The ball is tipped….

Monday night, after the game is won and the nets are cut down, CBS rolls the montage.
It’s probably half done now, awaiting a few highlights from the Final Four in New Orleans to honor the new college basketball champions.
Before it’s ready, we’ve got to get to a championship game pairing. We know one Kentucky school will be there, since the top-seeded Wildcats face former coach Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals Saturday at 6 p.m.
The second contest matches Ohio State and Kansas, which both knocked off top seeds to reach the Final Four. It’s scheduled to start at 8:49 p.m., pending the number of commercials crammed into the coverage of the first game.
After a day of rest,  the ball is tipped for the final time Monday at 9 p.m.
The women’s Final Four in Denver starts Sunday on ESPN, with all top seeds advancing. It’s a Big East battle at 6:30 p.m., with Connecticut going against Notre Dame. Baylor takes on Stanford at 9 p.m.
The final two meet Tuesday.
A championship will be celebrated at Madison Square Garden Thursday, when Minnesota plays Stanford for the NIT title at 7 p.m. on ESPN. The Slam Dunk and 3-point championship follows at 9 p.m.
Want to see younger players? ESPN2 has the semifinals of the National High School Invitational tournament Friday starting at 11:30 a.m. and the finals are on ESPN Saturday at 2 p.m. ESPN2 shows the girls final Saturday at noon.
TNT’s NBA Thursday doubleheaders return this week, with the Mavericks in Miami at 8 p.m. The Thunder head west to visit the Lakers in the nightcap. Friday, ESPN offers the Mavericks taking on Orlando at 8 p.m. before the Trail Blazers take on the Clippers.
ABC’s Sunday doubleheader starts in Oklahoma City, with the Bulls meeting the Thunder at 1 p.m. The Heat battle the Celtics at 3:30 p.m.
The Wizards head into the final month of the regular season, playing Indiana Thursday at 7 p.m. on Comcast-plus, then host the 76ers Friday at 7 p.m. They open April with a trip to Toronto Sunday at 6 p.m. on Comcast.
Martinsville hosts the Sprint Cup drivers, starting Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on FOX.
Golfers prepare for the Masters with the Shell Houston Open Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m. on NBC.
NBC has the Flyers against Penguins Sunday at 12:30 p.m. There’s Friday night hockey on NBC Sports network, with Dallas at Vancouver at 10 p.m., and Sunday at 7 p.m. the Bruins visit the Rangers.
The Capitals limp toward season’s end, playing at Boston Thursday at 7 p.m. on Comcast before hosting Montreal Saturday at 7 p.m.
MASN has the Nationals playing the Marlins Friday at 6 p.m., while the Orioles play the Rays Sunday at 1 p.m. ESPN gears up for baseball season Thursday at 1 p.m. as the Rays meet the Phillies.
ACC baseball gets coverage Saturday at 1 p.m. on Comcast,  with Duke playing Georgia Tech.
D.C. United take on Dallas on NBC Sports network Friday at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday at 11 p.m.
The Ericcson Open hits the tennis courts this weekend, starting Thursday at 1 and 7 p.m. on ESPN2. The men’s semifinals are Friday, starting at 3 p.m. CBS takes over Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m .
The Southeastern Conference has its women’s gymnastic championships Thursday at 9 p.m. on ESPN2.


16….8….4

Most fans expect two teams from North Carolina to be in the NCAA Sweet 16.
Usually it’s North Carolina and Duke. Not this year.
North Carolina and their buddies at North Carolina State continue their drive for New Orleans this weekend on CBS and TBS.
The action resumes at 7 p.m. on CBS when Syracuse takes on Wisconsin in Boston. TBS offers Louisville-Michigan State at 7:45 p.m., and it’s back to Boston at 9:45 p.m. for Cincinnati meeting Ohio State. TBS has the nightcap as Florida faces Marquette.
Friday brings the remaining ACC teams to the fore. North Carolina plays Ohio on TBS at 7:45 p.m., followed by North Carolina State against Kansas. The CBS lineup starts at 7 p.m. with Xavier-Baylor, then top-seeded Kentucky battles Indiana in Atlanta.
CBS has the regional finals starting Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
The women’s tournament goes from 16 to eight this weekend, with the regional finals Monday and Tuesday. In the Des Moines bracket, 11th-seed Kansas takes on Tennessee Saturday at noon on ESPN before Georgia Tech plays Baylor. At 9 p.m., action tips off in the Fresno bracket with Duke playing St. John’s. Stanford faces South Carolina at 11:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
Sunday, Maryland takes on Texas A&M at noon on ESPN. The rest of the action goes to ESPN2, with the second Raleigh game between St. Bonaventure and Notre Dame at 2:30 p.m. It’s off to Rhode Island at 4:30 p.m., with Penn State meeting Connecticut before Gonzaga faces Kentucky.
Division II crowns its champion Saturday at 2 p.m. on CBS.
The Wizards host the Pacers Thursday at 7 p.m. on Comcast-plus, and the Hawks come to town Saturday at 7 p.m. on Comcast. Sunday at 6 p.m., they take on Boston.
ESPN has its’ Friday doubleheader, starting at 8 p.m. with the Celtics against the 76ers. In the nightcap, the Nuggets visit Utah. There’s another twinbill Sunday night, starting with Miami-Oklahoma City at 8 p.m. before the Grizzlies take on the Lakers.
The Capitals visit Philadelphia Thursday at 7 p.m. on Comcast, then host division rival Winnipeg Friday at 7:30 p.m. The Capitals play Minnesota at 5 p.m. Sunday on NBC Sports network, followed by Nashville taking on Chicago.
NASCAR heads to California Sunday at 2:30 p.m. on FOX. The Nationwide racers hit the track Saturday at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN.
The Indy Racing League starts its campaign in Florida Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on ABC.
The PGA tour has the Arnold Palmer Invitational Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. on NBC.
MASN gears up for baseball season with the Orioles against the Red Sox Friday at 1 p.m. The Nationals meet the Orioles Saturday at 1 p.m.
ESPN offers the Yankees and Red Sox Thursday at 7 p.m.
Comcast has ACC baseball Saturday at 1 p.m., with North Carolina playing North Carolina State. Sunday at 1 p.m., East Carolina travels to Central Florida.
In MLS action, D. C. United heads to Vancouver Saturday at 10 p.m. on Comcast. NBC Sports network shows Houston’s visit to Seattle Friday at 10 p.m., while ESPN shows the Red Bulls against Colorado Sunday at 4 p.m.


68…64…32…16

How’s your productivity at work?
Enough studying the brackets, it’s time for the games.
After the First Four Tuesday and Wednesday night, the main event tips at noon Thursday on CBS. One-loss Murray State gets the opening slot, playing Colorado State before Marquette takes on BYU. In primetime on CBS, VCU faces Wichita State.
TruTv’s four games on Thursday start with Southern Mississippi against Kansas State at 12:30 p.m., while TBS shows Louisville taking on Davidson at 1:30 p.m. and TNT kicks off its day with Montana-Wisconsin.
Friday, Virginia’s game with Florida at 2 p.m. starts the day on TNT. CBS begins its’ four-game run with Texas against Cincinnati at noon, TruTV offers N.C. State meeting San Diego State at 12:30 p.m. and TBS brings Alabama-Creighton at 1:30 p.m.
Third round action starts Saturday and Sunday at noon on CBS. TNT has a pair of games each day, starting at 6 p.m., and TBS starts its weekend doubleheaders at 7 p.m. TruTV chips in a contest Sunday at 7:30 p.m.
For those who love the old NIT, ESPN shows a second round game Sunday at 11 a.m.
The women’s tournament starts Saturday at 11 a.m. on ESPN2, and other teams tip off Sunday beginning at noon.
While the NCAA men’s teams are aiming at New Orleans, the Wizards are there Thursday – facing the Hornets at 8 p.m. on Comcast. Friday, they play the Hawks in Atlanta at 7:30 p.m. and then it’s off to Memphis Sunday at 6 p.m.
ESPN has the Heat taking on the 76ers Friday at 7 p.m., then Sunday at 7 p.m. the Heat host Orlando.
NASCAR rides into Thunder Valley this weekend. The Sprint car drivers hit the track Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on FOX, while the Nationwide race is on ESPN Saturday at 1 p.m.
NBC has the PGA tour’s Transitions Championship Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m.
The Flyers battle Sidney Crosby and the Penguins Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on NBC. The Capitals visit Southeast Division rival Winnipeg Friday at 8:30 p.m. on Comcast-plus.
The Capitals play Chicago Sunday at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Network, which shows Detroit-San Jose Saturday at 10:30 p.m.
The Nationals take on the Yankees Thursday at 1 p.m. on MASN. Sunday at 7 p.m., the Orioles face the Yankees.
ABC shows the finals of the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament Sunday, starting at 2 p.m. They show a pair of semifinals Saturday at 2 p.m., while ESPN2 has an ATP quarterfinal Friday starting at 4 p.m. and a WTA semifinal at 11 p.m.
NBC Sports network has MLS action between Philadelphia and Colorado Sunday at 4 p.m.
It’s SEC baseball on Comcast Saturday, with Vanderbilt taking on Florida at 1 p.m. and Mississippi State meeting LSU at 7 p.m.
NBC Sports network shows the semifinals of Hockey East Friday – Boston College vs. Providence at 5 p.m. before Boston University meets Maine at 8 p.m. The final is Saturday at 8 p.m.
The finals of the NCAA Division I wrestling championships will be Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN.


And the field is….

Enough of the last four in and the first four out.
Time to pick the First Four on the Road to the Final Four.
The 68-team NCAA men’s basketball tournament field will be announced Sunday at 6 p.m. on CBS, and talked about constantly on ESPN through the week.
Before the four channels get their schedule for the next few weeks, the top conference have their tournaments.
The ACC heads to Atlanta with its 12-team (for now) field, with coverage on the ACC network. Play begins Thursday at noon with Maryland against Wake Forest, followed by N.C. State-Boston College. Virginia Tech takes on Clemson at 7 p.m., and Georgia Tech plays Miami in the nightcap.
Friday starts at noon with top-seed North Carolina in action, then Virginia plays at 2:30 p.m. Second-seed Duke await either Virginia Tech or Clemson at 7 p.m., followed by Florida State’s tournament opener. Semifinals start Saturday at 1 p.m., and Sunday’s final is at 1 p.m.
CBS prepares for the tournament with six games over the weekend. Saturday starts at 11:30 a.m. with the Conference USA title game, followed by the two semifinals in the Big Ten. The Pac-12 crowns its champion at 6 p.m.
Sunday, the Atlantic 10 bid is on the line at 1 p.m. before the Big Ten championship.
ABC has the semifinals of the SEC championship Saturday starting at 1:30 p.m., and the final is Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Big East’s top four teams get into action Thursday, with top-seed Syracuse playing at noon on ESPN. Cincinnati’s first game is at 2 p.m., and in the evening session Marquette goes at 7 p.m. and Notre Dame at 9 p.m. The semifinals start Friday at 7 p.m., and the title game tips Saturday at 9 p.m.
ESPN has plenty of other action besides the Big East and ACC (outside conference territory). Friday at noon, the first two Big Ten quarterfinal games are on ESPN. The Big 12 title goes Saturday at 6 p.m.,
ESPN2 starts Thursday with a pair of Big 12 quarterfinals at 12:30 p.m. There’s two games from the Big Ten tournament starting at 5:30 p.m.
There’s six tournament berths on the line Saturday. The day starts in the America East, with Vermont meeting Stony Brook at 11 a.m. The MEAC goes at 1 p.m., followed by the Southland. The MAC takes the stage at 8 p.m., then the Big West goes at 10 p.m. The WAC closes the night at midnight.
The PAC-12 tournament airs on Comcast, with a game Thursday at 3 p.m. and the night’s finale at 11:30 p.m. Friday, there’s the four Atlantic 10 quarterfinals starting at noon.
MASN has a pair of quarterfinal contests from the Big 12 conference tournament Thursday, starting at 7 p.m. The semifinals get coverage Friday starting at 7:30 p.m.
NBC Sports network shows the Mountain West title game Saturday at 7 p.m.
While the women await their selection show Monday night, the CAA has its championship game Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on Comcast. NBC Sports network has the Mountain West title game Saturday at 4 p.m.
NASCAR stays out west, with the Sprint series in Las Vegas Sunday at 2:30 p.m. on FOX. The Nationwide racers hit the track Saturday at 5 p.m. on ESPN2.
TNT’s Thursday doubleheader starts at 8 p.m. with the Magic against Bulls, followed by Mavericks-Suns. ABC shows the Celtics-Lakers Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
The Wizards host Portland Saturday at 7 p.m. on Comcast.
The Capitals play Tampa Bay Thursday at 7 p.m. on Comcast and travel to Boston Saturday at 1 p.m. They close the weekend at home against Toronto Sunday at 5 p.m.
NBC has the Bruins’ game in Pittsburgh Sunday at 12:30 p.m. and its’ Kings-Blackhawks at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports network.
Massachusetts goes against Boston College in college ice hockey Friday at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports network.
The best golfers in the world gather at Doral for the World Golf Championships. NBC has coverage Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.
D.C. United has its season kickoff against Kansas City Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on Comcast-plus. NBC Sports network starts its coverage Sunday at 3 p.m. with FC Dallas against New York.
The Orioles face the Red Sox in preseason baseball Sunday at 1 p.m. on MASN.
There’s college lacrosse Saturday at 1 p.m. on MASN, with Harvard taking on Georgetown.


Tournament championship time

Who’s going to be playing in the NCAA tournament?
The first tickets get punched this weekend.
The Big South goes first, Saturday at noon on ESPN2. Then the Ohio Valley crowns its champion at 2 p.m. The Atlantic Sun title game is at 7 p.m., followed by the semifinals of the West Coast Conference tournament.
CBS has “Arch Madness,” the championship of the Missouri Valley Conference, Sunday at 2 p.m.
Comcast-plus has four quarterfinals from the CAA tournament Saturday, starting at noon. The semifinals begin Sunday at 2 p.m.
In Division II, MASN shows the CIAA tournament. There’s four games Thursday, starting at 1 p.m., and the second semifinal airs Friday at 9:30 p.m.
Among the big boys, it’s the final weekend of the regular season. ESPN’s GameDay crew spends Saturday at North Carolina for the ACC championship battle between the Tar Heels and Duke at 7 p.m.
Virginia Tech heads to Clemson Thursday at 9 p.m. on the ACC Network, including NBC29. Wake Forest goes to Georgia Tech Saturday at noon, followed by Boston College-Miami at 2:30 p.m. Virginia closes the regular season at Maryland Sunday at 2 p.m.
CBS offers a full slate Saturday, beginning at noon with Memphis-Tulsa. There’s a choice of two games at 2 p.m. – either LSU vs. Auburn or Washington against UCLA – before Louisville goes against Syracuse.
Sunday, Kentucky battles Florida at noon and Big Ten regular season champion Michigan State meets Ohio State at 4 p.m.
ESPN’s Thursday doubleheader starts at 7 p.m. with Michigan taking on Illinois. Georgia plays top-ranked Kentucky at 9 p.m. Saturday’s slate begins with Pittsburgh taking on Connecticut at noon. ESPN stays in the Big East at 2 p.m. for Cincinnati-Villanova, then Vanderbilt plays Tennessee at 4 p.m. Texas meets Kansas to cap the night at 9 p.m.
Sunday at 1 p.m., Michigan battles Penn State.
Virginia’s home finale against Florida State gets coverage on ESPN2 Thursday at 7 p.m. Villanova takes on Rutgers at 9 p.m., with New Mexico State-Nevada as the nightcap. Akron goes against Kent State Friday at 7 p.m., and Clemson battles Florida State Sunday at noon.
Comcast’s Thursday late night game features Colorado and Oregon at 10:30 p.m. Saturday starts at 2 p.m. with Southern Mississippi at Marshall before Colorado visits Oregon State. Sunday in the Pac-12, it’s Arizona-Arizona State at 3:30 p.m. before California plays Stanford.
MASN has the Big East contest between Providence and Notre Dame Friday at 7 p.m., and four more conference games Saturday. The day starts in South Florida, with West Virginia playing the Bulls at noon, then Georgetown takes on Marquette. At 6 p.m., it’s Seton Hall-DePaul before St. John’s goes against Rutgers. The Big 12 also gets a slot Saturday, with Missouri meeting Texas Tech at 4 p.m.
Saturday at 4 p.m., Boise State visits New Mexico on NBC Sports network.
Comcast shows the ACC women’s tournament, starting Thursday at 11 a.m. There’s two more games on Comcast Friday afternoon, and the other two quarterfinal contests will be on Comcast-plus. Saturday at noon, there’s the Big 12 game between Iowa State and Baylor and Sunday at 1 p.m. Texas takes on Texas A&M.
Sunday is championship day on ESPN2, with the ACC title game at 2 p.m. The Big Ten crowns its champion at 4 p.m., then it’s the Southeastern Conference’s turn at 6 p.m.
It’s a short week for a long trip in NASCAR world. After a rain and fire-delayed Daytona 500, the drivers will be in Phoenix Sunday at 2:30 p.m. The Nationwide race will be Saturday at 4 p.m. on ESPN2.
How’s Kobe Bryant and his nose? Find out Sunday at 3:30 p.m. on ABC, when the Lakers host Miami. That’s after a bit of Linsanity, with the Knicks at Celtics at 1 p.m.
TNT has the Thunder taking on the Magic Thursday at 8 p.m., followed by the Heat vs. Blazers. ESPN shows Warriors-76ers at 8 p.m. Friday, then the Clippers face the Suns. There’s another doubleheader Sunday evening, with the Bulls against 76ers at 7 p.m. before
the Nuggets battle the Spurs.
The Wizards take on Cleveland Saturday at 7 p.m. on Comcast.
The Capitals host New Jersey Friday at 7 p.m. on Comcast, and Sunday play Philadelphia at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports network.
NBC shows the Bruins game with the Rangers Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
The PGA tour heads east this weekend, with the Honda Classic on NBC Saturday and Sunday at 6 p.m.
Virginia takes on the lacrosse field Sunday at 4:30 p.m. on ESPN, taking on Syracuse.
Are you ready for some baseball? MASN has the spring training contest between the Nationals and Astros Sunday at 1 p.m.
NBC Sports network has college ice hockey between Denver and Nebraska-Omaha Friday at 7:30 p.m.
NBC has American Cup gymnastics Saturday at 1 p.m.