NBA Playoffs, First Round
?SATURDAY AND SUNDAY NBC 12:30 PM, 3 PM AND 5:30 PM, TNT 9 PM; MONDAY-FRIDAY TBS 7 PM AND 9:30 PM, TNT 8 PM AND 10:30 PM
Noah's Ark is an NBC miniseries. With the NBA postseason beginning, the Peacock and Turner Sports hope that the marquee best-of-five first-round matchup, pitting the Rockets against the Lakers, is a maxiseries. (At week's end the teams were jockeying for fourth seed in the West.) If Lakers owner Jerry Buss were God, he too might scrap his creation and start over. "We're in a funk," said Los Angeles's Shaquille O'Neal last week after a 22-point loss to Houston's Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon, Scottie Pippen (far right, shooting over the Lakers' Kobe Bryant) et al. Shaq's ship must right itself, or May sweeps will gain a new meaning in Hollywood.
Angels at Red Sox
?FX 1 PM
And the Lord said, "Move on, Mo Vaughn!" And thus Mo took wing and became an Angel. Last November the fearsome first baseman-designated hitter—and the Hub's most charismatic sports presence—forsook Boston and signed with Anaheim, thus assuring that the Curse of the Bambino (named after another emigrant Boston lefty slugger of note) would continue through the millennium. Today Vaughn, a native New Englander who at week's end was hitting .300, continues his return to the old Fenway sod in the second of a three-game series. Look homeward, Angel.
NHL Conference Semifinals
?EVERY NIGHT, SATURDAY THROUGH FRIDAY, ESPN AND/OR ESPN2 SUNDAY FOX 2 PM
Only two NHL teams have won a playoff series in each of the last three postseasons (including this year). One is two-time defending champion Detroit, and the other has Dominik Hasek in goal. During the Sabres' opening-round sweep of the Senators, the Czech bouncer of pucks had a save percentage (.963) that any evangelist, much less goalie, would sell his soul for. Now, can Hasek and seventh-seeded Buffalo (which made it to the Eastern Conference finals last season before losing to the Capitals) similarly rattle their conference-semifinal-round foes?
NCAA Men's Volleyball Championship
? ESPN2 11 PM (TAPE-DELAY)
Not-so-great moment in men's volleyball: the scene in Top Gun in which Maverick ( Tom Cruise) plays beach v-ball clad most bogusly in jeans. Today's NCAA final from UCLA's Pauley Pavilion may leave you panting, too. As of Sunday the schools favored to meet in the title match were top-seeded Brigham Young and No. 2 Long Beach State. When they faced each other on March 19, Long Beach outside hitter David McKienzie set a Division I single-match record with 58 kills. Not even Maverick could top that.
?ABC 9 PM
Not that anyone needs a reminder of the evil of which teenage boys are capable, but the Glen Ridge, N.J., rape case (SI, June 23, 1997) is another disturbing example of high crimes in high school. In this two-hour TV movie, Heather Matarazzo is heartbreaking as the retarded 17-year-old who in 1989 was sexually assaulted in a basement by several members of Glen Ridge High's football team. Less gripping than Bernard Lefkowitz's 1997 book on which it is based, the film—especially the unconvincingly hopeful final scene-leaves a slightly saccharine Afterschool Special aftertaste.
ALL TIMES EASTERN. SCHEDULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. SOURCE: NIELSEN SPORTS MARKETING SERVICE.