Let’s play ball

As professional baseball celebrates its 150th anniversary, all 30 MLB teams get the new year started Thursday.
The Orioles have a rare road opener, visiting the Yankees on ESPN and MASN2 Thursday at 1 p.m. ESPN has the Diamondbacks against the Dodgers at 4 p.m. and Red Sox taking on the Mariners at 7 p.m.
The Nationals meet the Mets on MASN Thursday at 1 p.m. The series continues Saturday and Sunday on MASN, while MASN2 carries the Orioles’ games Saturday and Sunday afternoon.
FoxSports1 has a pair of contests Saturday, with Braves-Phillies at 4 p.m. followed by Giants against Padres at 8:40 p.m.
ESPN closes the weekend with two more games, bringing the Cubs’ clash with the Rangers at 4 p.m. and Braves’ battle with the Phillies at 7 p.m.
CBS and TBS bring the Sweet 16, starting Thursday at 7 p.m. with Florida State facing Gonzaga on CBS. Texas Tech takes on Michigan in the second game from Anaheim, while TBS has the Louisville bracket – Purdue tangling with Tennessee at 7:29 p.m. before Virginia’s contest with Oregon.
It’s LSU-Michigan State at 7 p.m. Friday on CBS, then Duke meeting Virginia Tech. TBS offers North Carolina against Auburn from Kansas City at 7:29 p.m. before Kentucky-Houston.
The regional finals from Anaheim and Louisville will be on TBS Saturday at 6 and 8:30 p.m., with CBS covering action from Washington and Kansas City Sunday at 2 and 5 p.m.
Then we’ll have the four teams for next weekend’s semifinals.
The best two teams in Division II meet on CBS Saturday at 3 p.m.
On the women’s side, ESPN starts the Sweet 16 Friday at 7 p.m. with UCLA against Connecticut. Top-seed Louisville meets Oregon State at 9:30 p.m.
ESPN2 has Arizona State’s contest with Mississippi State Friday at 9 p.m. followed by South Dakota State-Oregon.
North Carolina State tangles with Iowa Saturday at 11:30 a.m. on ESPN and then it’s South Carolina-Baylor. The action moves to ESPN2 at 4 p.m. as Notre Dame takes on Texas A&M and Missouri State meets Stanford.
ESPN has a pair of regional finals Sunday at noon and 2 p.m. and there’s two finals Monday on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
The Wizards visit the Jazz Friday at 9 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington and take on the Nuggets Sunday at 8 p.m.
NASCAR heads to Texas for the weekend, with the Monster Series on Fox Sunday at 3 p.m. The Xfinity Series goes Saturday at 1 p.m. on FoxSports1 and it’s the Truck Series Friday at 9 p.m. on FoxSports1.
Formula One has the Bahrain Grand Prix Sunday at 11 a.m. on ESPN2 after qualifying Saturday at 10:55 a.m.
It’s a match play weekend on the PGA tour, with NBC covering the World Golf Championship Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.
The Capitals visit the Hurricanes Thursday at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington and take on the Lightning Saturday at 7 p.m.
NBC carries the Rangers against the Flyers Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
The Bruins visit the Red Wings on NBC Sports network Sunday at 7:30 p.m.
On the college ice, it’s Harvard against Massachusetts on ESPN2 Friday at 3 p.m. and the East Regional final Sunday at 4 p.m. on ESPN2.
Yale faces Penn in college lacrosse Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.
D.C. United takes on Orlando City Sunday at 6:30 p.m. on FoxSports1 and ESPN2 has Galaxy against Portland at 9 p.m.
Fulham faces Manchester City on NBC Sports network Saturday at 8:25 a.m., followed by Manchester United-Watford and West Ham United against Everton at 1:25 p.m.
Cardiff City clashes with Chelsea Sunday at 9 p.m. before Liverpool takes on Tottenham Hotspur.
In the Bundesliga, Hannover takes on Schalke on FoxSports1 Sunday at 9:30 a.m.
NBC Sports Washington has indoor soccer between the Blast and Utica City Sunday at 2 p.m.
It’s the final of the Miami Open Sunday at 1 p.m. on ESPN2 after the women’s final Saturday at 1 p.m. The men have their semifinals Friday at 1 and 7 p.m. with women’s semifinals Thursday at 1 and 7 p.m.
MASN has the Florida Derby Saturday at 6 p.m. and the Santa Ana Derby at 7 p.m.
Texas takes on Oklahoma State in college softball Saturday at 8:30 p.m on ESPN2 and Arizona faces Arizona State Sunday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
There’s motocross racing from Houston Saturday at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports network.


For weeks, sports fans have been discussing which teams will squeak into the NCAA tournament.
By Sunday night, most of the bubble teams will be thinking about next season.
The first round tips off Thursday on CBS at noon with Minnesota taking on Louisville. TruTV starts its slate at 12:30 p.m. with LSU against Yale, and Auburn meets New Mexico State on TNT at 1:30 p.m. Florida State faces Vermont at 2 p.m., with contests continuing through midnight.
Virginia starts its run Friday at 3 p.m. on TruTV.
CBS begins its day at noon with Cincinnati-Iowa. Mississippi meets Oklahoma at 12:30 p.m. on TruTV, Texas Tech takes on Northern Kentucky at 1:30 p.m. on TNT and out west Kansas State tangles with Cal-Irvine at 2 p.m. on TBS.
Virginia Tech has the final tip of the day, playing St. Louis at 9:57 p.m.
CBS has four contests on Saturday beginning at noon, with doubleheaders on TNT – starting at 6 p.m – and TBS getting going at 7 p.m.
There’s three more second round games on CBS Sunday, with TruTV having a contest at 7:30 p.m. TNT airs its two games at 6 p.m and 8:30 p.m., with TBS tip times at 7 and 9:30 p.m.
After a busy weekend, mostly the season’s best teams – and a surprise or two – will begin preparing for the Sweet 16.
The women’s tournament gets going Friday at noon on ESPN2. Maryland-Radford starts Saturday’s play at 11 a.m. on ESPN2, The second round gets going on ESPN2 Sunday at noon, and ESPN joins the coverage for a pair of games at 7 p.m
There’s a pair of NIT games on ESPN Saturday at noon and 2 p.m., and two more Sunday at 2 and 4 p.m.
Martinsville hosts NASCAR this weekend, with the Monster Series on FoxSports1 Sunday at 2 p.m. Fox has the Truck Series Saturday at 2 p.m.
The Wizards host the Nuggets Thursday at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington and take on the Heat Saturday at 7 p.m.
The Capitals clash with the Wild Friday at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington and meet the Flyers on NBC Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
The Avalanche visit the Blackhawks Sunday at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports network.
The Nationals face the Cardinals in exhibition baseball on MASN Saturday at 1 p.m.
The PGA tour will be on NBC Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m.
ESPN has the NCAA wrestling tournament finals Saturday at 7 p.m., with semifinals Friday at 8 p.m. after second round action Thursday at 8 p.m.
The United States meets Ecuador in an international friendly on ESPN2 Thursday at 8 p.m.
Belgium battles Russia in a UEFA qualifier Thursday at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
TNT has the Alliance of American Football contest between Orlando and Atlanta Saturday at 2 p.m.
James Madison faces Elon in college softball Saturday at 11 a.m. on NBC Sports Washington.
It’s Washington-Oregon on ESPN Saturday at 4 p.m. and LSU meets Georgia Sunday at 4 p.m. Baylor battles with Oklahoma State at 4 p.m. on ESPN2.
NBC Sports network has the Louisiana Derby Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
Saracens faces Harlequins in rugby on NBC Sports network Saturday at 11 a.m.
There’s motocross racing from Seattle Saturday at 10 p.m. on NBC Sports network.

And the field is…

Virginia appears headed for another top seed in the NCAA tournament.
Is UMBC in its future again?
The Cavaliers start their defense of the ACC tournament title Thursday at noon against North Carolina State on ESPN, NBC29 and Raycom affiliates. The Wolfpack slipped past Clemson Wednesday to advance to the quarterfinals.
It’s Florida State battling Virginia Tech at 2:30 p.m., and in the night session North Carolina faces Louisville at 7 p.m. before Zion Williamson returns to the Duke lineup against Syracuse.
The semifinals are Friday at 7 and 9:30 p.m., with the final Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
What about UMBC? The Retrievers face Vermont in the America East finale Saturday at 11 a.m. on ESPN2 in a rematch of last year’s contest.
Virginia hopes for no rematch or repeat next week.
CBS carries the unveiling of the field of 68 on Sunday at 6 p.m.
FoxSports1 has the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament Thursday, starting at noon with top-seed Villanova against Providence.  It’s Creighton-Xavier at 2:30 p.m., then Marquette meets St. John’s at 7 p.m. and Seton Hall faces Georgetown in the nightcap.
It’s the Big 12 tournament on ESPN2 Thursday. Iowa State battles Baylor at 12:30 p.m. followed by TCU-Kansas State at 3 p.m. Texas Tech takes on West Virginia at 7 p.m. and Texas tangles with Kansas at 9:30 p.m.
In the Atlantic 10, LaSalle faces Rhode Island Thursday at noon on NBC Sports network and George Mason takes on George Washington at 2:30 p.m. It’s Saint Joseph’s-Duquesne at 6 p.m. and St. Louis facing Richmond in the nightcap.
ESPN has the fourth quarterfinal in the Pac-12 tournament Thursday at 11:30 p.m.
It’s the semifinals of the Big East tournament on FoxSports1 Friday at 6:30 and 9 p.m.
ESPN2 offers the Big 12 semifinals at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Friday.
There’s a pair of quarterfinals in the SEC tournament on ESPN Friday at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., and two games from the American Conference on ESPN2 Friday at noon and 2:30 p.m.
The Atlantic 10 quarterfinals continue Friday at noon on NBC Sports network.
The semifinals of the Big Ten tournament go Saturday at 1 and 3:30 p.m. on CBS. The Mountain West crowns its champion Saturday at 6 p.m.
The SEC semifinals are on ESPN Saturday at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., followed by the Big 12 championship at 6 p.m. and Pac-12 finale at 10 p.m.
Fox carries the Big East tournament final Saturday at 6 p.m.
The semifinals of the American Conference will be Saturday at 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
It’s the MEAC final Saturday at 1 p.m. on ESPN2, followed by the Mid-American championship at 7:30 p.m. and Southland at 9:30 p.m. The Big West finale tips at midnight.
CBS gears up for the bracket reveal with the Atlantic 10 championship at 1 p.m. and Big Ten at 3:30 p.m.
The SEC championship will be on ESPN Sunday at 1 p.m., followed by the American Conference at 3:15 p.m.
On ESPN2, the Ivy League championship will be at noon before the Sun Belt crowns its champion.
TNT has the Lakers visiting the Raptors Thursday at 8 p.m. followed by the Mavericks against the Nuggets.
The Wizards host the Hornets Friday at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington and battle the Grizzlies on NBC Sports Washington-plus Saturday at 7 p.m.
The Warriors visit the Thunder Saturday at 8:30 p.m. on ABC., and the Sixers take on the Bucks Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
It’s Timberwolves against the Rockets on ESPN Sunday at 9 p.m.
The Capitals visit the Flyers on NBC Sports Washington Thursday at 7 p.m. and take on the Lightning Saturday at 7 p.m.
It’s Predators-Sharks on NBC Sports Washington Saturday at 10:30 p.m.
NBC Sports network has the Flyers facing the Penguins Sunday at 7:30 p.m. and Edmonton visiting Vegas at 10 p.m.
The PGA tour moved The Players Championship from May to March, giving fans an earlier look at the 17th green. NBC has coverage Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.
In exhibition baseball, the Orioles tangle with the Twins Thursday at 1 p.m. on MASN and meet the Yankees Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Nationals take on the Cardinals Saturday at 1 p.m. on MASN.
NASCAR visits California, with the Monster Series on Fox Sunday at 3:30 p.m. The Xfinity Series goes Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
It’s the Twelve Hours of Sebring on NBC Sports network Saturday at 3 p.m.
ESPN2 has the Australian Grand Prix Sunday at 6:35 a.m.
New York FC faces Los Angeles FC on FoxSports1 Sunday at 3 p.m. and it’s Cincinnati-Portland at 5 p.m.
Burnley battles Leicester City on NBC Sports network Saturday at 11 a.m. Fulham faces Liverpool Sunday at 10:10 a.m. and it’s Everton-Chelsea at 12:30 p.m.
In the Bundesliga, Leverkusen battles Werder Bremen Sunday at 8:30 a.m. on FoxSports1 and Eintracht faces Nurnberg at 10:30 a.m.
Lazio plays Parma in Serie A Sunday at 9:55 a.m. on ESPN2.
The Six Nations Championship features Italy-France at 8:30 a.m. on NBC Sports network and England against Scotland at 1 p.m.
ESPN2 has the men’s and women’s finals of the Paribas Championships Sunday at 4 p.m.


Conference championship time

The road to Minneapolis starts this weekend, with teams likely to play in the First Four in Dayton gaining some of the first berths.
Several smaller conferences get their chance to shine this weekend, en route to a double-digit seed.
The Ohio Valley Conference crowns its champion Saturday at 8 p.m. on ESPN2,  and ESPN has the Big South final Sunday at 1 p.m. followed by the Atlantic Sun at 3 p.m.
CBS carries the Missouri Valley Conference final Sunday at 2 p.m.
The major conferences close their regular seasons this weekend.
Iowa faces Wisconsin on ESPN Thursday at 7 p.m., followed by SMU-Houston.
Cincinnati clashes with Central Florida Thursday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2 and it’s UCLA against Colorado at 9 p.m.
FoxSports1 has Indiana-Illinois Thursday at 8 p.m. and Southern Cal taking on Utah at 10 p.m.
Virginia Tech hosts Miami on ESPN2 Friday at 7 p.m. before VCU battles Saint Joseph’s.
Minnesota meets Maryland on FoxSports1 Friday at 7 p.m.
Syracuse clashes with Clemson Saturday at noon on CBS, then Florida faces Kentucky and it’s Arizona State against Arizona at 4 p.m.
Fox brings Villanova against Seton Hall Saturday at noon, Georgetown-Marquette at 2:30 p.m. and St. John’s taking on Xavier at 5 p.m.
ESPN starts its day Saturday at noon with Tennessee-Auburn. Baylor battles Kansas at 2 p.m. before Virginia goes for the ACC regular season championship against Louisville. If Virginia loses, North Carolina’s contest with Duke at 6 p.m. could determine the champion.
Michigan meets Michigan State at 8 p.m. and Oregon faces Washington at 10 p.m.
TCU tangles with Texas on ESPN2 Saturday at noon. It’s Texas A&M against Mississippi State at 2 p.m., followed by Central Florida-Temple and Oklahoma’s clash with Kansas State. There’s quarterfinals in the West Coast Conference tournament at 10 p.m. and Sunday at 12:30 a.m.
NBC29 and Raycom offers Wake Forest-Florida State Saturday at noon, with other stations showing Pittsburgh against Notre Dame.
North Carolina State visits Boston College Saturday at 4 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.
DePaul clashes with Creighton on FoxSports1 Saturday at 8 p.m.
Houston takes on Cincinnati Sunday at noon on CBS and Wisconsin tangles with Ohio State at 4 p.m.
Penn State hosts Illinois on FoxSports1 Sunday at noon
NBC Sports Washington has second round contests from the ACC women’s tournament Thursday starting at 11 a.m. There’s a pair of quarterfinals contests Friday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The ACC women’s final will be on ESPN2 Sunday at noon. The SEC championship follows at 2 p.m., then there’s a semifinal in the American Conference at 4 p.m. It’s the Big Ten finale at 6 p.m. and Pac-12 at 8 p.m.
FoxSports1 has the Big 12 semifinals Sunday at 3 and 5:30 p.m.
TNT has the Pacers’ contest with the Bucks Thursday at 8 p.m. and the Thunder tangle with the TrailBlazers at 10:30 p.m.
The 76ers visit the Rockets on ESPN Friday at 8 p.m., with Nuggets-Warriors in the nightcap.
NBC Sports Washington-plus has the Wizards against the Hornets Friday at 7 p.m. with the contest with the Timberwolves Saturday at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.
The Celtics visit the Lakers on ABC Saturday at 8:30 p.m. and the Pacers meet the 76ers Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
Exhibition baseball continues as ESPN offers Twins against the Red Sox Thursday at 1 p.m.
The Orioles take on the Red Sox Friday at 1 p.m. and the Yankees Saturday at 6 p.m. on MASN.
The Nationals meet the Marlins on MASN2 Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
NBC Sports network has the Penguins’ contest with Columbus Thursday at 7 p.m. The Bruins visit the Penguins Sunday at 7:30 p.m. followed by Kings-Ducks.
The Capitals meet the Devils Friday at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington and host the Jets Sunday at 7 p.m.
Fox has the Monster Series from Phoenix Sunday at 3:30 p.m. The Xfinity Series goes Saturday at 4 p.m.
The IndyCar season starts Sunday at 12:30 p.m. with the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on NBC Sports network. There’s qualifying Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
Cincinnati FC hosts its first home MLS contest, meeting Atlanta United on ESPN Sunday at 5 p.m. Los Angeles FC plays Portland on FoxSports1 at 7:30 p.m.
In indoor soccer, NBC Sports Washington has Baltimore against Kansas City Sunday at 3 p.m.
Crystal Palace clashes with Brighton & Hove Albion Saturday at 7:25 a.m. on NBC Sports network, followed by Southampton-Tottenham Hotspur. NBC carries Manchester City against Watford at 12:30 p.m.
Burnley battles Liverpool Sunday at 7:55 a.m. on NBC Sports network and it’s Chelsea against Wolverhampton at 10 a.m. Manchester United meets Arsenal at 12:30 p.m. on NBC.
Bayern Munich faces Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga Saturday at 9:30 a.m. on FoxSports1.
ESPN has the NCAA men’s and women’s indoor track championships Sunday at 7 p.m.
Bath Rugby takes on Saracens Friday at 2:30 p.m. on NBC Sports network.
NBC Sports network has the Pro Swim Series Friday at 8 p.m.
There’s motocross racing from Daytona Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports network.