They’re off and running

It’s the weekend for young horses to race for immortality.
And NFL teams to stock their rosters with young talent for next season.
Churchill Downs hosts the 141st Kentucky Derby, with coverage starting Saturday at 4 p.m. on NBC. After two minutes around the track, one horse will have a chance to win the Triple Crown.
NBC Sports network has coverage of the Kentucky Oaks Friday starting at 12:30 p.m.
ESPN and NFL Network announce the first round of picks Thursday at 8 p.m. The second round starts Friday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2 and the final day kicks off Saturday at noon on ESPN.
Enjoy your weekend of Mel Kiper Jr. insights from Chicago.
After three series sweeps, the NBA postseason will move into its second round Sunday when Golden State hosts Memphis on ABC at 3:30 p.m.
A few series remain to complete the first round, with Bucks and Bulls Thursday at 7 p.m. on TNT and the Clippers and Spurs battling at 9:30 p.m. Saturday’s schedule depends on the outcomes of these games.
The Nets and Hawks meet in Game 6 Friday at 8 p.m. on ESPN, with a Game 7 Sunday if necessary.
The Nationals visit the Mets for the weekend, starting Thursday at 7 p.m. on MASN. The Orioles take their show on the road, playing in Tampa Bay against the Rays on MASN2.
FoxSports1 has the Angels and Giants Saturday at 4 p.m., followed by Reds-Braves. The Yankees and Red Sox battle on ESPN Sunday at 8 p.m.
On the college diamond, Louisville meets Clemson Saturday at 1 p.m. on Comcast.
The Capitals and Rangers start the second round of the NHL playoffs Thursday at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports network. The Ducks host Calgary at 10 p.m.
Montreal hosts Tampa Bay Friday at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports network, followed by Wild at Blackhawks at 9:30 p.m.
NBC has Game 2 between the Rangers and Capitals Saturday at 12:30 p.m. NBC Sports network has the Canadiens against Lightning Sunday at 6 p.m., and the Wild-Blackhawks at 8:30 p.m., and CNBC brings the Ducks and Flames at 10 p.m.
On the international stage, the United States faces Finland Friday at 10 a.m. in the world championships on NBC Sports network. The Sledge Hockey gold medal game will be Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
NASCAR hopes to avoid raindrops in this weekend’s trip to Talladega. Fox has the Spring Cup race Sunday at 1 p.m., after the Xfinity Series goes Saturday at 3 p.m.
NBC offers the WGC Match Play Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.
D.C. United hosts Columbus Saturday at 7 p.m. on Comcast. Sporting Kansas City takes on Chicago on ESPN2 Sunday at 5 p.m. and Seattle faces New York City at 7 p.m. on FoxSports1.
Leicester City meets Newcastle United Saturday at 7:45 a.m. on NBC Sports network. Chelsea clashes with Crystal Palace Sunday at 8:30 a.m., followed by Tottenham Hotspur against Manchester City at 11 a.m.
Comcast has a semifinal of the Ivy League women’s college lacrosse tournament Friday at 7 p.m. The final is Sunday at 11 a.m., and the CAA tournament final will be Sunday at 1 p.m.
ESPN has a pair of SEC softball games Sunday – Kentucky against Tennessee at 1 p.m. followed by Auburn meeting LSU at 3 p.m.
The college rugby Varsity Cup championship will be on NBC Sports network Saturday at 4 p.m.


