College basketball is getting down to some "cro-o-o-cial" contests now on the eve of the NCAA Championship marathon.
Both UCLA and USC, who had at each other Thursday night in that four-overtime thriller, have had little chance for R and R and have to hit the boards again this weekend.
The Bruins, though losing to the Trojans, are still mathematically in the Pac 10 race, and today face Oregon, which is right behind USC and one of the few West Coast schools--including Oregon State--recognized by the Eastern media in top 25 listings. CBS (Channels 2 and 8) covers UCLA-Oregon live from Pauley Pavilion at 11 a.m. today.
The Trojans, in a rare Sunday date, have a meeting with Texas of the Southwest Conference. Channel 11 carries the game live at noon, with Mike Walden and Jim Perry reporting from Texas. Though the game has no bearing on USC's first place Pac 10 status, a win over a so-so Texas team will enhance their overall record.
Competition for sports viewers around noon Sunday will be heated. Consider: Georgetown (26-2) and Syracuse (20-6), playing in a game starting at 10 a.m. over Channels 4, 36 and 39, will be in their second half; Georgia Tech (20-6) and Oklahoma (23-5), starting at 11 a.m. over Channel 2 and 8, may still be in their first half.
And then there's the competition with the USFL, which has Houston Gamblers vs. Tampa Bay Bandits at 11:30 a.m. over Channels 7, 3, 10 and 42.
On the surface, this is a football game that may not have any local interest. But, a quarterback named Jim Kelly, who started out last week in virtual obscurity, what with all the hoopla over Doug Flutie's pro debut, suddenly got national attention. He proceeded to write his name in record books. During last week's 34-33 squeaker over the Express, Kelly aced out Norm Van Brocklin's NFL passing mark of 554 yards set in 1951. Kelly threw for 574 yards!
If he keeps that up, Doug Flutie can heave a sigh of relief. It will take some of the burden of being the USFL's No. 1 glamour boy off Flutie's shoulders if he can share that accolade with Kelly.
When will USFL fans get to see the Express, who's debut last Sunday had no TV or radio coverage? If you're cable equipped, ESPN is covering the Express vs. Portland game today at 6 p.m. And the first radio coverage will be on KROQ-FM (106.7), same time.
SHORT TAKES: While all the super pros in football, basketball and baseball are counting their millions, how's this action for a slight, freckle-faced 22-year-old kid in a non-contact pro sport: Pete Weber, currently performing on ABC's "Pro Bowlers' Tour," has pocketed around $70,000 in prize money so far. And, as of Friday morning, he is in the finals of the North Olmsted, Ohio, tourney which ABC carries on Channels 7 and 10 (delayed) at 3 p.m. today. Those winnings go with his $139,680 that was stacked up last season.
ROUNDUP: Today, Basketball, Louisville vs. Memphis State, 9 a.m. (2) (8) . . . Basketball, No. Carolina vs. Duke, 10 a.m. (4) (36) (39) . . . Basketball, Kentucky vs. LSU, noon (4) (36) (39) . . . Basketball, Stanford vs. Oregon, 1 p.m. (5) (51) . . . Sports Saturday, 1 p.m. (2) (8) . . . Golf, Honda Tournament, 2 p.m. (4) (36) (39) . . . Skiing, Women's Downhill, 2 p.m. (7) (10) . . . Basketball, Fresno State vs. San Jose State, 3 p.m. (4) . . . Wide World of Sports, 4:30 p.m. (7) (3) (42) . . . NBA Basketball, Lakers vs. Mavericks, 5:20 p.m. (9) . . . Basketball, Cal State Long Beach vs. Nevada-Las Vegas, 8 p.m. (9).
SUNDAY: Basketball, Washington vs. Notre Dame, 9 a.m. (2) (8) . . . Golf, Honda finals, noon (4) (36) (39) . . . Sports Sunday, 1 p.m. (2) (8) . . . SportsWorld, 2 p.m. (4) (36) (39) . . . Skiing, Women's Giant Slalom, 3:30 p.m. (7) (3) (42).