If necessary

We’ve entered the “if necessary” phase of the NBA and NHL championships.

The NBA Finals go to Game 5 Thursday on ABC at 9 p.m. The Mavericks tied the series at two games apiece, so there will be a Game 6 Sunday at 8 p.m. Game 7, if necessary, will be Tuesday at 9 p.m.

After losing a pair of close games, Boston made Games 5 and 6 necessary with a big wins at home. NBC has the final games of the NHL season, starting Friday at 8 p.m. with Game 5 back in Vancouver. The teams return to Boston for Game 6 on Monday, and Game 7 is Wednesday, if necessary.

The NCAA baseball tournament goes to a “two games for sure, third game if necessary” stretch at the Super Regionals. Play begins Friday at noon on ESPN2 with Florida hosting Mississippi State. Stanford takes on North Carolina at 3 p.m., and ESPN features Texas-Arizona State at 7 p.m.

Saturday, you’ll need ESPNU to catch Virginia’s game with UC-Irvine at 1 p.m. ESPN has the second games from Florida at noon and North Carolina at 3 p.m., then Texas at 7 p.m. Vanderbilt hosts Game 2 against Oregon State at 9 p.m. on ESPN2, after the completion of the Connecticut-South Carolina game starting at 6 p.m.

Sunday is “if necessary” day at the first four Super Regionals on ESPN. The other four sites have their “if necessary” day Monday before the final eight teams advance to Omaha.

It’s necessary to wait another year for a Triple Crown champion. The best 3-year-old colts face the long test at the Belmont Stakes Saturday on NBC.

TNT starts its run of NASCAR races Sunday at 1 p.m., as Pocono hosts the Pocono 500. The Indy cars head to Texas Saturday night, for the Twin 275s on Versus starting at 8 p.m.

The Reds’ visit to San Francisco gets plenty of national coverage this weekend – Saturday afternoon on FOX and Sunday night on ESPN. FOX also offers the Cubs at Phillies and Rangers-Twins, while Sunday on TBS the Indians travel to New York.

The Nationals are in San Diego, starting Thursday on MASN. The rest of the series moves to MASN2 while the Orioles host Tampa Bay on MASN.

The PGA tour gets ready for the U.S. Open with a stop in Memphis for the St. Jude Classic. CBS has coverage Saturday and Sunday starting at 3 p.m.

Comcast has soccer on Saturday night, as San Jose takes on D.C. United at 7:30 p.m. ESPN2 shows Kansas City at Chicago Thursday at 10 p.m.

In the WNBA, Washington visits Atlanta Thursday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.

The Fast-pitch softball season opens Saturday on ESPN2, with Florida hosting Chicago at 3 p.m.



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