SI Vault
The week in TV sports
John Walters
March 24, 1997
Saturday 3/22
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
March 24, 1997

The Week In Tv Sports

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue

Saturday 3/22

NCAA Tournament
March Mildness moved into its second week with all four top seeds—Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota and North Carolina—alive, not one game-winning buzzer-beater having been shot and, surprisingly, the Pac-10 represented in each of the four regions. Potentially the best of the regional finals, the West's, would pit No. 2-ranked Utah against defending national champ Kentucky.
CBS, 3:30 PM SAT; 2:30 PM SUN

Bay Hill Invitational
Arnie's Army hails the triumphant return of its leader, Arnold Palmer (right), on his home course. The news broke on Jan. 10 that one of golf's most enduring and endearing figures had prostate cancer. Five days later Palmer, 67, underwent surgery, and he has since made what his doctor calls an "extraordinary recovery," which includes shooting a 70 on the Bay Hill course. Palmer's presence augurs well for a 43rd consecutive appearance at the Masters in three weeks. That old tractor is not the only thing from Latrobe, Pa., whose engine still runs.

Ladies World Championships
What has become of Michelle Kwan's kwan? As she triple-Lutzed and double-Axeled her way to victory in nine consecutive competitions, the 16-year-old seemed to have achieved kwan, the Jerry Maguire neologism describing a combination of inner strength and public adulation. Then along came fellow American Tara Lipinski, 14, who in the last five weeks has twice defeated defending world champion Kwan. "Right now it's Michelle's battle against Michelle," says Kwan's coach, Frank Carroll, of his charge's flagging self-confidence. Lipinski and two-time European champ Irina Slutskaya will also be on hand for the competition (telecast on tape delay) in Lausanne, Switzerland. Show us the triple loop!
ABC, 4:30 PM & 8 PM

Sunday 3/23

U.S. at Costa Rica
Costa Rica manager Horatio Cordero has banned his players from having sex until after this World Cup qualifier. Isn't there too little scoring in soccer already? "I need all the players in full possession of their physical and mental faculties," says Cordero, who could not be described as a players' coach. After a scoreless opener in Jamaica, the U.S. got on the board on Sunday with a 3-0 win over Canada. The game will be broadcast in Spanish, featuring—we hope—the signature Gooaaaal! call of play-by-play hombre Andres Cantor.

Avalanche at Flyers
Philadelphia center Eric Lindros once explained his refusal to sign with the Quebec Nordiques by saying the Nordiques "lacked a winning spirit." But when Claude Lemieux (left) and Les Nordiques relocated to Colorado last season as the Avalanche, they won the Stanley Cup. Now two of the NHL's best teams meet in a possible finals preview. Hey, Eric, if you won't join 'em, beat 'em.

Tuesday 3/25

Timberwolves at Rockets
What separates these two Midwest Division foes is experience. In their first nationally televised meeting, on Dec. 10, Houston led 96-94 with .8 of a second remaining when Minnesota's second-year guard, Chris Carr, was fouled. Carr's former Phoenix Suns teammate Charles Barkley, now a Rocket, approached him at the line and whispered that Carr was so tight a jackhammer couldn't pound a pen into his hind end. Carr's first shot barely skimmed the front of the rim, and Houston won. Through Sunday, however, the maturing T-Wolves and All-Star Kevin Garnett (left) had as many victories since then (25) as the Rockets. (For other free throw chokes against Houston, see Barkley, Suns, Game 5, 1995 Western Conference semifinals.)

All times Eastern. Schedules are subject to change