UPDATED: Sunday, 9:30 p.m.:
Gearing up for the week ahead:
THIS WEEK’S BEST BET:
No. 14 UCLA vs. No. 17 ARIZONA STATE, Rose Bowl, Saturday, 4 p.m., Channel 11:
Game over. Everyone take a knee. No, this time, just you Stan McKay. The Bruins senior linebacker out of Long Beach Poly seized the moment after last Friday’s win over Washington to ask his girlfriend to marry him at midfield, with teammates and coaches around him capturing it on video. Her touchdown signal appeared to make things official.
Here’s a new proposal: Should the Bruins untie the knot with the Sun Devils in the Pac-12 South by putting up a victory against them here, could someone figure out any better how everyone’s post-season bowl bids fall into place? Doubtful. Still one more week after this one. A Sun Devil victory would drop UCLA to three conference losses. A Bruins victory means the Sun Devils could still win it if they beat Arizona and USC knocks out UCLA.
ASU has lost two in a row to UCLA, but the losses are a by a combined three points. A field goal on the last play of the game by Ka’imi Fairbairn gave the Bruins a 45-43 win last year. A Sun Devils’ missed field goal on the last play of the game gave the Bruins a 29-28 win in 2011.
BEST OF THE REST
UCLA vs. SACRAMENTO STATE, Pauley Pavilion, 8 p.m., Pac-12 Network:
Bruins senior Travis Wear, who had an appendectomy at the UCLA Medical Center three weeks ago, remains questionable for tonight’s game. Our question: What if Travis’ twin brother David just wore No. 24 and suited up in his place? Coach Steve Alford has stressed building toughness as his new Bruins team goes through probably one of the softest opening schedules it can possible arrange. “Toughness is something you create as an identity as a team,” he said after wins against Drexel and Oakland the first week. “That’s the demeanor this team has to take on.” After two games, Alford is 2-0. After 700 career games now, his record is 465-235.
NBA: CLIPPERS vs. MEMPHIS, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., Prime:
Chris Paul has had at least 10 points and 10 assists in 10 straight games to start the season for the 7-3 Clippers.
NFL WEEK 11:
NEW ENGLAND at CAROLINA, 5:30 p.m., ESPN:
Still can’t believe these two actually met in Super Bowl XXXVIII. Before Cam Newton was even born?
NHL: KINGS vs. TAMPA BAY, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:
The Eastern Conference-leading Lightning finally lost their first game this season to a Western Conference team (after eight wins) when Phoenix beat them 6-3 on Saturday.
USC vs. CAL STATE FULLERTON, Galen Center, 8 p.m., Pac-12 Network:
Titans senior guard Michael Williams is the elephant in the room – can the former Daily News player of the year at Taft High, now eligible after a transfer following three years at the University of San Francisco, make a difference against the Trojans?
NBA: CLIPPERS at MINNESOTA, 5 p.m., Prime:
Here’s a tip for the Clippers: Don’t give up 96 shots to the Timberwolves as you did when the team meet about a week ago. Kevin Love’s missed tip-in at the buzzer was the difference in a two-point Clippers win. “We got fortunate at the end,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “It was a point-blank tip.”
NBA: CLIPPERS at OKLAHOMA CITY, 5 p.m., TNT:
In that playoff-game atmosphere last week at Staples Center – complete with a couple ejections for seemingly innocuous pushing and shoving – the Clippers prevailed. National attention is back on this one, with Charles Barkley recruited as an on-site game analyst.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL: USC vs. WESTERN ALABAMA, Galen Center, 7 p.m., Pac-12 Network:
The Gulf Coast Conference’s Tigers must have thought they’d agreed to play South Carolina.
NHL: KINGS vs. NEW JERSEY, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:
Come to see if Kings goalie Ben Scrivens can shut the Devils twice in a week. Stick around to see if Jaromir Jagr can stay on his pace to register 65 points this season – he turns 42 early next year.
NFL WEEK 12:
NEW ORLEANS at ATLANTA, 5:25 p.m., NFL Network:
Witness the best, and the worst, of the NFC South. Somehow, because the Falcons are coming off a loss to the Bucs.
