Defending champion Chicago Cubs

On Opening Night, the Chicago Cubs will take the field as defending World Series champions – for the first time since 1909.
The Cubs and Cardinals meet Sunday at 8:25 p.m. on ESPN to cap three contests on the first day of the regular season.
The Yankees and Rays tangle at 1 p.m. on ESPN, and the Giants play the Diamondbacks on ESPN2 at 4 p.m.
The rest of the league gets going Monday as the campaign begins.
Before heading north, the Orioles meet the Tigers Thursday at 1 p.m. on MASN.
The Nationals have exhibition games against the Red Sox Friday at 4 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. on MASN, with ESPN picking up the Saturday game also.
The NCAA’s Final Four meet in Phoenix, with the semifinals starting Saturday at 6 p.m. on CBS. Gonzaga takes on South Carolina in the early matchup, followed by North Carolina-Oregon.
The winners advance to Monday night’s championship and a chance to cut down the nets.
The NIT crowns its champion Thursday at 8 p.m. as Georgia Tech meets TCU.
The women’s Final Four tips on ESPN2 Friday at 7:30 with South Carolina against Stanford, then Connecticut clashes with Mississippi State at 10 p.m. The winners battle Sunday at 6 p.m. for the championship.
Four of the best high school teams meet Friday at 3 and 5 p.m. on ESPN2. The winners play Saturday at noon on ESPN after the girls championship at 10 a.m. on ESPN2.
TNT offers the Cavaliers against the Bulls Thursday at 8 p.m. with Rockets-Trail Blazers in the nightcap.
The Spurs meet the Thunder Friday at 8 p.m. on ESPN, followed by Rockets-Warriors.
Comcast carries the Wizards’ contest with the Jazz Friday at 9 p.m. and meeting with the Warriors Sunday at 8 p.m.
The Celtics face the Knicks at 1 p.m. Sunday on ABC, then the Jazz visit the Spurs.
NASCAR heads to Martinsville for the weekend, with the Monster Cup Series on FoxSports1 Sunday at 2 p.m. The Truck Series will be on Fox Saturday at 3 p.m.
The Capitals clash with Columbus Sunday at 6 p.m. on Comcast.
NBC Sports network has the Stars against the Bruins Thursday at 7 p.m. and the Flyers visit the Rangers Sunday at 7:30 p.m.
Comcast brings the Flyers and Devils Saturday at 7 p.m.
The Blackhawks battle the Bruins Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on NBC.
FoxSports1 has a pair of MLS matches Friday, with Toronto against Sporting KC at 7:30 p.m. before Seattle meets Atlanta.
The Timbers take on the Revolution on ESPN2 Sunday at 9 p.m.
Liverpool faces Everton Saturday at 7:25 a.m. on NBC Sports network, then Chelsea clashes with Crystal Palace. Swansea City meets Middleborough Sunday at 8:25 a.m. followed by Arsenal-Manchester City.
NBC Sports network has the World Championship Figure Skating competition, with Pairs Free Thursday at 1 p.m. and Ladies Free Sunday at 1 p.m. The Men’s Free program will be Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
ESPN2 has the women’s semifinals of the Miami Open Thursday at 1 and 7 p.m. There’s a men’s semifinal Friday at 1 p.m.
The women’s championship is Saturday at 1 p.m. on ESPN2 and men’s final Sunday at 1 p.m.
On the college diamond, Texas A&M takes on LSU Saturday at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
Auburn battles Georgia in SEC softball Sunday at 7 p.m. on ESPN.
Colgate visits Loyola in women’s college lacrosse Saturday at noon on Comcast.


