Holiday Guide: Sports to keep an eye on this holiday season

Paige Leskin, City Editor

Although the Christmas season is most known for festivities such as drinking eggnog and spending time at home with family, sports teams do not take a break for the holidays. Games are in full swing: the Wildcats’ basketball season is underway, it’s the middle of hockey season and both college and professional football is ending soon. Wherever you go on the holidays, make sure to stay up to date on how your teams near Northwestern are faring.

NCAA football

It’s disappointing that NU won’t be bowl eligible for the second year in a row and excruciating to know we lost to Illinois, but the show must go on. Bowl season starts on Dec. 20 and goes until Jan. 12, with games being played in New Mexico, Dallas, Florida, Yankee Stadium in New York, and more. While the teams playing in each game have not yet been named, it’s still exciting to know that you’ll be met with five different games to watch on TV on New Year’s Day, including the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, which will serve as the setting for the semifinal game this year. The championship game will take place on Jan. 12 in Arlington, Texas in the stadium where the Dallas Cowboys plays.

National Football League

With four games left in the regular season, the Chicago Bears sit teetering near the bottom of their conference standings with a 5-7 record. The team needs a few wins if it wants to have any chance to make it to the playoffs and it has to step up its game to do so. The Bears play the Cowboys on Sunday and the Detroit Lions on Dec. 21; both teams are looking for additional wins to move from their second place spots and win their respective divisions. Don’t give up on your football team just yet.

NCAA basketball

Both the women’s and men’s basketball teams are just starting out and will venture into Big Ten play in the new year right away. The men’s team will first play Rutgers on Dec. 30, while women’s basketball begins conference games by playing Michigan State on Dec. 28. The women’s team will also play Wisconsin and Ohio State while students are on Winter Break. Make sure to get back in time before classes start to cheer on the men’s team at Ryan Arena on Jan. 4 as they play Wisconsin.

National Hockey League

With a majority of the regular season left, the Chicago Blackhawks are off to a good start, having established a solid 15-8 winning record already. There are plenty of opportunities to watch the Blackhawks play throughout December — 13 games in total — both at home and in various arenas across the United States. The Blackhawks have won two Stanley Cup championships in the past five seasons and are a promising team that could easily make it far into the playoffs again, so make sure to watch the team play over break.

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