Syracuse vs. Wisconsin
Kickoff Classic aficionados will recall that the last time this game had a Big East versus Big Ten matchup—Boston College met Ohio State in 1995—the Big Ten school romped 38-6 behind a running back, Eddie George, who returned to New York later that fall to collect the Heisman Trophy. The Badgers' Ron Dayne (left), who rushed for an NCAA-freshman-record 1,863 yards last season, seeks to repeat George's feat. Syracuse's Donovan McNabb (among orange-clad quarterbacks, the leading Heisman contender behind Tennessee's Peyton Manning) is back at the East Rutherford, N.J., sports complex for the first time since the '95 NCAA Final Four, when he was a reserve guard on Syracuse's basketball team.
?ABC, 2 PM
For the second time this year Flushing, N.Y., will host a richly deserved encomium to an African-American sports hero. On April 15 Shea Stadium was the site of Jackie Robinson Night. Four months later and just a stroll away, on the other side of the number 7 subway line, Arthur Ashe Stadium will be dedicated on the Open's opening night. In saluting the only black man to win a U.S. singles title (in 1968), 30 former champions, ranging from Chris Evert to Don Budge, will be on hand to pay tribute to one of sports' greatest statesmen.
? USA, MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY, 11 AM AND 7:30 PM
Speaking of distaff starting fives, there's no truth to the rumor that the Spice Girls' new single, 2 Become 1, is a plea for a merger between the ABL and the WNBA. For the latter this is playoff week, with the Eastern and the Western conference champions hosting tonight's single-elimination semifinal games. In a league that matches the Lilith Fair tour in mentions of sisterhood, a potential Houston Comets- Phoenix Mercury meeting (either in this round or the Aug. 30 final on NBC) would pit sister against sister, with Comets assistant coach Peggie Gillom facing her sibling Jennifer, the Mercury's center.
? ESPN AND LIFETIME, 7:30 AND 9:30 PM
Braves at Red Sox
Remember Spahn and Sain and pray for rain? Warren Spahn and Johnny Sain were the pitching mainstays of the Boston Braves, who departed the Hub for Milwaukee in 1953 before relocating to Atlanta in 1966. Besides the Beantown connection, this interleague series matches a Braves starting rotation so good it makes foes pray for rain against a Sox offense that at week's end topped the major leagues with a .299 average. Boston's batsmen are led by first baseman Mo Vaughn (left), who was hitting .329, and rookie shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, the AL leader in hits and runs.
?TBS, 7 PM
1979 Cotton Bowl
It is renowned as the (Chicken) Soup-er Bowl. Playing in bitter-cold weather, Notre Dame yielded 34 unanswered points to Houston and was behind 34-12. The Irish's flu-riddled quarterback, senior Joe Montana, had tossed four interceptions and nearly his lunch after ingesting a halftime remedy of chicken soup. Montana, providing a harbinger of his NFL brilliance, recovered to lead the Irish to three touchdowns in the final 7:37 and a 35-34 victory, the winning extra point arriving after time had expired. For Catholics, it ranks right up there among resurrections with Lazarus's.
?CLASSIC SPORTS, 7 PM
All times Eastern. Schedules are subject to change.