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Week Ahead
Chris Mannix
February 19, 2007
What to watch and watch for
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February 19, 2007

Week Ahead

What to watch and watch for

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Spring Training
Words to warm the heart of any snowbound baseball fan: Pitchers and catchers report. Workouts begin today for nine big league teams; all 30 will be on the field by the 18th. Among the early birds are the world champion Cardinals, who must assemble a new rotation. The departed Jeff Suppan, Jason Marquis and Jeff Weaver will be replaced by free agent Kip Wells, reliever Brad Thompson and last year's postseason closer, Adam Wainwright (above).

After going 9--0 in 1951, the University of San Francisco should have been invited to the Orange Bowl. But there was a catch: An organizer asked the Dons if they would leave linebacker Burl Toler and halfback Ollie Matson, their two black players, at home. The school refused and weeks later dropped its football program altogether. This documentary, featuring interviews with several players, tells the story of that USF team and the greatest game it never played. CSTV 10:30 p.m.

No. 1 Florida at Vanderbilt
It's been a dream season for the upstart Commodores (16--8). They won four straight over ranked teams in January and cracked the Top 25 for the first time since 2004. It would be dreamier if not for the Gators, who brought Vandy back to earth with a 74--64 win in Gainesville last month. To take down the nation's top team Vanderbilt will need another commanding performance from forward Derrick Byars (left), who lit up Florida for 21 points in that loss and is averaging 16.2 per game. CBS 1 p.m.

Daytona 500
Think Tony Stewart, a two-time Nextel Cup champ, was miffed about missing the Chase for the Cup last year? Stewart won three of NASCAR's 10 final races in 2006 and continued his hot streak with a victory in the Bud Shootout last Saturday. It was his 10th win at Daytona Speedway, but Stewart still hasn't won NASCAR's crown jewel. He gets another chance when the Super Bowl of Racing launches the Nextel Cup season. Fox 2 p.m.

No. 1 Duke at No. 6 Maryland
After knocking off second-ranked North Carolina last week, the Blue Devils face a Terrapins team bent on revenge: Maryland squandered its No. 1 ranking with an 81--62 loss to Duke on Jan. 13. Expect Maryland to come out gunning: It has the nation's second-best offense (84.8 points per game) and the country's top three-point threat in guard Kristi Toliver (left), who is shooting 50.9% from behind the line. Check listings 6 p.m.


Dynamic Duo
The Capitals' Alex Ovechkin (left) beat him out for last year's rookie of the year award, but Sidney Crosby (right) wouldn't trade places with the NHL's other young gun this season. Crosby's Penguins are on pace for their first playoff berth in six years, while the Caps are eight points out of the Eastern Conference's final spot. Crosby (87 points), 19, leads the 21-year-old Ovechkin (72) in scoring too; if they hold their places, they'll be the youngest players in NHL history to rank one-two in points. Crosby also has the upper hand in head-to-head competition: Pittsburgh, which hosts tonight's meeting, won the first two this season. NBC 3:30 p.m.