As the calendar turns over into March, that can only mean one thing: the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. March Madness seems like it could be as wild and unpredictable as ever, as very few teams have been able to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. That’s just one of the exciting upcoming events in the sports world this week.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed this week’s schedules to identify major games in European soccer, professional hockey, professional basketball, and college basketball and determine the top 20 events in sports for the week of March 5-11.
Before we get to the Big Dance, we need to find out which teams can win their conference tournaments and get automatic bids into March Madness. Dozens of conference tournament games are crammed into next week, before we can get the first look at the official NCAA Tournament bracket on Selection Sunday.
If you’ve been slacking on watching college basketball but still want to beat everyone else in your office bracket pool, now is the time to tune in and find the Cinderella team that can upset the favorites and make you look like an expert.
The U.S. isn’t the only place to catch an exciting tournament. Europe’s best soccer clubs are facing off in the UEFA Champions League. Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid will try to finish off Paris Saint-Germain, while Tottenham and Juventus will seek to break their 2-2 tie from the first leg of their matchup.
If you prefer domestic leagues, you can watch Manchester United host Liverpool in the Premier League. Those two teams are the most decorated in English soccer history and the rivalry dates back decades.
Back in the U.S., the NHL and NBA seasons are winding down. Teams like the Dallas Stars and Anaheim Ducks are clinging to wild card spots, but they are facing big tests from some of the best teams in the league — matchups that could prove crucial by the end of the season.
There’s a real logjam in the NBA’s Western Conference behind the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets, leaving squads like the San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Pelicans to battle for home court advantage in the first round. The Pelicans have gotten a huge boost from Anthony Davis, who was absolutely unstoppable in February, scoring 35 points per game and leading the Pelicans to a seven-game winning streak.
In order to determine the best games of the week, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed scheduled games and events among the most-watched sports leagues, including European soccer, NCAA men’s basketball, the NBA, and the NHL for the week of March 5-11. Games were selected based on a number of factors, including the quality of the teams playing, the presence of well-known and high-quality players in the game, how likely an event is to draw many viewers, and the history of the teams. Team histories may be based on long-standing rivalries or more recent animosity. The week is from Monday to Sunday.