Friday Myriad: Must be better than Thursday

Time to have a good weekend of actual sports after a nasty day of news — cycling scandals, St. Louis soccer problems, etc.

FRIDAY

5 p.m.: Cycling, Stage 6, Tour of California. A very tough mountain stage should shake up the standings. Versus

11 p.m.: MMA, Strikeforce. Veteran Matt Lindland vs. up-and-comer Kevin Casey in the main event. Showtime

SATURDAY

9 a.m.: Cycling, Giro d’Italia, Stage 14. Universal Sports

10 a.m.: Soccer (England), Championship promotion final, Blackpool-Cardiff. Yes, one of these teams will be in the Premier League next season. Probably not the season after that. Fox Soccer Plus

Noon: Ice hockey, World Championship semifinal, Czech Republic vs. Sweden. Universal Sports

** 2:30 p.m.: Soccer (Europe), Champions League final, Inter Milan vs. Bayern Munich. Fox

  • 3 p.m.: Soccer (MLS), Seattle-San Jose, Fox Soccer Channel

4 p.m.: Ice hockey, World Championship semifinal, Russia vs. Germany. Universal Sports

** 6 p.m.: Soccer (Women’s), USA-Germany in a huge international friendly. No WPS games this week due to international play. ESPN2

6:30 p.m.: Cycling, Stage 7, Tour of California. It’s a time trial, though unlike the Tour de France, it might not be the last word. Versus

SUNDAY

5 a.m.: Tennis, French Open, first day. Tennis Channel

8 a.m.: Track and field, Diamond League in Shanghai, with Usain Bolt in action. Universal Sports online

9 a.m.: Cycling, Giro d’Italia, Stage 15. Universal Sports

Noon: Tennis, French Open, first day (broadcaster shift). ESPN2

1 p.m.: Soccer (Mexico), Toluca-Santos, second leg of final. 2-2 in the first leg. Telemundo

2 p.m.: Darts, Premier League semifinals. Can we watch on Sky’s online viewer? Anyone know?

2:30 p.m.: Ice hockey, World Championship semifinal, Universal Sports

6:30 p.m.: Cycling, Final stage, Tour of California. Hilly circuit. Versus

Ahead to Monday: England-Mexico (3 p.m., FSC/Telemundo) and more French Open.

NCAA Championship watch:

  • Men’s lacrosse (quarterfinals): One of two Duke-North Carolina matchups this weekend. Two first-round shockers saw perennial contenders Princeton and Syracuse ousted. Duke routed another usual suspect, Johns Hopkins. The big story, of course, is top-seeded Virginia, playing with one of its players in jail facing charges in the death of a women’s player.
  • Women’s lacrosse (quarterfinals): Not as many upsets in this bracket.
  • Women’s softball (regional stage, many games on ESPN2)
  • Men’s tennis (round of 16): Virginia is the top seed in this sport, too — huge spring season for the Cavaliers. Top 12 seeds still active.
  • Women’s tennis (quarterfinals): The other Duke-North Carolina matchup.

More action:

  • Chess (live coverage): U.S. Championships hit the unique final four stage.
  • Full soccer listings at Soccer America
  • Selected weekend listings at USA TODAY
  • Universal Sports online: Actually, most of their content is live on TV this weekend, which is unusual. It’s listed above.
  • Tennis Channel: WTA Warsaw and ATP Nice finals on Saturday, not Sunday. That’s because the French Open has a Sunday start.
  • Olympic sports: FIVB beach volleyball in Rome
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