16….8….4

The overall top seed and defending champion – Villanova – won’t be there, but 16 teams remain to battle for the NCAA men’s basketball championship.
The Sweet 16 tips off Thursday at 7 p.m. when Michigan meets Oregon at Kansas City on CBS. The winner meets either Kansas or Purdue on Saturday.
TBS has the West regional from San Jose, with West Virginia facing top-seed Gonzaga at 7 p.m. The nightcap matches Arizona and Xavier.
Friday’s action begins on CBS at 7 p.m. with North Carolina taking on Butler. Kentucky and UCLA tangle in the second game of the South regional.
Madison Square Garden hosts the East regional, with Baylor-South Carolina in the first game at 7:29 p.m. followed by Florida against Wisconsin.
Saturday has two championships, with the final two slots Sunday afternoon.
The women’s Sweet 16 starts Friday at 7 p.m. with regional action from Lexington and Oklahoma City. The other two regions – Bridgeport and Stockton get going Saturday at 11:30 a.m.
Nets will be cut down in Lexington and Oklahoma City Sunday at noon and 7:30 p.m.
ABC has the Thunder against the Rockets Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
The Wizards take on the Nets on Comcast Friday at 7 p.m. and the Cavaliers Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
The Capitals face the Blue Jackets Thursday at 7 p.m. on Comcast.
The Penguins battle the Flyers Sunday at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports network after NBC offers Wild-Red Wings Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
On the college ice, North Dakota meets Boston University in a West regional semifinal Friday at 3 p.m. on ESPN.
NASCAR closes its west coast swing with a visit to Fontana. Fox has the Monster Series Sunday at 3:30 p.m. after the Xfinity Series goes on FoxSports1 Saturday at 4 p.m.
NBC Sports network has the Australian Grand Prix Sunday at 12:30 a.m., after qualifying Saturday at 2 a.m. and practice Friday at 1 a.m.
For a different type of horsepower, NBC Sports network has the Dubai World Cup Saturday at 10:30 a.m.
MASN has the Mets against the Nationals Thursday at 1 p.m.
There’s two games on ESPN Thursday, as the Yankees meet the Rays at 1 p.m. and Dodgers take on the Rangers at 7 p.m.
On the college diamond, LSU faces Florida Saturday at 3 p.m. on ESPN2 and TCU takes on Oklahoma State at 8 p.m.
Comcast has Louisville’s contest with North Carolina State Saturday at 1 p.m. and Miami meets North Carolina Sunday at noon.
Oklahoma State and TCU close out their series Sunday at 2 p.m. on ESPN2.
Auburn tangles with Florida in college softball Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
The PGA tours’ World Golf Championship has coverage on NBC Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.
FoxSports1 has World Cup qualifying Friday, with Mexico against Costa Rica at 8:30 p.m. followed by United States’ contest with Honduras. Azerbaijan takes on Germany on ESPN2 Sunday at 11:50 a.m.
There’s rugby between Bristol and Gloucester Friday at 2:30 p.m. on NBC Sports network and Saracens against Bath Sunday at 9:45 a.m.


68….64…32…16

Sixth-eight teams earned spots in the NCAA tournament.
Only one gets a shining moment to cherish in a few weeks.
final-four-2017The tournament kicks into high gear Thursday afternoon, beginning on CBS with Notre Dame against Princeton at 12:15 p.m. Virginia faces UNC-Wilmington in the first contest on TruTv starting at 12:40 p.m.
TNT’s coverage starts at 1:30 p.m. with Butler against Winthrop and TBS brings West top-seed Gonzaga’s contest with South Dakota State at 2 p.m.
CBS has primetime coverage from the Buffalo site, with East top-seed Villanova meeting Mount St. Mary’s before Virginia Tech battles Wisconsin.
Friday’s action begins on CBS with Michigan against Oklahoma State at 12:15 p.m. TruTv’s four contests start with Baylor’s battle with New Mexico State.
TNT has the 8-9 matchup between Seton Hall and Arkansas at 1:30 p.m. from Greenville before top-seed North Carolina meets Texas Southern. TBS brings Oregon-Iona at 2 p.m.
CBS offers four games from the second round Saturday, with primetime doubleheaders on TNT and TBS. There’s more action on CBS Sunday afternoon, with two contests each on TBS and TNT while TruTV adds one contest at 7:30 p.m.
Then we’re down to the Sweet 16.
There’s NIT action Saturday and Sunday at noon on ESPN and Sunday at 5 p.m. on ESPN2.
The women’s tournament starts Friday at noon on ESPN2. Connecticut takes on Albany Saturday at 11 a.m. to start the second day of competition, with second round play Sunday at noon.
Comcast has Wizards-Bulls Friday at 7 p.m.
The Cavaliers meet the Clippers on ABC Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
The Capitals host the Predators Thursday at 7 p.m. on Comcast and visit Tampa Bay Saturday at 7 p.m.
The Orioles take on the Tigers in spring training action Sunday at 1 p.m. on MASN.
On the college diamond, Virginia tangles with Clemson Saturday at 1 p.m. on Comcast.
NASCAR visits Phoenix this weekend, with the Monster Series going Sunday at 3:30 p.m. on Fox. The Xfinity Series will be on Fox Saturday at 4 p.m.
NBC has the Arnold Palmer Invitational Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Seattle meets the Red Bulls Sunday at 7:30 p.m. on FoxSports1.
West Bromwich Albion faces Arsenal Saturday at 8:25 a.m. on NBC Sports network, with
ESPN offers the NCAA wrestling championships, with finals Saturday at 8 p.m.  The semifinals are Friday at 8 p.m. with second round action Thursday at 8 p.m.
NBC Sports network has Alpine skiing Thursday at noon and Friday at 12:30 p.m. There’s Giant Slalom Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
It’s the World Women’s Curling Championship Sunday at 9 p.m. on NBC Sports network.


