ESPN won't be short of sound at tourney time

Media Watch

March 07, 1997|By MILTON KENT

If you're looking for someone to feel sorry for this weekend, besides the coaches and players on teams whose holds on NCAA tournament bids rest precariously, have some pity on whoever drew short straw in the ESPN sound engineering department.

That poor person will not only have to listen in on Dick Vitale and Digger Phelps, who will be manning the studio through the end of "Championship Week," but also Louisiana State men's coach Dale Brown as soon as the Tigers are knocked out of the Southeastern Conference tournament.

Those clever ESPN folks are calling it "3-D" (get it?), but you may be calling for help.

At any rate, Phelps and Vitale have some thoughts on the Atlantic Coast Conference and on the local entrant, Maryland, as the Terps prepare to meet Clemson in today's quarterfinal opener (Channel 54, noon).

Vitale, who will head to Greensboro, N.C., to call tomorrow's semifinals and Sunday's championship game, says Maryland needs to beat Clemson to have a chance at at least a No. 4 seed in the NCAA tournament. To do that, Phelps says the key is Baltimore's own, Keith Booth.

"His problem has been staying out of foul trouble. If you look at the losses to teams like Duke and North Carolina of late, Booth has been on the bench with fouls, and they need him to stay in that upbeat game they like to play," said Phelps.

A warning: Cable subscribers in this area will not be able to see any ACC tournament coverage on ESPN, because of the league's television contract with Raycom/Jefferson Pilot. In its place, viewers here will see either taped boxing or simulcasts of ESPNEWS. All ACC tourney games will air on Channel 54, however.

Flood of memories

Before his death, former St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Curt Flood extracted a promise that director Spike Lee would make a film of his life.

Flood, who challenged baseball's reserve clause, which bound a player to a team in perpetuity, died Jan. 20 of throat cancer, but Lee finished shooting tape of Flood's wife, Judy, narrating a piece for HBO's "Real Sports" the day before.

The piece, Lee's third contribution to "Real Sports," premieres Monday at 10 p.m. and though Lee's previous HBO works examined Georgetown coach John Thompson and Albert Belle, Monday's piece chronicles the life and times of a true man of courage.

"Every athlete should get down on their knees and thank Curt Flood. I would include Albert Belle and everyone else in that statement," said Lee, who plans a bio- pic on Jackie Robinson.

Other "Real Sports" features include a look at women's boxing and at Wake Forest center Tim Duncan.

Around the dial

In case you had forgotten (and how could you?), the 64-team men's NCAA draw will be announced Sunday at 6: 30 p.m. and CBS (Channel 13), the home of the tournament, is getting competition from all flanks. ESPN, for example, will present the brackets about a millisecond behind CBS, and NBC (Channel 11) will run the Knicks and Bulls, starting at 5: 30 in an attempt to blunt whatever audience CBS might get. At 7: 30 p.m., ESPN will present the women's draw, and there'll be lots of interest in College Park, where Maryland waits to see if it's invited after a three-year drought.

TBS will carry the World Indoor Track and Field Championships from Paris at 4: 05 p.m. Sunday, with expected participation from sprinters Gail Devers and Randall Evans and from shot-putter John Godina, who won a silver medal in Atlanta last summer. Verne Lundquist and the ubiquitous Craig Masback, who appears to be the only guy in America who can analyze track, will have the call.

On the radio side, Jody Martin and Larry Quinn will call Saturday's Johns Hopkins-Rutgers men's lacrosse game, starting at 2: 30 p.m. on WWLG (1360 AM). WJFK (1300 AM) will air the Conference USA and Atlantic 10 championship basketball games on Saturday and the ACC title game Sunday, if it doesn't involve Maryland. In that case, WBAL (1090 AM) would have the Terps' clash, as well as Saturday's semifinal, and the Orioles' exhibition games against Montreal on both days would be delayed.

Got it?

Pub Date: 3/07/97

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