Taking a look at the schedules of sporting events over the weekend there are quite a few very intriguing match-ups. German sports will be our first stop this week.

In the German football/soccer Bundesliga, Bayern Munich are close to taking their spot atop the standings and can take the first step this weekend as Jürgen Klinsmann’s men travel to Bayer Leverkusen, who are in second place but even on points with third placed Bayern.

Leverkusen have not won at home against Munich since August 8, 2004 and the club appears jinxed by Bayern, losing the title to Munich on the final day of the season in 2000. Bayern will move past Leverkusen on Saturday with a victory and set their sights on leaders Hoffenheim, who come to Munich on Friday, December 5.

Staying in Germany but moving over to the hardcourt. Defending BBL champions Alba Berlin travel to 2007 winners Brose Baskets Bamberg for the next chapter of a heated rivalry. Alba lost at Fenerbahce in the Euroleague but still lead the BBL with an 8-1 record including a four-game winning streak. Bamberg have dropped to 5-5 after a loss at Oldenburg, which snapped a four-game winning streak. But Chris Fleming’s Bamberg were hammered by Polish side PGE Turow 69-39 at home in the Eurocup. And the team looked totally out of sync.

Fleming will have his team back in line and Bamberg will feed of the horrible showing against Turow and the home fans as Brose knock off Berlin to prove they are in fact a team to reckon with this season.

Taking a jump over the big pond to the Lone Star State of Texas for an NBA hoops hoe-down in Houston as the Rockets host the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday. Some people are picking Houston as a possible title candidate. But in November they have lost at home against Boston, at Portland, at the Lakers, at San Antonio, against Dallas and on Wednesday at home vs Indiana. San Antonio have found their rhythm in winning six of their last seven – though the Spurs host Memphis on Friday. The return of Manu Ginobili will help Tim Duncan even more and relieve some of the pressure on guys like Roger Mason and George Hill, who have been producing tremendously in Ginobili’s absence. San Antonio head into Houston and rock the Rockets.

So, those are the three picks this week. Three other good showdowns to watch:

College hoops: No. 12 Tennessee facing No. 16 Georgetown face off in the Old Spice Classic in Orlando on Friday. Can Wayne Chism stop Hoyas star freshman Greg Monroe?

College football: The BSC picture could get a bit clearer on Saturday when No. 2 Oklahoma travels to No. 12 Oklahoma State. Then again, if the Sooners win, the whole thing could become even cloudier.

And to close off with the NFL, the Pittsburgh Steelers continue their super-difficult schedule with a date down in Foxboro with the New England Patriots on Sunday. Can the Steelers defense stop New England’s clicking offense? That’s the big question.



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