Twitter Updates for BSMW on 2009-03-29

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Friday Night Megalinking

Ken from Fang’s Bites with your megalinks once again.

We start first with the Weekend Viewing Picks.

The NCAA Tournament speeds into the Elite Eight on Saturday with two games. CBS won’t have Duke to help its ratings, but it does have UConn in the West Regional Final taking on Missouri at 4:40 p.m. and an all-Big East Eastern Regional Final between #1 seed Pittsburgh and #3 seed Villlanova from the Garden at 7:05 p.m. on WBZ and WPRI. You can check the Elite Eight Tip Times for the entire weekend schedule.

The NCAA Women’s Tournament is in the Sweet Sixteen and the networks of ESPN will be all over it starting its coverage at noon on both Saturday and Sunday.

And continuing on college sports, the NCAA Division I Men’s Tournament Hockey Championships begin in earnest this weekend and ESPN2 and ESPNU have the games.

To the NBA, the Celtics host Oklahoma City at home, Sunday night. Comcast SportsNet carries the game at 7 p.m. Earlier, ABC has Dallas at Cleveland at 1 p.m. Sunday and that will be followed by an ESPN Sunday night game between San Antonio and New Orleans at 8. One other NBA-related note for Sunday, 60 Minutes has a profile of LeBron James following the NCAA Tournament coverage sometime about 7:20 p.m.

The Bruins travel to Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs. NESN has the game at 7 p.m. Saturday. Then the following day, the B’s will face the Philadelphia Flyers at 7 also on NESN.

In other action this weekend, Tiger Woods is in the hunt at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and you know NBC is happy with this development. While he’s five shots back going into the third round on Saturday, NBC will take every opportunity to showcase Tiger during its weekend coverage. Coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. on 7 NBC and NBC 10, Saturday and Sunday.

NASCAR heads to Martinsville for the Truck Series and the Sprint Cup Series. Fox 25 and Fox 64 will have both races from this venue, with the Kroger 250 truck race, Saturday at 2 p.m. and the Sprint Cup race starting at 1:30 on Sunday afternoon.

Showtime has a boxing doubleheader Saturday night at 11.

And if you’re into figure skating, you can watch NBC’s coverage of the Ladies Free Skate in the World Figure Skating Championships live from Los Angeles at 9 p.m. Saturday.

The entire weekend schedule including primetime programming is in the Weekend Viewing Picks.

Now to your links.

National

USA Today’s Michael Hiestand has Dick Enberg not having fond memories of the 1979 Indiana State-Michigan State NCAA Championship.

Carl Bialik of the Wall Street Journal discovers how CBS determines its switches during the NCAA Tournament.

Alex Weprin of Broadcasting & Cable writes that Major League Baseball is kicking off a new marketing campaign celebrating baseball’s place in society.

Thomas Umstead of Multichannel News says the new Black Broadcasting Network is planning its own sports programming lineup.

The Sports Media Watch says the World Baseball Classic drew solid numbers for ESPN. The SMW says last week’s NASCAR race drew its lowest ratings of the season.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell writes the Bill Buckner ball from the 1986 World Series will forever be linked to the man who sold it at auction in 1992. Darren got to taste the humongous Fifth Third Burger which will be sold at a minor league baseball concession this season. Darren wonders if the English Premier League’s Manchester United will continue to have the embattled AIG logo on its uniform. Darren tells us that ticket prices for premier events continue to drop.

Joe Favorito says Mixed Martial Arts continues to look for ways to reach the mainstream. Joe says the NBA is looking to expand its brand in the UK.

Maury Brown in the Biz of Baseball says MLB continues to operate its archiac blackout rulesf or the 2009 season.

In his Biz of Hockey site, Maury says the NHL will offer day passes for its GameCenter Live online streaming channel.

Awful Announcing says adding two games to the NFL regular season could have an adverse effect on the Daytona 500.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Michael Vega of the Boston Globe says the demand has been high for March Madness on Demand.

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes that Personal Seat License sales for the Giants have been slow.

The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman says the new SNY Mets’ pregame studio team has two rookies.

Newsday’s Neil Best says SNY continues to anger the hearing impaired community. Neil says WFAN’s Mike Francesa is willing and able to go in the dunk tank. Neil reports that beloved Yankee Stadium public address announcer Bob Sheppard will miss the new stadium opener. Neil looks at ESPN’s “Her Story”. Neil talks with “My Boys” star, the very hot Jordana Spiro.

