Play it forward: April 4-10 on your L.A. sports calendar

Highlights of the week ahead in sports, both here and afar:


College basketball: NCAA men’s championship: Butler vs. UConn, 6 p.m., Channel 2:


Butler coach Brad Stevens should look at the glass as nearly full at this point, back in the title game for the second straight year. Why? Because he’s wearing glasses, some think. Steven Peek, sports editor of the Butler Collegian, has noted that “ever since a mishap wearing contacts forced Stevens to leave the last regular season game early, he’s been wearing glasses. . . In the minds of many, there’s no coincidence that the Bulldogs have been undefeated in single-elimination tournament play since the switch.” There’s now is a #FearTheGlasses hash tag on Twitter.

NHL: Kings at San Jose, 7 p.m., Versus:

The Kings have won three of four without the injured Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams, with players such as Matt Greene and Wayne Simmonds stepping into the offense. Versus has six games between now and Friday, including Boston at the N.Y. Rangers at 4:30 p.m. right before this, and they all involve playoff contenders.



MLB: Angels at Tampa Bay, 3:30 p.m., Channel 13:

Evan Longoria said it about Manny Ramirez, the new No. 4 hitter protecting him in the Rays’ lineup: “You see that (swing), and you feed off of it, too. When you’re around players of his caliber, it rubs off on you. You feel like you’re a little bit better player than you are. It’s pretty awesome. You can definitely feel a special aura surrounding him.” Sounds like Andre Either all over again, eh? So, after Tampa Bay was swept in its season-opening series against Baltimore, and Longoria ended up on the DL, it’s not looking so awesome, is it?

MLB: Dodgers at Colorado, 5:30 p.m., Channel 9:

We’re back to Clayton Kershaw’s turn in the rotation, coming off his seven innings of shutout ball with nine strikeouts against the Giants in the opener. Rockies star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is just 5-for-21 lifetime against Kershaw, with eight Ks.

NBA: Lakers vs. Utah, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:

In the Lakers’ 11-point win over the Jazz at their place last week, Utah center Kyrylo Fesenko got a technical foul in the third quarter, fouling Kobe Bryant hard, knocking him to the ground, then dropping the ball on him. “It was a stupid way to spend $2,000,” Fesenko said.

NBA: Clippers at Memphis, 5 p.m., Prime:

The Clippers must play four of their last five on the road, starting here.

College basketball: NCAA women’s championship: Notre Dame vs. Texas A&M, 5:30 p.m., ESPN:

You had UConn and Stanford in your bracket, didn’t you? If the men’s tournament got turned upside down, why shouldn’t the women’s, as UConn, the two-time defending champs, couldn’t get past the Irish in the semifinals.


NHL: Kings vs. Phoenix, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:

If the playoffs started this week, here’s the 4-vs.-5 first-round matchup, with the Kings having a slim advantage in head-to-head battles so far.

NHL: Ducks vs. San Jose, Honda Center, 7 p.m., KDOC:

And again, if the playoffs started this week, here’s the 7-vs.-2 first-round matchup, yet the Sharks have only two more wins than the Ducks.


NBA: Lakers at Golden State, 7:30 p.m., Channel 9, ESPN:

Kobe Bryant (39) outscored Monta Ellis (38) in their last head-to-head meeting, and the Lakers won by five.

NBA: Clippers at Oklahoma City, 5 p.m., Prime:

Russell Westbrook can do much better than 1-for-12 shooting, as he did in the five-point loss to the Clippers last Saturday.

MLB: Angels at Tampa Bay, 10 a.m., FSW; Dodgers at Colorado, noon, Prime:

The Dodgers’ and Angels’ brief two-game trips end with an afternoon contest, and then a day off.



Golf: The Masters, first round, ESPN, noon:

Defending champion Phil Mickelson had high hopes when he left Augusta a year ago wearing a green jacket – even in the drive-thru lane of a doughnut shop with his kids. His wife, diagnosed with breast cancer 11 months earlier, was there to greet him on the 18th green in one of the more emotional moments on a golf course where there have been many. For the next six months, Mickelson had more than a dozen chances to become No. 1 in the world for the first time in his career. Then came another health setback — his own — when he discovered he had psoriatic arthritis. He didn’t win the rest of the year. He has only contended once this year. Ever the optimist, Mickelson believes that will change when he drives down Magnolia Lane. “I feel like the year kind of starts now,” he said. ESPN has the second round Friday (noon), while CBS has Saturday (12:30 p.m.) and Sunday (11 a.m.).


