MURPH'S 'MOTE: Glued to TV for NCAA semifinals

Northwest Herald sports copy editor Kevin Murphy picks his top sports events to watch this weekend:


Men’s basketball: NCAA Division I tournament, Final Four, Wichita State vs. Louisville, at Atlanta, 5 p.m. today, CBS

A team from the state of Kentucky back in the Final Four with tons of talent?

That’s right, it’s the Louisville Cards. Rick Pitino and Co. descend upon Atlanta and hope to push themselves into the national title game. It won’t be easy, but I expect Louisville’s defense to smother the Shockers and Rockford Auburn grad Fred Van Vleet.

Men’s basketball: NCAA Division I tournament, Final Four, Syracuse vs. Michigan, at Atlanta, 7 p.m. today, CBS

Michigan sophomore Trey Burke leads the Big Ten’s last hope for a national title this season. Burke, the Associated Press Player of the Year, looks to help Michigan to a national title. The Big Ten hasn’t won a national title since 2000.

Coach Jim Boeheim looks for the Syracuse Orange to crush those dreams and have them claim the Orange’s first national title since 2003.


Women’s basketball: NCAA Division I tournament, national semifinal, UConn vs. Notre Dame, at New Orleans, 7:30 p.m., Sunday, ESPN

Is this de facto national title game?

UConn is in its sixth straight Final Four, and Notre Dame is in its third consecutive Final Four. Notre Dame’s only loss this season was to Baylor, which was upset by another Final Four contestant, Louisville, which faces California in the 5:30 p.m. game.

Notre Dame All-American guard Skylar Diggins hitting the game-winning free throws with less than a minute left in the first meeting this season, that Notre Dame won by one point. Notre Dame also won 96-87 in 3 0T and 61-59 this season.

Is the fourth time the charm for the Huskies?


Women’s tennis: Family Circle Cup, semifinal, at Charleston, S.C., noon, ESPN2

This will include a matchup of the Williams sisters. Serena and Venus Williams reached the semifinals Friday.

Serena defeated No. 2 Maria Sharapova, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0, at the Sony Open in Miami, Fla., last weekend, a match in when Serena dominated the latter half. Sharapova led, 3-2, in the second set and then it was Serena from there. Sharapova’s play wasn’t terrible, but Serena was so much better.

Serena’s so much fun to watch. She takes a business-like approach to the game, and ran away from Sharapova in the final. It could be fun to see another sister battle in the semifinals. The winner will face the winner of Caroline Wozniacki vs. Stefanie Voegele.


College baseball: Ohio State at Minnesota, 1 p.m. Sunday, BTN

Cary-Grove graduate and Ohio State left-hander Matt Panek will be in the dugout as he cheers on the Buckeyes against the Golden Gophers in a critical Big Ten series.

These will be the first three games played in the Gophers’ new facility, Siebert Field.

• Agree? Disagree? Is someone from the Northwest Herald coverage area going to be on TV? Let Kevin Murphy know at

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