Weekly Updates

MidWeek – January 16, 2013

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NBA, NFL PLAYOFFS, “30 for 30” & MORE…


Australian Open:  Venus Williams to Play Maria Sharapova in Third Round Late Thursday Night
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Venus Williams will play Maria Sharapova on ESPN2 and WatchESPN in the third round of the Australian Open presented by Franklin Templeton Investments on Thursday, tentatively at 3 a.m. ET (Midnight PT). The match will also be featured in the scheduled reair on Friday, Jan. 18, at 2 p.m. on ESPN2. Williams is the winner of seven majors, and Sharapova owns a career Grand Slam with one win at each of the four events.

The daily live marathon telecasts continue each night from the summer heat of Melbourne on ESPN2 and up to seven courts to choose from on ESPN3 starting each evening at 7 p.m.  The schedule continues through the women’s championship Saturday, Jan 26, and the men’s championship Sunday, Jan. 27, both at 3 a.m. with reairs later each day at 9 a.m. and in prime time.

This week’s ESPN2 schedule follows (These charts are all times Eastern, and each day “begins” at 6 a.m. ET. The listing Sunday, Jan. 20, at 3:30 a.m. is actually very late on Sunday night into Monday.)

Date Time (ET) Event  
Wed, Jan 16 11 p.m. – 7 a.m. Early Round Action LIVE
Thur, Jan 17 2 – 5 p.m. Same-day
  11 p.m. – 7 a.m. Early Round Action includes V.Williams-Sharapova LIVE
Fri, Jan 18 2 – 5 p.m. Same-day
  9 p.m. – 7 a.m. Early Round Action LIVE
Sat, Jan 19 7 – 9:55 a.m. Same-day
  9 p.m. – 2 a.m. Round of 16 LIVE
  3 – 7 a.m. LIVE
Sun, Jan 20 9 p.m. – 2 a.m. LIVE
  3:30 – 6 a.m. LIVE



LeBron Chases 20,000 Points; Bulls-Celtics, Thunder-Mavericks on Friday
contact: [email protected] and [email protected]
The Miami Heat and LeBron James take center stage tonight, Wednesday, Jan. 16, as James looks to become the youngest NBA player ever to reach a career 20,000 points. He is 18 points shy of the milestone heading into tonight’s game against the Golden State Warriors at 10:30 p.m. as part of an ESPN doubleheader. The early game offers a Texas showdown between the Houston Rockets and the Dallas Mavericks at 8 p.m with KIA NBA Countdown preceding the doubleheader at 7:30 p.m.

On Friday, Jan. 18, the Boston Celtics and Rajon Rondo host the Chicago Bulls and Joakim Noah at 7 p.m. Mike Breen and analyst Hubie Brown will provide commentary with reporter Chris Broussard. In the nightcap, the Oklahoma City Thunder – led by Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant – take on the Dallas Mavericks with Dirk Nowitzki and O.J. Mayo at 9:30 p.m. Dave Pasch has the call with analyst Jeff Van Gundy and reporter Lisa Salters.

NBA games on ESPN and KIA NBA Countdown are available on computers, smartphones and tablets via WatchESPN.

Date Time (ET) Game Commentators Network
Wed, Jan 16 7:30 p.m. KIA NBA Countdown Magic Johnson, Michael Wilbon, Jalen Rose ESPN / WatchESPN
  8 p.m. Houston Rockets at Dallas Mavericks Mike Breen, Hubie Brown, Lisa Salters ESPN / WatchESPN
  10:30 p.m. Miami Heat at Golden State Warriors Dave Pasch, Jon Barry ESPN / WatchESPN
Fri, Jan. 18 7 p.m. Chicago Bulls at Boston Celtics Mike Breen, Hubie Brown, Chris Broussard ESPN / WatchESPN
  9:30 p.m. Oklahoma City Thunder at Dallas Mavericks Dave Pasch, Jeff Van Gundy, Lisa Salters ESPN / WatchESPN



Grizzlies Host Pacers in Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Game
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ESPN will present a special Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday game on Monday, Jan. 21, at 1 p.m. when the Memphis Grizzlies and Rudy Gay host Paul George and the Indiana Pacers. Mark Jones will handle the call with analyst Chris Mullin. Memphis is home to the National Civil Rights Museum.

Date Time (ET) Game Commentators Network
Monday, Jan 21 1 p.m. Indiana Pacers at Memphis Grizzlies  Mark Jones, Chris Mullin ESPN / WatchESPN



ESPN2 Will Televise NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on Saturday
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ESPN2 will televise the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl Presented by Winnol on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 6 p.m. Joe Tessitore will call the action with analysts Todd McShay and Bill Polian and reporter Quint Kessenich.

Leading up to the game, ESPNU will televise a pair of two-hour practices on Thursday, Jan. 17, at 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Host Dari Nowkhah and college football analyst Robert Smith will join McShay, Polian and Kessenich for practice coverage. ESPN’s Herm Edwards will coach one of the teams.

The collegiate all-star game and practices – which take place at The Home Depot Center on the campus of California State University Dominguez Hills in Carson, Calif., – will also be available on WatchESPN for those with video subscriptions from an affiliated provider.                                                                                                                                                                                           

Date Time (ET) Show Networks
Thu, Jan 17 1:30 p.m. NFLPA Collegiate Bowl Practice Presented by Winnol ESPNU, WatchESPN
  4:30 p.m. NFLPA Collegiate Bowl Practice Presented by Winnol ESPNU, WatchESPN
Sat, Jan 19 6 p.m. NFLPA Collegiate Bowl Presented by Winnol ESPN2, WatchESPN



Conference Championship Sunday NFL Countdown Begins at Noon
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Sunday NFL Countdown with Chris Berman, Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson, Suzy Kolber, Merril Hoge and Ron Jaworski will preview NFL Conference Championship Sunday on Sunday, Jan 20, beginning at 12 p.m. NFL Insider Adam Schefter and senior analyst Chris Mortensen will report the day’s news.

Sal Paolantonio will host NFL Matchup with analysts Merril Hoge and Ron Jaworski Sunday at 6:30 a.m. each day (reairs on ESPN2 at 8:30 a.m.).  NFL PrimeTime with host Trey Wingo will air Sunday at 11 p.m. 

Date Time (ET) Show Network
Fri, Jan 18 4 p.m. NFL Live presented by Radio Shack
Trey Wingo, Tedy Bruschi and Mark Schlereth
  5 p.m. NFL32
Suzy Kolber, Chris Mortensen, Tim Hasselbeck
  7 p.m. NFL Kickoff
Wingo, Schlereth and Bruschi
Sun, Jan 20 6:30 a.m. NFL Matchup
Paolantonio, Hoge and Jaworski
(ESPN2 @ 8:30 a.m.)
  12 p.m. Sunday NFL Countdown presented by IBM (3 hours)Chris Berman, Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson, Suzy Kolber, Merril Hoge and Ron Jaworski ESPN
  11 p.m. NFL PrimeTime
Wingo, Dilfer

On-site reporters at the Conference Championship games:

Conference championship pre- and post-game:  Reporters assigned to each team in the championship – Colleen Dominguez (San Francisco) and Ed Werder (Atlanta); Sal Paolantonio (Baltimore) and Rachel Nichols (New England). 

