Boogity, boogity, boogity

Darrell Waltrip’s there.
Danica Patrick’s going to be there.
It’s Boogity, boogity, boogity time.
The flag drops on the Daytona 500 on FOX Sunday at 1 p.m. Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle will lead the field to the start/finish line as Waltrip starts another year in the announcer’s booth.
The field is set Thursday afternoon with the Twin 125s on Speed network. Danica and her Nationwide Series competitors open the season Saturday at noon on ESPN.
It’s time for Jeremy Lin and friends – also known as NBA All-Star weekend. Before heading to Orlando, Lin and the Knicks face the Heat on TNT at 7 p.m. Then the Lakers visit Oklahoma City.
ESPN shows the Celebrity game at 7 p.m. Friday, then TNT goes with the Rising Stars contest with Lin at 9 p.m.
The dunk contest and other skills events take place Saturday at 8 p.m. before the stars shine Sunday at 6 p.m.
Virginia Tech visits Duke Saturday at noon on the ACC Network, followed by a split regional at 2:30 p.m. – either Maryland at Georgia Tech or N.C. State-Clemson.
CBS offers a trio of games Saturday, beginning at noon with Vanderbilt vs. Kentucky. At 2 p.m., there’s the choice of UCLA against Arizona or Villanova-Georgetown, then at 4 p.m. Missouri plays Kansas. Sunday at 2 p.m., Pittsburgh travels to Louisville before the Big Ten battle between Wisconsin and Ohio State.
ESPN’s Thursday starts in the ACC with Duke trying to avenge an earlier loss to Florida State. Louisville takes on Cincinnati at 9 p.m. Marquette goes to West Virginia Friday at 9 p.m.
Virginia hosts North Carolina Saturday at 4 p.m., followed by Mississippi State at Alabama. The GameDay crew catches Syracuse-Connecticut at 9 p.m.
Sunday at 1 p.m., Indiana takes on Minnesota.
ESPN2 starts Thursday with Alabama-Arkansas at 7 p.m., then goes to the Big Ten for Wisconsin’s game with Iowa. BYU meets Gonzaga at 11 p.m. Friday at 7 p.m., Loyola of Maryland goes to Rider and then it’s five games on Saturday. The day opens at noon with Notre Dame vs. St. John’s, followed by Texas A&M-Oklahoma State at 2 p.m. and Creighton facing Indiana State. Virginia schools then take the stage, with George Mason against VCU at 6 p.m. before Richmond battles Xavier.
Stanford battles Colorado Thursday at 11 p.m. on Comcast. Boston College visits Wake Forest Saturday at 1 p.m., then it’s off to the CAA at 4 p.m. for Drexel’s game with Old Dominion.
There’s a PAC-12 doubleheader Sunday, with California at Colorado at 5:30 p.m. before Oregon faces Oregon State.
MASN has Big South action Thursday at 7 p.m., with Coastal Carolina at Liberty. Saturday’s play starts at 4 p.m. with Texas at Texas Tech, followed by Campbell vs. Liberty at 7 p.m. The Big East gets coverage Sunday at noon when South Florida hosts Cincinnati.
UNLV hosts Air Force Saturday at 4 p.m. on NBC Sports Network.
The PGA tour has the World Match Play Championship Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. on NBC. We’ll see who makes it to Sunday.
The Capitals host Montreal Friday at 7 p.m. on Comcast, and visit Toronto Saturday at 7 p.m. while NBC Sports Network shows Chicago-Anaheim Sunday at 6 p.m.
In women’s basketball, MASN shows DePaul against Louisville Saturday at noon. Comcast goes to the CAA Thursday for William & Mary taking on Drexel, then Sunday Boston College plays Miami at 1 p.m. before Old Dominion goes to James Madison.
ESPN2 has the ACC regular season finale between Duke and North Carolina at 3 p.m. followed by LSU-Georgia.
NBC Sports Network has a college ice hockey doubleheader Friday. Vermont hosts Boston University at 7:30 p.m., followed by North Dakota-Denver.
ESPN shows the USA Indoor Track and Field Championships Sunday at 7:30 p.m.


