Some new friends some old 'Friends'


It's the start of March Madness, a k a the NCAA basketball championships, which some people avoid and other people dive into -- dive as in pool. My easy tip, for people who want to enter the office pool but don't know a double dribble from a dribble glass: When choosing which of two teams will beat the other, always go with the one that comes first in the alphabet. This year, for example, that puts Alabama vs. Arizona in the finals.

* "NCAA basketball championships" (noon-5 p.m., 7:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m., Channel 13) -- On some of these teams, especially the ones that are lower-ranked and playing for the pure joy of it, there exists the type of athleticism and spirit that is truly fun to watch. Only die-hards, though, will invest the 10 hours of viewing it would take to watch all of today's live coverage on CBS.

* "Hope & Gloria" (8:30 p.m.-9 p.m., Channel 11) -- If you missed this new sitcom last week, don't make the same mistake twice. It's genial, clever and winning. NBC.

* "Seinfeld" (9 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Channel 11) -- It used to be that Mel Torme was the patron saint of "Night Court," showing up every so often and being referred to on many other occasions. Tonight, Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) continues the tradition on "Seinfeld" by going on a date to see the Velvet Fog himself. NBC.

* "New York Undercover" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., Channel 45) -- And as veteran crooner guest-star appearances go, here's another, even though "crooner" doesn't do him justice. Making a cameo appearance tonight is James Brown. Fox.

* "Friends" (9:30 p.m.-10 p.m., Channel 11) -- This sitcom, getting a lot of midseason momentum from its February sweeps stunt, can now entertain new fans by repeating solid episodes from earlier in the season -- like this one, in which Ross (David Schwimmer) learns about his ex-wife's current plans. NBC.


* "Killing Obsession" (10 p.m.-11:40 p.m., MAX) -- Who says cable TV doesn't offer a dizzying array of choices? Tonight, for example, you can choose between this 1994 thriller about a psycho killer stalking young women . . .

* "Hidden Obsession" (10 p.m.-11:35 p.m., SHO) -- . . . or this 1993 thriller, about a psycho killer stalking a young woman.

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