Marlins at Phillies Philadelphia holds the lead in the NL wild-card race, but it's a precarious one. Four teams are within three games of the Phils, including Florida. The Marlins have a loaded pitching staff featuring Dontrelle Willis (left), who is close to becoming the franchise's first 20-game winner. 7:35 p.m.
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Induction The coach-heavy class features two-time NBA Coach of the Year Hubie Brown; LSU matriarch Sue Gunter, who died last month (SI, Aug. 15); and Big East bigwigs Jim Boeheim and Jim Calhoun. The only player going in: Hortencia Marcari, who led Brazil to gold at the 1994 world championships, averaging 27.6 points a game. SI senior writer Jack McCallum will receive the Curt Gowdy Media Award on Thursday. ESPN2/NBA TV 7:30 p.m.
Notre Dame at No. 4 Michigan It'd be tough for anyone, even a man with four Super Bowl rings, to lead the Irish through the early part of their schedule unscathed. Notre Dame (6--6 last year with 15 starters returning) plays four of its first five games on the road, including this trip to the Big House. But the new coach, former Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis (right), is off to a good start. The Irish hammered then No. 23 Pitt last Saturday in Pittsburgh. ABC noon
NASCAR, Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Matt Kenseth (left), the 2003 champ who was languishing in 24th place three months ago, has surged into the top 10 after a win at Bristol on Aug. 27 and a seventh-place finish in California last Saturday. If he can hang on tonight in Richmond, he'll qualify for the Chase for the Cup. Expect fireworks at the three-quarter-mile track: Racing in tight quarters nearly led to a melee between Ricky Rudd and Kevin Harvick after the 2003 race. TNT 7:30 p.m.
SI Pick of the Week
It was an eventful off-season for Terrell Owens. After demanding a new contract, getting suspended for a week for insubordination and publicly feuding with his quarterback, Donovan McNabb, he'll finally take the field in a meaningful game as the Eagles travel to Atlanta for a rematch of last year's NFC title game. He and McNabb still aren't speaking, but that wasn't a problem in their only preseason appearance together. Owens scored on a 64-yard reception on the first play and finished with five catches for 131 yards. McNabb promised more big things to come. "We have done some good things this preseason, not just in the passing game," he said. ABC 9 p.m.
On Shelves: The Last Coach . "If you're from Alabama and lived through the Bear Bryant era, you know where you were the day he died." So writes Allen Barra in this comprehensive bio of the Crimson Tide icon (no one wore a houndstooth hat better), who came from humble beginnings in Arkansas during the Depression to retire as college football's winningest coach in December 1982--just a month before his death.
Boxing, Christopher Holt vs. Andre Ward A chance to see the only U.S. boxer to win gold at the 2004 Olympics. Ward, a middleweight, knows that doesn't guarantee that he'll thrive with purses on the line. "You can learn a lot from the Olympics, but you have to learn the sport again when you turn pro," said Ward. FSN 9 p.m.
BOB ROSATO (WILLIS)
CRAIG MELVIN/US PRESSWIRE (WEIS)
DAVID ALLIO/ICON SMI (KENSETH)
AL TIELEMANS (OWENS)
W.W. NORTON (BOOK)