Richmond in prime time

Richmond gets to host a pair of NASCAR races under the lights – one before the 16 driver playoff begins and this weekend.
Fox has coverage Saturday at 7 p.m., and racers hope the flag drops shortly thereafter – not after a long rain delay like last week at Bristol.
Kevin Harvick leads the Sprint Cup field with two wins in the first eight races. When the drivers return to Richmond in September, the final 16 driver Sprint for the Cup lineup will be finalized.
The Xfinity Series racers hit the track Friday at 7:30 p.m. on FoxSports1.
NBC Sports network offers the IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama Sunday at 3 p.m.
The NBA postseason heads into its second weekend, starting with Game 3 of the Celtics and Cavaliers Thursday at 7 p.m. on TNT. The Pelicans host Golden State at 9:30 p.m.
ESPN offers the Mavericks and Rockets Friday at 7 p.m., followed by Spurs-Clippers. The Wizards host Toronto at 8 p.m. on ESPN2 and Comcast.
There’s a pair of games on TNT Saturday afternoon – Hawks against Nets at 3 p.m. before the Bulls battle the Bucks. New Orleans hosts the Warriors at 8 p.m. on ESPN, then it’s Grizzlies-TrailBlazers.
ABC has the Sunday afternoon action – Game 4 of Cavaliers-Celtics at 1 p.m. and Clippers against Spurs at 3:30 p.m. the Wizards host Toronto on TNT and Comcast at 7 p.m., then it’s Rockets facing the Mavericks.
The Capitals return home for Game 5 of their series with the Islanders Thursday at 7 p.m. on Comcast and CNBC. NBC Sports network has the Red Wings and Lightning at 7 p.m., then it’s Blackhawks-Predators. Vancouver faces Calgary at 10 p.m. on CNBC.
Friday’s action starts at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports network with the Penguins meeting the Rangers. Ottawa tries to stay alive in Game 5 at Montreal on CNBC, and the Wild and Blues meet on NBC Sports network at 9:30 p.m.
The rest of the weekend slate remains to be determined.
The Orioles close out their series in Toronto Thursday at 7 p.m. on MASN2, then host the Red Sox for the weekend (Friday and Sunday on MASN, Saturday on MASN2).
The Nationals meet the Cardinals Thursday at 4 p.m. on MASN before heading to Miami for the weekend (Friday and Sunday on MASN2 and Saturday at 4 p.m. on MASN).
FoxSports1 offers the Indians’ trip to Detroit Saturday at 1 p.m., followed by Mets-Yankees at 4 p.m. That series concludes on ESPN Sunday at 8 p.m.
On the college diamond, Georgia Tech faces Clemson at 1 p.m. Saturday on Comcast. LSU and Texas A&M tangle on ESPN Saturday at 2 p.m. and Alabama meets Mississippi Sunday at 1 p.m. FoxSports1 has Kansas State-Baylor Sunday at 3 p.m.
The PGA tour visits New Orleans Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m. on CBS.
Manchester City meets Aston Villa on NBC Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Southampton faces Tottenham Hotspur on NBC Sports network Saturday at 7:45 a.m., followed by Burnley battling Leicester City. Arsenal and Chelsea bring the battle of London Sunday at 8:30 a.m.
The Red Bulls meet the Galaxy on ESPN2 Sunday at 5 p.m. FoxSports1 has a pair of games Sunday, with Toronto at Orlando City at 7 p.m. followed by Portland visiting Seattle at 9:30 p.m.
Comcast carries the ACC women’s lacrosse tournament, starting Thursday at 11 a.m. when Virginia Tech faces North Carolina. Notre Dame battles Virginia at 1 p.m., then it’s Duke-Louisville at 4 p.m. and Boston College against Syracuse at 6 p.m. The semifinals are Friday at 1 and 3 p.m., with the final Sunday at 1 p.m.
In college softball, Tennessee faces Alabama on ESPN Thursday at 8 p.m. Texas takes on Texas Tech Saturday at 3 p.m. on MASN2.


