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Maggie Hendricks

Five things to watch for in tonight's free skate

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The men's free skate is Thursday night, with three skaters – Evgeni Plushenko, Evan Lysacek, and Daisuke Takahashi – in a virtual tie. Here are five things to look for when watching the men take the ice.

Who will throw a quadruple jump? Plushenko says that Lysacek is weak for not doing it. Weir said that he may do it, since he has nothing to lose. Who will try the difficult quadruple jump?

What will Johnny Weir wear? His controversial costume was worn for the free skate at the U.S. championships. Weir has agreed to remove the fox fur from his costume, but I have to imagine that Weir will bring flair to his newly altered costume.

Will Plushenko vs. Lysacek turn into a classic skating battle? We like duels in figure skating. Nancy vs. Tonya, the Battle of the Brians, and the Battle of the Carmens all have their place in skating history. if Lysacek and Plushenko can bring their best to the ice, Thursday night's skate will be elevated into one of the great ones.

Can Takahashi sneak in? The press for Thursday night's event has been centered on Lysacek and Plushenko, but the Japanese skater is in less than a point behind Plushenko, and 0.05 behind Lysacek.

What will win out, artistry or athleticism? In figure skating, this is the $64,000 question. The rules seem to reward athleticism by giving numeric values to jumps and spins, but judges still have their discretion.

Tune in Thursday night for men's figure skating and check back with Yahoo! Sports often for updates. Plushenko, Weir, Takahashi, and Lysacek skate in the final group.

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