NCAA Tournament Weekend
MEN: CBS SAT 5:30 PM & MON 9 PM; WOMEN: ESPN SUN 9 PM
Every shining moment (Wally Szczerbiak's 43-point game against
Washington in the first round), swining moments (Arkansas's 80
minutes of hell in a win over Siena and a loss to Iowa) and
shiner moment (Senor Najera, meet Mr. Cleaves) has been
distilled into a struggle among four schools vying to display
their scissors skills late on Monday night. Twenty years ago the
men's Final Four featured Michigan State and Penn; this year's
version comes close, with the Spartans and Ohio State's Scoonie
Penn. If form holds, however, Monday night's championship game
should be Penn-less and Big Ten-less, as Duke and Connecticut,
who between them have held the top ranking all season, slug it
March 29, 1999
World Figure Skating Championships
ABC 8 PM
Like Jeff Gordon, Michelle Kwan is guilty of athletic hegemony.
Kwan, the three-time defending U.S. national champion and winner
of three world titles in four years, is in the midst of a
yawn-inducing reign as Ice Queen. Last month's U.S. nationals
experienced a 47% ratings plunge from a year ago, prompting one
yokel (O.K., me) to suggest that barrel jumping and ice-ax
mumblety-peg be made part of the competition. Kwan's stiffest
challenge tonight in Helsinki should come from Russia's Maria
Butyrskaya, the current European champ.
Orioles vs. Cuban National Team
Barring any last-minute strike-zone misunderstandings (is it top
of the knees and two inches above the belt, or is it still the
Bay of Pigs?), the most talked-about diamond summit between
Yankees and Reds since the 1976 World Series takes place today
in Havana. The Cubans, gold medal winners at the 1996 Olympics,
will get a firsthand look at Baltimore's newest doomsday weapon,
rightfielder Albert Belle. No word yet on whether Fidel Castro
will throw out the first pitch...or the first dissident.
Nabisco Dinah Shore
Defending champion Pat Hurst, who's six months pregnant, knows
that pro golfers in her condition rarely win tournaments, though
a very pregnant Tammie Green did win a match in last year's
Solheim Cup. However, Hurst should look on the bright side--at
least she's not competing on the PGA Tour, where no pregnant
golfer has ever won. Hurst, 25th on the 1999 money list, craves
the honor of being the first back-to-back winner in this major's
history. Australia's Karrie Webb, who leads the Tour in earnings
($419,063) and wins (three) this season, seeks her first major
victory since being named rookie of the year in 1996.
Lakers at Suns
TNT 8 PM
In honor of his return to network play-by-play after a nearly
two-year absence, we give you The Ballad of Marv Albert.
Some dorsal mastication
Cost our man his reputation
And duplicity his gig, or so
But if kinkiness and lies
A career doth paralyze,
Then why's William
Jefferson still the Prez?
Astronomers say it is impossible to overshadow a Sun, but
Albert's return to courtside is as newsworthy as the play of
Phoenix point guard Jason Kidd.
ALL TIMES EASTERN. SCHEDULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. SOURCE: TVKO
Millions of pay-per-view buys, at $49.95 a pop, for the
Holyfield-Lewis bout. The rematch is scheduled for sometime in
On Monday, Celebrity Jeopardy, which mercifully dumbs down the
questions considerably for these special games, featured
sportscasters Bob Costas, Keith Olbermann and Robin Roberts.
When host Alex Trebek posed an answer-question about a certain
former Phillies pitcher, diamond historians Costas and Olbermann
kindly allowed their female opponent to buzz in first. Her
correct question-answer: "Who was Robin Roberts?"