Congrats, my friends! You’ve almost made it to the weekend! That’s right: You no longer have to minimize the window you’re streaming games on as your boss walks by and can instead watch from the comfort of your own couch, bar stool, or parents’ basement.
Here’s how to make the most of your free time when it comes to sports.
WHAT TO WATCH
I don’t know if anyone told you, but THIS IS MARCH! The NCAA tournament is in full swing, and we’ve whittled the original 68 teams down to a super Sweet Sixteen, which concludes Friday (the Elite Eight starts Saturday).
UCLA vs. Kentucky at 9:39 p.m. ET, CBS
You might’ve heard of a certain on-fire freshman named Lonzo Ball who’s lighting up the court for UCLA this season. You might also be familiar with his dad — LaVar Ball has been espousing takes hotter than his son’s basketball game.
North Carolina vs. Butler at 7:09 p.m., TBS
You should put your money on the No. 1-seeded Tar Heels for this one, but there is a chance of an upset (there’s always a chance of an upset — this is, as previously stated, March). Especially since the last time these schools played each other, Butler pulled off a win. Whomever takes this game will face the winner of UCLA-Kentucky.
Wisconsin vs. Florida at 9:59 p.m., TBS
Wisconsin currently has the most delightful player in the tournament, Nigel Hayes. He’s been to two Final Fours and two Sweet 16s, and he’s hoping to lead his No. 8-seeded Badgers to Elite Eight glory.
South Carolina vs. Baylor at 7:29 p.m., CBS
After upsetting Duke’s evil empire, South Carolina made it to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time ever and will face Baylor, a No. 3 seed. Can they keep their streak alive?
SOCCER! US Men’s National Team vs. Honduras, 11 p.m., FS1, UniMas, UDN
This match is basically a must-win for the US. They lost their first two qualifying games, so if they lose this one, too, their odds of making the World Cup will be small. Which would be less than ideal for America.
We won’t know the schedule of all the NCAA games until the Friday games play out, but we do know that these will happen:
Women’s NCAA Tournament: UConn v. UCLA, 2:00 p.m. EST, ESPN
The UConn women’s team has been unstoppable — they’ve won 109 straight games which is absolutely insane, and they’re marching forward looking like they’re not about to lose the 110th.
Oregon vs. Kansas, 8:49 p.m., TBS
Oregon barely squeaked a win by Michigan on Thursday, and the Jayhawks smoked Purdue, 98-66.
Xavier vs. Gonzaga, 6:09 p.m., TBS
EVEN MORE COLLEGE BASKETBALL! Are you sick of it yet? Of course you aren’t. March rules.
Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 3:30 p.m., ROOT Sports Utah, Fox Sports West
This game is a preview of the first round of the playoffs, since the Jazz and Clippers are fourth and fifth in the Western Conference, respectively
Washington Wizards vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, 7:30 p.m., MSN Sports
When these teams last played, we were blessed with the game of the year. Remember that? It was a random Monday and they stayed neck-and-neck until the Cavs managed to pull off a win in overtime.
Boston Bruins vs. New York Islanders, 7 p.m., NESN, MSG+
Both of these teams have been stumbling recently, and they’re both vying for the same wild card spot as the regular season nears its end.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets, 3:30 p.m., ABC
Harden vs. Russ. Harden vs. Russ. Harden vs. Russ. Harden vs. Russ. Harden vs. Russ.
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, 7 p.m., NBCSN
Sidney Crosby apparently has a propensity to almost cut off opposing players’ appendages during play, so you can expect tensions to be at an all-time high in Pittsburgh on Sunday.
New York Rangers vs. Anaheim Ducks 9 p.m., MSG, PT25
The Rangers and Ducks are both good-ass hockey teams, so we can probably expect some good-ass hockey out of this matchup.
WHAT TO READ
FROM SB NATION
We published some really great stuff this week (per usual, if we do say so ourselves). Here’s some of our favorites:
Basketball hero Tom Ziller wondered if the Knicks should fire Phil Jackson.
Zito Madu wrote about how the NBA needs players to be healthy, but is against resting them.
Whitney Medworth told you all why you should love Nigel Hayes.
Ricky O’Donnell wrote about Przemek Karnowski, the 300-pound comeback kid fueling Gonzaga.
Baseball writer extraordinaire Grant Brisbee wrote about how the US had its best lineup ever for this year’s World Baseball Classic.
I — hello, it’s me, Charlotte — wrote about the memes that Northwestern and Duke’s losses generated.
FROM OUR FRIENDS ELSEWHERE
Alex Prewitt wrote a beautiful piece for Sports Illustrated about watching the opening weekend of March Madness in Las Vegas.
Lindsey Adler spent some time with ballerina Ashley Bouder, whose passion for ballet is matched by her passion for feminism, for Deadspin.
The Washington Post’s Wes Lowery went to an annual fight in West Virginia’s coal country. It was as heartbreaking as you’d think it’d be.
Eva Holland found out about a wild rock climbing party in the Ozarks, and she wrote a great piece about it for Outside Magazine.
Will Leitch’s column for Sports On Earth on the importance of emotion in baseball is spot-on.
Anya Alvarez wrote about Muslim women athletes who compete wearing hijabs for Rolling Stone.
If you haven’t read ESPN’s Baxter Holmes on the NBA’s fixation with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, please do so right now.
WHAT TO KNOW
The United States won the World Baseball Classic for the first time ever this week! The good ol’ US of A beat Puerto Rico, 8-0. It was a super fun game, especially since some of MLB’s best players — hello, Javy Baez — were playing for Puerto Rico. Marcus Stroman took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, there were lots of runs, and it was the perfect way to get super jazzed for baseball season.
Your NCAA tournament bracket is probably busted by now, but don’t feel bad. At least if it’s already all gone to hell, you don’t have to deal with the stress of wondering when it inevitably will (Matt Ufford is smarter than all of us).
Didn’t have much for you this week, football fans. Sorry. However, the Patriots are going to the White House on April 19, so we all have that news cycle to look forward to.
Oh, also, NFL owners will vote next week on whether to let the Raiders move to Las Vegas. Sorry, Oakland, but a Vegas relocation is looking pretty likely.
It’s officially spring, so go outside.