The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick takes it upon himself to translate golf TV jargon. Phil mourns some sports figures who recently passed away.

Also from the Post, Justin Terranova has five questions for SNY’s Bob Ojeda.

The Albany Times Union’s Pete Dougherty says ESPN was right to add Steve Phillips to a stale Sunday Night Baseball booth.

Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette writes that MSG Plus will show horse races from Saratoga this summer.

Ken McMillan of the Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record has some TV and radio news and notes.

Laura Nachman looks at the afternoon drive battle between two Philadelphia sports radio stations.

Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun writes the column that wasn’t printed in Friday’s edition in his blog. It focuses on the Comcast/NFL Network battle.

A couple of things from Jim Williams of the DC Examiner. He wonders if fans are really willing to pay extra for the NFL Network. Jim talks with the always lovely Hannah Storm of ESPN about “Her Story”.

South

The Raleigh (NC) News & Observer continues its Battle of the Broadcasters.

Scott Fowler of the News & Observer doesn’t like watching Duke & North Carolina late at night during the NCAA Tournament.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald likes what CBS is doing with the NCAA Tournament.

Dave Darling in the Orlando Sentinel looks at the top five tennis choke jobs of all time.

In the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Ray Buck looks back at the Indiana State-Michigan State NCAA Championship game.

Barry Horn in the Dallas Morning News has the latest ratings in the local sports radio wars. Barry tells his Morning News colleague Tim Colishaw to watch ESPN’s Fantasy Baseball Draft Special.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says a radio executive plans to put the Houston-Dallas rivalry on the air.

Mel Bracht in the Daily Oklahoman says CBS’ Clark Kellogg has made a smooth transition from studio analyst to game analyst in the NCAA Tournament. Mel says two Oklahoma University standouts are part of ESPN’s “Her Story” documentary.

Midwest

Pat McManamon of the Akron Beacon Journal says the new DirecTV/NFL deal defies belief.

Marc Katz in the Dayton Daily News tells us not to miss the ESPN Classic replay of the Indiana State-Michigan State replay.

Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press says Fox Sports Detroit is paying tribute to the late Tigers broadcaster George Kell.

Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says it’s strange for a national outlet to put the Brewers on its schedule as MLB Network did.

Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune says Blackhawks pre and postgame host Judd Sirott is picking up some more work with the Cubs.

From Crain’s Chicago Business, Ed Sherman has a look at a Sun-Times writer leaving the paper for AOL Fanhouse and Yankees ticket prices. And Ed talks with former Comcast SportsNet Chicago analyst Dan Plesac who’s now at MLB Network.

Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin is enjoying Clark Kellogg’s work on the NCAA Tournament.

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says a former sports radio talk show host is returning to the station that let him go two and a half years ago.

West

Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) News says Utah State fans should not blame the local CBS affiliate for delays switching to its game with Marquette last week.

Over to the San Diego Union-Tribune and Jay Posner who writes that Ted Leitner looks forward to going home to New York to call San Diego State in the NIT semifinals next week.

And John Maffei of the North County Times says Leiter is getting a lot of air time between his gigs with San Diego State and the Padres.

Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Times writes that new Dodgers TV voice Eric Collins has some difficult shoes to fill. Jim says Dick Enberg is deserving of the Vin Scully Award.

Diane Pucin of the Los Angeles Times says it will be interesting to have Dick Button paired with former World Champion Michelle Kwan for the Ladies Free Skate portion of the World Figure Skating Championships on NBC.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says NBC is not even going to try to explain Figure Skating’s complicated scoring system this weekend. Tom goes more into NBC’s coverage of the World Figure Skating Championships in his news and notes. Tom also reviews the week in blogging.

John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News says Comcast SportsNet California and DirecTV are no closer to a deal to carry Oakland A’s games than two weeks ago.

Canada

Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star writes that cutbacks in the CBC sports department may affect coverage of amateur sports.

Those are your megalinks. See you next week.

Twitter Updates for BSMW on 2009-03-27

Panthers, ‘Cats Claw into Elite Eight

Was that really the T.D. Banknorth Garden on TV last night, hosting the sweet 16 matchups between Pitt and Xavier and then Villanova and Duke?

The Garden looked completely different, without the parquet floor, different (blue!) color scheme around the edges, no courtside seating under the baskets, and the Boston College logo on the floor. And that was Andy Jick doing the PA work in the background, which is always a nice trip down nostalgia lane.