Bracket buster time

George Mason and VCU have busted brackets in past years.
Murray State hopes to do it in 2012.
It’s the weekend of the annual BracketBusters, where teams from mid-major conferences battle against each other to get ready for March Madness.
VCU hosts Northern Iowa Friday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2, then Saturday play opens at noon with Wichita at Davidson on ESPN2. Akron visits Oral Roberts at 2 p.m. and it’s Nevada-Iona at 4 p.m. The night concludes at 10 p.m. when Long Beach State goes to Creighton.
St. Mary’s plays one-loss Murray State on ESPN at 6 p.m.
Among the big boys, the ACC network has two games Thursday at 9 p.m. – Duke vs. N.C. State or Boston College at Maryland. Saturday at 1 p.m., Virginia hosts Maryland while Florida State travels to N.C. State.
CBS has either UCLA-St. John’s or UNLV-New Mexico Saturday at 1 p.m. Sunday, Michigan State takes on Purdue.
Thursday on ESPN, there’s a top 20 battle in the Big Ten as Wisconsin meets Michigan State. West Virginia and Pittsburgh have their Backyard Brawl at 9 p.m.
Saturday starts in the Big East with Marquette-Connecticut at noon. Missouri faces Texas A&M at 2 p.m. before Clemson heads to North Carolina. The GameDay crew will be at Michigan for the game with Ohio State at 9 p.m.
Rutgers meets Syracuse Sunday at 1 p.m.
Virginia Tech takes on Florida State Thursday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2, followed by Vanderbilt-Mississippi and Gonzaga meeting Santa Clara. Taking a break from BracketBusters, ESPN2 shows Arkansas hosting Florida Saturday at 6 p.m.
Sunday, Big East gets coverage on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. as South Florida visits Pittsburgh.
Comcast has a Pac-12 twinbill Thursday – Arizona vs. Washington State at 9 p.m. before Arizona State faces Washington. The ACC takes the stage Saturday, as Wake Forest goes to Miami at 1 p.m. before Virginia Tech hosts Georgia Tech. Late night, it’s Arizona against Washington. It’s back to the Pac-12 Sunday at 7:30 p.m. with Oregon battling Stanford.
MASN goes to the Northeast Conference Thursday for Fairleigh-Dickenson’s game with Mt. St. Mary’s at 7 p.m.
There’s three Big East games on MASN Saturday, starting at noon with Louisville at DePaul. Seton Hall visits Cincinnati at 4 p.m. and Providence battles Georgetown at 7 p.m.
On NBC Sports network, San Diego State takes on Air Force Saturday at 4 p.m.
The new year of NASCAR starts Saturday at 8 p.m. on FOX, with the best drivers matching up in the Bud Shootout. Sunday at 1 p.m., qualifying starts for the Daytona 500. The top two will be starting up front when the Great American Race goes next Sunday.
The Celtics visit the Bulls Thursday at 8 p.m. on TNT, followed by Clippers-Blazers. ESPN’s doubleheader Friday starts at 8 p.m. with the Mavericks in Philadephia, then the Suns battle the Lakers. Sunday at 8 p.m., the Nuggets meet the Thunder.
Lin-sanity comes to ABC Sunday when Dallas visits the Knicks at 1 p.m., followed by Orlando vs. Miami.
The Wizards head west this weekend, playing at Utah Friday at 9 p.m. on Comcast-plus.
NBC has its Hockey Day in America Sunday. There’s regional coverage of three games at noon – San Jose vs. Detroit, Penguins at Sabres and St. Louis against Chicago – before Boston visits Minnesota at 3 p.m. NBC Sports Network closes the day with the Devils at Montreal at 6 p.m.
The Capitals visit Florida Friday at 7 p.m. on Comcast and Tampa Bay Saturday at 7 p.m.
CBS carries the Northern Trust Open Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m.
Dartmouth faces Yale in college ice hockey Friday at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports network.
In Big East women’s basketball, Marquette faces Syracuse at 2 p.m. Saturday on MASN. ESPN2 has a pair of games Sunday, with Maryland against Duke at 3 p.m. and Purdue-Michigan State at 5 p.m., while Comcast shows Florida State-Miami Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
Spring sports loom on college campuses, and NBC Sports network has a lacrosse doubleheader – Denver vs. Ohio State at 2 p.m. before Navy takes on Jacksonville.