Sunday NFL Countdown:

  • Boomer with the Smiths:  The San Francisco 49ers’ Aldon Smith and Justin Smith are arguably the toughest defensive tandem in the league. Going into their second straight NFC title game, they sit down with Countdown’s Chris Berman to share secrets of their success.
  • Soundtracks – Tom Brady: Last Sunday against the Texans, New England’s Tom Brady surpassed his childhood hero, Joe Montana, in playoff victories with his 17th win.  The quarterback’s in-game audio from last Sunday will be the subject of this week’s Soundtracks.
  • Lee Evans Remembers: Last year, with time winding down in the AFC Championship, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco hit wide receiver Lee Evans for what would have been the go-ahead touchdown and a trip to the Super Bowl. The ball was stripped from Evans and a missed field goal later the Ravens season was over.  A year later, Countdown and Adam Schefter revisits the play and how it has impacted Evans.
  • Ravens Inspiration: Mired in a three-game losing streak that threatened their grasp of the AFC North, Baltimore coach John Harbaugh received a letter from a fan that inspired him. The fan, Matthew Jeffers, a college student at nearby Towson University who stands 4-foot-6-inch tall, has undergone 20 surgeries, some life-threatening. Matthew’s letter encouraged the Ravens to focus on their effort and a positive attitude. Coach Harbaugh forwarded it to the team right before their game against the Giants and it has helped become the team’s inspiration.
  • Field Pass:  Live look-ins at quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick and Matt Ryan, running back Frank Gore, and wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White during their pregame routines leading into the 3 p.m. NFC Championship
  • Frank Caliendo:  The witty comedian returns to impersonate Hall of Famer and Countdown analyst Mike Ditka and CBS’s Jim Rome.

NFL Matchup:

  • Ron Jaworski shows how the Atlanta Falcons used a fake wide receiver screen to get wide receiver Roddy White one on one with Seattle Seahawks Richard Sherman.
  • Jaworski covers the field to show how the 49ers offense will expose the voids in Atlanta’s “Cover 3” defensive scheme with their tight end, just like Seattle did with Zach Miller on Sunday.
  • Merril Hoge takes a look at how receiver Michael Crabtree has emerged as the 49ers ‘go-to’ guy with 80 percent of his third down catches converting for first downs in the last six games.
  • Jaworski explains the mechanics of the 49ers “Pistol Read-Option,” and shows how quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to keep the ball for a 56-yard touchdown run.
  • Hoge breaks down how the Falcons defense used a simple approach to take away the Seahawks “Read-Option.”
  • Hoge uses the “Coaches Clicker” to explain how the Ravens executed a very successful run game against Denver.
  • Jaworski uses the telestrator in a segment on Ravens offense taking deep shots to receiver Torrey Smith when they have man coverage from New England’s defense.
  • Jaworski analyzes the Patriots use of the speed offense with no huddle to catch defenses off-guard, and how it allows New England’s offense to gain easy yards vs. a compromised defense.



ESPN NFL Playoff Conference Call with Trent Dilfer
ESPN analyst and Super Bowl XXXV champion quarterback Trent Dilfer will be available to discuss this weekend’s NFL Conference Championship games during a media conference call on Thursday, Jan. 17, at 1 p.m. / 10 a.m. PT. RSVP: [email protected]



ESPN Radio and ESPN.com to Cover NFL Championship Weekend
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ESPN Radio and ESPN.com also offer coverage of NFL Championship weekend. Highlights:

ESPN Radio
Countdown To Kickoff (Sunday 12-3 p.m.) with host Mike Hill will preview Sunday’s games. Guests include ESPN analysts Tom Jackson, Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge, insiders Chris Mortensen and John Clayton, and on-site game reporters as well as newsmakers from around the league. Sunday night programming will feature extensive post-game coverage of both games.

On Sunday, Jan. 20, ESPN.com will launch the Super Bowl Central hub page and post John Clayton’s Super Bowl Q&A. Additionally, writers and bloggers will staff both the AFC and NFC Championship games. Anticipated assignments:



30 for 30 Shorts: Ali: The Mission, Narrated by John Legend, Premieres Today on Grantland.com
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The next film in ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 Shorts series premieres today on Grantland.com. Ali: The Mission, narrated by musician John Legend, delves into perhaps one of the most important, but least known, chapters of Muhammad Ali’s remarkable life. In 1990, the boxing legend traveled to Iraq to press a plea for peace and negotiate with Saddam Hussein for the release of U.S. civilians taken hostage after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. Ali risked his reputation, health and safety for the freedom of prisoners held by Hussein as “human shields” to deter U.S. military strikes. On January 16, 1991, only six weeks after Ali brought 15 hostages back home to their relieved families, Operation Desert Storm bombarded Iraq.

