Final Four, part 4

Memorial Day weekend means fast cars in Indianapolis and Charlotte.

And, recently, the University of Virginia in the NCAA lacrosse championship Final Four.

The Cavaliers reached the Final Four for the fourth straight year, and will face Denver Saturday at 4 p.m. on ESPN2. The other semifinal matches ACC rivals Maryland and Duke at 6:30 p.m. The winners battle Monday at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN.

Virginia is going for its fourth national lacrosse championship, but has fallen in the semifinals the past three trips. The Cavaliers last won it all in 2006.

Sunday, it’s “Gentlemen, start your refrigerators. And grills.”

Get up early to watch the Indianapolis 500 begin its second century on ABC at noon. Stay up late with FOX as NASCAR drivers go around, and around, and around at the Coke 600 from Charlotte starting at 6 p.m. Not enough racing for you? The Nationwide drivers are on ABC Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

The NBA and NHL finals will be set by the end of the weekend. Miami tries to close out the Bulls Thursday at 8:30 p.m. on TNT. If the Bulls win, Game 6 is Saturday and Game 7 is Monday if necessary. The Mavericks, winners of the West in five games, await.

On the ice, the Eastern Conference will be decided Friday at 8 p.m. on Versus. The winner takes on Vancouver, which beat San Jose in five games, next week.

The ACC has its baseball tournament in Durham this weekend. Comcast shows games Thursday at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. and two more games Friday at 11 a.m. (Virginia vs. Miami) and 7 p.m. There’s three more games Saturday starting at 11 a.m. – Virginia plays North Carolina at 7 p.m. – and the final is Sunday at 1 p.m.

The best of the SEC battle Sunday at 2 p.m. on ESPN2.

ESPN offers the Reds at Braves as the Sunday night game, while the Red Sox visit Detroit Sunday afternoon on TBS. FOX offers six different games across the country Saturday night, including Reds-Braves, Red Sox at Tigers and Phillies vs. Mets.

On MASN, the Orioles host Kansas City in a Thursday afternoon contest.  They head west to play Oakland for the weekend on MASN2 (Saturday night at 10 p.m. on MASN), while San Diego comes east to visit Washington on MASN.

The PGA tour stays in Texas for the Byron Nelson Classic Saturday and Sunday on CBS. Coverage starts at 3 p.m. The Senior PGA championship will be on NBC Saturday and Sunday starting at 3 p.m.

The D.C. United are in Portland Sunday, facing the Timbers at 5 p.m. on Comcast.

The NCAA softball Super Regionals cover the ESPN family of networks this weekend. Alabama faces Stanford Thursday at 8 p.m. on ESPN, and Texas A&M meets Arizona State at 10 p.m. on ESPN2.

The second game between Oregon and Florida kicks off coverage Saturday at noon, and Arizona takes on Oklahoma at 5 p.m. Washington and Missouri play Saturday at 9 p.m. on ESPN2.

 If series go to a deciding third game, they will hit the air throughout the weekend.

Triple crown or not

Affirmed, 1978.

He’s the last Triple Crown winner, a fact mentioned in stories numerous times over the past 30 years.

Only Animal Kingdom has the power to relegate Affirmed to the history books this year. First, he has to win the Preakness Stakes from Pimlico Saturday on NBC. Coverage starts at 4:30 p.m., and by 6:30 p.m. we should know if there’s still a chance at a Triple Crown in 2011.

Versus shows the fillies running the Black Eye Susan Stakes Friday.

Baseball has its first interleague weekend of the season, matching neighbors most of the time. FOX has Saturday night baseball, with Mets-Yankees as the main game. Other parts of the nation will see Oakland vs. San Francisco, or Rangers at Phillies and Cubs-Red Sox. (I said matching neighbors most of the time). ESPN shows Cubs-Red Sox Sunday night, while the Mets take on the Yankees Sunday afternoon on TBS.

Before they meet this weekend, the Orioles and Nationals have dates with New York teams Thursday. The Nationals face the Mets at 1 p.m. on MASN, and the Orioles host the Yankees at 7 p.m. The Mid-Atlantic rivals battle this weekend on both MASN and MASN2 from Camden Yards.

The NBA and NHL are halfway through their conference finals. Oklahoma City survived a seven-game series with Memphis, and takes on Dallas Thursday and Saturday on ESPN. The Eastern Conference final between Miami and Chicago has its Game 3 Sunday at 8:30 p.m. on TNT.

