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Players Championship, ‘Selection Sunday,’ spring training pack weekend sports schedule

March 12 (UPI) — The 2021 Players Championship golf tournament, dozens of MLB spring training games and college basketball’s Selection Sunday tournament reveal broadcast are among the events that pack the weekend sports slate.

UFC fights, regular-season NBA and NHL games, international soccer contests and two NASCAR races also fill the schedule from Friday through Sunday.

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The PGA Tour’s Players Championship field teed off Thursday in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., with play through Sunday.

Johnson favored at Players

Dustin Johnson, the No. 1 player in the Official World Golf Ranking, is the betting favorite to win the 2021 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.

“I feel like my game is in pretty good form coming in,” Johnson told reporters Tuesday. “I have some put in some good work the last couple of days and I’m feeling pretty good.”

Johnson has placed inside the Top 10 four times this season and is making his 12th appearance at the Players Championship.

The field for the tournament is packed with elite golfers, as each of the world’s Top 10 players is in the field. The field also features 18 of the Top 20 players, with No. 12 Brooks Koepka and No. 20 Matthew Wolff not among the competitors.

No. 11 Rory McIlroy, No. 6 Bryson DeChambeau, No. 2 Jon Rahm, No. 5 Xander Schauffele and No. 3 Justin Thomas are among the other favorites to win the Players Championship.

The winner of the tournament will claim $ 2.7 million of the $ 15 million prize purse. Last year’s Players Championship was canceled because of COVID-19. McIlroy claimed the tournament title in 2019.

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“It’s nice to be back and it would be wonderful to replicate what happened last time,” McIlroy told the PGA Tour website.

The second round of the tournament airs with a live stream from 6:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST Friday on NBCSports.com. TV coverage of the first round is from noon to 6 p.m. EST Friday on Golf Channel.

Third- and fourth-round play streams from 7:45 a.m. EST Saturday to 6 p.m. EDT Sunday on NBCSports.com. TV coverage for the final two rounds airs from 1 to 6 p.m. EST Saturday and 1 to 6 p.m. EDT Sunday on NBC.

‘Selection Sunday’

Sixty-eight teams will learn their fate for the 2021 NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament when the chosen are announced and the bracket is revealed in the annual Selection Sunday broadcast at 6 p.m. EDT Sunday on CBS.

The tournament, which primarily takes place in Indianapolis this year, starts Thursday and ends with the national championship game April 5.

Undefeated Gonzaga is expected to be the No. 1 overall seed in the men’s bracket. The Bulldogs also are ranked No. 1 in the coaches poll. No. 2 Baylor, No. 3 Illinois and No. 4 Michigan are among the others who could claim a top seed.

Twenty men’s basketball conference championship games will air Saturday and Sunday on various networks. The winner of each of those tournaments receives an automatic entry into the NCAA tournament.

The field for the 2021 NCAA Division 1 women’s basketball tournament will be revealed in a selection show at 7 p.m. EDT Monday on ESPN.

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MLB spring training

The MLB preseason continues through this weekend with spring training games in Florida and Arizona. Several live broadcasts and replays of the games will air Friday, Saturday and Sunday on MLB Network.

The New York Yankees face the Detroit Tigers at 1 p.m. EST Friday at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla. Julio Teheran is expected to pitch for the Tigers, while the Yankees haven’t announced a starter.

The Minnesota Twins take on the Tampa Bay Rays at 1 p.m. EST Saturday on MLB Network. A trio of spring training games also air Sunday on MLB Network.

Sunday’s broadcast features the St. Louis Cardinals vs. the New York Mets at 1 p.m. EDT, the Chicago White Sox vs. the Oakland Athletics at 4 p.m. EDT and the Kansas City Royals vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers at 9 p.m. EDT.

Friday

Golf

Players Championship: Second round live stream from 6:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST on NBCSports.com; TV coverage from noon to 6 p.m. EST on Golf Channel

MLB spring training

New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers at 1 p.m. EST on MLB Network

NHL

Golden Knights at Blues at 8 p.m. EST on NHL Network

NBA

Pacers at Lakers at 10:30 p.m. EST on NBATV

Saturday

Soccer

Premier League: Leeds vs. Chelsea at 7:30 a.m. EST on NBCSN

La Liga: Real Madrid vs. Elche at 10:15 p.m. EST on beIN Sports USA

Golf

Players Championship: Third round streams from 7:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST on NBCSports.com; TV coverage from 1 to 6 p.m. EST on NBC

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College basketball

American East championship at 11 a.m. EST on ESPN2

MEAC championship at 1 p.m. EST on ESPN2

MAAC championship at 4 p.m. EST on ESPNU

Big 12 championship at 6 p.m. EST on ESPN

Mountain West championship at 6 p.m. EST on CBS

SWAC championship at 6 p.m. EST on ESPNU

Big East championship at 6:30 p.m. EST on Fox

MAC championship at 7:30 p.m. EST on ESPN2

ACC championship at 8:30 p.m. EST on ESPN

Conference USA championship at 9 p.m. EST on CBSSN

Southland championship at 9:30 p.m. EST on ESPN2

WAC championship at 10 p.m. EST on ESPNU

Pac-12 championship at 10:30 p.m. EST on ESPN

Big West championship at 11:30 p.m. EST on ESPN2

MLB spring training

Minnesota Twins at Tampa Bay Rays at 1 p.m. EST on MLB Network

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Call 811 Before You Dig 200 at 5:30 p.m. EST on FS1

NBA

Pistons at Nets at 7 p.m. EST on NBATV

Mavericks at Nuggets at 10 p.m. EST on NBATV

NHL

Capitals at Flyers at 7 p.m. EST on ESPN+

Oilers at Canucks at 10 p.m. EST on NHL Network

UFC Fight Night on ESPN+

Eryk Anders vs. Darren Stewart at 8 p.m. EST

Manel Kape vs. Matheus Nicolau after first fight

Jonathan Martinez vs. Davey Grant after second fight

Dan Ige vs. Gavin Tucker after third fight

Misha Cirkunov vs. Ryan Spann after fourth fight

Leon Edwards vs. Belal Muhammad after fifth fight

Sunday

Golf

Players Championship: Final round streams from 7:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT on NBCSports.com; TV coverage from 1 to 6 p.m. EDT on NBC

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Soccer

Premier League: Arsenal vs. Tottenham Hotspur at 11:30 a.m. EDT on NBCSN

Serie A: Juventus vs. Cagliari at 1 p.m. EDT on ESPN+

Premier League: Manchester United vs. West Ham at 2:15 p.m. EDT on NBCSN

College basketball

Patriot League championship at noon EDT on CBSSN

Atlantic 10 championship at 1 p.m. EDT on CBS Sports

SEC championship at 1 p.m. EDT on ESPN

AAC championship at 3:15 p.m. EDT on ESPN

Big Ten championship at 3:30 p.m. EDT on CBS

Selection Sunday at 6 p.m. EDT on CBS

NHL

Kings at Avalanche at 7 p.m. EDT on NBCSN

MLB

St. Louis Cardinals at the New York Mets at 1 p.m. EDT on MLB Network

Chicago White Sox at Oakland Athletics at 4 p.m. EDT on MLB Network

Kansas City Royals at Los Angeles Dodgers at 9 p.m EDT on MLB Network

NASCAR Cup Series

Instacart 500 at 3:30 p.m. EDT on Fox

NBA

Jazz at Warriors at 4 p.m. EDT on NBATV

Spurs at 76ers at 6:30 p.m. EDT on NBATV

Clippers at Pelicans at 9 p.m. EDT on ESPN

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