“Weekly Nickel”

The Under Armour Senior Bowl is set for Saturday. Derrick Locke (pictured above) is one of many players looking to wow the NFL scouts before the combine.

After the weekend “that was,” we are now heading full steam into another amazing week in the wide world of sports that “will be.”  Saturday was arguably the best day of College Basketball we have had since last March and Sunday was just an outstanding day of NFL Football.

So whats in store for this week?  Here is a closer look.

5.  The NHL has lost some of its luster due to Sid “the Kid” being sidelined since January 5th.  Either way, All Star Weekend will go on.  Discover not only sponsors the prestigious College Football Orange Bowl, but it also sponsors the NHL All Star weekend.  Regardless if you are a hockey connoisseur, this weekend is fun.  The skills competitions will baffle your mind and the game will not be too shabby either.  You better believe it will be rocking in Carolina all weekend.

4.  As I mentioned last week, Grand Slam Tennis Down Under has certainly lost its thunder.  Or at least in the United States, where there are no American’s left in the draw on either the Men’s or Women’s side for the Quarterfinals.  Give me a break.  Federer, Nadal, Murray, and Djokovic are all still alive in the Men’s Field.  So you know it is going to be a very exciting week leading up to the Finals on Sunday.  Can Nadal complete the Rafa Slam?  And in the Women’s draw, it is a “Williams Less” Quarterfinals.  Though this does not make most Americans happy, this is a chance to see some new stars shine under the bright lights in Melbourne.  Can Schiavone continue her amazing run after her epic record-setting match against Kuznetsova?  I wouldn’t count on it.

3.  Just when you thought all the College Football hoopla was done, it comes running back.  And no I am not talking about Janoris Jenkins of Florida getting cited for possession of marijuana, or Oklahoma freshman getting arrested, or even another Auburn victory party.  No, I am talking about the Under Armour Senior Bowl set for this Saturday in Mobile.  One of the premier events College Football has to offer.  So what if this year there are a record number of underclassmen entering their names into the draft pool, this is a big time event where every NFL team is represented by multiple personnel.  It is a week-long showcase for these kids before they get to participate in the combine, and hopefully training camp with an NFL team.

The Bengals, who are having many issues of their own will have the luxury of coaching the North squad.  A couple of key players to note on the North Roster are as follows.

-Ross Homan, LB, Ohio State-Homan is a three-year starter from The Ohio State. This is a kid out of a little known high school powerhouse in Ohio, called Coldwater.  Coldwater has been a gold mine for big time football and baseball over the last decade.  Yet it is still one of Ohio’s best kept secrets.  Do not be surprised if this former prep star from Coldwater makes the Buckeyes proud with a stellar performance.

-Mark Herzlich, LB, Boston College-Just a phenomenal story on this former ACC Player of the Year.  Herzlich was forced to miss the entire 2009 season due to suffering from Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of Bone Cancer.  This kid has had a very solid year and looks to improve his draft status on Saturday.

Other players to note on the North Roster: Austin Pettis, Titus Young, Jake Locker, and Ricky Stanzi (a true winner)

The Buffalo Bills will have the pleasure of coaching the South Squad.

They will have a couple of smaller running backs with outstanding speed.

Noel Devine, RB, WVU-Devine has been very highly touted since he burst onto the Youtube scene 4 years ago.  This guy, who many have called undersized for 4 years now truly has “the burners.”  Do not be surprised to see this kid break one off in this game and maybe even a couple in the League one day.  Morgantown will really miss having Devine on their side.

Derrick Locke, RB, UK-Locke is another guy who has been considered “too little” during the duration of his stay in Lexington.  Well his size did not stop him from being one of the most effective runners in the SEC for the past 4 years.  If he would not have suffered a fairly severe injury in the Auburn game, he would have been talked about much more by the experts.

Other players to note on the South Roster: Ahmad Black, Josh Bynes, Bilal Powell, and Kelvin Sheppard

2.  The NBA journey continues.  As always there are solid matchups every night, but this week will be highlighted by one very special evening.  And that would have to be none other than Thursday Night.  The marquee matchup pits the Miami Heat and the New York Knicks.  Will we see another epic Lebron performance in the Garden?  Or will D Wade steal the show?  Dare I say Amare Stoudemire could shock the Heat and lead his Knicks to a big time victory?  Either way, it is going to be entertaining.  All eyes will be on the Mecca of basketball come Thursday at 8.

1.  College Basketball has gotten to that point of the year.  It definitely feels like March in January after witnessing some of the games on Saturday.  Well this week, there is no let down.  Perhaps it is even going to get better.  Later tonight we get to see 2 Big East powerhouses duke it out as ND heads to Pitt.  Tuesday, in perhaps the biggest game the Big Ten has had to date, the Boilermakers head to Columbus to take on the number 1 ranked and undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes.  Then on Wednesday, another undefeated, San Diego State, puts it all on the line against their toughest opponent of the year BYU, on the road!  Could both undefeated teams go down by mid-week?

Then we have another Super Saturday.  This one may already top the Saturday that was 2 days ago.  Some of the key matchups are as follows:

Louisville at Connecticut, Georgetown at Villanova,

Missouri at Texas, Minnesota at Purdue

And this is just to name a few.  What a day of hoops it will be on Saturday.

Take it all in because this is going to be another momentous week in the sporting world.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

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