NCAA Men's Semifinals
The odds say it's a Syracuse year. In the last five seasons the
Orangemen and Princeton had traded the title back and forth,
with Syracuse winning in the odd-numbered years (1993 and '95)
and the Tigers in '92, '94 and last year. In the semifinals at
College Park, Md., Princeton (13-0) faces Duke (12-3) while
Syracuse (11-2) meets home-standing Maryland (10-4). But odd
year or no, Princeton, ranked No. 1 all season and led by
attackman Jesse Hubbard (36 goals), is the favorite to repeat.
ESPN2, NOON; CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, ESPN, MONDAY, 10:55 AM
Red Wings at Avalanche
Game 5 of the Western Conference finals features hockey's
nastiest rivalry, one that has lent new meaning to the term
face-off. In the 1996 conference finals Colorado right wing
Claude Lemieux dealt Detroit's Kris Draper a malicious check
that resulted in Draper's having reconstructive surgery after
his head hit the boards. At week's end Lemieux, the '95 playoff
MVP, had been confining his shots to the net (mostly) and had
scored 11 goals in 13 playoff games.
ESPN, 7:30 PM
Gentlemen, start your modems! Eddie Cheever and Roberto
Guerrero, two of the main contenders to dethrone defending
champion Buddy Lazier, are writing columns on the Brickyard bash
for the Associated Press. (A Guerrero opening sentence: "Pole
Day felt like it lasted for three days.") Now that each has
written a lead, Cheever (who has recorded the fastest race lap,
237.498 mph) and Guerrero (the first to exceed 230 mph at the
Speedway) might enjoy holding one when the checkered flag flies.
ABC, 11 AM
TRACK AND FIELD
The University of Oregon's Hayward Field is the Fenway Park of
tracks, and this year's Prefontaine (named in honor of deceased
local hero Steve Prefontaine) is, claims director Tom Jordan,
"the greatest invitational track meet ever held in the U.S."
Consider the guest list: Michael Johnson (left), running the 200
meters a week before his 150-meter match race with Donovan
Bailey; Carl Lewis (100); Maria Mutola (800); Eugene resident
Mary Slaney (1,500; see page 108); and three-time world
cross-country champion Lynn Jennings (3,000).
CBS, 1 PM
Jazz at Rockets
Houston's former MVPs, forward Charles Barkley (1993, as a
Phoenix Sun) and center Hakeem Olajuwon ('94), host Utah and
this year's recipient, the Jazz's Karl Malone, in Game 4 of the
Western Conference finals from the Summit. More telling, though,
might be the battle of the point guards, with the Jazz's
perennial All-Star John Stockton (above, left) trying to rattle
Rockets guards like Sedale Threatt.
NBC, 3:30 PM
Orioles at Yankees
Tino Baseball? Before he was traded from the Seattle Mariners to
the New York Yankees following the 1995 season, first baseman
Tino Martinez (right) had worn number 23 in homage to Don
(Donnie Baseball) Mattingly, the player he would replace. Upon
joining the Yankees, Martinez switched to number 24. "I knew I
couldn't make people forget Donnie," he says. But Martinez has
made quite a name for himself this spring: At week's end he had
a .339 average, 17 home runs and 51 RBIs. The latter figure had
Martinez on pace to break the American League record (184, set
in 1931) of another Yankees first baseman, Lou Gehrig.
ESPN, 1:15 PM
Bulls at Heat
Theme music for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals: the
Monkees' (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone. In a 1996 first-round
series Chicago bullied Miami as if the Heat were Charlie Ward.
The average margin of victory in the three-game sweep was 23
points. But it's not likely to be so lopsided this time because
in center Alonzo Mourning, who averaged 23.5 points and 11
rebounds during the teams' 2-2 regular-season split, and point
guard Tim Hardaway, Miami is strong where Chicago is weakest.
NBC, 3:30 PM
THE ! ZAPPER
From as far back as 1969, when Charlie Brown misspelled the word
beagle in A Boy Named Charlie Brown, spelling has been anathema
("Anathema, a-n-a-t-h-e-m-a, anathema") to television. But the
National Spelling Bee (ESPN, Thursday, 1 p.m.) promises
precocious proponents of English, tense moments and the odd
dipthong. (Note to Walters: It's spelled diphthong--Ed.) Winning
words the last two years: xanthosis (yellow discoloration of the
skin from abnormal causes) and vivisepulture (the practice of
All times Eastern. Schedules are subject to change.