Look Hoos in contention

When I arrived in Charlottesville in the summer of 1995, the Virginia Cavaliers were coming off a finish in the NCAA Elite Eight.
The 16 seasons since the arrival of Ralph Simpson had been pretty good for the school – a pair of NIT titles, two visits to the Final Four and shares of four ACC regular season championships.
The sixteen years since haven’t been much to talk about.
The 2011-2012 Cavaliers started strong, pushing their way toward the top. They get a chance to impress Saturday when they visit North Carolina at 1 p.m. on the ACC Network.
At the halfway point of the conference season, the Tar Heels and Duke share the lead with Florida State, with Virginia close behind. After a blowout win over Wake Forest Wednesday, the Cavaliers get North Carolina and Florida State at home before the season ends.
Other parts of the ACC area will see Miami vs. Florida State. 
CBS shows Syracuse against Connecticut Saturday at 1 p.m., then goes to the Big Ten Sunday at 1 p.m. for Illinois’ game with Michigan.
ESPN starts Thursday in the Big Ten as Wisconsin plays Minnesota. Colorado travels to Arizona at 9 p.m.
The Gameday crew closes Saturday at Kentucky’s game on Vanderbilt at 9 p.m. on ESPN. The day starts at noon with West Virginia-Louisville, followed by Kansas State at Texas. Maryland battles Duke at 4 p.m. before Michigan State goes against Ohio State.
Sunday, St. John’s takes on Georgetown at 1 p.m.
ESPN2’s Thursday begins in the SEC with Mississippi-Mississippi State, then Virginia Tech plays Miami at 9 p.m. Out west at 11 p.m., Gonzaga tackles St. Mary’s.
Six games fill the ESPN2 schedule on Saturday. Butler meets Cleveland State at 11 a.m., followed by Arkansas-Little Rock vs. Middle Tennessee and New Mexico State-Utah State. At 5 p.m., Wichita State goes against Creighton before Alabama-LSU. The day closes in the Atlantic 10 with Temple against Xavier at 9 p.m.
Comcast heads west Thursday, with Washington facing Oregon at 11 p.m. The CAA starts the day Saturday on Comcast, with Towson meeting James Madison before VCU takes on Old Dominion. Clemson plays Wake Forest at 4 p.m., then in primetime it’s off to Conference USA for UAB-Memphis. 
MASN goes to the WAC Thursday at 9 p.m., with Louisiana Tech at Utah State. Saturday starts in the Big East as Notre Dame plays DePaul at noon. It’s CAA action at 7 p.m., with George Mason visiting UNC-Wilmington. Pittsburgh faces Seton Hall Sunday at noon.
San Diego State battles UNLV Saturday at 4 p.m. on NBC Sports network.
It’s off to Peeble Beach for the PGA tour, with CBS having coverage Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m.
ABC’s Sunday NBA game brings together the Bulls and Celtics at 3:30 p.m.
TNT’s Thursday doubleheader features the Lakers in Boston at 8 p.m., followed by the Thunder facing the Kings. The Lakers visit New York Friday at 8 p.m. on ESPN, then the Thunder play the Jazz. There’s another ESPN doubleheader Sunday, with the Hawks and Heat at 7 p.m. before the Jazz play the Grizzlies.
The Wizards take on Miami Friday at 7 p.m. on Comcast before heading to Detroit Sunday at 6 p.m. to play the Pistons.
The Capitals face division rival Winnipeg Thursday at 7 p.m. on Comcast before playing the Rangers Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on NBC. The Flyers take on Detroit Sunday at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports network.
NBC Sports network has a college ice hockey twinbill Friday. Boston College travels to Vermont at 7:30 p.m., followed by Minnesota-Denver.
MASN has Big East women’s basketball between Connecticut and Georgetown Saturday at 4 p.m. Comcast shows USC vs. California Saturday at 11 p.m. Sunday at 1 p.m., Duke takes on Florida State before the PAC-12 matchup between UCLA and Stanford.
High school basketball takes the stage Friday on ESPN2, with DeMatha facing Gonzaga of D.C. at 7:30 p.m. 
NBC offers the Dew Winter Tour from Utah Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.
The USA Track and Field Classic goes on ESPN2 Sunday at 12:30 p.m.


