Thursday, Dec. 24
College football, Hawaii Bowl, Nevada vs. SMU (7 p.m., ESPN): The Mustangs were a C-USA also-ran, so they get a free trip to Hawaii. Something is wrong with this picture.
Friday, Dec. 25
NBA basketball, Boston at Orlando (1:30 p.m., Ch. 16): It's finally OK to start paying attention to the NBA for a few hours. The Celtics and Magic are two of the Eastern Conference's best. Cleveland at L.A. Lakers, LeBron James and former Laker superstar Shaquille O'Neal invade LaLa Land to take on the Lakers. Yes, there will be ill will.
Saturday, Dec. 26
Men's college basketball, Mississippi Valley State at Mississippi State (7 p.m., Starkville, 105.9 FM): The Delta Devils get to play sacrificial lambs to the Bulldogs. Play nice, fellas.
Sunday, Dec. 27
NFL football, Tampa Bay at New Orleans (noon, Ch. 40, 620 AM): The Saints are coming off their first loss and they have to beat the putrid Bucs to earn home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Dallas at Washington (7:20 p.m., Ch. 3, 930 AM): Things are almost always interesting when these arch-rivals meet.
Monday, Dec. 28
NFL football, Minnesota at Chicago (7:30 p.m., ESPN, 930 AM): The Bears will try to upset the Vikings on what figures to be a frigid night in Chicago.
Tuesday, Dec. 29
Men's college basketball, Jacksonville State at Ole Miss (7 p.m., Oxford, 97.3 FM): The Rebels should roast these Gamecocks. They taste like chicken.
Wednesday, Dec. 30
Men's college basketball, Spring Hill at Jackson State (7:30 p.m., Jackson): The Tigers finally play a team they should be able to beat.
The Slate is compiled by Doctor S, who's on the naughty and nice lists.