Baseball, basketball and tennis dominate the slate, with a handful of international friendlies as the World Cup approaches (all times Eastern).
– The French Open (5 a.m., Tennis Channel/ESPN2): Second-round play gets under way Wednesday with Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Venus Williams and Svetlana Kuznetsova among the high-profile players in action.
The NBA and NHL playoffs are heating up, while the English Premier League approaches this weekend’s frenetic finale (all times Eastern).
– Manchester City vs. Tottenham Hotspur (3 p.m., ESPN2): The battle for the English Premier League’s fourth and final berth in next year’s UEFA Champions League could boil down to today’s high-stakes clash at the Eastlands. Harry Redknapp’s Spurs can clinch fourth with a victory, while a Man City win keeps their hopes alive heading into this weekend’s season finale.
The first rounds of the NBA and NHL playoffs are winding down - along with the UEFA Champions League semifinals - while the Major League Baseball season is just heating up (all times Eastern).
Barcelona vs. Inter Milan (2:30 p.m., FSN): The Champions League semis wrap up with an explosive showdown between Spanish and Italian superpowers at the Camp Nou. Barca face a 3-1 deficit after last week’s first leg, so the defending champions will be in full-blown attacking mode from the opening whistle Wednesday in Spain. The winner advances to the one-off final on May 22 against Bayern Munich, who booked their place yesterday with a victory over Olympique Lyonnais.
There’s no shortage of sports on Wednesday’s docket, with the NBA and NHL playoffs heating up, Major League Baseball in full swing and the UEFA Champions League careening toward the finish line (all times Eastern).
– Bayern Munich vs. Olympique Lyonnais (2:30 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel): Yesterday, Inter Milan staked a commanding 3-1 lead in the opening leg of their Champions League semifinal tie against Barcelona. Today, Germany’s Bayern and France’s Lyon try to do the same in the other first leg. The return legs are played next week, with the one-off final slated for May 22 in Madrid.
– Sabres vs. Bruins (7 p.m., Versus): Underdog Boston holds a two-games-to-one lead over Buffalo despite conceding the first goal in all three games. Can the Bruins take a stranglehold of the first-round series Wednesday, or will Buffalo rally to even the series?
The Stanley Cup Playoffs get under way Wednesday with a four-game slate, while the NBA’s regular season closes down for the year. Baseball, soccer and tennis fill out the rest of the sporting docket (all times Eastern).
– Monte-Carlo Masters (6 a.m., Tennis Channel): Early-round coverage from Monte-Carlo, the first of three ATP Masters Series events played on clay courts, is already under way. Five-time defending champions Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic are among the big names in action today. If you can’t watch it live, Tennis Channel airs a replay at 6 p.m.
– Tottenham Hotspur vs. Arsenal (3 p.m., ESPN2): The always-heated North London derby has been a one-sided affair in recent years, with Spurs going winless against the Gunners over the past decade. But Tottenham’s hopes for a spot in next year’s Champions League may depend on the club’s first Premier League victory over Arsenal since a 2-1 triumph at White Hart Lane in November 1999.
The Masters is already under way from Augusta National Golf Club - follow GOLF.com’s live blog for stroke-by-stroke coverage of Round 1 - while full slates of baseball, basketball and hockey fill out the rest of the slate (all times Eastern).
– The Masters (All day, The Golf Channel/ESPN): All eyes will be on Tiger Woods, who tees off at 1:42 p.m.
– Dodgers vs. Pirates (12:35 p.m., FSPT, FSPI, MLB.tv): The Bucs can complete an improbable sweep of the Dodgers and start a season with three straight home victories for the first time since 1993.
– The Frozen Four (5 p.m., ESPN2): Detroit’s Ford Field plays host to college hockey’s national semifinals. Wisconsin is a heavy favorite against RIT in the opener, while Boston College renews hostilities with Miami of Ohio - their fourth tournament meeting in five years - in the nightcap.
If you enjoyed the David-and-Goliath vibe of last night’s instaclassic between Butler and Duke, tonight’s women’s showdown between Connecticut and Stanford is right up your alley. Beyond the hardwood, there’s plenty of baseball, basketball and soccer action to sate the most demanding sports fan (all times Eastern).
– Barcelona vs. Arsenal (2:45 p.m., FSN): The Gunners rallied for a dramatic 2-2 draw with Barca in last week’s opening leg of their Champions League quarterfinal tie, but lost a number of players to injury along the way. Can a threadbare Arsenal side escape the Camp Nou with a victory? The odds don’t favor the English: Barca is 6-1 in Champions League ties when returning home 2-2. One Times writer says an Arsenal victory would be the greatest result in the club’s history.
– Yankees vs. Red Sox (7:10 p.m., YES/NESN/MLB.tv): New York hopes to rebound from Sunday’s come-from-ahead defeat against Boston at Fenway Park. A.J. Burnett takes the mound for the defending champs, while Jon Lester counters for the hosts.