NBA: LAKERS vs. GOLDEN STATE, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., ESPN, TWC SportsNet:
Kobe’s coming back for this one. All the signs point to it. Again. Just don’t make him overextend himself by guarding Klay Thompson, who had a career-best 38 points in a 31-point Warriors win last time. Not even his dad in the Lakers’ broadcast booth could find fault with him that Halloween night.
UCLA vs. MOREHEAD STATE, Pauley Pavilion, 8 p.m., Pac-12 Network:
Keep it clean, Bruin fans.
L.A. GRAND PRIX, The Velo Sports Center at Cal State Dominguez Hills, Sessions at 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.:
Back at the site where cycling was contested at the 1984 Olympics nearly 30 years ago, racers from nearly a dozen countries are on track to collect more points toward qualifying for the UCI World Cup next month. The field includes six-time world champ Sarah Hammer, born in Redondo Beach and raised in Temecula, winner of two silver medals at the 2012 London Olympics (part of the U.S. women’s team pursuit and in the women’s six-event omnium). This weekend also includes events for the 2013 U.S. Paralympic National Championships. There are two more sessions each day on Saturday (9 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.) and Sunday (9 a.m. and 3 p.m.)
No. 23 USC at COLORADO, 6:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network:
Between the Trojans’ euphoria about Saturday’s triumph over Stanford, complete with the crowd stampeding onto the field, and focusing on plans for that UCLA meeting on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, there’s this little Buff in the road at Folsom Field. Colorado is also riding a huge wave of momentum: It racked up its first conference win last week against Cal.
NBA: CLIPPERS vs. SACRAMENTO, Staples Center, 12:30 p.m., Prime:
Kings fans set a Guiness Book of World Records mark for loudest roar at an indoor stadium when they reached 124.9 decibels in the first quarter against Detroit last week. That record will be safe when Sacramento visits Staples Center.
NHL: KINGS vs. COLORADO, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:
The Avs started this week on a strange three-game losing streak after starting the season 14-2.
MANNY PACQUIAO vs. BRANDON RIOS, WBO International welterweight title, 6 p.m., HBO pay per view, $69.95:
Promoter Bob Arum has already gone on record as saying this “is a very important fight for (Pacquiao) to win. It will certainly hurt him if he loses this fight. It may signify the end. It will be very devastating for him.” Echoed trainer Freddie Roach: “(If this fight) does not go well, we will seriously talk about his retirement.” The 34-year-old Filipino (54-5-2, 38 KOs), who remains in the Top 15 of the highest-paid athletes according to Forbes, comes off back-to-back losses to Juan Manuel Marquez (Dec., 2012) and Timothy Bradley (June, 2012). But most disconcerting to Pacquiao is his connection to fans who have been through the recent devastation of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Because of his training, he was not able to visit the areas that were hit hardest to help. “I will send help to those who need it the most,” he said, “and I enjoin all of you to pray for our country and people in these trying times.” Maybe the most compelling reason to watch is the venue: The Venetian Hotel in Macau, China. Pacquiao hasn’t fought outside the U.S. since his 12-round super featherweight unanimous decision over Oscar Larios in 2006, which took place in the Philippines. The Oxnard-based Rios (31-1-1, 22 KOs) has fought twice in Mexico, in ’08 and ’09. Rios’ last fight was a unanimous decision loss to Mike Alvarado last March, the first defeat of his pro career. Rios defeated Alvarado just five months early at the Home Depot Center in Carson for the light welterweight title.
NBA: CLIPPERS vs. CHICAGO, Staples Center, 12:30 p.m., Prime:
Derek Rose going to play? It’s a day-to-day situation apparently again.
NBA: LAKERS vs. SACRAMENTO, Staples Center, 6:30 p.m., TWC SportsNet:
Sacramento decided to stick around in L.A. a couple extra days after playing the Clippers. Because it was so far to go back home?
UCLA vs. CHATTANOOGA, Pauley Pavilion, 7 p.m., Pac-12 Network:
Don’t mock the Moccasins. Their mascot is named Scrappy.
NFL WEEK 12:
DENVER at NEW ENGLAND, 5:30 p.m., Channel 4:
SAN DIEGO at KANSAS CITY, 10 a.m., Channel 2:
More AFC West business to attend to.