Davis Cup Semifinal: U.S. vs. Australia
Like Crocodile Dundee, Australia's samurai-coiffed Patrick Rafter created quite a stir during a visit to New York City by winning the U.S. Open earlier this month. Rafter, ranked third in the world, will face the sport's higher-rated players, Pete Sampras (No. 1) and Michael Chang (above, No. 2), in what should be the pivotal matches in this best-of-five tie.
•ESPN2, 3:30 PM; ESPN, SUNDAY, 3 PM (BOTH TAPE-DELAYED)
Nebraska at Washington Tennessee at Florida
Picture-in-picture alert: Two of the season's best matchups, featuring four of the AP poll's top seven teams, are aired simultaneously. Fans of the ground game will love the Husker-Husky matchup, showcasing I-back Ahman Green (Nebraska) and tailback Rashaan Shehee (Washington). The SEC East showdown (page 46) promises to be an aerial dogfight.
•ABC/PPV (NEBRASKA-WASHINGTON); CBS (TENNESSEE-FLORIDA), 3:30 PM
Dolphins at Buccaneers
The Battle of Florida—simmer down, Jaguars junkies—boasts one hot team. Unexpectedly, it's Tampa Bay, 3-0 and the surprise of the early season, thanks in part to a crop of youngsters from Sunshine State schools. Warrick Dunn (Florida State) is the Bucs' leading rusher (89.3 yards per game), Reidel Anthony (Florida) and Horace Copeland (Miami) are tied for the team lead in receptions, with seven, and tackle Warren Sapp (below, Miami) is tied for third in the NFL with 3½ sacks.
•TNT, 8 PM
Yankees at Indians
Sock it, Thome! In Cleveland folks are abuzz about first baseman Jim Thome's socks, in two senses of the word. At A week's end Thome's 40 home runs placed him third among American League sluggers, but it's Thome's hose, which he wears exposed up to the knees, that has inspired his teammates. On Aug. 27, Thome's 27th birthday, the other players on the Tribe began imitating his shocking stocking style, after which the Indians went 11-5. But Cleveland better pull up its socks when the Yankees come to town: New York is 7-2 at Jacobs Field over the last two seasons. The two teams almost certainly will meet again in next week's divisional playoffs, when Thome's Tribe will need to have more runs in its bats than in its hosiery.
The Yanks are coming! Or is it, the shanks are coming? Continental Europe, specifically Spain's Club de Golf Valderrama, will for the first time host golf's most pressure-packed event (concluding Sept. 27-28 on NBC), in which seemingly nerveless Masters champions—e.g., Bernhard Langer in 1991—suddenly tremble over six-foot putts. Anchoring the Cup-holding Europeans is Nick Faldo (left), a 10-time Ryder Cupper. The Americans are banking on a Ryder rookie, Tiger Woods, who in his three consecutive U.S. Amateur wins ('93, '94 and '95) showed he already ranks as one of the most unflappable of match play artists.
•USA, 8 AM
All times Eastern. Schedules are subject to change.