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Original Issue

SI View The Week in TV Sports

Saturday 3/21

NCAA Regional Finals

Numbers: In each of the last six seasons, two of the four
regional finals have pitted the No. 1 seed against the No. 2.
After rounds 1 and 2 were finished on Sunday, two 1-2 matchups
were still possible: North Carolina versus Connecticut in the
East, and Duke versus Kentucky in the South. At week's end in
the women's field only two top seeds remained: last year's title
game participants, Old Dominion and Tennessee. Ticha Penicheiro,
the Lady Monarchs' dynamo at point guard, had a dazzling
triple-double (22 points, 15 assists and 14 steals) in a
first-round win.

Tuesday 3/24

Suns at Jazz

Fun Sun facts: 1) Phoenix, a team named for the center of the
solar system, has never had a name center of its own (Alvan
Adams was really a forward), and 2) "suns" turned upside down
spells "suns." Since Danny Ainge became coach in November 1996,
Phoenix (43-21 at week's end) has turned the league on its ear
with an offense that revolves around no celestial body. Led by
guard Rex Chapman (far left), who was averaging 15.4 points,
seven Suns (three of them guards) were scoring in double
figures. Utah, meanwhile, still orbits around power forward Karl
Malone. The NBA player of the month in February, when he
averaged 26.6 points and 10.8 rebounds, Malone had propelled the
Midwest Division leaders (47-16) to a 16-1 record since the
All-Star break.
--TNT, 8 PM

Wednesday 3/25

Brazil at Germany

In a pre-World Cup statement match, Germany plays eager host to
Brazil and its star forward, Ronaldo (left), who recently posed
(for an ad) as Christ in an imitation of the famous statue that
stands on Corcovado mountain above Rio de Janeiro. Though only
21, Ronaldo has twice been named World Player of the Year. The
boys from Brazil, the world's No. 1 team according to FIFA,
enter Stuttgart with a 46-3-10 record since winning the 1994
World Cup. Germany, ranked No. 2, will counter with 33-year-old
forward Juergen Klinsmann. Though a mere mortal, Klinsmann has
demonstrated miraculous healing powers, having returned from a
fractured jaw he suffered last month while playing for Tottenham.
--ESPN2, 2:30 PM

McDonald's All-American Game

They aren't even diaper dandies, but tonight two dozen
schoolboys will be prime-time players. For the first time in
this game's 21 years, an evening tip-off is on tap. The
spotlight in Norfolk, Va., will fall on 6'2" point guard Ronald
Curry, whose Hampton High gym is located 12 miles from the Scope
Arena. The national high school player of the year, Curry, who
at week's end hadn't chosen a college, is also a quarterback and
high school football player of the year.
--ESPN, 8 PM

Thursday 3/26

A Cinderella Season: The Lady Vols Fight Back

Cinderella? During its 1996-97 championship run, Tennessee had
women's college basketball's best coach, Pat Summitt, and
player, Chamique Holdsclaw (left). A more apt title is the one
from the Mary Chapin Carpenter song that plays over the closing
credits, The Hard Way, given how the Lady Vols overcame injuries
and the toughest schedule in the land to win the NCAAs. The
documentary's tone is saccharine and--is this really
HBO?--G-rated, but memorable scenes are found in the fractious
relationship between Summitt and stubborn senior center Abby
Conklin, whose growth over the season mirrors Tennessee's
success. Also this week: On March 24 at 10 p.m., HBO presents
City Dump: The Story of the 1951 CCNY Basketball Scandal, which
Scorecard (March 9) called "mandatory viewing for all athletes."
--HBO, 7 PM


COLOR PHOTO: JOHN W. MCDONOUGH [Rex Chapman in game]


COLOR PHOTO: PETER READ MILLER [Pat Summitt and Chamique Holdsclaw]


You be the judge. CBS says as much by airing The Great Skate
Debate (Friday, 9 p.m.), in which a dozen former world
champions, among them Scott Hamilton and Katerina Witt, can be
scored on a 1-to-10 scale using the Internet
( For those looking for a benchmark on
Internet scoring, we refer you to the Tommy and Pamela Lee
video.... Twenty-one years later the goons from Slap Shot (TNT,
Thursday, 10:30 p.m.) are alive and well. That trashed Nagano
hotel room has Charlestown Chiefs written all over it.