Christmas week guide to sports stuff happening in/around KC


Missouri head coach Eliah Drinkwitz watches his players warm up before the start of an NCAA college football game against North Texas Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)


‘Tis the season for bowl games, final non-cons in basketball and fattening up on sports enjoyment with family and friends.

Yep, it’s time for the ol’ Christmas week viewing guide.

Here’s this week’s KC-centric rundown of sports stuff to watch through next weekend.

Missouri running back Tyler Badie (1) runs the ball against Arkansas during the second half of an NCAA college football game Friday, Nov. 26, 2021, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Michael Woods) Michael Woods AP

Tigers to Texas

Missouri’s bowl date is fast approaching. Coach Eli Drinkwitz’s Tigers (6-6) meet up with the Black Knights of Army (8-4) on Wednesday in the Armed Forces Bowl. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. Central Time in Fort Worth.

Which black-and-gold squad will prevail? The Tigers would love to end 2021 with a victory, but so too would Army, whose last outing delivered a stinging 17-13 rebuke by the Midshipmen in the annual Army-Navy Game at MetLife Stadium.

(A note for K-State fans: KSU’s going bowling, too, but the ‘Cats don’t play until the new year. They’ll face LSU at 8 p.m. on Jan. 4 in the Texas Bowl at Houston’s NRG Stadium.)

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The Missouri Tigers celebrate their victory against Illinois Fighting Illini during Saturday’s NCAA Braggin’ Rights game at the Enterprise Center in Saint Louis Missouri. Jimmy J Simmons

Basketball bonanza

It’s Braggin’ Rights time. And as fun as the recent KU-MU game was for Kansas City folks, Mizzou’s annual eastern-border rivalry against Illinois is arguably just as important — and probably more so, if you’re from St. Louis.

The Tigers and Illini tip off there on Wednesday at 8 p.m. at the Scottrade Center. Mizzou’s next game after that is an SEC showdown at Kentucky on Dec. 29.

Kansas, meanwhile, is at Colorado on Tuesday at 8 p.m. CT. The Jayhawks’ next play Dec. 29 at home against the Harvard Crimson. K-State also plays Tuesday night, hosting McNeese State at Bramlage Coliseum at 7. Like KU, the Wildcats’ next game after that isn’t until Dec. 29 (against Morgan State in Manhattan).

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Ravon Nero brings the ball up the court during Sunday’s game against Tennessee State in Nashville. Kansas City Roos Athletics

Catch the Roos

The Kansas City Roos women’s basketball team, coached by Jacie Hoyt, is off to a scorching 10-1 start — best in program history.

The next chance to see them in action locally is the Roos’ Summit League opener on Monday at 6 p.m. against South Dakota State at the Swinney Rec Center. They also play at home Wednesday at 2 p.m. against South Dakota.

The Roos lost at SMU on Nov. 9 and have done nothing but win ever since.

Says Hoyt: “They’re bought in to our mission, and that’s what makes this whole ride so special right now.”

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Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes high fives with fans after the Kansas City’s 48-9 win over the Las Vegas Raiders Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium Rich Sugg

A break for the Chiefs

Because the Chiefs played Thursday evening in L.A., they’re off today (Sunday, Dec. 19).

Their next game is the day after Christmas, next Sunday, Dec. 26. They’ll be back at Arrowhead Stadium that afternoon to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in a game that’s scheduled to kick off at 3:25. The regular season concludes with two road games: Jan. 2 at Cincinnati and Jan. 9 at Denver.

Then it’s playoff time for a Kansas City team seeking its third straight Super Bowl berth and second championship in three years.

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Miami Heat players listen to the American national anthem before the start of a NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Christmas Day at the AmericanAirlines Arena on Friday, December 25, 2020. DAVID SANTIAGO

Christmas Day viewing

As we’re occasionally wont to do on this page, let’s run through a couple of “events” not really involving local teams but still of high interest to fans of sports in general. Consider it our holiday present to you, gentle reader.

The NFL has two Week 16 games set for Christmas Day, which this year falls on Saturday: Browns at Packers at 3:30 p.m. (FOX, NFL Network), followed by Colts at Cardinals at 7:15 p.m. (NFL Network).

The NBA’s Christmas Day lineup is even more stout: games, in order beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, include Hawks-Knicks, Celtics-Bucks, Warriors-Suns, Nets-Lakers and Mavericks-Jazz.

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