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Original Issue

SI View The Week in TV Sports



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 NBA's 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.

Don't Miss


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.

the zapper

With apologies to Tom Brokaw, should this era be known as The
Greatest's Generation? SI's Sportsman of the Century, Muhammad
Ali, seen on New Year's Eve ringing in 1999's final day of Wall
Street trading and then supping at the White House, will be the
subject of biopics on ABC and Fox this winter. The first,
starring Terrence Howard, is King of the World (ABC, Monday, 9
p.m.), based on David Remnick's award-winning 1998 book....
Cabin-feverish golfers can find a remedy in the Hawaiian Open
(ESPN, Thursday, 7 p.m., and Friday, 8 p.m.).... The final races
of sailing's America's Cup challenger series from Auckland will
be shown on Saturday, Sunday and Monday (ESPN2, 12:30 a.m., tape