What to know, watch, and read this weekend to be your best sports self.
Yo, welcome to the weekend, fellow sports fan. You made it, and you can spend two glorious days watching sports on your couch in just your underwear if that’s what you’re into. Here’s what you need to know, what you can watch, and what you should read if you want to get your sports on.
WHAT TO WATCH
1. Women’s NCAA Basketball: South Carolina vs. Stanford, Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2
2. Women’s NCAA Basketball: UConn vs. Mississippi State, Friday, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN2
We need to talk about the UConn women, who haven’t lost a game in 10 million years. Okay, not quite, but they have won 111 straight.
Both of these games feature a No. 1 seed vs. a No. 2 seed, so they’re bound to be full of action. Will UConn finally lose? Probably not, but stranger things have happened. This is, after all, Mar— *gets run over by a bus*
3. National Championship Game (TBD), Sunday, 6 p.m., ESPN
My money is on UConn not only getting here, but winning it all.
4. Men’s NCAA basketball: Oregon vs. North Carolina, Saturday, 8:49 p.m. on CBS
This game marks the ninth Final Four appearance for North Carolina head coach Roy Williams, who says the darnedest things. Oregon has stepped up since their star player, Chris Boucher, tore his ACL and missed the tournament. The Ducks upset the No. 1-seed Kansas Jayhawks in the Elite Eight on their way to the Final Four.
UNC vs. Oregon: Who are you taking? pic.twitter.com/mlmwrPWRwL
— SB Nation (@SBNation) March 27, 2017
5. Men’s NCAA basketball: Gonzaga vs South Carolina, Saturday, 6:09 p.m. on CBS
Gonzaga finally made it to the Final Four this year, so the Zags are no longer the winningest team in college basketball history to never make the tourney semifinals. It’s South Carolina’s first time in the semis, too (cheered on by Darius Rucker the whole time). The Gamecocks have had a wildly improbable run. The No. 7-seed has upset top team after top team to make it this far.
Gonzaga vs. South Carolina: Who are you taking? pic.twitter.com/BJWT5X3pkM
— SB Nation (@SBNation) March 27, 2017
(The men’s NCAA Championship game is on Monday, at a time yet to be decided.)
6. BASEBALL IS BACK! Hell yeah, baseball!
On Sunday we’ve got: Yankees @ Rays is the first game (1:10 ET) and that’s Masahiro Tanaka pitching against Chris Archer. Giants @ Diamondbacks is the second (4:10 ET) and it’s Madison Bumgarner vs. Zack Greinke. Cubs @ Cardinals is the late game (8:35 ET) and it’s Jon Lester vs. Carlos Martinez.
7. Miami Open Finals: Joanna Konta vs. Caroline Wozniacki
Caroline Wozniacki is back in the finals of a fairly big tournament, you guys! After being hurt for the better half of the 2016 season, the Dane seems to be making a comeback. She’ll face Joanna Konta, who beat Venus Williams in the semis to get this far. The men’s final should also be a great match; G.O.A.T. Roger Federer will face upstart Nick Kyrgios in the semis Friday night, and the winner of that match will play either Rafa Nadal or Fabio Fognini.
8. Wrestlemania!!!!! On PPV and the WWE Network, Sunday, April 2 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.
A Kickoff Show will air on the WWE Network before, starting at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT. There are some hugely dramatic matches on the card this year featuring the WWE’s biggest stars, from the Undertaker, to John Cena, to Charlotte Flair, to Triple H. Let the ladder smashing, ropes-crashing, totally bizarre, and incredible games begin.
9. NBA: Last Rockets vs. Warriors game of the year, Friday, 10:30 p.m. on RTSW, ESPN, CSBA
This is a possible Western Conference Finals preview.
10. NBA: Thunder vs. Spurs Friday, 8 p.m. on ESPN
Thunder-Spurs games are always good.
11. NBA: Wizards vs. Warriors Sunday, 8 p.m. on CSMA, CSBA
John Wall vs. Steph Curry probably won’t disappoint.
12. NBA: Pacers vs. Cavaliers Sunday, 6 p.m. on FSOH, FSIN
We get to watch Lance Stephenson vs. LeBron James!
(Not sure why you should watch the no good, very bad Knicks play the very good Celtics, but that’s a thing that is happening. “Jazz vs. Spurs is kinda interesting,” says our NBA editor Mike Prada, “but still pretty zzzzz.”)
13. Premier League: Arsenal vs. Man. City, Sunday, 11 a.m., NBCSN and Telemundo
These are two of the best teams in the Premier League. Arsenal, however, has been playing poorly lately.
“If they lose, they’re in very deep shit,” says our soccer editor, Kevin McCauley. “You have to finish top four to get to UEFA Champions League, and if they lose, they’re not gonna do it. So they’d lose hella money and their best players would ask to leave. But, if Arsenal wins, they’ll give a contract extension to the Jeff Fisher of soccer and everyone’s gonna be pissed. So it’s a lose-lose and it’s funny.”
14. Shell Houston Open Round 3 on Saturday, Round 4 on Sunday, both 3-6 p.m. on NBC
This tournament isn’t a huge deal, but it is a fun way to get back on your golf-watching game ahead of (dun dun dun) THE MASTERS! Which could, if you want it to, take up most of next weekend.
WHAT TO READ
Jon Bois on how there is no future of baseball.
Grant Brisbee on why baseball games are so damn long now.
Whitney Medworth will make you feel unaccomplished.
Tom Ziller on Isaiah Thomas’ future with the Celtics.
Molly Podlesny on the meme you never knew you needed.
Zito Madu on that stupid Ronaldo sculptor.
Me, Charlotte Wilder, on why it’s harder to screw up baseball than you think it is (also, PSA: baseball hair is important).
Lyndsey D’arcangelo on women’s basketball fans for Teen Vogue.
Bill Barnwell on which NFL teams have the most and least draft capital for ESPN.
Michael Baumann on Mike Trout for The Ringer.
Adele Jackson-Gibson on black athletes and hair for Excelle Sports.
Claire McNear on the Raiders moving to Las Vegas for The Ringer.
Patrick Redford on the most powerful man in chess for Deadspin.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s face got all busted up when someone made a bust of Ronaldo’s face.
In NBA land, the Knicks got mathematically eliminated from the playoff race (shocker), Steph Curry played well three times in nine days, which was something the NBA’s golden (state) boy hasn’t done recently. Russell Westbrook hit a game-winner, and James Johnson dunked Marcus Morris all the way to Pluto and back.
*Clears throat* ONCE AGAIN, BASEBALL IS BACK!!!! Here’s our season preview. It’s dope. Please read it.
Jay Cutler’s wife Kristin Cavalieri posted a picture of her husband’s butt on Instagram.
OK, I think that’s everything.
IF NONE OF THIS INTERESTS YOU
Take a hike. No, seriously. It’s getting nicer out. Hikes are sports. Sports are good for you.