And the field is…

Who’s going where?
Who has the best road to Phoenix?
final-four-2017The debates begin Sunday night after the 68-team NCAA tournament field gets revealed. CBS has coverage at 5:30 p.m., and sports TV and radio continue the debates until next Thursday.
The ACC tournament visits the Big Apple, continuing Thursday at noon from Brooklyn’s Barclay Center as top-seed North Carolina meets Miami on ESPN and the ACC network. Louisville faces Duke at 2:30 p.m.
In the evening session, it’s Florida State-Virginia Tech at 7 p.m. with Notre Dame against Virginia in the final contest.
There’s ACC semifinals Friday at 7 and 9:30 p.m., with the final Saturday at 9 p.m.
ESPN2 splits Thursday between the Big 12 and Big 10. The day starts at 12:30 p.m. with Oklahoma-Iowa State, and a second contest at 3 p.m. It’s Indiana-Iowa from the Verizon Center at 6:30 p.m. followed by another second round contest.
Villanova’s first contest starts the Big East tournament play on FoxSports1 Thursday at noon. It’s Seton Hall-Marquette at 2:30 p.m., then Butler meets Xavier at 7 p.m. before Creighton against Providence caps the night at 9:30 p.m.
NBC Sports network brings the A-10 tournament, starting Thursday at noon with Davidson-LaSalle. Play continues at 2:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
ESPN has the fourth quarterfinal from the Pac-12 tournament Thursday at 11:30 p.m.
The first two Big Ten quarterfinals will be on ESPN Friday starting at noon. After the ACC semifinals, it’s a Pac-12 semifinal game at 11:30 p.m.
ESPN2 offers the Big 12 semifinals Friday at 7 and 9:30 p.m., after showing a pair of games from the American Conference at noon and 2:30 p.m.
The Big East semifinals will be on FoxSports1 Friday at 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.
The A-10 quarterfinals are Friday starting at noon on NBC Sports network.
CBS has the Big Ten semifinals Saturday at 1 and 3:30 p.m., then the Mountain West crowns its champion at 6 p.m.
The SEC semifinals are on ESPN at 1 and 3:30 p.m. Saturday, followed by the Big 12 championship game at 6 p.m. The PAC-12 championship will tip at 11 p.m.
Fox has the Big East final Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
ESPN2 starts its day at 11 a.m. with the championship of the American East Conference between Albany and Vermont. It’s the MEAC title tilt at 1 p.m. then the semifinals from the American Conference at 3 and 5:30 p.m. Bids will be offered to the MAC at 7:30 p.m., the Southland Conference at 9:30 p.m. and the Big West at 11:30 p.m.
The SEC crowns its champion on ESPN Sunday at 1 p.m. and the American Conference final is at 3 p.m.
ESPN2 has the Ivy League championship at noon and Sun Belt at 2 p.m.
Then everyone waits to find out their tournament destination.
Comcast has the CAA women’s semifinals Friday at 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., with the championship game Saturday at 7 p.m.
The Spurs take on the Thunder Thursday at 8 p.m. on TNT, followed by Lakers-Suns.
ABC has Spurs-Warriors Saturday at 8:30 p.m. and the Bulls’ contest with the Celtics Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
The Wizards meet Sacramento Friday at 10:30 p.m. and the Trail Blazers Saturday at 10 p.m. on Comcast.
ESPN has the Cavaliers’ trip to Houston Sunday at 9 p.m.
MASN has the Orioles spring training game with the Pirates Saturday at 1 p.m. and the Nationals meet the Astros Sunday at 1 p.m.
NASCAR visits Las Vegas, with the Monster Series on Fox Sunday at 3:30 p.m. The Xfinity Series goes Saturday at 4 p.m. on FoxSports1.
The IndyCar season starts on the streets of St. Petersburg Sunday at noon on ABC.
Ousted from home due to the Big Ten tournament, the Capitals have a western swing with visits to San Jose Thursday at 10:30 p.m. on Comcast, the Kings on Comcast-plus Saturday at 10:30 p.m. and the Ducks Sunday at 9:30 p.m.
Comcast also offers a pair of contests Saturday afternoon, with the Flyers against the Bruins at 1 p.m. followed by Predators-Sharks.
NBC has the Blackhawks and Wild Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
The Rangers meet the Red Wings on NBC Sports network Sunday at 7 p.m.
NBC has the PGA tour Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m.
Everton faces West Bromwich Albion Saturday at 9:55 a.m. on NBC Sports network and it’s Liverpool-Burnley Sunday at 11:55 a.m.
MLS’ new squads – Minnesota and Atlanta – meet on ESPN2 Sunday at 5 p.m. before the Galaxy take on the Timbers on FoxSports1 at 7 p.m.
NBC Sports network offers women’s giant slalom skiing Saturday at 4 p.m.


