Thursday, April 05, 2007

The feature series of the weekend would appear to be Arizona State's visit to Arizona for a pair of games, one each on Friday and Saturday night.

Depending on which national poll you look at, Arizona and ASU are either the No. 5 and 7 teams, respectively, or No. 6 and 9. More important, I would argue, is that the Wildcats and Sun Devils are the top two teams (at the moment) in the powerful Pac 10 conference and this weekend's series could give either team some momentum toward winning the conference title (less so, of course, if there's a split). The Pac 10 does not have a conference tournament. A robust discussion of the upcoming ASU-U of A series is taking place on the Ultimate College Softball boards.

The Saturday game will be televised on ESPN 2, with former Texas pitcher Cat Osterman serving as color commentator. Each game starts at 7:00 pm local Arizona time. A perennial source of confusion is that Arizona spends part of the year in Pacific Time and part in Mountain Time (click for further detail). I'm on Central Time myself, here in Texas, and my TV listing puts the game at 9:00 pm, so Arizona evidently is on Pacific Time at the moment (in other words, the game should be on at 7:00 pm on the West Coast and 10:00 pm in the East).

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ASU-Arizona is not the only game on national TV this weekend, as long as you have a pretty extensive package of cable sports channels. CSTV will televise Saturday afternoon's North Carolina at Maryland action (only the first game of their doubleheader). Also, Fox Sports Net will carry Sunday's game with No. 1 Tennessee visiting Georgia (Saturday's doubleheader between the Vols and Bulldogs will be shown regionally, on Comcast Sports Southeast).

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In the Big 12, Baylor is atop the league standings with a 5-0 conference record (dare we call them the "Good News Bears"?). Four of the wins have come over Nebraska and Kansas (two each). However, just this past Wednesday in a game that eluded my attention, Baylor beat highly ranked Texas A&M. Baylor comes into my backyard (figuratively) to play Texas Tech (winless in conference) this weekend in Lubbock. Cold weather is expected for the weekend (including a predicted high of 35 degrees on Saturday, with possible snow showers), so the Texas Tech team page in the right-hand column should be consulted for possible scheduling changes (the Texas Tech baseball team, also at home this weekend, has announced changes for its games).