September 9th, 2010
11:34 AM ET

FIBA championships, Vikings take on Saints in opener

Drew Brees, Reggie Bush and the defending champion New Orleans Saints hope to score a win in their first regular season game against the Minnesota Vikings tonight.

After generally coasting to the quarterfinals, Team USA will face more of a challenge in their match-up against Russian’s physically imposing squad at the FIBA World Championships today. The two teams are squaring off on the 38-year anniversary of Russian’s controversial victory against the United States at the 1972 Olympics.

But if Team TUA is going to avoid history repeating itself, they’re going to have to step up their free throw game, prep for Russia’s 2-3 zone and brace for a face-off with some really big boys. "Their average height is 6-8," USA coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "They'll be the biggest team that we've played against.

While Kevin Durant, Eric Gordon and Chauncey Billups have all had success shooting from behind the line, Russia has only allowed 28 percent shooting from the three-point range, posing a problem for Team USA. SI.com’s Chris Mannix thinks that in order for the U.S. to fend off Russia, it’ll need to re-orient itself to a climate not conducive to dropping threes on the opposition.

After Team USA’s 11 am game, there is plenty to keep your sports palates whet heading into this evening:

Vikings vs. Saints (8:30 p.m., ET, NBC)
Regular season football has arrived as the Vikings and Saints will go head-to-head in the Superdome, pitting the 2009 Super Bowl champs against a team whose preseason was marked by Brett Favre speculation.

Texas Rangers vs. Toronto Blue Jays (7:07 p.m. ET) After beating the Blue Jays 8-1 on Wednesday and breaking through a five-game losing streak, the Rangers will be back battling it out in Toronto tonight with Colby Lewis starting.

By The Numbers

$1000 – The amount of money that Georgia star receiver A.J. Green sold a jersey for to someone who qualified as an agent. As a result, Green is serving a four-game suspension that will keep him off the field until Oct. 2.

44 – Age of Tim Wakefield, the oldest pitcher to ever win for the Red Sox, surpassing the record set by 43-year-old Hall of Famer Dennis Eckerlsey. On Wednesday night, Wakefield went 4-10 in the Sox 11-5 victory over the Rays.

$1.2 billion – The price tag of Cowboy Stadium, the home of Oregon and LSU’s season opener in 2011. The teams have not played each other since 1977, with LSU winning two of their last three meetings.

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  1. meg

    Funny story about Brett Favre's multiple retirements at http://newspile.weebly.com/

    September 9, 2010 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |