Play ball in Florida

February is almost over.
Time to start thinking about baseball.
MASN’s spring training schedule starts Thursday at 6 p.m. when the Nationals take on the Mets.
A few more weeks and they will be heading north.
The 2013 Major League soccer season kicks off Saturday at 8 p.m. when D.C. United visits Houston on NBC Sports network. ESPN2 starts its schedule Sunday at 7:30 p.m. with Portland against the Red Bulls.
Virginia continues its quest for the NCAA tournament Thursday when Duke visits at 9 p.m. on ESPN. North Carolina meets Clemson at 7 p.m.
The Cavaliers head to Boston College on ACC network Sunday at 4 p.m., after Maryland travels to Wake Forest Saturday at noon.
ESPN has a top-five ACC battle Saturday at 6 p.m., when Duke takes on Miami. The day starts at noon with Alabama-Florida, followed by Notre Dame against Marquette at 2 p.m. and Texas-Oklahoma State. The GameDay crew catches Arizona playing UCLA at 9 p.m.
Purdue meets Wisconsin Sunday at 1 p.m.
ESPN2 offers three games on Thursday, starting with Ohio State against Northwestern at 7 p.m. Missouri battles South Carolina at 9 p.m., with Gonzaga-BYU as the nightcap. Iona meets Loyola of Maryland Friday at 7 p.m.
Saturday’s slate starts at noon with VCU against Butler, then Wichita State faces Creighton. At 7 p.m., Kansas State faces Baylor followed by Vanderbilt-Auburn.
CBS gears up for March Madness with three games Saturday. Louisville travels to Syracuse at noon, followed by West Virginia-Kansas and Kentucky against Arkansas. Sunday at 2 p.m., Florida State goes to North Carolina then Michigan State plays Michigan.
From the WAC, Utah State faces Louisiana Tech Thursday at 8 p.m. on MASN. It’s CIAA tournament weekend, with the semifinals on MASN Friday starting at 7 p.m.
MASN has two Big East games Saturday and two more on Sunday. Saturday at 2 p.m., Connecticut clashes Cincinnati and it’s St. John’-Providence at 8 p.m. Sunday starts at noon with Villanova against Pittsburgh, followed by DePaul-South Florida.
New Mexico State takes on Denver Saturday at 6 p.m.
Drexel takes on Old Dominion Thursday at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports network. There’s three games Saturday, starting in the CAA with George Mason-Delaware at 2 p.m. UNLV takes on Nevada at 4 p.m., followed by Harvard against Pennsylvania.
TNT features Philadelphia-Chicago at 8 p.m., followed by the Timberwolves at Lakers. The Grizzlies head to Miami Friday on ESPN at 8 p.m., and the nightcap brings together the Thunder and Nuggets. Sunday at 8 p.m., the Bulls face the Pacers.
The Wizards host the Knicks on Comcast Friday at 7 p.m., then play the Sixers Sunday at 6 p.m.
ABC’s Sunday starts with the Heat taking on the Knicks at 1 p.m. The Thunder face the Clippers at 3:30 p.m.
In women’s basketball, Tennessee takes on Texas A&M Thursday at 7 p.m. on Comcast. ESPN2 has a pair of games Sunday – St. Joseph’s at Dayton at 2 p.m. followed by North Carolina against Duke.
Notre Dame plays Providence on MASN Saturday at 4 p.m.
NASCAR heads west this weekend, going to Phoenix Sunday at 3 p.m. The Nationwide racers start their action Saturday at 4 p.m. on ESPN2.
Will the Chicago Blackhawks lose a game this shortened season? They face the Red Wings Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on NBC. The Canadians take on the Bruins Sunday at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports network.
The Capitals head north Saturday, meeting the Jets at 3 p.m. on Comcast.
NBC Sports network offers college ice hockey between Wisconsin and Nebraska-Omaha Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The PGA tour arrives in Florida for the Honda Classic. NBC has coverage Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m.
NBC Sports network shows the USA Indoor Track championships Sunday at 4 p.m.

Boogity, boogity, boogity

Time for DW to “reach up there and pull those belts tight” for the first of 13 times this year.
2013_DAYTONA500“Boogity-boogity-boogity, let’s go racing boys.”
And girl.
The flag drops on the Daytona 500 Sunday at 1 p.m. on Fox. Darrell Waltrip and friends on FOX cover the first 13 of the 36-race slate, through Dover in June.
Danica Patrick claimed the pole position, hoping to be the first to win from there since Dale Jarrett in 2000. Jeff Gordon will start second, and the next 28 spots are set at the Twin 125s Thursday on Speed, starting at 2 p.m. Sunday, 43 drivers will head to the starting line, ready to race.
The start of the Nationwide season will be Saturday at 1:15 p.m. on ESPN.
It’s Bracketbuster weekend in college basketball. Friday at 7 p.m., North Dakota State takes on Akron on ESPN2. Creighton plays St. Mary’s Saturday at 6 p.m., while ESPN2 has three contests – Detroit-Wichita State at 4 p.m. then South Dakota State against Murray State at 8 p.m. before Ohio faces Belmont at 10 p.m.
Virginia hosts Georgia Tech Sunday at 2 p.m. on ACC network, while other areas will catch Boston College against Duke.
The Hokies take on Duke Thursday at 9 p.m. on ESPN, after Cincinnati clashes with Connecticut. Saturday at 4 p.m., the Tar Heels battle the Wolfpack and the GameDay crew catches Missouri-Kentucky at 9 p.m.
On ESPN2 there’s three games on Thursday. Georgia meets Arkansas at 7 p.m., followed by Iowa-Nebraska and BYU against St. Mary’s. Maryland plays Clemson Saturday at noon, then it’s Big 12 action between Oklahoma State and West Virginia. Marquette faces Villanova at 6 p.m.
CBS brings a pair of games both weekend days. Georgia meets South Carolina at 2 p.m. Saturday, followed by Georgetown-Syracuse. Sunday starts in the Big East with Cincinnati against Notre Dame, then Michigan State faces Ohio State.
William & Mary plays George Mason Saturday at 4 p.m. on Comcast. Hofstra hosts Old Dominion Sunday at 7 p.m.
NBC Sports network also goes to the CAA Thursday at 7 p.m., with Drexel facing Delaware. Saturday, New Mexico meets Colorado State at 4 p.m. followed by Nevada-San Diego State.
MASN has Seton Hall at Louisville Saturday at noon and Connecticut against DePaul at 8 p.m. From the Big 12, TCU tackles Kansas at 4 p.m. Sunday at noon, Pittsburgh meets St. John’s.
In women’s basketball, Comcast shows Miami against Georgia Tech Sunday at 1 p.m. James Madison visits Delaware at 4 p.m. MASN offers Big East play between Syracuse and South Florida Saturday at 2 p.m.
ESPN2 has three games Sunday. Purdue faces Minnesota at 1 p.m., followed by a top-ten battle between Duke and Maryland. Texas A&M takes on Vanderbilt at 5 p.m.
NBC Sports network heads west Thursday at 9 p.m. for Gonzaga against Santa Clara.
The Heat visit Chicago Thursday at 8 p.m. on TNT. The Spurs take on the Clippers in the nightcap.
ESPN offers Minnesota at Oklahoma City Friday at 8 p.m., followed by the Spurs at Warriors. The Sunday doubleheader starts at 7 p.m. with the Grizzlies visit Brooklyn, and the Bulls take on the Thunder at 9:30 p.m.
ABC offers the Lakers at Mavericks Sunday at 1 p.m.
Comcast has the Wizards playing the Nuggets Friday at 7 p.m. and the Rockets Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Neither rain nor snow shall keep NBC away from the World Match play final Saturday and Sunday, starting at 2 p.m.
The Lightning battle the Penguins Sunday at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports network.
The Capitals host New Jersey Thursday at 7 p.m. on Comcast, then again Saturday at noon.
There’s a twinbill on NBC Sports network Friday, with Yale at Quinnipiac at 7:30 p.m. before Denver hosts North Dakota.
Gearing up for the MLS season, the Desert Diamond Cup final will be Saturday at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports network.
In college lacrosse, Maryland faces Loyola Saturday at 2 p.m. on NBC Sports network.

Stars shine in Houston

The best of the NBA gather to shoot, dunk – everything except play defense – this weekend in Houston.
TNT has thenbastars NBA all-star game Sunday at 8 p.m. How many points can they score?
The festivities begin Friday on ESPN at 7 p.m., with the Celebrity game. TNT offers the Rising Stars challenge at 9 p.m. Saturday is filled with the skills contests, starting at 8:30 p.m. It starts with the shooting competition, then the skills test before the 3-point shot contest. The night closes with the slam dunk contest.
Sunday, will there be more than 300 points scored? The West won 152-149 last year in Orlando.
Before the stars gather, TNT offers a Finals rematch between Miami and Oklahoma City Thursday at 8 p.m. The nightcap features the Battle of L.A. between the Clippers and Lakers.
Virginia travels to North Carolina Saturday at noon on the ACC network, while other areas see Boston College-Florida State.
Kentucky takes on Tennessee Saturday at 1 p.m. on CBS, and Sunday at 1 p.m. Ohio State battles Wisconsin.
ESPN’s Rivalry week continues Thursday with Wisconsin-Minnesota at 7 p.m., followed by UCLA against California. Georgetown meets Cincinnati Friday at 9 p.m.
The GameDay crew catches Texas at Kansas Saturday at 9 p.m. ESPN’s day starts at noon with Villanova-Connecticut, followed by Purdue against Indiana. Missouri faces Arkansas at 4 p.m. and Maryland plays Duke at 6 p.m.
Louisville takes on South Florida Sunday at 1 p.m.
ESPN2 starts Thursday with LSU-South Carolina at 7 p.m. St. John’s plays Louisville at 9 p.m. and Gonzaga takes on St. Mary’s in the nightcap.
Virginia Tech travels to North Carolina State Saturday at 2 p.m., after Xavier-Dayton at noon. UCLA faces Stanford at 4 p.m., followed by Detroit-Valparaiso and Georgia against Mississippi at 8 p.m.
There’s two CAA games on Comcast Saturday, with William & Mary facing Old Dominion at noon and Georgia State goes to George Mason at 4 p.m. It’s Georgia Tech-Wake Forest at 2 p.m. and VCU takes on George Washington at 7:30 p.m.
MASN catches action from three different conferences Saturday. The day starts at noon in the Big East with Notre Dame-Providence, then it’s off to the Big South for VMI’s contest with Campbell. West Virginia hosts Texas Tech at 4 p.m., then Liberty hosts High Point at 6 p.m. The lineup concludes back in the Big East at 8 p.m. when Syracuse battles Seton Hall.
MASN2 shows Central Connecticut State at Mt. St. Mary’s Saturday at 11:30 a.m.
LaSalle against St. Joseph’s starts the schedule Saturday on NBC Sports network at 1 p.m. Princeton meets Harvard at 7 p.m., followed by San Diego State-UNLV.
Comcast has women’s basketball between Northeastern and William & Mary Friday at 8 p.m. There’s an ACC doubleheader Sunday, with North Carolina against Florida State at 1 p.m. before Wake Forest battles Duke.
ESPN2 has a twinbill Sunday, with different games across the country. ACC areas will have Georgia Tech at N.C. State before Maryland faces Virginia at 5 p.m.
It’s the weekend for Hockey Day in America. NBC starts the schedule at noon with the Penguins at Buffalo, then the Kings meet the Blackhawks. The Capitals battle the Rangers Sunday at 6 p.m. on NBC Sports network and Comcast, which shows the Capitals at Tampa Bay Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
NBC Sports network has college ice hockey between Boston University and Maine Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Speed Weeks starts in Daytona with the Unlimited Saturday at 8 p.m. on Fox. Qualifying for the top two spots will be Sunday at 1 p.m., getting ready for the big race on Feb. 24.
CBS has the Northern Trust Open Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m.
The college lacrosse season starts Sunday on NBC Sports network with Denver against Penn State at 1 p.m. Jacksonsville meets Ohio State at 3:15 p.m.
The U.S. Curling championships are on NBC Sports network Saturday. The women start the action at 10 a.m., with the men’s finals at 4 p.m.

Coming soon to the ACC

ESPN’s GameDay crew visits a Big East conference showdown Saturday night – soon to be an ACC rivalry.
Notre Dame hosts Louisville Saturday at 9 p.m. in a meeting of top 25 teams. The duo became the latest Big East members to announce intentions to join the ACC this year, with departure dates still to be determined. At most, this year’s freshmen can plan on visiting Tobacco Road for conference games as seniors.
The Cardinals and Fighting Irish – along with future ACC colleagues Syracuse and Pittsburgh – reside in the top half of the Big East standings entering the final month of the regular season.
For some current ACC teams, ESPN has North Carolina against Miami Saturday at 2 p.m. Thursday at 7 p.m., Virginia takes on Clemson on ESPN2 while Wake Forest plays Florida State Saturday at noon on ESPN2. The Hokies host Georgia Tech on Comcast Saturday at 1 p.m.
Virginia Tech hosts Maryland on the ACC network Thursday at 9 p.m., with other areas catching N.C. State at Duke. The Terps host Virginia Sunday at 1 p.m. and N.C. State heads to Clemson.
CBS has Mississippi-Missouri Saturday at 1 p.m., and top-ranked Indiana takes on Ohio State Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Hoosiers meet Illinois Thursday at 7 p.m. on ESPN. Washington plays UCLA at 9 p.m.
ESPN starts Saturday’s action at noon with Michigan-Wisconsin. Kansas takes on Oklahoma at 4 p.m., followed by Pittsburgh against Cincinnati. St. John’s heads to Syracuse Sunday at 3 p.m.
New SEC members Missouri and Texas A&M battle Thursday at 9 p.m. on ESPN2, followed by St. Mary’s-Santa Clara. St. Joseph’s battles UMass Saturday at 2 p.m. on ESPN2, followed by Valparaiso against Cleveland State and Iowa State-Kansas State. LSU faces Alabama at 8 p.m., then it’s Illinois State meeting Creighton at 10 p.m.
From the CAA, Northeastern faces Old Dominion Saturday at 4 p.m. on Comcast. James Madison meets Drexel Sunday at 7 p.m.
MASN shows a pair of Big East games Saturday – Georgetown-Rutgers at noon followed by DePaul against Marquette. West Virginia battles TCU at 4 p.m. Sunday at noon, Connecticut takes on Seton Hall.
Old Dominion takes on Drexel Thursday at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports network. New Mexico battles UNLV Saturday at 9 p.m.
In Big East women’s basketball, Cincinnati plays Rutgers Saturday at 6 p.m. on MASN. ESPN2 has a doubleheader Sunday, with Michigan State-Penn State at 2 p.m. followed by Kentucky taking on Vanderbilt.
There’s three women’s games on Comcast Sunday. Hofstra visits Georgia State at noon, and it’s off to the Atlantic 10 for Butler against George Washington. Old Dominion faces Drexel at 4 p.m.
ESPN2 shows high school basketball between Chester and Neumann-Goretti Sunday at 6 p.m.
TNT’s Thursday doubleheader starts with the Lakers at Celtics at 8 p.m. The Bulls head to Denver in the nightcap. ESPN shows Clippers plays the Heat Friday at 8 p.m. before the Bulls meet Utah. San Antonio faces the Nets Sunday at 8 p.m.
ABC’s Sunday doubleheader starts with Clippers at Knicks at 1 p.m., then the Heat host the Lakers.
Brooklyn faces the Wizards Friday at 7 p.m. on Comcast.
The Capitals try to bounce back Thursday at 7 p.m., facing Pittsburgh on Comcast. The Panthers come to town Saturday at 7 p.m.
NBC has the Kings meeting the Red Wings Sunday at 12:30 p.m. The Penguins host the Devils on NBC Sports network Sunday at 7:30 p.m.
North Dakota travels to Nebraska-Omaha Friday at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports network.
The PGA tour heads to Pebble Beach Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m. on CBS.