North Carolina at Maryland
ESPN2 7:30 PM Feeling Blue? Certainly fans of the once mighty
Tar Heels are. Last year North Carolina (5-5 through last
Wednesday) swept ACC rival Maryland, including an 86-83 win in
College Park. This season the Tar Heels have lost to Hampton and
Davidson, and had a nail-biting 61-60 victory over
SUNY-Binghamton, whose previous biggest claim to sports fame was
as the alma mater of Pardon the Interruption cohost Tony
Kornheiser. Even against the No. 8 Terrapins, though, don't
count North Carolina out, especially given the presence of Heels
senior swingman Jason Capel, who was averaging a double double:
16.4 points and 11.1 rebounds.
PGA Sony Open
ESPN THURSDAY AND FRIDAY 7 PM The Waialae Country Club's course
is nestled between Hawaii's majestic Koolau mountain range to
the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. In last year's
Sony, victor Brad Faxon was Koolau as a cucumber, going
wire-to-wire to win and tying the course record with a 20-under
260. This year the 40-year-old Faxon will have something else on
his mind besides defending his title: He and his new bride,
Dory, are expecting their first child later this month. Coverage
will continue on Saturday and Sunday (ESPN, 8 p.m. each night).
State Farm U.S. Championships
ABC 8 PM With three Olympic figure-skating berths on the line,
tonight's men's free-skate contestants include current U.S.
champ Tim Goebel, five-time champion Todd Eldredge and two-time
champion Michael Weiss. The latter is looking to regain the form
that vanished when he suffered stress fractures in his left foot
and ankle after winning the 2000 title.
ALL TIMES EASTERN. SCHEDULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
COLOR PHOTO: JOHN BIEVER
Lakers at Pistons
TBS 8 PM Once upon a time during this rivalry Magic Johnson and
Isiah Thomas would kiss before the tip-off. Let's hope Shaquille
O'Neal and Ben Wallace don't get similarly inspired. Led by
guard Jerry Stackhouse (21.6 points per game through last
Wednesday), long-downtrodden Detroit was off to a surprising
15-14 start, including a 9-3 record at home. Meanwhile,
defending champion Los Angeles was 7-4 on the road. In the
teams' most recent meeting at the Palace at Auburn Hills, last
March 15, Stackhouse (above) tied the arena's scoring record of
46 points (O'Neal and former Piston Grant Hill also hold the
mark), while Lakers guard Kobe Bryant scored 39, including 24 in
the fourth quarter and overtime of L.A.'s 125-119 win.
U.S. soccer fans can forget that Berlitz course: ABC/ESPN will
televise all 63 of this year's World Cup matches from Japan and
South Korea live. Previously the only live U.S. coverage was
slated for the Spanish-language network Univision....The lead-in
before the kickoff of ABC's telecast of the Orange Bowl featured
two businessmen discussing the merits of Florida quarterback Rex
Grossman. Not only was Grossman not starting because of a curfew
violation, but his replacement, Brock Berlin, led the Gators to
two quick early scores.