Hey, kids, do you like that college basketball? If so, wake the kids and phone the neighbors, for tomorrow is the day you've dreamed of.
In a 13-hour period from 1 p.m. tomorrow until about 2 a.m. Sunday morning, there will be eight games available across three broadcast and cable networks.
CBS, the self-proclaimed home of college basketball, shows its first doubleheader of the season, with Duke and Illinois at 1 p.m. (Channel 11) in the first college game at Chicago's new United Center, immediately followed by Arkansas' second appearance on the network in six days, this time at Missouri.
ESPN goes with four games, leading off with Michigan at Tennessee-Chattanooga at 2 p.m. The total sports network gets serious tomorrow night, with Louisville-Michigan State at 7:30 p.m., Florida-Wake Forest at 9:30 p.m. and Arizona State-New Mexico at midnight.
Oddly, the best collection of games tomorrow may well be oNBC, which has increasingly dropped out of the college basketball scene since losing the NCAA tournament.
The network (Channel 2) will carry both games in the first John Wooden Classic, a doubleheader that honors the legendary UCLA coach from Anaheim (Calif.) Arena, with top-ranked Massachusetts meeting No. 7 Kansas in the opener at 1 p.m., and No. 3 Kentucky against fifth-ranked UCLA at 3:30 p.m.
ABC ends the college football regular season tomorrow with a doubleheader, starting with the Army-Navy game in Philadelphia at noon and the Southeastern Conference championship game from Atlanta, matching Florida against Alabama at 3:30. Both will be seen on Channel 13.
On the professional side, NBC (Channel 2) will have the Kansas City-Denver clash Sunday at 4 p.m. In a rare show of cross-network charity, the nice folks at "NFL Live," NBC's pre-game show, will air a piece on the first game, won in October by the Chiefs in the closing seconds, with an interview with ABC's Al Michaels, who called the game for "Monday Night Football." By the way, Al's brother, David, is an NBC producer.
Meanwhile, Channel 45, which has the doubleheader, gets saddled with Washington-Tampa Bay at 1 p.m., followed by New York Giants-Cleveland at 4 p.m.
Other stuff to watch
HBO airs the heavyweight match between Riddick Bowe and Larry Donald from Caesars Palace at 9:30 tomorrow night, and here's hoping the punches thrown will be a bit less comical than the combination Bowe threw at Donald during a pre-fight news conference the other day.
On tomorrow's "NBA Inside Stuff" (Channel 2, noon), host Willow Bay sits down for a chat with Detroit Pistons rookie phenom Grant Hill, in which Hill says: "I try to live my life as if one day I'm going to run for president. I'm not going to run, but I just try doing things now that later on in life I won't regret."
And finally . . .
How about that comeback in Saturday's Texas Class 5A Division II high school football regional semifinal, where Plano East made up a 41-17 deficit to Tyler John Tyler in the final three minutes to take a 44-41 lead, only to see Tyler run back a kickoff with 11 seconds left for the win?
And how about the call of the game, which got picked up on ESPN's "SportsCenter" this week? The Plano color analyst was colorful, if not objective.
As the Plano comeback began, our hero said that all the fans who had taken their "nasty, snarly butts" out of Texas Stadium were "sorry dogs."
When Plano recovered one of three onside kicks, our man paid homage to the old "Dragnet" series by uttering the immortal phrase, "Good gosh a'mighty, Joe Friday." And when Tyler returned the kickoff, we shared his pain when he declared, "I'm sick. I want to throw up."
With that kind of broadcast track record, there might be room for that guy in the Baltimore CFLs' booth.