Notre Dame at Southern Cal
ABC 3:30 PM Matt LoVecchio is:
A) The title of CBS's new hit detective drama
B) The real name of Katie Couric's Today cohost
C) The Fighting Irish's freshman quarterback, who has led them
to six straight wins. Notre Dame's last two visits to the Los
Angeles Coliseum, both losses (in 1996 and '98), dashed its
major-bowl dreams, but if the 8-2 Irish win today, a berth in
either the Fiesta or the Sugar Bowl is likely.
November 27, 2000
North Carolina at Michigan State
ESPN2 7:30 PM Having ended the Harlem Globetrotters' 1,270-game
winning streak in an exhibition, will the Spartans replace their
Big Ten schedule with a series against the Washington Generals?
(Or Wizards?) Michigan State, last season's NCAA champ, has a
player almost as entertaining as Geese Ausbie in 6'9" freshman
center Zach Randolph. The Tar Heels counter with swingman Joseph
Forte and new coach Matt Doherty, a globe-trotter of sorts from
Hicksville, N.Y., and, most recently, South Bend.
Lions at Vikings
ESPN 8:30 PM Like Larry Sanders, Benny Anders and Audrey and Judy
Landers, Barry Sanders has gone away. Last week Motown's
erstwhile All-Pro running back wed an anchorwoman, launched a
website and said he'd remain retired. A week earlier the Lions
suffered their most recent major defection when coach Bobby Ross
resigned. Still, a helmet-banging defense led by middle
linebacker Stephen Boyd was keeping Detroit (7-4 through Sunday)
in the thick of the NFC wild-card chase.
Pacers at Lakers
TBS 10:30 PM
Indiana and Los Angeles (above), last June's NBA Finalists,
upgraded in the off-season by adding, respectively, an Isiah and
an Isaiah. The Pacers hired Isiah Thomas, whose curriculum
hoopae now reads "player, general manager, minority owner, cameo
role in Hoop Dreams, minor league commissioner, TV commentator
and coach." The Lakers grabbed guard Isaiah Rider, the most
itinerant purported bad guy this side of Dr. Richard Kimble.
Indiana also felt obligated to get its own O'Neal (Jermaine).
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who supposedly made 2,000 jumpers a
day last summer, continues to jack them up (a team-leading 21.4
shots per game through Sunday).
ALL TIMES EASTERN. SCHEDULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
An early-season college basketball commentators-versus-candor
moment occurred in the Nov. 14 Indiana-Pepperdine game. At one
point in the second half, the Hoosiers were 6 for 23 from the
free throw line, provoking ESPN apologist--oops, analyst--Leo
Rautins to state, "You can look at that statistic one of two
ways." Really?...Kobe Bryant and the Laker Girls guest star on
the CBS sitcom Bette (Wednesday, 8 p.m.) in a contrived episode
in which the title character schemes to obtain tickets for a
Knicks-Lakers game at Staples Center. Our suggested title:
"Midler on the Roof?"