Ice wars heat up

If you’re an ice hockey fan, you’re about to embark on the best two months of the year.
Teams began their quests for the Stanley Cup on Wednesday, with four more series dropping the first puck on Thursday.
stanley_cup_playoffs-2015NBC Sports network has the Penguins visiting the Rangers Thursday at 7 p.m., followed by Wild-Blues at 9:30 p.m. Detroit heads to Tampa Bay at 7:30 p.m. on CNBC, with the Western Series between Anaheim and Winnipeg at 10:30 p.m.
Friday offers the second game between the Capitals and Islanders on NBC Sports network at 7 p.m. (also on Comcast) then Nashville meets Chicago at 9:30 p.m. North of the border, Montreal hosts Ottawa at 7 p.m. on CNBC and Calgary clashes with Vancouver at 10 p.m.
NBC has a pair of games Saturday at 3 p.m. – Detroit against Tampa Bay or Minnesota facing St. Louis – and Penguins-Rangers at 8 p.m. The Ducks and Jets battle at 10:30 p.m. on NBC Sports network.
The Islanders start their final postseason at Nassau Coliseum Sunday at noon, meeting the Capitals in Game 3. The Predators take on the Blackhawks at 3 p.m.
The Canadiens and Senators meet at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports network, followed by Vancouver-Calgary at 10 p.m.
Multiple games continue each night throughout the coming week.
The NBA’s postseason tips Saturday on ESPN, with the Wizards meeting the Raptors at 12:30 p.m. West top-seed Golden State hosts New Orleans at 3:30 p.m. on ABC, then ESPN has an evening doubleheader – Bulls against Bucks at 7 p.m. and Rockets-Mavericks at 9:30 p.m.
LeBron James and the Cavaliers battle the Celtics Sunday at 3 p.m. on ABC.  TNT has the rest of the first round action, with Nets-Hawks at 5:30 p.m. followed by Portland visiting Memphis at 8 p.m. and San Antonio against the Clippers at 10:30 p.m.
The WNBA gears up for its new season with its draft Thursday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
The Nationals host the Phillies for the weekend, starting on MASN Thursday at 7 p.m. It’s over the MASN2 Friday, MASN Saturday at 1 p.m. and MASN2 Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
The Orioles head to Boston Friday at 7 p.m. on MASN, Saturday at 4 p.m. on MASN2 and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. on MASN.
FoxSports1 has Saturday’s Orioles-Red Sox game at 4 p.m., followed by the Rays against Yankees at 7 p.m. ESPN offers the Reds battling the Cardinals Sunday at 8 p.m.
On the college diamond, Texas-San Antonio takes on Rice on Comcast Saturday at 3 p.m. FoxSports1 has St. John’s against Creighton Friday at 7 p.m. and Vanderbilt meets South Carolina on ESPN2 Saturday at 1 p.m.
NASCAR visits Bristol this weekend, with the Sprint Cup race Sunday at 1 p.m. on Fox. FoxSports1 has the Xfinity series contest Saturday at 1 p.m.
Bahrain hosts the Formula One race Sunday at 11 a.m. on NBC Sports network.  There’s practice Friday at 11 a.m.
The IndyCar circuit goes to Long Beach Sunday at 4 p.m. on NBC Sports network.
After the Masters, the PGA tour heads to Hilton Head for the Heritage on CBS Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m.
D.C. United hosts Houston Saturday at 7 p.m. on Comcast. Philadelphia takes on New England Sunday at 5 p.m. on ESPN2 and Portland heads to New York City Sunday at 7 p.m. on FoxSports1.
Napoli takes on Wolfsburg in Europa League action Thursday at 3 p.m. on FoxSports1.
Liverpool and Aston Villa meet in a semifinal of FA Cup Sunday at 10 a.m. on FoxSports1.
Everton takes on Burnley Saturday at 10 a.m. on NBC Sports network. Manchester City battles West Ham United Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
NBC Sports network offers Notre Dame’s Blue-Gold game Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
Cleveland and Philadelphia meet in Arena Football Saturday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
In college softball, Baylor battles Oklahoma on ESPN2 Thursday at 9 p.m. and Florida faces Georgia Saturday at 4 p.m. Mercer meets Samford Saturday at 1 p.m. on Comcast and ESPN offers Oregon against Stanford Sunday at 3 p.m.


Does Tiger have any left in his tank?

Tiger Woods missed last year’s Masters.
He’s missed the past two months of the PGA tour.
mastersWill he find his past Augusta magic this year?
Tiger has four green jackets in his closet, and the quest for a fifth begins Thursday in one of the day’s late pairings.
The honorary starters – including Jack Nicklaus – get play going Thursday morning, and ESPN has coverage Thursday and Friday at 3 p.m.
CBS has the weekend action, starting Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
The latest green jacket awaits in Butler Cabin.
The Orioles have their home opener Friday at 3 p.m. on MASN against the Blue Jays, then continue the homestand Saturday and Sunday.
The Nationals close their series with the Mets Thursday at 1 p.m. on MASN, then visit the Phillies for the weekend on MASN2.
FoxSports1 offers the Red Sox facing the Yankees Saturday at 1 p.m., and the Royals meet the Angels at 9 p.m. The Red Sox and Yankees close out their series on ESPN Sunday at 8 p.m.
Southern Mississippi faces Western Kentucky on Comcast Sunday at 1 p.m.
It’s the final weekend of the NHL season, and the Capitals and Rangers gear up for the postseason Saturday at 12:30 p.m. on Comcast.
NBC offers the Sharks-Kings and Wild against Blues Saturday at 3 p.m.
The Blues battle the Blackhawks Thursday at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports network and Tampa Bay hosts Boston Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Boston hosts the NCAA’s Frozen Four, with Providence against Nebraska-Omaha at 5 p.m. and Boston University facing North Dakota at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
Let your hair hang down and watch the NASCAR race on Fox Saturday at 7 p.m. The Xfinity drivers hit the track Friday at 8:30 p.m. on FoxSports1.
NBC Sports network has the Chinese Grand Prix Sunday at 1:30 a.m. There’s practice Friday at 3 a.m. and qualifying Saturday at 2 p.m.
The IndyCar circuit visits Louisiana this weekend, with the race Sunday at 3 p.m. on NBC Sports network. There’s qualifying Saturday at 5 p.m.
TNT offers the Bulls and Heat Thursday at 8 p.m., with Warriors against TrailBlazers in the nightcap.
The Wizards visit the Nets Friday at 7:30 p.m. on Comcast and host Atlanta Sunday at 6 p.m.
In Arena Football, Las Vegas visits the LA Kiss Saturday at 10 p.m. on ESPN2.
D.C. United battles the Red Bulls Saturday at 7 p.m. on Comcast. ESPN has Portland’s trip to Orlando Sunday at 5 p.m. and Seattle takes on the Galaxy Sunday at 7 p.m. on FoxSports1.
Swansea City meets Everton Saturday at 7:45 a.m. on NBC Sports network. Queens Park Rangers battle Chelsea at 8:30 a.m. followed by Manchester United-Manchester City.
Tennessee takes on LSU in college softball Saturday at 5 p.m. on ESPN.
ESPN2 has action from the Family Circle Cup tennis tournament, with play Thursday through Sunday at 1 p.m.
The top women’s bowlers gather for the NCAA championships Sunday at 4 p.m. on ESPN. The PBA has its league semifinals at 2 p.m.


