NCAA Tournament First Round
CBS AND DIRECTV (PPV), THURSDAY AND FRIDAY, NOON
A man of wealth and taste...rode a tank, held a general's
rank...hung around St. Petersburg till he saw it was time for a
change. Are we talking Mick--or Mike? Last year Duke coach Mike
Krzyzewski, once an Army captain, watched the Blue Devils
squander a 17-point second-half lead to eventual national
champion Kentucky in the South Regional final in St. Petersburg,
Fla., site of this year's Final Four. None of the other 63 teams
in the field will have any sympathy for the Devils, who are
sparked by sophomore guard William Avery (right) and are almost
certain to be top-seeded. As March Madness begins, the action
should last past midnight on the two most exciting and
exhausting TV sports weekdays of the year.
Las Vegas 400
ABC 2:30 PM
Elvis Presley is a race-car driver who sings. Ann-Margret is a
race-car driver who swings. She likes the way he revs his
engine. He likes her rack-and-pinion steering. Before long
they're tradin' paint and--huh? What? This isn't Viva Las Vegas?
Oh, well. NASCAR drivers, who when they hear "the King" think
Richard Petty, return to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the
second running of this 267-lap race on a 1.5-mile tri-oval. Mike
Skinner, the Winston Cup points leader after finishing fourth
and sixth in the season's first two runs, will be seeking his
first win in 79 career races.
Lakers at Jazz
NBC 6 PM
In Detroit it was the Worm. In San Antonio, Dennis the Menace.
In Chicago, the Incorrigi-Bull. Los Angeles is the latest stop
on Dennis Rodman's appellation trail. The winding road of the
seven-time defending rebounding champion brings him to Salt Lake
City, where he was last seen leg-wrasslin' Jazz forward Karl
Malone in Game 6 of the 1998 Finals. Utah is where the Lakers'
title trail has ended during the last two seasons, in the
Western Conference semis and finals, respectively. TV tie-in:
David Hasselhoff, old Baywatch boss of Mrs. Rodman (Carmen
Electra), is a Jazz fan and attended the aforementioned Game 6.
Dare to Compete: The Struggle Of Women in Sports
HBO 8 PM
What resonates in this superb 81-minute documentary is the
double standard faced by every female athlete from Babe
Didrickson (possibly the best athlete of either gender named
Babe) to Florence Griffith-Joyner. "I told 'em I wanted foxes,
not oxes," says Ed Temple, legendary women's track coach at
Tennessee State. No (Lilith) fair! Well-chosen vintage footage
resurrects the feats of, among other pioneers, tennis's Suzanne
Lenglen and swimming's Gertrude Ederle.
SportsCenter of the Decade, 1950s
ESPN 8 PM
The availability of better film footage makes the second
two-hour installment of this series richer than last month's
program, which covered 1900 to '49. New York fans especially
will wallow as they relive, among other memories, Bobby
Thomson's Shot Heard Round the World, the Yankees dynasty and
the exploits of the Mick. There are moving segments on the
continuing plight of the black athlete and on Ben Hogan's
inspirational recovery from his near-fatal car crash.
ALL TIMES EASTERN. SCHEDULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. SOURCE:
NIELSEN SPORTS MARKETING SERVICE
COLOR PHOTO: JOHN BIEVER
Preliminary rating for Sunday's national-TV return of Dennis
Rodman on NBC's Lakers-Rockets telecast--62% above the network's
1999 NBA season average.
The Super Bowl was overshadowed by a Miami vice episode, the NBA
All-Star Game didn't happen, and the Andersen Consulting Match
Play Championship final pitted the 24th and 50th seeds. The most
ubiquitous bald athlete on TV is not Michael Jordan, it's the
dude in the Tae-Bo infomercial. What's next? An Orlando-Utah NBA
Finals? Ottawa against Dallas for the Stanley Cup? No wonder
Mike Tyson hurled that TV set. So far we vote nein! on '99.