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Saturday 2/26

WGC Andersen Consulting Match Play Championship
ESPN 10:30 AM AND ABC 2 PM For six months Tiger Woods has been
the Harry Potter of the PGA Tour, a veritable sorcerer prodigy
of the links, to everyone else's magic-less Muggle. It's as if
he's buzzing the course with a Nimbus Two Thousand, projecting
his will on the ball, while the rest of the field makes do with
ordinary broomsticks. This match play event, which began on Feb.
23 with 64 participants and concludes on Sunday (ABC, 2 p.m.) at
La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, Calif., might favor Woods even
more. Who wants to go one-on-one with a wizard?

Michigan State at Indiana
CBS 2 PM Senior guard A.J. Guyton has never won a
championship--not at Indiana, not at Central High in Peoria,
Ill., not even in color wars at summer camp. With the Hoosiers,
Michigan State and Purdue all contending for the Big 10 crown,
this may be Guyton's best title shot. Indiana's leading scorer
(20.7 points per game) almost certainly must avenge an earlier
loss to the No. 5 Spartans and, on Tuesday (ESPN, 7 p.m.),
another to the No. 21 Boilermakers if the No. 16 Hoosiers are to
win their first regular-season conference title since 1993. If
he doesn't, we suggest, Guyton should start practicing for the
Little 500, the on-campus bike race.

Oscar De La Hoya vs. Derrell Coley
HBO 9 PM It's Oscar season, and because nobody named Oscar has
won an Oscar for acting, we're handing out our own Oscar Oscars.
Best Supporting Oscar: Madison, who allowed finicky Felix to
crash at his Park Avenue pad; Best Director Oscar: Goldman, the
OSI agent who funneled assignments to Six Million Dollar Man
Steve Austin; and Best Actor Oscar: De La Hoya, the former
welterweight champ (31-1) who claimed never to have heard of
Coley (despite his 34-1 record) before tonight's bout at Madison
Square Garden was set. Which reminds us, Oscar Hammerstein, who
won two Academy Awards for Best Original Song, wrote the lyrics
to Getting to Know You.

Friday 3/3

Pacers at Lakers
TNT 10:30 PM "In the ham-and-egg breakfast," author Michael
Lewis writes in The New New Thing, his bestseller on Silicon
Valley magnate Jim Clark, "the chicken is interested, the pig is
committed." Six weeks ago Los Angeles was playing like ravenous
swine, winning 16 straight before losing at Indiana. The Pacers,
through Sunday winners of 19 consecutive home games, are
chickens away from Conseco Fieldhouse, having laid an egg in 15
of 27 road games.


Don't Miss

Sunday 2/27

Suns at Raptors
NBC 12:30 PM WHAZZZZZUUPPPPPP!!!!! Vince Carter (page 36) is.
Patrick Ewing? Buh-bye. Allen Iverson? Let me put you on hold.
The Peacock, aware of the tidal shift that occurred during
All-Star weekend, has shifted its primary game from New York at
Philadelphia (small markets, no marquee players) to Phoenix at
Toronto. While Air Canada, in only his second season, has
emerged as the go-to player for the suddenly respectable
Raptors, the Suns are led by a come-from guy, Jason Kidd
(above). Through Sunday, nine Phoenix players had led the Purple
Gang in scoring in at least one game this season, but point
guard Kidd had topped it in assists in 47 out of 50 games. True.

the zapper

Wouldn't it be nice if just one Sunday, John McLaughlin (The
McLaughlin Group) traded chairs with Dick Schaap (The Sports
Reporters)? "Prediction, Mike LUUU-pi-caa!" McLaughlin might
bellow. McLaughlin hinted at a yearning for such a switch last
week, praising the choice of a basset hound as a Best of Group
at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.... The ESPYs featured
sharp self-parody, highlighted by a spoof in which former
journeyman ballplayer Kurt Bevacqua was named one of
SportsCentury's 50 Greatest Athletes. As Bob Costas said in the
segment, "I don't have a single Bevacqua anecdote, but I've been
in every one of these things so far, so why break the streak?"