Weekend Watch List: Plenty to take in before Sunday’s big game

The Heat, Lightning and Panthers are looking to get back on track this weekend.


Super Bowl weekend has arrived, but before you devote all your spare time to crafting the perfect bowl of buffalo chicken wing dip (or any other seven-layered hash for that matter), know that there’s plenty of action taking place off the gridiron this weekend as well.

The Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning are looking to gain some momentum following the NHL All-Star break.

On the hardwood, the injury-riddled Miami Heat have a pair of games between now and the big game, and the Florida State Seminoles and Miami Hurricanes will meet for the first time this season Sunday afternoon.

Here’s a closer look at what to watch for in the Sunshine State this weekend…


NBA — Mavericks at Heat, 8 p.m. (Sun Sports)

Spotlight: Dwyane Wade is out indefinitely with a hamstring injury and Luol Deng will miss this game as he continues to deal with a calf strain, but Chris Anderson is expected back in the lineup. Coming off of Tuesday’s loss to the Bucks, the Heat are 8-14 at home this season, and the Mavericks enter Friday night’s game on a season-high four-game losing streak. Hassan Whiteside has five double-doubles since joining the Heat, including each of the past two games.


CBK — Arkansas at Florida, 1 p.m.

NBA — Mavericks at Magic, 7 p.m. (FOX Sports Florida)

Rock the Vote

NHL — Panthers at Devils, 7 p.m. (FOX Sports Florida)

NHL — Blue Jackets at Lightning, 7:30 p.m. (Sun Sports)

Spotlight: After missing 20 games, Shawn Thornton returned to the Panthers lineup Thursday looking to help the team end a five-game losing streak. This meeting against the Devils will be the teams’ first matchup since Florida’s home opener — a 5-1 New Jersey victory — in October.


CBK — Miami at Florida State, 12:30 p.m.

NBA — Heat at Celtics, 1 p.m. (Sun Sports)

NFL — Super Bowl, 6 p.m.

Spotlight: Coming off an 82-76 win against Wake Forest in double overtime Wednesday, Florida State will look to keep momentum going when it hosts the No. 23 Hurricanes on Sunday. The Seminoles rallied from a 19-4 first-half deficit. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes, who had re-entered the polls Monday after recent victories over Duke, NC State and Syracuse, visit Tallahassee after suffering a 70-50 loss at home against Georgia Tech on Wednesday.


— The Miami Marlins signed veteran Ichiro Suzuki to a one-year deal Tuesday. The outfielder is a 10-time All-Star, 10-time Gold Glover and three-time Silver Slugger. Suzuki is also a former American League Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player.

— Victor Oladipo of the Orlando Magic will be among the four participants in the Slam Dunk contest during NBA All-Star Weekend. The guard competed in the Skills Challenge as a rookie last season.

— The University of Central Florida announced a new addition to its football stadium Monday: a Florida-themed sun deck and lounge. The renovation is expected to be ready in time for the Knights’ home opener Sept. 5.

— On Wednesday night, Florida State released the financial details of Jimbo Fisher’s extension, which was announced Dec. 23. The eight-year extension includes a $5 million salary in 2015, plus a significant buyout if he chooses to leave the Seminoles before the end of the 2022 season.

— The Gators announced their annual Orange & Blue Debut spring game Wednesday, which is set to take place April 11 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. This will be the first spring game for new head coach Jim McElwain.


Reactions to the Marlins’ signing of Ichiro Suzuki.

You can follow Hana Ostapchuk on Twitter @HanaOstapchuk or email her at HANAMARIE13@AOL.COM.