XLVI

The hype is almost over.
The menus are planned.
By the end of Sunday, one team will have won its fourth Super Bowl.
The big game – and big commercials – will be on NBC this year. The New England Patriots and New York Giants kickoff Super Bowl XLVI sometime after 6:30 p.m. – depending on the length of the performance of the Star Spangled Banner.
It’s been 10 years since Tom Brady and the Patriots splashed onto the scene, edging the Rams in the final seconds. And it’s been seven years since their last title – thanks to the Giants’ win four years ago.
NBC also has a new event Saturday at 9 p.m. – NFL Honors dishes out many of the league’s top awards.
The ACC network offers two choices Saturday at 1 p.m. – Virginia plays Florida State, while Wake Forest heads to North Carolina State.
Duke heads to Virginia Tech Thursday at 7 p.m. on ESPN, followed by UCLA-Washington. Saturday starts with Syracuse-St. John’s at noon, then Ohio State plays Wisconsin. Maryland meets North Carolina at 4 p.m. before Kentucky faces South Carolina. The Game Day crew visits Missouri for the 9 p.m. game with Kansas.
Sunday at 2 p.m., Villanova takes on Pittsburgh.
ESPN2 has a trio of games Thursday – Nebraska vs. Northwestern at 7 p.m., then South Carolina against Florida and Gonzaga-BYU. Saturday brings six games, starting at noon with Detroit battling Butler from the Super Bowl city. Temple plays Rhode Island from the Atlantic 10, followed by Middle Tennessee State-Denver. Iowa State meets Oklahoma at 6 p.m., then Mississippi plays Alabama before Indiana State battles Wichita State.
CBS also has two games Saturday at 1 p.m. – Marquette vs. Notre Dame and Vanderbilt at Florida. Sunday at 1 p.m., Michigan faces Michigan State.
James Madison visits Old Dominion Thursday at 7 p.m. on Comcast, and Arizona takes on California at 11 p.m.
Virginia Tech meets Clemson Saturday at 4:30 p.m. on Comcast, and it’s off to the PAC-12 at 11 p.m. for USC-Washington.
The Big South takes the stage on MASN Thursday, with Presbyterian visiting High Point. There’s three Big East games Saturday, starting at noon with Seton Hall at Connecticut. Rutgers visits Louisville at 4 p.m., followed by DePaul-Cincinnati at 7 p.m. The Big South gets in the action at 2 p.m. with Charleston Southern facing Coastal Carolina.
West Virginia takes on Providence Sunday at noon.
Boise State hosts New Mexico on NBC Sports Network Saturday at 4 p.m.
The PGA tour heads to Phoenix Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m. And don’t forget to take out the trash.
The Capitals have their traditional Super Bowl afternoon game, facing Boston at 12:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Network. The day before, they are in Montreal at 2 p.m. on Comcast.
The Bulls visit New York Thursday at 8 p.m. on TNT, and the Nuggets battle the Clippers in the nightcap. ESPN’s Friday doubleheader features the Knicks at Celtics in the opener at 8 p.m., followed by Lakers-Nuggets.
Comcast shows the Wizards’ game at Toronto Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday’s contest with the Clippers at 7 p.m.
Cornell faces RPI Friday at 7:30 p.m. in college ice hockey on NBC Sports Network.
Virginia hosts North Carolina in women’s basketball Saturday at noon on Comcast. ACC play continues Sunday at 1 p.m. with Wake Forest meeting Boston College, and at 4 p.m. Washington battles USC.
ESPN2 shows the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix Sunday at 2 p.m.