This You Gotta See: Bulls restart, Illini charge into homestretch as baseball … never mind

MLB owners and players continue to spit into the wind, shoot rhetorical cannonballs across each other’s bows and dare us to just not care.

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Washington Nationals v Philadelphia Phillies

A sad sight, indeed.

Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images

It’s right there in the Holy Scripture — pretty sure it is, anyway — and the gist of it is straightforward and simple:

With football’s end, baseball shall begin.

We count on it, swear by it, set our internal clocks by it. Great job, Rams and Bengals. Now let’s talk pitchers, catchers and cactuses. Or is it cacti? We can sort it out while watching the Cubs and White Sox play their first spring-training games this week.

Oh. Nope, we can’t.

With baseball’s lockout pushing everything back and threatening to completely ruin spring before winter even ends, the soonest we can now hope to see the Cubs and Sox playing games is March 5. But even that’s not likely to happen as owners and players continue to spit into the wind, shoot rhetorical cannonballs across each other’s bows and dare fans to just not care about any of it.

Football is done. The Winter Olympics are over, too. (Yes, it’s too late to start watching them.) Baseball is busy fooling about.

What do we have, then? The Bulls, of course, and thank goodness for them. Alas, the Blackhawks are playing out the string with an interim coach, an interim general manager and — one can only hope — a bunch of “interim” players.

College basketball is sizzling along, with Illinois going for a Big Ten title, Loyola on the NCAA Tournament bubble and … well, there really is no “and.”

It ain’t much, but it’s all we’ve got. And here’s what’s happening:

TUE 22

Nebraska at Northwestern (7 p.m., BTN)

The Wildcats don’t win often enough to be picky about how they do it, but considering how it went earlier this month in Lincoln — Purple 87, Red 63 — this is a no-excuses kind of night.

“Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel” (9 p.m., HBO)

Grim topics include “sled trauma” — football-like head injuries that are rampant in skeleton and other winter sliding sports — and the slippery slope from opioid painkillers to heroin addiction in young athletes.

WED 23

Evansville at Loyola (7 p.m., NBCSCH)

Loyola v Kansas State

It’s been a heck of a run for the Ramblers.

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It’s the final conference home game for the Ramblers before the big move to the Atlantic-10. We’d have to say Missouri Valley life has been pretty dang good to them.

USWNT vs. Iceland (8 p.m., ESPN2)

The American footballers have scored seven and given up zero through two games of the SheBelieves Cup. Wait, that’s merely a one-touchdown lead. Pin those ears back, ladies!

THU 24

Hawks at Bulls (7 p.m., NBCSCH)

As the second half begins, let’s raise a glass to these Bulls, toast to their future and hope like hell they don’t catch whatever is afflicting their riches-to-rags visitors.

Ohio State at Illinois (8 p.m., FS1)

There are four games to go for the Illini, and they can’t lose any of them if they want to hang their first regular-season banner since 2005. You know what? We’re going to go out on a limb and say they do.

FRI 25

Northwestern at Penn State (6 p.m., FS1)

A big game? Not really. But if the ’Cats are going to avoid having to play on the opening day of the Big Ten tournament yet again, this one’s a must-have.

Heat at Knicks (6:30 p.m., ESPN)

Are we scoreboard-watching yet, Bulls fans? Just so the rest of the league is clear, any and all help from Heat opponents is welcome.

Devils at Blackhawks (7:30 p.m., NBCSCH)

This is the fourth of six straight home games for the Hawks, and who knows? Maybe this one will go a bit better than the first three did.

SAT 26

Purdue at Michigan State (11 a.m., ESPN)

We’re not saying Illinois has a dog in this fight, we’re just saying Brad Underwood will look adorably scary in green-and-white face paint.

Switzerland v Spain - UEFA Euro 2020: Quarter-final

Shaqiri playing for Switzerland in 2021.

Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Fire at Inter Miami (5 p.m., Ch. 9)

It’s the season debut for the Fire, who have a new coach in Ezra Hendrickson, a new star player in Xherdan Shaqiri, a new logo and a new shot at — how to put it? — not stinking.

Grizzlies at Bulls (7 p.m., NBCSCH)

Man, Memphis’ record sure is impressive. A legit contender? Put it this way: If the Bulls are, then the Grizzlies must be, too.

Nets at Bucks (7:30 p.m., Ch. 7)

When will we see Ben Simmons on the court in a Nets uniform? When will Kevin Durant be back in action? We’re totally here for any and all surprise appearances.

SUN 27

Illinois at Michigan (1 p.m., Ch. 2)

There is no love lost between the Illini and the Wolverines, folks. On a scale of 1 to Juwan Howard punching somebody, this rivalry is up there and rising fast.

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