On the ice, Tampa Bay hosts Boston Thursday at 8 p.m. on Versus and Saturday at 1:30 p.m. on NBC. Out West, Vancouver visits San Jose for Game 3 Friday at 9 p.m. and NBC has Game 4 Sunday at 3 p.m.

It’s the warmup weekend for the big Memorial Day races. NASCAR has its’ all-star race from Charlotte Saturdayat 7 p.m. on Speed, while Versus shows Indianapolis 500 pole qualifying Saturday at 11 a.m.

The Nationwide racers are in Iowa, with ABC covering the event Sunday at 2 p.m.

Virginia advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA men’s lacrosse tournament, and gets to face Cornell Saturday at noon on ESPN2. The winner meets either Johns Hopkins or Denver the next weekend in Baltimore.

The PGA tour visits Texas the next two weeks. This weekend, it’s the Colonial on CBS Saturday and Sunday starting at 3 p.m.

Clemson visits Florida State in ACC baseball Saturday at 1 p.m. on Comcast, and Florida Atlantic takes on Florida International from the Sun Belt Conference at 7 p.m.

In the MLS, Chivas USA faces the L.A. Galaxy Saturday at 10 p.m. on ESPN2.

Comcast offers Major League Lacrosse Thursday at 7:30 p.m., with Chesapeake visiting Hamilton.

The NCAA softball regionals begin this weekend. ESPN2 starts a bracket Friday at 5:30 p.m., then ESPN has coverage Friday at 8 p.m. There’s three games Saturday starting at noon and the possible bracket championship Sunday at 1 p.m.

No Lakers? No Celtics?

The Lakers didn’t make the NBA Western Conference Finals – is that allowed?

The two-time champions exited the playoffs Sunday after being swept by Dallas.
The Celtics lost to Miami Wednesday, watching the Heat score the final 16 points of the game. The old guard is out the rest of the way.
In the last second-round series, Memphis hosts Game 6 of its series with Oklahoma City Friday at 9 p.m. on ESPN. They’ll play Sunday at 3:30 p.m. if necessary.
The Eastern Conference finals start Sunday at 8 p.m. on TNT, as Miami visits Chicago.
The top two seeds in the NHL’s Eastern Conference have been ousted, leaving Boston and Tampa Bay to battle for a Stanley Cup Final berth. They start their series Saturday at 8 p.m. on Versus.
Out west, Vancouver hosts San Jose Game 1 Sunday at 8 p.m. on Versus.
The Red Sox visit the Yankees this weekend – guess what’s ESPN’s Sunday game of the week? FOX has Saturday baseball in prime time. Games include Giants at Cubs, Dodgers-Diamondbacks and ….Red Sox-Yankees.
Sunday afternoon, TBS has the Phillies visiting Atlanta.
The Nationals host Florida this weekend – Friday and Sunday on MASN2 and Saturday at 1 p.m. on MASN. The Orioles head to Tampa Bay for a series with the Rays on MASN (MASN2 Saturday at 4 p.m.).
NASCAR visits the Monster Mile this weekend, with the Sprint Car racers on FOX Sunday at 1 p.m. The Nationwide race takes the track Saturday at 2 p.m. on ESPN.
The PGA tour hits TPC Sawgrass and it’s famous 17th hole for the Players Championship this weekend. NBC has coverage Saturday and Sunday starting at 2 p.m.
The D.C. United face Colorado Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on Comcast, while ESPN2 shows Seattle-Portland Saturday at 11 p.m.
Comcast has SEC baseball Friday at 7 p.m., with Vanderbilt going against Florida. Saturday, it’s ACC action at 1 p.m. with Miami at Virginia followed by Tennessee-LSU at 4 p.m.
It’s a big weekend for conference softball tournaments. The ACC crowns its softball champion Sunday at 1 p.m. on Comcast. while ESPN2 has the Big East final Saturday at 5 p.m. The SEC title game is on ESPN Saturday at 8 p.m.
The NCAA lacrosse tournament starts this weekend. ESPN2 has Johns Hopkins vs. Hofstra Saturday at noon, and ESPN offers North Carolina against Maryland Sunday at 1 p.m.

History of Weekend Watchdog

The Weekend Watchdog has been part of and since the spring of 2009.

The name comes from the Orlando Sentinel, where a former colleague did the TV sports column for several years. When the newspaper downsized his position, I decided to bring the Weekend Watchdog online.