In the first game, Michael Vega has Pitt holding off Xavier 60-55 and finally breaking through to the Elite Eight. Jerry Spar has Pitt doing it all right down the stretch for the win. Andy Vogt has Pitt’s smallest player making some of the biggest plays for the win. Bill Doyle has Pitt winning again without having played a complete game.

Dan Shaughnessy has Pitt big man DuJuan Blair (17 rebounds) proving to be just too large for the Musketeers to handle. Dan Duggan has Blair getting a pep talk from his little brother before the game.  Steve Buckley has Pitt point guard Levance Fields cherishing the moment of advancing on to the East final.

Lenny Megliola says that there was nothing pretty about the Pitt win in the first game. Julian Benbow says that in the end, Xavier just shot itself in the foot against the Panthers. Jeff Howe comments on the different look for the Garden last night. Jennifer Toland looks at the New England ties for Pitt associate head coach Tom Herrion.

In the second game, Mark Blaudschun chronicles Villanova’s surprisingly easy win over higher ranked Duke, (77-54) as the Big East once again proved superior. Dan Ventura has more on Villanova rolling into the East Regional Final. Vogt has the win as another example of the Big East’s dominance this season.

Spar has ‘Nova big man Dante Cunningham proving to be a big cog in the upset over Duke. Duggan has Duke’s  Gerald Henderson struggling on 1-14 shooting for the night.

Bob Ryan says that Boston will once again be a Big East town tomorrow night as Pitt and Villanova play for a spot in the Final Four. Blaudschun’s Around the rim notes that Xavier coach Sean Miller is going to be a hot commodity on the coaching market. Alan Siegel has more on the Big East flexing its muscles last night.

Ryan says that we shouldn’t be shocked at what is happening with Jim Calhoun and UConn as, whenever you’re seeking great players there is going to be some trouble involved.

In the Globe media column, Michael Vega looks at record numbers for CBS in this NCAA Tournament.

Benbow’s notebook has Xavier transfer C.J. Anderson making the right choice in coming to the school. Jim Clark’s notebook has more on the big year for the Big East. The T&G notebook has Xavier’s B.J. Raymond ending his career in the city in which he was born.

Celtics

Steve Bulpett has Kevin Garnett speaking up in defense of Stephon Marbury. Jim Fenton has the Celtics and Hawks each jockeying for playoff positioning as they meet up tonight in Atlanta. Marc J. Spears has Tony Allen traveling with the club, but still a couple of weeks away from a return.

Bulpett’s notebook has Rajon Rondo saying that there is no rivalry with the Hawks.

Red Sox

John Tomase has Justin Masterson ready to take on whatever his role might be – starting or coming out of the bullpen. Amalie Benjamin has Masterson up for however the Red Sox want to use him. Sean McAdam says that the Red Sox bullpen is well stocked after an offseason of adding arms.

Maureen Mullen looks at the battle for the final outfield spot on the roster.

Bob Halloran says that even though Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell helped the Red Sox to a World Series, the trade for Hanley Ramirez is one that they might regret. He says that the Sox could’ve gotten Gil Meche or Ted Lilly instead of  Beckett and done just as well. A late entry for our contest?

Benjamin’s notebook has Daisuke Matsuzaka in camp and ready to start working. Tomase’s notebook has more on Dice-K’s arrival.

Bruins/Patriots

Joe Haggerty notes that Chuck Kobasew has the most goals for the Bruins since the All Star break. Steve Conroy has Mark Stuart playing with confidence. Matt Porter has Stephane Yelle’s role as “grit guy” firmly established.

Ron Borges says that Patriots fans should be happy at Rex Ryan’s proclamation that he is happy with the Jets QB situation.

Mike Reiss has the Patriots bringing in University of Cincinnati defensive end Connor Barwin for a visit on Monday. Karen Guregian has Tully Banta-Cain feeling back at home with the Patriots.

Chris Warner has a Patriots Daily Q&A with Cal tight end Cameron Morrah.

Discussion continues in the BSMW Group Project – Worst Boston Sports Columns post.

Be sure to check out the now-extensive comments section of that post for the many suggestions that have floated in over the last few days.

You’ll have a chance to win prizes from the TV show AX MEN (Mondays, 10pm HISTORY) by submitting your choice for the worst Boston sports column of recent memory.