Pro basketball resumes on Christmas Day; college football will begin staging its major postseason contests eight days later. This has, perhaps unintentionally, engendered competing five-game simulations from 2K Sports and EA Sports, makers of NBA 2K12 and NCAA Football 12. Want to know who wins the big matchups? We've got the results predicted by these two video games, with highlights!
NEW YORK, Dec. 25—Paul Pierce scored 30 and and Ray Allen 23 as the Celtics outlasted the Knicks 115 to 100 in Madison Square Garden. Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 23 points and 11 rebounds.
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 25—The Bulls edged the Lakers 95-92 as Richard Hamilton tallied 20 points in his Chicago debut. Metta World Peace finally scored.
OAKLAND, Dec. 25—Chris Paul's debut with the Clippers went poorly, going 3-of-9 in shooting with just one assist in a 108-96 loss. Blake Griffin's 26-point, 12-rebound night got no support from his L.A. teammates. Dorell Wright led the Ws with 20 points and eight rebounds in an inspiring season-opening victory.
DALLAS, Dec. 25—After watching the Mavericks pick up their championship rings from the 2011 campaign, Miami dismantled Dallas 108-95 behind 26 points from LeBron James, 16 points from Mario Chalmers, and workmanlike support from Dwyane Wade.
OKLAHOMA CITY, Dec. 25—Kevin Durant shone brilliantly in the Thunder's 2011-2012 debut, pouring in 41 points in overtime as Oklahoma City downed Orlando 120-115. Dwight Howard, his future in Orlando in doubt, supplied 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Magic.
PASADENA, Calif., Jan. 2—Ducks quarterback Daron Thomas scored on a 20-yard run with 13 seconds left to give Oregon a 42-35 victory over Wisconsin in the 98th Rose Bowl. Russell Wilson was intercepted for a costly pick-six, ensuring that no N.C. State quarterback has yet won a major bowl game.
GLENDALE, Ariz., Jan. 2—Facing third-and-18 with four minutes left, Oklahoma State's Brandon Wheedon found Justin Blackmon for a 25-yard touchdown pass to fend off No. 3 Stanford 35-21 and give Oklahoma State its first ever BCS bowl victory.
NEW ORLEANS, Jan. 3—Denard Robinson rushed for a touchdown and passed for two as Michigan dispatched Virginia Tech 31-14 in a game neither university deserved to play.
MIAMI, Jan. 4—Spencer Benton hit a 41-yard field goal as time expired to give Clemson a 38-35 victory over West Virginia, the Tigers' first Orange Bowl win since the National Championship year of 1981.
NEW ORLEANS, Jan. 8—Jeremy Shelley kicked a 37-yard field goal as time expired to give No. 2 Alabama a 20-17 victory over LSU in the BCS National Championship game. LSU, playing in purple jerseys in the state of Louisiana for the first time in decades, got a timely fumble returned for a touchdown by Kevin Minter with 6 minutes left to tie the score 17-17. Trent Richardson scored two touchdowns for Alabama, one rushing and one receiving.