SI PICK OF THEWEEK
How good is theUCLA men's volleyball team? It scoffs at the Bruins' basketball team's 11 NCAAtitles. The Wallopers of Westwood have won 18, and they can add another inHappy Valley this weekend. Paced by juniors Steve Klosterman (above, left) andPaul George (right), the Bruins rallied from a 12--12 start to win their final12 matches--the last 10 came after their coach, Al Scates, started wearing atie to games. UCLA will be joined in the Final Four by Penn State, IndianaUniversity--Purdue University Fort Wayne and UC Irvine. Thursday 6 p.m. ESPNU,Saturday ESPN2 7 p.m.
NBA Playoffs,Nets at Pacers Game 6 The biggest thorn in New Jersey's side this series hasbeen a familiar one. Guard Anthony Johnson (above, right), who averaged 3.5points a game in two seasons as a Net before the team chose not to re-sign himin 2003, has torched his former team for 16.5 per game this series, includingthe winning free throws in Game 1. Said Johnson's former mentor, New Jerseypoint guard Jason Kidd, "I'm happy for him.... But at the same time, I wantto see him miss a couple more shots." Check listings
WachoviaChampionship Last year at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, Phil Mickelson ran offnine birdies in the first 15 holes of the final round before stumbling down thestretch. Should he slip up again, there will be a host of big names waiting topounce: 10 of the world's top 11 players will be in the field. Thursday andFriday USA 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday CBS 3 p.m.
Braves at MetsCould this finally be the year? The Mets and the rest of the NL East have beenlooking up at Atlanta after each of the last 14 seasons. But thanks to ex-BraveTom Glavine (right), who's 3--2 with a 2.29 ERA, New York has the best ERA(3.06) in the majors--and a seven-game lead on Atlanta. TBS 7 p.m.
Kentucky DerbyThree-time winner Gary Stevens (left), who retired last November, will make hisDerby broadcasting debut at the 132nd Run for the Roses. NBC 5 p.m.
Oscar De La Hoyavs. Ricardo Mayorga Last month Mayorga said he had been sparring with livechickens to prepare for his super welterweight title bout with De La Hoya. Hewasn't pulling a Rocky Balboa--who actually chased fowl in an alley to improvehis footwork. No, Mayorga was just trying to goad the Golden Boy, saying thebirds "emulate 'Chicken' De La Hoya best. They run just like he does."PPV 9 p.m.
On Shelves: BestSeat in the House USA Today columnist Christine Brennan's new book is partmemoir and part tribute to her father, who raised his daughter to be a sportsnut.