“There are so many stories and myths out there about The Greatest, but this one struck a personal chord with me as I don’t know that people today are even aware of Ali’s immense philanthropic work or this specific mission to Iraq before Desert Storm began,” said Legend. “Entertainers and athletes are often blessed with a platform from which to improve the world, and it was an honor for me to be the voice of this film showcasing the incredible journey Ali made that changed the lives of these hostages forever.”

In this 30 for 30 short, directed by Amani Martin (Benji, Brooklyn Dodgers: The Ghosts of Flatbush), former hostages discuss their harrowing tales of captivity, their euphoria in being liberated, and their enduring gratitude to Ali for his selfless, humanitarian mission. ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 Shorts series is crafted by Blue Moon.

Previous films from the 30 for 30 Shorts series include Arnold’s Blueprint, The Arnold Palmer and Jake, which can all be viewed on Grantland.com. 



Men’s College Hoops: Martin Luther King Jr. Day ESPN Quadrupleheader
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ESPN will celebrate the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday on Monday, Jan. 21, with an ESPN quadrupleheader tipping off with No. 6 Syracuse against Cincinnati at 3:30 p.m. The remaining telecasts will pit Oklahoma State at Baylor at 5:30 p.m., Georgetown at No. 20 Notre Dame at 7:30 p.m. and Texas at Oklahoma at 9:30 p.m.

Also on Monday, ESPNU will televise a game from the MEAC and SWAC, HBCU leagues, in a prime-time doubleheader: Bethune-Cookman at Savannah State at 7:30 p.m. p.m., followed by Southern at Alabama A&M at 9:30 p.m.

The lineup for Tuesday, Jan. 22, will include an ESPN and ESPNU 7 p.m. telecast involving a ranked team: No. 18 Michigan State at Wisconsin on ESPN and No. 17 Missouri against South Carolina on ESPNU. In addition, ESPN3 and the BIG EAST Network will cover No. 1 Louisville at Villanova at 8 p.m.

Date Time (ET) Matchup/Commentators Network
Mon, Jan 21 3:30 p.m. Cincinnati at No. 6 Syracuse
Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas & Bill Raftery
  5:30 p.m. Oklahoma State at Baylor
Brent Musburger, Fran Fraschilla & Holly Rowe
  7:30 p.m. Georgetown at No. 20 Notre Dame
Joe Tessitore & Sean Farnham
    Bethune-Cookman at Savannah State
Matt Schick & Stan Lewter
  9:30 p.m. Texas at Oklahoma
Bob Wischusen & Stephen Bardo
    Southern at Alabama A&M
Anthony Calhoun & Stephen Howard
Tue, Jan 22 7 p.m. No. 18 Michigan State at Wisconsin
Mike Tirico, Dan Dakich & Samantha Ponder
    Pittsburgh at Providence
John Saunders & Tim Welsh
    South Carolina at No. 17 Missouri
Dari Nowkhah & Dino Gaudio
    Vermont at Maine
Eric Frede & Frank Sullivan
    No. 14 NC State at Wake Forest ESPN3 * & RSN ^
  8 p.m. No. 4 Kansas at No. 16 Kansas State
Dave Armstrong & Reid Gettys
ESPN3 * & Big 12 Network
    No. 1 Louisville at Villanova
Mike Corey & Bob Wenzel
ESPN3 * & BIG EAST Network
  9 p.m. Kentucky at Alabama
Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes & Shannon Spake
    Boston College at Maryland
Tom Hart & Len Elmore
Wed, Jan 23 7 p.m. No. 3 Duke at Miami
Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale & Jeannine Edwards
    South Florida at Seton Hall
Adam Amin & Tim Welsh
  7:30 p.m. TCU at West Virginia
Bob Wischusen & Stephen Bardo
    St. John’s at Rutgers
Scott Graham & John Celestand
ESPN3 * & BIG EAST Network
  8 p.m. Auburn at Vanderbilt
Mike Gleason & Daymeon Fishback
    Green Bay at Valparaiso ESPN3
    Texas A&M at LSU
Clay Matvick & Jon Sundvold
ESPN3 & SEC Network
    No. 10 Florida at Georgia
Dave Neal & Barry Booker
ESPN3 & SEC Network
  9 p.m. Georgia Tech at North Carolina
Dave O’Brien & Doris Burke
    Iowa State at Texas Tech
Mitch Holthus & Matt Doherty
    Mississippi State at Arkansas
Matt Stewart & Kyle Macy
  11 p.m. Denver at New Mexico State
Trey Bender & Stephen Howard

* Local blackout may apply



Women’s College Basketball: No. 4 Duke at No. 3 UCONN Launches ESPN2’s Big Monday Schedule
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ESPN2’s Big Monday presented by Bud Light begins Monday, Jan. 21, with a showdown between No. 4 Duke at No. 3 Connecticut, at 7 p.m. on ESPN2. The seven-week schedule will showcase the best Division I women’s basketball programs in the nation with 10 games (three February doubleheaders). Pam Ward and Rebecca Lobo will have the call of the Duke at UConn game. Additional highlights:

  • ESPNU will be home to Pac-12 duel with No. 14 UCLA at No. 7 Cal at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 20.
  • Also on Sunday, an ACC duel between No. 10 Maryland at Georgia Tech on at 3 p.m. on ESPN2, followed by No. 20 Texas A&M at No. 13 Georgia in an SEC contest at 5 p.m.
  • ESPN3 will show the MAAC tilt of Fairfield at Iona on Friday at 6 p.m., along with an ACC game between Miami at Virginia on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Date Time (ET) Games / Commentators Networks
Fri, Jan 18 6 p.m. Fairfield at Iona
Dean Darling & Phyllis Mangina
Sat, Jan 19 1 p.m. Lipscomb at Stetson ESPN3
  2 p.m. Seton Hall at Georgetown
Bob Picozzi & LaChina Robinson
BIG EAST Network / ESPN3
Sun, Jan 20 noon St. John’s at No. 2 Notre Dame
Melissa Lee & Brooke Weisbrod
  2 p.m. Miami (Fla.) at Virginia
Michele Smith & Renee Montgomery
    Auburn at No. 5 Kentucky
Cara Capuano & Maria Taylor
SEC Network / ESPN3
  3 p.m. No. 10 Maryland at Georgia Tech
Pam Ward & LaChina Robinson
  3:30 p.m. No. 14 UCLA at No. 7 California
Rich Cellini & Rosalyn Gold-Onwude
  5 p.m. No. 20 Texas A&M at No. 13 Georgia
Adam Amin & Nell Fortner
Mon, Jan 21 7 p.m. Big Monday presented by Bud Light (Storrs, Conn.): No. 4 Duke at No. 3 Connecticut
Pam Ward & Rebecca Lobo



Hoops on ESPN Radio
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ESPN Radio will broadcast an NBA game with Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers vs. LeBron James and the Miami Heat between a pair of ACC games this week:

Date Time (ET) Game Commentators
Wed, Jan 16 7 p.m. NC State at Maryland Marc Kestecher, Bob Valvano
Thurs, Jan 17 9:30 p.m. Miami at LA Lakers Kevin Calabro and Chris Mullin
Sat, Jan 18 noon Maryland at N. Carolina Marc Kestecher and Jim Spanarkel



