?Connecticut at Tennessee
CBS 4 PM
As with every current Lady Vol, 5'9" freshman guard-forward Kara Lawson once led her youth-league team in scoring. Unlike her peers, Lawson also led her league—the Fairfax County Football League—in rushing and interceptions. An Alexandria, Va., football prodigy, Lawson chose to concentrate on hoops, although she still bench-presses a gridiron-hard 235 pounds. Lawson was averaging 14.6 points at week's end as she and the No. 2 Vols (9-1) prepared for invasion by the No. 1 Huskies (9-0).
? Arizona at Stanford
FOX SPORTS 6 PM
The Tucson Citizen is a newspaper, but the Tucson ex-citizen is probably a former Wildcat. Coach Lute Olsen's Arizona basketball team (11-2, ranked No. 5 at week's end) has more defections than defeats. Since November two subs—guard Ruben Douglas and center Robertas Javtokas—have deserted the desert. A starting backcourt of freshmen Gilbert Arenas and Jason Gardner and three frontcourt players with NBA talent can have that effect on the bench players. (A third departee was guard Luke Recker, a transfer from Indiana who moved to Iowa to be closer to his girlfriend, who was paralyzed in an auto accident.) In this Pac-10 showdown, the top-ranked Cardinal (11-0) will counter with the best Collins mix this side of a liquor store, the literal twin towers of 6'10" forward Jarron Collins and his brother, 6'11" center Jason.
?Jorge Eliecer Julio vs. Johnny Tapia
SHOWTIME 10 PM
Ring magazine calls last June's bantamweight bout between Tapia and Paulie Ayala in Las Vegas "the fight of the year" for 1999. Tapia, 32, who suffered his first professional loss in 49 bouts in the 12-round decision, may disagree. Now Tapia will put on the gloves against 30-year-old WBO bantamweight champion Julio (42-1). Tapia's 25 KOs and Julio's 31 augur that this scheduled 12-rounder won't go the distance.
?Trail Blazers at Suns
TNT 10:30 PM
Through Sunday, Phoenix hadn't had a drop of precipitation since Sept. 22, a local record. Since that date the Suns, the NBAs most aptly named team, have seen their gorilla mascot break an ankle; their coach, Danny Ainge, resign; and their power forward, Tom Gugliotta, suffer a near fatal seizure. When it doesn't rain, it pours. Fortunately, point guard Jason Kidd has been the on-court rainmaker. The last time these clubs met, on Dec. 17 in Portland, Kidd doused the Blazers with a triple double (32 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists) in Phoenix's 110-102 win.
? NFL Wild-card Playoffs
ABC 12:35 AND 4 PM; SUNDAY FOX 12:35 PM, CBS 4 PM
Two things you can count on: Films in which Matt Damon plays the title character are worth seeing, and NFL teams that finish with as many losses as wins never triumph in the postseason. In the NFC the Cowboys (with quarterback Troy Aikman, above) and Lions, each 8-8, visit the Vikings and Redskins, respectively, and hope to subvert history, which shows that .500 teams are 0-6 in the playoffs. The most anticipated matchup (Saturday's early game) is the AFC tussle between the Bills, who boast the NFL's stingiest defense in terms of yardage allowed, and the Titans, with emerging star defensive end Jevon Kearse.