Conference championship time

Time to start sending invites to the Big Dance.
 final-four-2017The first conference champions will be crowned this weekend, setting the stage for the field of 68 to be unveiled next Sunday.
The Ohio Valley Conference brings its championship Saturday at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.
CBS has the Missouri Valley Championship Sunday at 2 p.m.
There’s a pair of championship games on ESPN Sunday, with the Big South battle at 1 p.m. and Atlantic Sun at 3 p.m.
There’s quarterfinal action from the West Coast Conference Saturday at 10 p.m. and Sunday at 12:30 a.m. on ESPN2.
Championships and bubble bursting will continue through the week.
ESPN has Big Ten action Thursday, as Minnesota meets Nebraska 7 p.m. and it’s Wisconsin-Iowa at 9 p.m.
Cincinnati clashes with Houston Thursday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2 before Colorado takes on Stanford.
West Virginia faces Iowa State Friday at 7 p.m. on MASN2 and it’s Kent State-Akron at 9 p.m.
Virginia closes its home season against Pittsburgh Saturday at noon on ACC network. Syracuse faces Georgia Tech at 4 p.m. and other areas will see Miami against Florida State.
Virginia Tech hosts Wake Forest Saturday at 4:30 p.m. on Comcast.
There’s three games on CBS Saturday, starting at noon with Kentucky-Texas A&M. Notre Dame visits Louisville at 2 p.m. before Arizona battles Arizona State.
ESPN starts its day at noon with Ohio State-Indiana. Florida faces Vanderbilt at 2 p.m., followed by Baylor against Texas and Kansas’ contest with Oklahoma State. The GameDay crew catches Duke’s contest with North Carolina at 8:15 p.m.
Georgia clashes with Arkansas on ESPN2 Saturday at 2 p.m. Memphis meets SMU at 4 p.m. and it’s Oregon-Oregon State at 6 p.m.
George Mason faces VCU Saturday at 2 p.m. on MASN.
Comcast has a pair of quarterfinals from the CAA tournament Saturday at noon and 2:30 p.m.
Cincinnati clashes with Connecticut Sunday at noon on CBS and it’s Northwestern-Purdue at 4:30 p.m. Comcast has a semifinal from the CAA tournament Sunday at 2 p.m., with the second semifinal on Comcast-plus at 4:30 p.m.
There’s ACC women’s tournament play Thursday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Comcast, with early quarterfinal games Friday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. ESPN2 has a semifinal contest Saturday at noon.
MASN2 has quarterfinals of the Big 12 women’s tournament Saturday at noon, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
There’s five women’s championship games on ESPN2 Sunday. The ACC tips off the action at 1 p.m., followed by the SEC and American Athletic Conference. The Big Ten goes at 7 p.m. with the PAC 12 title title at 9 p.m.
TNT offers the Warriors’ visit to Chicago Thursday at 8 p.m. with Thunder-Trail Blazers in the nightcap.
The Heat face the Magic Friday at 7 p.m. on ESPN before the Spurs face the Pelicans at 9:30 p.m. Sunday night at 8:30 p.m., the Thunder visit the Mavericks.
On Comcast, the Wizards host the Raptors Friday at 7 p.m. and the Magic Sunday at 5 p.m.
ABC offers Clippers-Bulls Saturday at 8:30 p.m. and the Warriors’ visit to the Knicks Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
The Orioles have a spring training contest with the Phillies Sunday at 1 p.m. on MASN.
There’s college baseball on MASN2 Friday, with Texas A&M taking on Texas Tech at 4:30 p.m. and TCU-LSU at 8:30 p.m. There’s three more games Sunday, with LSU-Texas Tech at 11 a.m. followed by TCU against Mississippi at 2:30 p.m. and Texas A&M battling Baylor at 6 p.m.
The Capitals meet the Devils Thursday at 7 p.m. on Comcast and Flyers Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
NBC Sports network has Rangers-Bruins Thursday at 7 p.m. and Blues taking on the Avalanche Sunday at 8 p.m.
NASCAR visits Atlanta this weekend, with the Monster Series race on Fox Sunday at 2:30 p.m. The Xfinity Series goes Saturday at 2 p.m. on FoxSports1 followed the Truck Series at 4:30 p.m.
MLS season starts this weekend, and ESPN shows Orlando City against New York City at 5 p.m. and FoxSports1 has Atlanta United’s debut contest with the Red Bulls at 7:30 p.m.
Manchester United takes on Bournemouth Saturday at 7:25 a.m. on NBC Sports network, and it’s Liverpool-Arsenal at 12:30 p.m. Tottenham Hotspur faces Everton Sunday at 8:25 a.m. before Sunderland meets Manchester City.
There’s rugby Friday on NBC Sports network, as Leicester faces Exeter at 2:30 p.m. followed by the first day of USA Sevens at 7 p.m. Action on day two begins Saturday at 5:30 p.m. and semifinals Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
NBC Sports network has women’s downhill skiing Friday at 9 p.m.
USA swimming gathers in Indianapolis on NBC Sports network Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
NBC Sports network brings USA Track and Field Indoor Championship Sunday at 5:30 p.m.