Weekend Watch – College Hoops Heating Up

We’re deep into college hoop season as the sport dominates the weekend. We’ve also got NBA, NHL, Golf and NASCAR schedule for the next few days.

Be sure to check in with Scott’s Shots this weekend as the updates from Fort Myers will continue.

If you didn’t get a chance to check out the mock draft mashup put together by Scott Benson on the Patriots Game Day page, it’s worth a look.

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For the first time Patriots All Access will be doing original programming year round. The plan is for the show to air once a month during the off-season.

The first off-season show is this Saturday night from 7-7:30 on WCVB Ch 5.

This week’s show features a behind he scenes look at the Pro Bowl with Bill Belichick and his staff. The show had unlimited access to Belichick as he worked his squad out during the week. He was mic’d up for practice, meetings and the game, and you’ll hear from Peyton Manning and LaDainian Tomlinson, among others on what it was like to work with Belichick. It promises to be a show worth catching.

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Bill Simmons remembers Dennis Johnson.

Chad Finn also pays tribute to DJ.

John Walters says DJ left behind a lasting legacy.

Jessica Camerato has another good piece remembering Johnson.

Adam Reilly acknowledges DJ’s greatness as a player, but feels that his 1997 domestic abuse arrest shouldn’t be glossed over. While I agree that the incident shouldn’t be ignored when considering DJ as a person, the guy just died for crying out loud.

Reilly also has Globe editor Marty Baron explaining why the story of Tom Brady’s impending fatherhood was considered front page, above the fold news by the paper.

Cold Hard Football Facts claims that Brady makes Boston relevant nationally.

Curt Schilling (Gehrig38) weighs in on the attention his contract situation has gotten on SoSH.

Jon Heyman thinks that Manny’s latest incident might finally lead the Red Sox to trade him, possibly to the Rockies.

Dr Z has a mailbag this week, allowing the readers to chime in on lousy announcers and other topics.

Mike Freeman writes a typical Manny Ramirez column.

The Media Circus has a look at the media hot stove and bizarre mismatched musical acts at various sporting events.

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890 ESPN Radio Boston is sponsoring “Half Minute Ticket to Fame,” a contest where entrants create their own 30 second video commercial. The winner will also have the chance to appear in the final ad, which will be produced by 890 ESPN Radio Boston and aired on TV.

From the Patriots and Red Sox to 890 ESPN Radio Host Mike Felger – all relevant subjects are up for grabs when it comes to the content of the winning commercial. There is a March 8 deadline to the contest and entries have begun to arrive, and will be posted on the 890 ESPN You Tube page as well as at www.890espn.com for viewing, commenting and voting.

To enter 890 ESPN Boston’s “Half Minute Ticket to Fame” Contest and for complete contest rules, visit www.890espn.com.

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In Through the Fire: 2-Disc Special Edition, ESPN tells the story of high school phenom Sebastian Telfair (now with the Celtics) and his jump from high school basketball to the NBA. This special edition release of its 2006, award winning predecessor includes two of Telfair’s high school games and an inside look at how he and his family have faired in the nearly three years he’s been in the league with a specially featured round table discussion. Through the Fire 2 Disc Special Edition DVD is in stores nationwide; $27.99 SRP.

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Sunday’s Outside the Lines (9:30 a.m.) will examine what impact the NBA age-limit rule is having on college basketball. The new rule mandates players must be at least one year removed from high school before entering the NBA, and this week Texas Tech coach Bob Knight said it is ”the worst thing that’s happened to college basketball since I’ve been coaching.” Knight will be interviewed on the show to discuss the topic.

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FOX Sports will unveil its brand new, high-tech “Hollywood Hotel” traveling NASCAR prerace studio this Sunday as host Chris Myers and analysts Jeff Hammond and Darrell Waltrip move into the next generation mobile studio unit prior to FOX Sports’ live coverage of the Auto Club 500, Powered by Q Motor Oil on Sunday, Feb. 25 (3:00 PM ET).

The new studio’s enlarged desk has room for up to five people and is now situated in front of two massive 71-inch plasma screens. The plasma displays have the ability to combine and offer a single visual image that stretches an incredible 142 inches, and also the flexibility to offer multiple visual feeds across the field to illustrate the subject matter currently under examination. To the left and right of these screens are additional flat-panel displays that feature supplementary visual content, including highlights, graphics and statistics. Above all this runs a scrolling LED ticker that is capable of exhibiting the upcoming race’s starting grid, as well as the current championship points standings, running order, or other pertinent information.

Sports Media Columns from around the country:

New England

Susan Bickelhaupt has a look at planned coverage of the NFL combine in Indianapolis by the NFL Network which will devote 27 hours of programming to the workouts. Bill Doyle has a look at WEEI’s fifth annual “Whiney Awards” which will take place next Tuesday night at the TD Banknorth Garden. David Scott has been filing media reports from Red Sox spring training, and will continue to do so over the weekend. Friday’s installment has a look at a new NESN show planned for May” “The Globe 10.0″ airing Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 5:30pm.

