Lakers at SuperSonics
Shaq is back, thereby relegating El Ni�o to No. 2 among havoc-wreaking forces of nature along the West Coast. The forecast for the Pacific Division calls for high-pressure clashes—this is the first of three this season—between Seattle and L.A., who at week's end had the NBA's two best records, 31-8 and 29-9, respectively. Since returning to the Lakers lineup on Jan. 2 after missing 22 games with strained abdominal muscles, center Shaquille O'Neal had averaged 29.1 points and 11.5 rebounds. Today he'll pose a hefty challenge to the Sonics and center Jim McIlvaine.
NBC, 3:30 PM
Connecticut at Syracuse
Khalid El-Amin a freshman? C'mon. The Huskies' husky (5'10", 200 pounds) point guard, who at 18 has already been married and divorced, comports himself on the court like a fifth-year senior. At week's end El-Amin (left, with ball) led No. 8 UConn (16-2) in assists (4.5 average). He also had Big East fans wondering if anyone has seen bulbous ex- Boston College backcourtman John Bagley of late. The No. 15 Orangemen (15-2), who this season have had a game at the Carrier Dome postponed because of snow (attention, students: spaces on the spring-break trip to Albany are still open), have a hot hand in swingman and three-point ace Marius Janulis.
CBS, 4 PM
Super Bowl XXXII
San Diego is known as America's Finest City, but the only other positive AFC acronym applicable at Qualcomm Stadium figures to be the one for Another Favre Conquest. True, a Denver Broncos win would ensure fairy-tale endings aplenty, among them that quarterback John Elway would finally get a ring and that running back Terrell Davis, who attended the same San Diego high school (Lincoln Academy) as Marcus Allen, would help the AFC to its first victory since Allen's Los Angeles Raiders won Super Bowl XVIII in 1984. After four quarters—and hours—though, Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre and mates such as running back Dorsey Levens (left) will most likely have supplied a nursery-rhyme theme: The Cheese stands alone.