @ Baylor Bears - NCAAB: 1:00 PM ET 02/18 CBS

Game of the week in college basketball. The number three ranked Kansas Jayhawks head to Waco, Texas to face the Baylor Bears. The Jayhawks are coming off an INSANE comeback Monday night when they were down 14 points at home vs West Virginia with two and a half minutes to go, made an improbable comeback led by potential Player of the Year Frank Mason, senior leader Devonte' Graham, and future lottery pick Josh Jackson to tie the game and won by 4 in overtime. Rock Chalk Jayhawk was in full effect that night. Baylor has been equally as good this year. Johnathan Motley has been a beast inside, Manu Lecompte and Al Freeman have lead the way at the guard position while Ishmail Wainwright has been an overall stud. Kansas will most likely win the Big 12 regular season title again, but Baylor is too good to lose twice to Kansas this year. I think we see a classic in Waco on Saturday afternoon.

3. BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge - NBA: 9:00 PM ET 02/17 TNT

The NBA Rising Stars Challenge is personally my favorite event of All Star Weekend. You get to see the brightest young talent in the league get their chance to shine in their own All Star game. Many future all stars have played in this game and put on a show for the fans. Recently, the game moved from "Sophomores vs Rookies" to "World vs USA". Once again, let me tell you, AWESOME IDEA. It really is cool seeing this game. The foreign born players love playing together again, many of which get back their teammates from overseas for the night while the USA team could eventually give us a sneak preview at an Olympic roster down the line. Overall, the game is fun, fast paced, and we get to see our 7'3'' unicorn in Kristaps Porzingis under the bright lights. Side note: if Kristaps isn't voted in an All Star Starter next season I'll go crazy. The Knicks are bad, but Kristaps is improving so much and is becoming well known all over the world, he should definitely get the fan vote next season.

4. Virginia Cavaliers @ North Carolina Tar Heels - NCAAB: 8:15 PM 02/18 ESPN

The Virginia Cavaliers are coming off two straight ACC losses, one at rival Virginia Tech on Sunday and one at home vs Duke on Wednesday. Virginia now travels to Tobacco Road to face the #1 team in the ACC, the North Carolina Tar Heels. Virginia now sits 6th in the ACC after the past two losses but are only two games behind the top team, North Carolina. Obviously, this is a huge game for both teams. UNC wins and they prove they beat a formidable team and take steps closer to being a #1 seed, and for UVA, they need a win to desperately stop a losing skid that could send them down the line in terms of seeding for the NCAA tournament.

5. Washington Capitals @  New York Rangers - NHL: 12:30 PM ET 02/19 NBC

The Rangers have been so hot the last seven games, posting a 6-1 record and creeping their way into a top three seed in the Metropolitan Division. they currently sit two points behind Columbus for the third seed in the Metro and four points behind Pittsburgh for second. The top team in the metro? That would be the Washington Capitals who have a STAGGERING 84 points through 56 games this season. Ovechkin is having another incredible season. Braden Holtby has a 2.02 Goals Against Average per game and the Caps don't ever seem to lose at home. This game however is at the Garden. This is not a make or break game for the Rangers, but winning this game will go a long way in the teams confidence they that can beat the Capitals in the playoffs, where they most definitely will meet at one point if both teams keep up their hot streak.