?Pacers at Knicks
NBC 3:30 PM
The New York post is making headlines again. No, not the New York Post, in which headlines such as HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR are de rigueur. Rather, we're talking about Knicks center Patrick Ewing. Standing Pat recently rebounded from being benched in the fourth quarter of a home blowout loss to the Magic to put up consecutive season highs in scoring (20 and 25 points, respectively) during impressive victories over the Trail Blazers and the Heat. Today, Madison Square Garden fans will witness a rematch of last season's Eastern Conference finals and, if Ewing stays pumped, a possible preview of this spring's.
SUNDAY 2 20
? Temple at Cincinnati
ABC 1:30 PM
Here's a matchup so intense that even play-by-play announcer Brent Musburger might be in foul trouble by halftime. The top-ranked Bearcats (23-1 through Sunday), behind Kenyon Martin, the center who blocks more shots than George W. Bush's campaign manager, are perceived to have the most tenacious defense in the nation. The Owls (18-4, ranked No. 15), galvanized by the return of point guard Pepe Sanchez from a sprained right ankle, can make the toughest-D claim statistically, having allowed a Division I-low 53.9 points per game. Speaking of Musburger, he's the least obsequious commentator in college basketball, in which the adjective great now has as little value as a campaign promise.
?Miracle on Ice
ESPN CLASSIC 9 PM
VCR alert! On the 20th anniversary of the most wondrous upset in televised sports history, the U.S. hockey team's stunning 4-3 triumph over the Soviets in the 1980 Winter Olympics is replayed in its entirety. How far has sports coverage evolved since? Consider that the game, the most important hockey match America had played in 20 years, was shown on tape-delay by ABC.
? Avalanche at Blues
ESPN 8 PM
If you read last week's SI about the arrest of Rangers left wing Kevin Stevens for crack cocaine possession during a road trip to St. Louis, you know that for NHL visitors, the city can provide blues even off the ice. Tonight the Northwest Division-leading Avalanche, in a precipitous slide of its own through Sunday with three wins in eleven games, seeks to avoid the on-ice variety. Colorado, behind its leading scorer Milan Hejduk (47 points), has handed Central Division-leading St. Louis its two worst losses of the season, 5-0 and 5-1 whiteouts in Denver.
As the Winston Cup series kicks into high gear, we have a few suggestions: I) Sign Carnation as a sponsor, the name is a natural; 2) mute commentators periodically in favor of hard-rockin' tunes, like Born to Be Wild, as movies do in chase scenes; 3) furnish pit stops with sanitary rest rooms and TCBY stands; and 4) one car per family. Pit row is already fraternity row, what with five sets of brothers (Bodines, Burtons, Labontes, Wallaces and Waltrips), and today Dale Earnhardt Jr. may be trading paint with his daddy. Six fewer cars chasing 1999 Daytona winner Jeff Gordon (above, 24) on the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway oval would help ease Sunday traffic.
ALL TIMES EASTERN. SCHEDULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.