Capitals

Playoff sites likely to be picked by end of April

Playoff sites likely to be picked by end of April

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) The home of the first national championship game under the new playoff system, along with the three remaining semifinal rotation sites, will likely be picked by the end of April.

The second-to-last season of the Bowl Championship Series will wrap up Monday night, with No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 2 Alabama playing for the national title in Miami.

Starting with the 2014 season, the national champion of major college football will be determined with a four-team playoff. Three of the six sites that will be in the semifinal rotation have been picked. The others, along with the sites of the first and future championship games, will be in place before the summer, BCS executive director Bill Hancock said Monday.

``We're going to announce the first (championship game) site even sooner than others,'' he said. ``I think it might happen even sooner than April''.

The BCS holds a regular meeting of conference commissioners in late April.

``What we anticipate in April is to announce is a couple, three more (championship sites) - 2015, 2016 and maybe `17,'' Hancock said. ``I think there's no question by April we will know who the other three participants in the rotation will be for semifinals.

The conference commissioners have already narrowed down possibilities for the first championship game site to Arlington, Texas (Cotton Bowl); Pasadena, Calif. (Rose Bowl), Glendale, Ariz. (Fiesta Bowl); Atlanta (Chick-fil-A Bowl); New Orleans (Sugar Bowl); Miami (Orange Bowl).

Sites for future national title games will be bid out the way the Super Bowl and Final Four are, and could end up in places that have not traditionally hosted major bowls.

The Rose, Sugar and Orange bowls have already been chosen for the semifinal rotation. The other three sites are likely to be Arlington, Glendale and Atlanta.

Hancock would only say the commissioners would prefer to have sites in three different time zones.

Hancock, speaking to reporters from the Football Writers Association of America, said the conference commissioners are working with a concept of having 15 to 18 people on the selection committee that will pick the final four participants.

Similar to the group that sets the field for the NCAA men's basketball tournament, the panel will be comprised of college athletics administrators, such as conference commissioners and athletic directors. The committee needs to be large enough accommodate members recused when teams from the conferences they represent are discussed.

``There were years in the basketball committee where we had so many recusals there were only four people left in the room to make some big decisions,'' Hancock said. ``We can't deal with that in football. I would envision every conference having a representative. The independents having a representative, and then some number of at-large people to be determined by the commissioners.

``It will be the most prestigious committee in college sports. It will be the most scrutinized committee in college sports. We are committed to a high level of transparency.''

The current BCS standings use two polls - the Harris poll and the coaches' poll - along with computers ratings that mostly do not reveal their formulas to determine the top two teams in the country. There is no plan to have an equivalent of the BCS standings in the new postseason system.

The college basketball selection committee uses a computer-rating called the Rating Percentage Index (RPI) as one of many tools to pick the field.

Hancock said they could not make an RPI equivalent for football.

``We ran an RPI and it was not accurate'' because there's not enough information coming out of a 12-game regular-season, he said.

``How I envision it, and I think the commissioners do to, is (the committee will) have everything at their disposal. They'll have computer rankings, they'll have the writers' poll, they'll have the coaches' poll, and they'll look at it all but at the end of the day it'll come down to the eye test. It'll come down to common sense.

``Who did you play? Did you win your conference? Where did you play? Who was injured when you played that game? What about common opponents? What about head-to-head?''

The committee will attempt to have the highest-seeded teams in the semifinal pairings play closest to home. There will be no limit to how many teams from a conference can be selected for the final four, and the committee will not avoid pairing teams from the same conference in the semifinals.

Both semifinals will be played on the same day, either New Year's Eve or New Year's Day, and the championship game will always be played on Monday night, at least a week later.

Quick Links

Game 58: Capitals at Blackhawks Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

usatsi_9678896.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Game 58: Capitals at Blackhawks Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Where: United Center, Chicago, Ill.

When: 8:30 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Blackhawks will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Blackhawks game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

You can also stream the game online with no cable TV subscription on fuboTV (try for free!).

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS GAME?

The Capitals (33-17-7) take on the Blackhawks (24-26-8) Saturday, February 17 at 8:30 p.m. ET in Chicago.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS GAME ON?

The Capitals-Blackhawks game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 7:30 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 8:00 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 11:30 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 12:30 a.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

7:30 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
8:00 p.m. — Caps GameTime
8:30 p.m. — Capitals at Blackhawks
11:00 p.m. — Caps Extra
11:30 p.m. — Caps Overtime
12:30 a.m. — Caps in 30

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS GAME?

Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Blackhawks game:

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Brett Connolly - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Andre Burakovsky - Lars Eller - Alex Chiasson
Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Devante Smith-Pelly

Defensemen
Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Madison Bowey

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Jakub Vrana, Taylor Chorney

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS GAME?

The Capitals-Blackhawks game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

The game is also available to stream, along with all the pregame and postgame shows, on fuboTV (try for free).

CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

Quick Links

2018 NBA All-Star Saturday night: TV and live stream info, things to watch for dunk contest, three-point contest

2018 NBA All-Star Saturday night: TV and live stream info, things to watch for dunk contest, three-point contest

The 2018 NBA All-Star Saturday Night is here with the three-point contest, dunk contest and skills competition set for Los Angeles.

Here is all you need to know: TV and live stream info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:

2018 NBA ALL-STAR SATURDAY NIGHT

Where: Staples Center
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: TNT
Online with no cable TV: fuboTV (try for free)

PODCAST: ALL-STAR WEEKEND PREVIEW, WIZARDS AT THE BREAK 

Skills competition

Participants: Lou Williams, Clippers; Jamal Murray, Nuggets; Al Horford, Celtics; Spencer Dinwiddie, Nets; Joel Embiid, Sixers; Buddy Hield, Kings; Lauri Markkanen, Bulls; Andre Drummond, Pistons

What to know: This year's crop has a fascinating mix of guards and big men and don't sleep on the seven-footers. Embiid in particular has a unique skillset for his size. Still, it's tough to beat the guards. Watch out for Dinwiddie, who is the best passer of the bunch.

RELATED: BETTING ODDS FOR DUNK CONTEST, THREE-POINT CONTEST

Three-point contest

Participants: Klay Thompson, Warriors; Eric Gordon, Rockets; Devin Booker, Suns; Paul George, Thunder; Wayne Ellington, Heat; Bradley Beal, Wizards; Kyle Lowry, Raptors; Tobias Harris, Clippers

What to know: Thompson and Gordon enter the contest as past champions, as Thompson won it in 2016 and Gordon took it home last year. Thompson has the best three-point percentage among the group and is the favorite, but watch out for Beal, a past runner-up, and George who has the second best percentage. Also, Booker is one of the game's best young players and has a very smooth stroke from three.

RELATED: WIZARDS/BULLETS HISTORY ON ALL-STAR SATURDAY NIGHT

Dunk contest

Participants: Dennis Smith Jr.; Mavericks; Donovan Mitchell, Jazz; Larry Nance Jr., Cavaliers; Victor Oladipo, Pacers

What to know: This is all about the rookies, Smith and Mitchell, who most are predicting to win. Oladipo has been in the contest before, but didn't win. He's also the only All-Star of the bunch. Nance is the only guy who isn't a guard and his father won it back in 1984. It will be interesting to see if he does some sort of nod to his old man, now 34 years later.

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS