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For Bruins, it's haves and have-nots

December 21, 2007|Christine Daniels | SOUND AND VISION

For newcomers to the area and out-of-state high school students currently weighing the merits of a UCLA education, two programs Saturday provide a helpful demonstration as to why the Westwood university has long been considered "a basketball school" . . .

UCLA at Michigan (Saturday, 11 a.m., Channel 2) and UCLA vs. BYU (Saturday, 5 p.m., ESPN): The UCLA basketball team is 10-1; the UCLA football team is 6-6. The basketball team is ranked No. 8 in the nation and could climb higher if it beats Michigan; the football team scratched out a berth in the Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl, where it is a six-point underdog to a BYU team it defeated by 10 points in September. The basketball team has a head coach who has restored the Bruins to Final Four prominence; the football team has no head coach, and is now scrambling to try to fill that vacancy.

So, incoming freshmen interested in majoring in PE, that's one application you might want to fill out.

You can't stop these Lakers, you can only delay them . . .

Lakers at Philadelphia 76ers (today, 5:30 p.m., tape delay, Channel 9) and Lakers at New York Knicks (Sunday, 9 a.m., Channel 9): Local sports fans in training for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics can get a head start today on the bizarre regimen of avoiding the radio, Internet, ESPN, CNN, other insta-news outlets, their mobile phones and phone calls from friends to pretend to be surprised and captivated by a Lakers game that will actually tip-off 90 minutes before Channel 9 begins airing it.

Meanwhile, NBC, proud distributor of canned Olympics coverage, reports that several events in Beijing will start early enough in the day so U.S. viewers will actually be able to watch them live. To help get us ready for that wrinkle, Channel 9 is broadcasting Sunday's Lakers-Knicks game live.

If you can wait a minute, more tape delays are waiting for you . . . .

Brian Boitano Spectacular (Saturday, 1 p.m., tape, Channel 4) and Wynonna Tribute on Ice (Sunday, 1 p.m., tape, Channel 4) and ISU Grand Prix (Sunday, 1 p.m., delay, ESPN): Is it merely coincidence that two of these figure-skating events are tape-delayed by NBC? I think not.

In related news, Brian Boitano and Wynonna Judd have declined the chance to be interviewed for the UCLA football coaching vacancy.

College Bowl Mania is in the air! Feel the chill . . .

New Orleans Bowl, Florida Atlantic vs. Memphis (today, 5 p.m., ESPN2): New Orleans, which will play host to the Sugar Bowl and the BCS title game, needs another bowl game like the Saints need another defeat. The Saints get the Eagles this Sunday, the Superdome gets Florida Atlantic (7-5) and Memphis (7-5) today and, well, there you have it.

What's the difference between the NCAA men's basketball tournament and the college football bowl field? One team . . .

PapaJohns.com Bowl (Really! That's what it is called!), Cincinnati vs. Southern Mississippi (Saturday, 10 a.m., ESPN2): Including the play-in game, 65 teams participate in the NCAA men's basketball tournament each year. Including this three-hour commercial for online pizza delivery, there are 32 bowl games on the calendar, requiring the involvement of 64 teams. But a college football playoff tournament would be way too unwieldy.

Kings visit Columbus and Nashville while hockey fans in Winnipeg and Quebec revisit their "All I Want for Christmas Is a New Hockey Commissioner" lists . . .

Kings at Columbus Blue Jackets (today, 4 p.m., FSNW) and Kings at Nashville Predators (Saturday, 5 p.m., FSNW): Having an NHL franchise in your city is a true blessing, Kings fans keep telling themselves.

Now playing in San Jose: Post-Disney on Ice . . . .

Ducks at San Jose Sharks (Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Prime): If the playoffs began today, the Ducks would be in them, barely, tied with Calgary on points and seeded eighth. This being the NHL, you'd have to say their quest to win back-to-back Stanley Cups is very much alive.

Clippers mess with Texas . . .

Clippers at Dallas Mavericks (tonight, 6:30 p.m., Prime and ESPN) and Clippers at San Antonio Spurs (Saturday, 5:30 p.m., Channel 5): Recommended viewing for any local basketball fan with a blindfold.

Speaking of blindfolds . . .

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (Sunday, 1:15 p.m., Channel 2): The Dolphins finally won a game last Sunday. That was their day in the sun. Now here come the Patriots (14-0) and the Prince of Darkness (Bill Belichick) and the Dolphins return to normalcy (Desolation Blvd).

Punt . . .

New Mexico Bowl, Nevada at New Mexico (Saturday, 1:30 p.m., ESPN): This is New Mexico Bowl II, for those counting. Last year, New Mexico thought it invented a bowl it could win, but lost to San Jose State, 20-12.

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christine.daniels@latimes.com

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