The ball is tipped…

Can Kentucky complete the 40-0 run?
finalfour15The Wildcats take aim at college basketball history this weekend, facing Wisconsin Saturday in the second semifinal at the Final Four.
TBS has coverage of Saturday’s contests, starting at 6 p.m. when Duke battles Michigan State.
CBS carries Monday’s final at 9 p.m., finishing with the cutting down of the nets and a new edition of One Shining Moment.
The women hold their Final Four Sunday, with four top seeds taking the court. South Carolina clashes with Notre Dame at 6:30 p.m., followed by Maryland-Connecticut. The women’s championship contest will be Tuesday.
Stanford takes on Miami in the NIT championship Thursday at 9 p.m.
ESPN has a boys high school championship game Saturday at noon, after semifinals on ESPN2 Friday at 3 and 5. The best girls teams play Saturday at 10 a.m. on ESPN2.
NBA basketball returns to TNT Thursday, with Cleveland hosting the Heat at 8 p.m. before the Suns meet the Warriors.
Oklahoma City battles Memphis on ESPN Friday at 8 p.m., with Trail Blazers-Lakers as the nightcap.
The Wizards meet the Knicks Friday at 7 p.m. on Comcast.
The Thunder take on the Rockets Sunday at 1 p.m. on ABC, followed by Bulls-Cavaliers.
With the Wrigley Field bleachers under construction, the Cubs and Cardinals open the season Sunday at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.
The Orioles and Braves get ready for Opening Day with a contest Friday at 6 p.m. on MASN, while the Nationals host the Yankees Saturday at 1 p.m. ESPN has the Yankees and Tigers Thursday at 1 p.m.
The Capitals hit the road this weekend, visiting Montreal Thursday at 7:30 p.m. on Comcast before meeting Ottawa Saturday at 7 p.m. and Detroit Sunday at 5 p.m.
Comcast offers Flyers-Hurricanes Saturday at 1 p.m. and NBC has the Flyers’ battle with the Penguins Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
The Red Wings face the Bruins Thursday at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports network and the Blues battle the Blackhawks Sunday at 7:30 p.m.
Arsenal tangles with Liverpool Saturday at 7:45 a.m. on NBC Sports network, followed by Manchester United-Aston Villa. Burnley battles Tottenham Hotspur Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and Newcastle United takes on Sunderland at 11 a.m.
San Jose takes on Real Salt Lake Sunday at 5 p.m. on ESPN2 and Philadelphia meets Kansas City at 7 p.m. on FoxSports1.
There’s an international women’s friendly between the United States and New Zealand Saturday at 4 p.m. on FoxSports1.
The PGA tour gears up for the Masters at the Houston Open this weekend, with NBC coverage Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m.
NBC Sports network has the road to the Kentucky Derby with the Wood Memorial and Bluegrass Stakes Saturday at 5 p.m.
Arizona meets Las Vegas in Arena Football Saturday at 10:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
ESPN2 offers action from the Miami Open Thursday at 1 and 7 p.m. The men’s semifinals are Friday at 1 and 7 p.m. with the women’s championship Saturday at 1 p.m. The men’s crown will be decided Sunday at 1 p.m. on ESPN.
FoxSports1 has Villanova against Denver in college lacrosse Friday at 8:30 p.m.
Oregon takes on UCLA in college softball Sunday at 3 p.m. on ESPN2.