World Figure Skating Championships
ABC 9 PM (TAPE DELAY) Shortly before becoming the first Russian
woman to win figure skating's premier non-Olympic event last
year, Maria Butyrskaya posed for the Russian edition of Playboy.
Her provocative photos generated a national thaw, and Dick
Button wasn't the only man using the words "Butyrskaya" and
"nail that landing" in the same sentence. Butyrskaya will be a
compulsory figure to watch in the women's free skate from Nice.
Major League Baseball Opening Day
ESPN AND ESPN2 1 PM; TBS 4 PM; ESPN2 10:30 PM Last week police,
after an exhaustive search that included a two-hour frisk of
Erin Brockovich, arrested a man for the theft of 55 Oscar
statuettes. Meanwhile, Whoopi Goldberg's 1990 nod for Ghost
remains unsolved. Today Oscar season officially yields to
baseball season, starting on ESPN with the Cincinnati homecoming
of Ken Griffey Jr., as the Reds host the Brewers (1 p.m.). ESPN
also has a Mac-Sammy meeting as the Cubs play the Cardinals (4
p.m.), the same time the Rockies go against the Braves on ESPN2
and TBS. At night on ESPN2 the Yankees visit the Angels.
On the Ropes
TLC 9 PM This Hoop Dreams of the ring has characters equal to
any Hollywood introduced last year. In the Outstanding Depiction
of an Imprisoned Pugilist category, Tyrene Manson earns a draw
with Denzel Washington of The Hurricane. In Ropes, Manson misses
her Golden Gloves championship bout to stand trial for cocaine
possession. Best Portrayal of a Disaffected Middle-aged Male
goes to--stand back, Kevin Spacey--trainer Harry Keitt, who
loses his top prospect to a shady manager. At one point Keitt
finds himself on a treadmill adjacent to the interloper. "Harry,
you're running, I'm walking," he says. "I'm still beating you."
The Masters, Opening Round
USA 4 PM (HIGHLIGHTS CBS 11:35 PM) A new Web site with the URL
www.TigerWoodsisGod.com sees eerie parallels between the infant
Messiah, who was visited by three kings, and the infant Woods,
who appeared on The Mike Douglas Show with Bob Hope and Jimmy
Stewart. If Mike's guests had been Alan King, Carole King and
Don King, they'd have enough evidence to launch Vatican III. For
more on the year's first major, turn the page.
NCAA Men's Final Four
CBS 5:30 PM "Mom, Dad, since I've already beaten a top seed, I'd
really appreciate it if you just declared me the winner." "Ha!
What do you think this is, a Holiday Inn?" There'll be no
holiday in Indianapolis for Florida or North Carolina, who
battle in today's second semifinal. Both humbled a regional top
seed but most likely will have to topple another, Michigan
State, to win the national title. The Spartans, who have beaten
Big Ten rival Wisconsin thrice this season (including a 55-46
whipping in the conference tournament, above), hope to make it a
very final fourth loss for the Badgers, another conqueror of a
top seed, in the opener. The survivors meet on Monday for the
title (CBS, 9 p.m.).
ALL TIMES EASTERN. SCHEDULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
CBS aired the latest round of the Coaches vs. Candor Classic
during the waning moments of last Saturday's NCAA Midwest
Regional final. When Iowa State coach Larry Eustachy went
bonkers and got himself tossed from the game, analyst and former
Seton Hall coach Bill Raftery could only ask, "Where are the
assistant coaches [to act as buffers]?" Raftery, whose
commentary never expanded beyond "I'm in shock," let us down by
failing to critique Eustachy's tantrum.... How about former
SuperSonic Slick Watts's appearance on ESPN Classic's coverage
of the Kingdome implosion on Sunday? In mourning, we assume,
Watts donned his trademark headband--a black one.
COLOR PHOTO: JOHN BIEVER