MLB: Dodgers at San Diego, 7 p.m., Prime:

How about the benches clearing in Peoria, Ariz., when the Dodgers and Padres traded brush-back pitches, first by Jonathan Broxton hitting Ryan Ludwick, then by San Diego’s Brad Brach buzzing Rafael Furcal. The series resumes Saturday at 5:30 p.m., Channel 9 and Sunday at 1 p.m., Channel 9.

MLB: Angels vs. Toronto, Angel Stadium, 7 p.m., FSW:

The Angels finally get their home opener, and a start of their 50th anniversary celebration, by showing the Blue Jays what they gave away in Vernon Wells. The series resumes Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 12:30 p.m.

NBA: Lakers at Portland, 7 p.m., Channel 9:

Just when you’d think the Blazers would welcome a first-round playoff visit against the Lakers, you realize — Portland had won nine of the previous 10 and 15 of the previous 18 meetings with the Lakers at the Rose Garden. The Lakers, though, have won two in a row on the Blazers’ homecourt, including 106-101 in OT last February.

NBA: Clippers at Dallas, 5:30 p.m., Channel 13:

The Clips only lost to the Mavs by six at Staples Center last week, yet Dallas has won the last nine meetings.

NHL: Kings at Ducks, Honda Center, 7 p.m., KDOC:

At last, a home-and-home with the Southern California rivals, thrashing about as the playoffs are just around the corner. The Ducks’ most recent 2-1 overtime win over the Kings came when rising MVP candidate Corey Perry scored in OT.


Movie: “Soul Surfer,” in theatres today:

It’s the Bethany Hamilton story — the 13-year-old surfer who nearly eight years ago on Halloween morning lost her left arm in a attack by a 14-foot shark. Two months later, she placed fifth in the Open Women’s division surf competition and just over a year after the attack she won her first national title. AnnaSophia Robb plays Bethany in the docudrama.


NHL: Kings vs. Ducks, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:

To put the icing on the regular season, one more go-around. Could they meet again in the playoffs? There’s always that crazy chance.

NBA: Clippers at Houston, 5:30 p.m., Prime:

As long as they’re in Texas . . .

MLS: Galaxy at D.C. United, 4:30 p.m., FSW:

After four games this season, David Beckham has no goals, two assists, while Landon Donovan has no goals, no assists. For the record.

Hockey: NCAA Frozen Four final, 4 p.m., ESPN:

If Minnesota-Duluth, which has already upset top-seeded Yale, makes it out of Thursday’s semifinal against Notre Dame, and into today’s title game against either North Dakota or Michigan, you think the Bulldogs have much of a home-ice advantage playing in St. Paul, Minn.?


Horse racing: Santa Anita Derby, 2 p.m., HRTV:

The $1 million race and prelude to the Kentucky Derby could be a huge stepping stone for Premier Pegasus, the winner of the San Felipe Stakes over favored Jaycito. In the Associated Press’ Run to the Roses Top 10 of Derby contenders, Premier Pegasus is No. 6 (with Uncle Mo remaining in the top spot) and should be the morning-line favorite in what looks to be an eight-horse field. Premier Pegasus has lost only once in five career starts, and that only non-win was a third in the San Vicente.



NBA: Lakers vs. Oklahoma City, Staples Center, 6:30 p.m., FSW:

It’s your first, and last, look at how the Lakers might match up against the Thunder now that Kendrick Perkins is in the middle helping out Kevin Durant heading into the postseason. The Lakers won by three in their last meeting, as 3-pointers on the OKC last possession by Durant and James Harden missed.

Series: “Khloe & Lamar,” 7 p.m., E!

Because reality TV ended so well for Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey, Carmen Electra and Dave Navaro, and Britney Spears and Kevin Federline. The Lakers’ Lamar Odom and his newish bride, Khloe Kardashian, have already been making the rounds with the media for their new show, and Lamar told “Access Hollywood” about past reality show blowups: “We don’t pay too much attention to it.” Neither will we. But Lakers fans must know this has happened.

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