BOSTON — February 1
Wake Forest versus Maryland (men's basketball)
Second-ranked Wake Forest and star center Tim Duncan have disrupted the established order in the powerful Atlantic Coast Conference, leap-frogging ahead of such traditional powers as Duke and North Carolina. Now the Demon Deacons begin a monstrous February in which they must play every other ACC contender, beginning with fifth-ranked Maryland.
And you thought the National Football League season ended with last Sunday's Super Bowl. This all-star game may look kind of kooky, with players wearing their regular helmets but special uniforms, but the participants love the setting - Honolulu.
World Alpine Ski Championships
Since the last Winter Olympics three years ago, it seems that interest in skiing has dropped off noticeably in North America, and perhaps other locales as well. With the Nagano (Japan) Games only a year away, however, a new star could be born during two weeks of slaloms and downhills in Sestriere, Italy.
Indoor track continues to take a bow each year in New York, where the Millrose meet is the oldest annual sports event held in Madison Square Garden.
Davis Cup tennis, first round
Can you have a "home ice" advantage in tennis? Maybe, if the indoor court in Lulea, Sweden, freezes over. Lulea, which is just south of the Arctic Circle, will become the northernmost venue in Davis Cup history when Sweden hosts Switzerland. Elsewhere in this annual four-stage team competition, Australia hosts defending champion France and the US travels to Brazil.
National Basketball Association All-Star Weekend
Seeing that this is the league's 50th anniversary season, the highlight of this midseason showcase most likely will be a special tribute to the 50 greatest players in NBA history.
US Figure Skating Championships
Barring unforseen developments in Nashville, Tenn., reigning world champions Todd Eldredge and Michelle Kwan should glide to victory in the singles competitions. In the other events, married couples Jenni Meno and Todd Sand (pairs) and Elizabeth Punsalan and Jerod Swallow (dance) own a clear edge.
Baseball spring training begins
The mandatory date for players to report to Florida and Arizona practice facilities is Feb. 27, but it's not good form to check in that late. Pitchers and catchers can begin working out the 15th, with the doors opening to all other players five days later.
In the space of 37 days, officials of the Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway like to boast that the tri-oval hosts the world's greatest stock car, sports car, and motorcycle races. Surely the centerpiece, though, is the 500-mile Winston Cup season kickoff race. This year all eyes will be on Terry Labonte, last year's overall Cup champion, as he roars into this 538th straight race.