New York

Phil Mushnick takes apart a college basketball announcer (ho happens to be Red Sox NESN broadcaster Don Orsillo) and a SportsCenter anchor for not knowing what they’re talking about. Each announcer proclaimed a recent home win by a pretty good team “a huge upset” when in reality they were anything but. Richard Sandomir reports that MLB’s deal with DirecTV has gotten F.C.C. attention. Pat Reichart reports that Bill Parcells to ESPN is 99.9% done. Neil Best has a look at growing pains for college sports networks ESPNU and CSTV, and praise for the book Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich by Mark Kriegel. Rob Raissman looks at the overkill of the A-Rod/Jeter soap opera in the New York media. Reichart has Five Questions with Mets analyst Ron Darling.

More East Coast

Aaron Bracy says good bye in his final column for the Courier-Post. Laura Nachman has a look at Jon Slobotkin, vice president/executive producer of live events for Comcast SportsNet, who worked his way up through the business from the bottom. Bob Smizik has a piece on Penguins announcer Mike Lange, in his 29th season calling games for the club, but first on the Penguins-owned radio broadcasts after being fired by FSN on the TV broadcasts. Jim Williams reports on Tony Kornheiser returning to local radio. He also has a look at the Mid Atlantic Sports Network’s coverage of the Nationals and Orioles. Michael McCarthy says former coaches turned analysts can be good if they’re completely candid. Michael Hiestand has Johnny Miller saying that match play is a “crapshoot.”

South

Barry Jackson has Michael Irvin remaining upbeat despite losing his ESPN job. He also reports that a Miami TV station will not bring Tim Hardaway back as their Heat playoff analyst due to his comments from last week. Dave Darling lists out the 10 best, 5 worst and 5 most overrated sports movies. David Barron notes that this Sunday’s Rockets game will not be on local TV for the first time since the late 1990′s due to a scheduling quirk.

Midwest

Teddy Greenstein has Tom Waddle preparing for his new show on WMVP. Dan Caesar looks at KMOX remaining atop the St Louis sports radio ratings despite not having any of the pro sports teams on their airwaves. Bob Wolfley has the University of Wisconsin and Marquette men’s basketball teams getting into the national spotlight the next two weekends. He also looks at the Brewers TV lineup. Paul Levy tries to solve the mystery of the voice of Bill Woodson heard on voiceovers during Twins broadcasts.

West Coast

Larry Stewart says FOX is still very bullish on NASCAR and doesn’t see a way they can lose with the sport. Jim Carlisle says that match-play golf can be risky business for television. Stewart’s notebook agrees with that premise. Tom Hoffarth catches up with longtime USC announcer Tom King, and has the top 10 and bottom 5 play by play announcers in the LA market. John Maffei has NBC hoping that Tiger Woods can stick around to play in the match-play rounds they’re showing this weekend. Joe Davidson is disturbed by the growing trend by prep coaches and administrators to try and control information the same way their college and pro counterparts are.

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TV Highlights This Weekend

Friday February 23rd

7:00pm, NHPTV – Providence @ UNH (Hockey)
8:00pm, NESN – Bruins @ Lightning (HD)
8:00pm, ESPN – Wizards @ Bulls (HD)
10:00pm, FSN – Celtics @ Lakers
10:30pm, ESPN – Jazz @ Nuggets (HD)

Saturday February 24th

Noon, CBS – Oklahoma St. @ Texas Tech (HD)
Noon, ESPN – Syracuse @ Providence
Noon, NESN – Miami @ Virginia Tech
Noon, CN8 – Drexel @ Towson
1:00pm, TV38 – Clemson @ Boston College
2:00pm, NBC – Accenture Match Play Championship (HD)
2:00pm, CBS – Pittsburgh @ Georgetown (HD)
2:00pm, ESPN – Illinois @ Penn St
3:30pm, ABC – Georgia Tech @ Virginia
4:00pm, ESPN – Rutgers @ Villanova
4:00pm, ABC – Florida @ LSU (HD)
5:00pm, ESPN2 – Wichita St. @ Creighton
6:00pm, ESPN – Iowa St. @ Kansas
6:00pm, FSN – Stanford @ UCLA
7:00pm, CN8 – Vermont @ Boston University (hockey)
7:00pm, NHPTV – UNH @ Providence (hockey)
7:30pm, NESN – Bruins @ Panthers
7:30pm, ESPN2 – Busch Series Stater Bros. 300 (HD)
9:00pm, ESPN – Indiana @ Michigan St (HD)
9:00pm, FSN – Celtics @ Jazz

Sunday February 25th

Noon, CBS – Louisville @ UConn (HD)
12:30pm, NESN – Boston University @ Albany
1:00pm, ABC- Bulls @ Pistons (HD)
2:00pm, CBS – Duke @ St. John’s (HD)
2:00pm, NBC- Accenture Match Play Championship (HD)
4:00pm, FOX – Nextel Cup: Auto Club 500 (HD)
3:30pm, ABC – Cavs @ Heat (HD)
4:00pm, CBS – Wisconsin @ Ohio St (HD)
5:30pm, NESN – North Carolina @ Maryland
8:00pm, ESPN – Kings @ Pacers (HD)
8:00pm, FSN – Arizona @ Arizona St