Red Wings at Flyers
Sam Jones is back. Detroit holdout Sergei Fedorov (below) recently returned to the Red Wings after the Stanley Cup champs matched Carolina's $38 million offer sheet. During his absence Fedorov, as popular in Detroit's locker room as Brett Butler is in the Los Angeles Dodgers', was called Sam Jones by some teammates for a comment he made about the unrealistic expectations placed on Russian-born skaters. "If my name were Sam Jones," said Fedorov, the only player to win the Hart (MVP) and Selke (top defensive forward) trophies in the same season (1993-94), "I would be a superstar here forever." He certainly would be in Boston. Despite their star center's aloofness, the Red Wings, who swept Philadelphia in last season's Stanley Cup finals, will be better off with Fedorov.
?FOX, 3 PM
The Olympic Show
With NBC owning the broadcast rights to both the Summer and Winter Olympics through 2008, it's no surprise that its cable cousin recently rolled out this weekly half-hour program hosted by Dan Hicks. This installment is devoted to the U.S. women's gold-medal-winning teams of the '96 Summer Games. O.K., it's a themed show, but the three segments—on the softball, basketball and soccer squads—are too homogenous and suffer from brevity. While each piece includes terrific insider footage and interviews, a more trenchant tale might have been told by weaving the three stories into one. Through a pair of polished yet rose-colored episodes, The Olympic Show too much resembles a commercial for the Games.
? CNBC, 7 PM
Bulls at Spurs
In these teams' other meeting this season—on Nov. 3 in Chicago—Michael Jordan hit a tying three-pointer at the end of regulation, and the Bulls won 87-83 in double overtime. That game, the third in the NBA career of Spurs forward- center Tim Duncan (left), was a harbinger, as Duncan, the top pick in last June's draft, matched Chicago forward Dennis Rodman with 22 rebounds. Duncan, who has been named NBA rookie of the month all four times that distinction has been awarded this season, through Sunday was at the head of his class in scoring (20.0 points), rebounding (11.8), field goal percentage (.546) and minutes played (38.3). San Antonio, which earlier this season won 15 in a row at the Alamodome, was 5-2 since Duncan's Twin Tower teammate, center David Robinson, returned after missing six games with a sore right knee.
?WGN, 8:30 PM
MLS: United at Fusion
In a savvy marketing move aimed at attracting South Florida's sizable Hispanic community, expansion team Miami acquired midfielder Carlos (the Mop) Valderrama (right), the 1996 Major League Soccer MVP and a three-time national player of the year in Colombia, from the Tampa Bay Mutiny. Less politically correct was the decision by a Fusion fan group (the Afusionados) to name section 113 of Lockhart Stadium the Nuclear Bomb Area. The league didn't do the Fusion any favors in scheduling its franchise debut. Miami draws two-time defending champion D.C. United, featuring forward Jaime Moreno, who led the league in goals last season, with 16 in 20 games.
?ABC, 4 PM
NCAA Tournament: Third Round
The Sweet 16 is no place for pretenders. In the last 10 years only five schools seeded lower than No. 8 have reached this round. Though each of those teams advanced to a regional final, none made the Final Four, and the most recent Cinderella to make the Elite 8, 10th-seeded Providence a year ago, had God (Shammgod) on its side. It's fitting that one of CBS's regularly scheduled programs in this time slot is The Promised Land, a drama about a family that roams the country in search of the American dream.
? CBS, 7:30 PM
(ALSO FRIDAY, 7:30 PM)
ALL TIMES EASTERN. SCHEDULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE