This Weekend in Sports: UFC 158 and NCAA Tournament Selection Sunday
Nearly nonstop college basketball and a highly anticipated UFC matchup are among the best offerings on the upcoming sports calendar. Here’s what to watch this weekend:
Friday, March 15
Big Ten Tournament
United Center, Chicago; 12 p.m. (ET) on ESPN — ongoing through Sunday, March 17
The best teams in the Big Ten will duel in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament on Friday. Regular-season champ No. 3 Indiana and star guard Victor Oladipo will play first, followed by No. 22 Wisconsin, No. 10 Ohio State and No. 8 Michigan State. Their opponents will be determined by Thursday’s results. The semifinals are Saturday, with the championship scheduled for Sunday afternoon. Both later rounds will air on CBS.
Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, N.C.; 12 p.m. (ET) on ESPN2 — ongoing through Sunday, Mar. 17
The Atlantic Coast Conference tournament quarterfinals begin in Greensboro, N.C. on Friday. Regular-season champ No. 9 Miami will start the day at noon, followed by Virginia, No. 2 Duke and North Carolina. Their opponents will be determined by Thursday’s results. The semifinals are Saturday, with the championship scheduled for Sunday afternoon.
World Baseball Classic — Puerto Rico vs. U.S./Dominican Republic
Marlins Park, Miami; 7 p.m. (ET) on MLB Network — through March 19
Puerto Rico will face the loser of Thursday night’s game between the U.S. and the Dominican Republic. Friday’s tilt will be an elimination game, as the winner advances to the championship round at AT&T Park in San Francisco along with Japan, the Netherlands and the winner of Thursday’s contest.
Saturday, March 16
Big 12 Conference Championship
Sprint Center, Kansas City, Mo.; 6 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
Led by Ben McLemore, seventh-ranked Kansas is one of the favorites to land in the title game of the Big 12 Conference tournament scheduled for Saturday evening. Eleventh-ranked Kansas State and No. 14 Oklahoma State are on the opposite side of the bracket.
Big East Conference Championship
Madison Square Garden, New York.; 8:30 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
With Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame and Louisville departing the conference next season, the final “original” Big East Championship will take place this Saturday night. Fifth-ranked Georgetown is among the favorites to land a spot in the title game.
UFC 158: Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz
Bell Centre, Montreal; 10 p.m. (ET) on Pay-Per-View
Georges St-Pierre takes on former Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz, with the UFC welterweight title on the line. Diaz is a decided underdog. St-Pierre is an impressive combination of athleticism and skill. Carlos Condit vs. Johny Hendricks; Jake Ellenberger vs. Nate Marquardt; and Chris Camozzi vs. Nick Ring are among the notable fights on the undercard.
Sunday, March 17
Boston Bruins at Pittsburgh Penguins
Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh; 12:30 p.m. (ET) on NBC
The Boston Bruins (17-4-3) travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Atlantic Division-leading Penguins (19-8-0) in what could be a preview of the Eastern Conference championship. The Penguins rallied to beat the Bruins, 3-2, on Tuesday. Led by Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh has won six games in a row heading into Thursday night.
ACC Championship Game
Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, N.C.; 1 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
The best teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference will vie for the conference’s automatic NCAA bid in Greensboro, N.C.
Food City 500
Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol, Tenn.; 1 p.m. on Fox
NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series moves east, with series leader Jimmie Johnson just five points ahead of Brad Keselowski, who won the Food City 500 in 2012.
New York Knicks at Los Angeles Clippers
Staples Center, Los Angeles; 3:30 p.m. (ET) on ABC
The Knicks (38-24) are in the middle of a terrible road trip, having lost each of their last two games by more than 20 points. Winning won’t be easier against the Clippers (45-21), who have an eight-game lead in the Pacific Division.
Big 10 Tournament Championship Game
United Center, Chicago; 3:30 p.m. (ET) on CBS
The best teams in the Big 10 face each other for the conference’s automatic NCAA bid in Chicago.
NCAA Basketball Championship Selection Show
6 p.m. (ET) on CBS
The NCAA selection committee will choose the 68-team field for the 2013 NCAA tournament and announce the schools on Sunday night.
World Baseball Classic — Pool 2 Runner-Up vs. Japan
AT&T Park, San Francisco; 9 p.m. (ET) on MLB Network
The championship round of the World Baseball Classic begins in San Francisco, as the U.S., the Dominican Republic or Puerto Rico will face two-time defending champion Japan, which is led by Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish.