ESPN scheduling jinx?
On Wednesday, the day Miami Heat's 27-game winning streak was snapped by the Chicago Bulls, ESPN announced plans to televise Heat games at 7 p.m. April 5 at Charlotte and a “potential record-tying game” against Philadelphia at 6:30 p.m. April 6. An ESPN spokesman said the network still planned to televise the added games.
The Bulls' 101-97 victory produced a 3.0 overnight rating on ESPN, the second best this season and fifth-best regular-season rating ever. It delivered a 6.6 in Miami and 5.0 in Chicago.
• Pam Ward, Rebecca Lobo and reporter Maria Taylor will call the Oklahoma City women's basketball regional Sunday for ESPN2. OU faces Tennessee at 3:30 p.m., and No. 1 Baylor meets Louisville at 6 p.m.
• Texas' spring football game will air at 6:30 p.m. Saturday on the Longhorn Network (Cox 274).
• ESPN's new “Sunday Night Baseball” team — Dan Shulman, John Kruk, Orel Hershiser and reporter Buster Olney — will debut with Opening Night at 7 p.m. Sunday as the Texas Rangers visit the Houston Astros. Immediately following the game, the ESPN crew will travel to Los Angeles to call their second game in less than 24 hours, San Francisco at L.A. Dodgers at 3 p.m. Monday.
• ESPN's new Monday Night Baseball crew — Dave O'Brien, Rick Sutcliffe, Aaron Boone and reporter Tim Kurkjian — will make its season debut at noon Monday when the New York Yankees host Boston.