Today in the Daily Sports Roundup: The Tar Heels try to bounce back against the Yellow Jackets, the Rockets meet the Bulls, and the Devils host the Panthers.
Tipping off on the hardwood . . .
Yao Ming and company will be looking to grab a road win in Chicago on Saturday when the Rockets face the Bulls. Houston is coming off an impressive home victory over the Cavaliers on Thursday night, holding LeBron James’ crew below 80 points in a 93-74 win. Ming was good for 28 points and eight boards that day, and Houston is now 37-21 straight-up and 27-30-1 against-the-spread this year.
Orlando will be in Philadelphia to meet the Sixers on Saturday, while Miami hosts New York, and Oklahoma City visits Memphis. As well, it’ll be Washington at Milwaukee, Sacramento at Utah, and Charlotte at the Clippers. The Bobcats took on Los Angeles at home on February 9, and came up with an easy 94-73 victory.
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The march toward Madness . . .
No. 4 North Carolina will be looking to avoid a two-game losing streak on Saturday when they play host to Georgia Tech. The Tar Heels were bounced 88-85 in overtime at Maryland last time out, with Tyler Hansbrough held to just 11 points (but pulling in 11 boards) in the loss. North Carolina is now at 24-3 SU and 11-15 ATS on the year. The Yellow Jackets are back at 10-16 SU and 7-15 ATS.
No. 1 Pittsburgh will be at the PrudentialCenter to play Seton Hall on Saturday, with No. 2 Connecticut hosting Notre Dame, No. 3 Oklahoma at Texas Tech, and No. 5 Memphis getting a visit from Southern Miss. As well, No. 7 Duke will be looking to grab a win at Virginia Tech, while No. 13 Clemson will be on the road in a battle of ranked teams against No. 23 Florida State. Also, No. 10 Villanova will be looking to secure their Top-10 ranking with a victory against Georgetown.
Taking a trip around the rink . . .
Martin Brodeur returned to the Devils’ crease in a big way on Thursday night, making 24 saves in a 4-0 shutout of the Avalanche. New Jersey will be back in action on Saturday afternoon at home against the Panthers, who are hoping to have Tomas Vokoun back between the pipes; he’s been out with an ear infection.
There are two other matinees on the NHL’s Saturday schedule, with Washington at Boston and Anaheim at Dallas. The Maple Leafs and Senators then renew hostilities in the Battle of Ontario to lead off the evening slate in Ottawa, and the Rangers and new coach John Tortorella play host to the Avs. As well, it’ll be Buffalo at the Islanders, San Jose at Montreal, Carolina at Atlanta, Detroit at Nashville, and St. Louis at Phoenix, with Minnesota at Edmonton to finish the day.
Rounding out the Roundup . . .
The Nationwide Series offers up the Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon, with Kyle Busch listed as the 7/5 favorite on the Vegas odds list. Busch won last week’s Nationwide event, the Stater Brothers 300 at Auto Club Speedway. Carl Edwards trails Busch at 3/1 odds to get the win on Saturday, with Denny Hamlin listed third at 7/2 odds to come out in top spot.
As well, the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship will stage its quarterfinal and semifinal matchups on Saturday. Ernie Els will take on Stewart Cink on Saturday morning in the marquee pairing to decide the Ben Hogan bracket, while Rory McIlroy will take on Geoff Ogilvy in third-round action in the Bobby Jones bracket. In the Sam Snead bracket it’ll be Ross Fisher vs. Justin Leonard in the quarterfinals, while Paul Casey will meet Sean O’Hair in the Gary Player bracket.
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