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Hump Day Report March 3, 2010

Posted by Casey in Multi-Sport Preview/Review.
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March Madness is coming.  Soon Dick Vitale, Digger Phelps and the ESPN college basketball machine will be coming at you through all types of media.  There will be countless college basketball games on the before the field of 65 is announced (March 14th), but which ones are worth more than a cursory glance?  I say Wednesday’s matchup of #2 Kansas vs. #5 Kansas State.  Kansas edged an 81-79 OT win at Kansas State a little over a month ago behind a winning layup from All-American Sherron Collins.  Collins will take center stage at Kansas’ senior night Wednesday at 8PM on ….ESPN Gameplan?  That’s right this top 5 matchup won’t be on the ‘home’ of college basketball, ESPN (or 2 or U or the ocho), unless you live in Big XII country (places to find it).  ESPN 360 also will carry the game depending on your internet provider.  For those who won’t be watching  look for ESPN’s doubleheader (UConn @ Notre Dame, ACC #1 Duke @ ACC #2 Maryland, starts at 7 ET Wednesday.

Let’s face it NBA games these days thrive based on star power, and Thursday’s Lakers-Heat matchup (TNT, 8 ET) certainly brings that.  Kobe Bryant has Los Angeles fighting for the best record in the league, while the Heat are fighting for 8th spot led by perennial All-Star Dwayne Wade.  Jazz-Suns round up TNT’s Thursday doubleheader, and ESPN has Pistons-Cavs at 7 followed by Hornets-Spurs on Friday night.  Cleveland is undoubtedly thinner inside without Shaquille O’Neal (8 weeks thumb) and Zydrunas Ilgauskas (released, can resign with Cavs 3/22, or any team now), but has a 6 game cushion for best record in the East.  The Cavs are 2-0 since Shaq’s injury and should be capable of securing at least home court throughout the Easter Conference Playoffs.

Wednesday is a FIFA international date and being that qualification is finalized for the 2010 World Cup, there’s nothing to do but play friendly matches.  An injury-hit US squad travels to Holland to face a strong Dutch team live on ESPN2 at 2:30 ET (actual KO, 2:45).  Gol TV will feature Argentina-Germany live at 2:30 ET, followed by Cameroon-Italy on tape delay at 5:00 ET.  ESPN 360 will have a selection of games live and available on replay, highlighted by Spain- France, live at 3:00 ET.  Finally, for those hoping to scout out the USA’s Group C opponents England, their match with Egypt is available on the new Fox Soccer Channel Plus, or online through Fox Soccer TV.  I’ve left out quite a few interesting games, so look for highlights on Fox Soccer Channel’s Fox Soccer Report (10 ET each weeknight with exceptions).

That’s about it for now, I’ll try to get a recap of US-Holland and how the World Cup is shaping up as well as a weekend preview by Friday.

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