Opening Day for Major League Baseball, closing night for men's college basketball and the return of Tiger Woods converge on the first Monday in April (all times Eastern).
– Bruins vs. Capitals (7 p.m., Versus): Alex Ovechkin and Washington have already sewed up the Presidents' Trophy, while Marco Sturm and Boston are just fighting for their playoff lives.
– Giants at Astros (7 p.m., ESPN2): Two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum takes the mount for the Giants, with Roy Oswalt answering for the Astros.
– Butler vs. Duke (9 p.m., CBS): Can the tiny school from Indianapolis (enrollment: 4,200) join Villanova and North Carolina State among the most improbable NCAA men's college basketball champions in history? Standing in the Bulldogs' way is one of the modern era's most familiar Goliaths.
The embarrassment of college basketball riches continues Friday into the weekend. But there are plenty of alternatives - from baseball to tennis to hockey - if you’re already hooped out (all times Eastern).
– Dodgers vs. Reds (3:05 p.m., MLB.TV): Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman, who hit 100 mph on the radar gun in his spring training debut for the Reds, makes his second appearance today against Los Angeles.
– Lafayette vs. Lehigh (4:45 p.m., ESPN2): One of the nation’s oldest collegiate rivalries takes center stage as the Leopards and Mountain Hawks clash for the Patriot League title - and an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
– Who Do You Think You Are? (8 p.m., NBC): Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith features in this week’s episode of the genealogy documentary series.
The standard pro hoops and hockey fare takes a backseat to college hoops, college hoops and more college hoops. Forty-seven conference tournament games should be enough to satisfy the most devout hoops fanatic (all times Eastern).
– Georgetown vs. Syracuse (Noon, ESPN): The third-ranked Orange, always formidable at Madison Square Garden in March, open their Big East tournament campaign against the 22nd-ranked Hoyas.
– Red Sox vs. Mets (1:10 p.m., MLB.TV): New York free-agent signee Jason Bay faces his former club for the first time in a Grapefruit League exhibition.
– WGC-CA Championship (2 p.m., The Golf Channel): The first of the four annual World Golf Championships tournaments gets under way from Miami’s TPC Blue Monster at Doral. Follow GOLF.com throughout the day for comprehensive coverage.
It’s college hoops overload with each of the Big Six conference tournaments under way. But there’s plenty more sports fare with spring training baseball, Champions League soccer to go with pro hoops and hockey (all times Eastern).
– Six-time All-Star infielder Nomar Garciaparra announced his retirement at a press conference Wednesday. Garciaparra signed a one-day contract with his former team the Red Sox, Wednesday, then announced he'd be retiring and working as an analyst for ESPN.
– South Florida vs. Georgetown (Noon, ESPN): Just one of the 30 conference tournament games on today’s slate features a Top 25 team: when Greg Monroe and No. 22 Georgetown meet South Florida for a trip to the Big East quarterfinals.
– Manchester United vs. AC Milan (2:45 p.m., FSC): The English giants bring a 3-2 lead into the second leg of today’s Champions League tie with the Rossoneri at Old Trafford. It’s a strange homecoming for AC Milan midfielder David Beckman, who rose to global super-stardom during 11 years with the Manchester club. Real Madrid meet Lyon in the afternoon’s other match (2:45 p.m., Fox Soccer Plus).
One women's basketball team attempts to extend a historic streak. Two New York aces - CC Sabathia and Johan Santana - take the mound in spring exhibitions. Three more invitations to the NCAA men's hoops tournament are handed out. And four of the world's best soccer teams look to advance into the Champions League quarterfinals (all times Eastern).
- Tigers vs. Nationals (1 p.m., MLB.TV): Washington right-hander Stephen Strasburg, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 first-year player draft, makes his much-anticipated spring training debut against Detroit.
- Arsenal vs. FC Porto (2:45 p.m., FSC): Arsenal trails 2-1 entering the return leg of its Champions League tie with the Portuguese giants. Can Arsene Wenger's charges make up the deficit in North London? Fiorentina meets Bayern Munich in the other Round of 16 match (2:45 p.m., FSN).
College hoops moves to the forefront Monday with a new Top 25 and conference tourney season in full swing. This time next week, you’ll be attempting to fill out a bracket in the oldest of water-cooler traditions: the NCAA Tournament office pool. Pay attention starting tonight and save yourself the cram session (all times Eastern).
– In the afternoon, Kansas is expected to reclaim the No. 1 spot in the polls following Syracuse’s loss Saturday at Louisville. In the evening, no less than four NCAA tournament bids will be decided in conference tournament championship games.
– Royals vs. Reds (3:05 p.m., MLB.TV): Cuban southpaw Aroldis Chapman makes his much-anticipated Cactus League debut for the Reds at Goodyear Ballpark.
– Spurs at Cavaliers (7 p.m., NBA TV): It’s a rematch of the 2007 NBA Finals as Cleveland tries for a 50th regular-season victory against surging San Antonio.