ESPN Deportes and ESPN2 to Reair Pacquiao-Marquez 4
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ESPN Deportes and ESPN2 will present an encore telecast of Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez 4, the HBO Pay-Per-View fight which took place December 8 and ended in a Marquez sixth-round KO of Pacquiao. ESPN Deportes will televise the fight on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 26, at 10 p.m. ESPN2 will reair the fight Friday, Feb. 8, at 8 p.m. On ESPN Deportes, Juan Manuel Marquez and Jorge Eduardo Sanchez will discuss each round. The bout was recently nominated by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) for its 2012 “Fight of the Year” honors. The first three fights between the two were all close and controversial. Pacquiao won a majority decision in their third fight in 2011, and a split decision in their second fight in 2008. They fought to a controversial draw in their first fight in 2004.



ESPN Radio: Same Hosts, Different Studios Friday
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Colin Cowherd, host of ESPN Radio’s The Herd, will fill in for a vacationing Mike Golic on Friday’s Mike & Mike in the Morning (6-10 a.m.), then be joined by Mike & Mike co-host Mike Greenberg during The Herd (10 a.m.-1 p.m.). The unique programming will be highlighted by a transition from Mike & Mike’s Digital Center studio to The Herd’s studio in Building 2. Click here to see what Greeny and Colin say about Friday’s shows: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=8847603



espnW.com: The Cold List Fuels Winter Training; Bobsledder Kailie Humphries Back on the Track
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espnW launched a new motivational campaign, the Cold List, encouraging women to achieve their personal fitness goals through the use of shareable tiles on espnW.com. The visual inspiration program consists of 43 images designed to fuel women’s winter training and connect them with others who share similar goals across several social media platforms. In addition to the printable and “pinnable” images, espnW.com will have a series of Cold List editorial content, which includes a piece from espnW contributor Jim Caple on two-man bobsled Gold medalist Kaillie Humphries.



PBA on ESPN: Round1 Japan Cup on Sunday
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The PBA Tour heads to Tokyo on Sunday, Jan. 20, for the Round1 Japan Cup. ESPN will have all the action from the finals at 3 p.m. with Lon McEachern and PBA Hall of Famer Randy Petersen providing commentary. Bowlers from around the world, including the United States, Japan and Korea, comprise the field, which showcases top PBA bowlers: Mika Koivuniemi Jason Belmonte, Parker Bohn III,  Sean Rash and Osku Palermaa, among others.



Recruiting: 25 Players in the ESPN 100 in Games
media contact: [email protected]

The GEICO ESPN High School Basketball Showcase series — 14 games across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU — tips into high gear with six games on Sunday, Jan. 20 and Monday, Jan. 21, from the 2013 Spalding Hoop Hall Classic featuring 25 players in the ESPN 100. Those games are highlighted with a matchup between the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the ESPN 25 Power Rankings on Monday, Jan. 21, at 4 p.m. ESPN networks will air more than 10 hours of high school coverage from the ESPN Recruiting Nation studio set in Springfield, Mass.

Full schedule

Date Time (ET) Program Location Networks
Sun, Jan 20 2 p.m. Montrose Christian (Md.) vs.  #11 St. Benedict’s Prep (N.J.) Blake Arena
Springfield, Mass.
  5 p.m. #5 Huntington Prep (W.Va.) vs. New Hampton School (N.H.) Blake Arena
Springfield, Mass.
Mon, Jan 21 noon Archbishop Mitty (Calif.) vs. #3 Lone Peak (Utah) Blake Arena
Springfield, Mass.
  2 p.m. #13 Oak Hill Academy (Va.) vs. #15 Neal F. Simeon (Ill.) Blake Arena
Springfield, Mass.
  4 p.m. #1 Montverde Academy (Fla.) vs. #2 Findlay Prep (Nev.) Blake Arena
Springfield, Mass.
  6 p.m. DeMatha Catholic (Md.) vs. Hudson Catholic (N.J.) Blake Arena
Springfield, Mass.