Jets at Patriots
Matt Cassel (right) has looked fine filling in for Tom Brady—when Cassel's been on his feet. The New England quarterback, who has led the Pats to a 6--3 record, has been sacked an AFC-high 29 times. Bad news this week: Led by Shaun Ellis, who has seven sacks, the 6--3 Jets are second in the conference in getting to the opposing QB.
NFL Network 8 p.m.
Nuggets at Cavaliers
For Chauncey Billups, the Big Trade was a homecoming. The Denver native was one of three players the Nuggets got from the Pistons for Allen Iverson. Now if he can find his stroke. In two games since returning to the rarefied air, Billups has gone 7 for 30 from the floor.
TNT 8 p.m.
Minnesota at Wisconsin
In a good year the Golden Gophers' trophy case looks like a weird yard sale. Minnesota plays for the Little Brown Jug (against Michigan), Paul Bunyan's Axe (Wisconsin) and Floyd of Rosedale, a bronze pig (Iowa). The Gophers' tchotchke challenge got off to a poor start, as they dropped to 7--3 with a loss to Michigan last Saturday. Things don't get easier this week: They haven't beaten Wisconsin since 2003.
ABC 3:30 p.m.
Wild at Penguins
Marian Gaborik isn't helping his case for a big contract after this season when he becomes a free agent. The Minnesota right wing, who led the team in scoring last year, hasn't played since going on injured reserve on Oct. 14. The Wild is getting along fine without him; it's a point behind the Canucks in the Northwest division thanks to Antti Miettinen (left). The Finn, an off-season free agent pickup from the Stars, leads Minnesota with six goals.
Versus 7 p.m.
In stores: NCAA Basketball 09
Good news for gamers who like being yelled at. This year's model features in-game verbal feedback from coaches. It's a good thing Bob Knight retired last season, or this would likely have been the first EA game to get tagged with an adult-only rating.
SI PICK OF THE WEEK
Kentucky at No. 1 North Carolina
To celebrate the start of the college basketball season, ESPN offers 23 straight hours of live coverage, enough hoops to exhaust even Dick Vitale. Headlining the marathon will be the sport's two alltime winningest teams. Carolina has its entire starting five returning, but only four will be on hand tonight: National Player of the Year Tyler Hansbrough is out with a minor shin injury. Without the big man, the Tar Heels are likely to attack from the perimeter, so watch Wayne Ellington (above), who shot 40.0% from behind the arc last season.
ESPN 9 p.m.
BOB ROSATO (ELLINGTON)
BRUCE KLUCKHOHN/NHLI/GETTY IMAGES (MIETTINEN)
SIMON BRUTY (JUG)
COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA (AXE)
COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA (FLOYD)
ROBERT E. KLEIN/ICON SMI (CASSEL)