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Women's college basketball: The good news for Notre Dame? They're back in the Big East title game for the first time since 2001. The bad news? Tonight's final is a rematch with UConn, who defeated them in that game nine years ago on a Sue Bird buzzer-beater. The top-ranked Huskies reached the final by downing Rutgers 75-51 yesterday, while the No. 7 Irish topped DePaul 71-67 to advance. ... Out in Kansas City, Iowa State hosts Nebraska in the first round of the Big 12 tournament. ... A few titles are on the line tonight, as the Sun Belt championship will be decided when Western Kentucky and Arkansas-Little Rock meet in Hot Springs, Ark., and Oakland and South Dakota State will vie for the Summit League title in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Men's college basketball: The UConn men are the only ranked team in action today -- they opened up their Big East tournament play this afternoon against the DePaul Blue Demons, who won just one conference game all year. The 19th-ranked Huskies have lost their last six Big East tourney games, the last five of which were in the opening round. A meeting with DePaul may be just what they need to get off the schnide. ... A couple unranked teams are playing big games today, as Oral Roberts and Oakland battle for the Summit League title, Butler and Milwaukee face off with the Horizon League title on the line and Arkansas-Little Rock and North Texas meet in the Sun Belt championship.
NHL: The Flyers' eight-point lead in the Eastern Conference has dwindled down to two points in the wake of their four-game skid. Tonight's meeting with the lowly Oilers looks like a gimme on paper, but Philly hasn't beaten Edmonton since 2001, losing six times and tying once. ... It should be a good one out in San Jose, as the Predators and the Sharks play for the last time this regular season. The teams' last three meetings were all decided by one goal. The Sharks, who lead the Pacific Division with 82 points, saw their eight-game win streak end with a loss to Dallas on Saturday. Nashville is coming off a loss to Calgary on Sunday. ... The Blackhawks look for a ninth consecutive win tonight when they visit the Panthers. Just a few weeks ago Chicago was on the outside looking in on the playoff hunt, now they're fourth in the West. The Panthers, meanwhile, have lost five straight and are dead last in the Southeast with just 61 points. ... The last time the Bruins and the Canadiens met 14 goals were scored and 182 penalty minutes assessed. Sequels rarely top the original, but tonight's rematch may be worth watching just in case.
NBA: The Lakers look to match a season high with an eighth straight win tonight in Atlanta, where they've dropped three straight. One day after Minnesota's Kevin Love tied Moses Malone's single-season record for consecutive double-doubles, Kobe Bryant can knock Malone down a notch, as well. With just 13 points tonight Kobe would reach 27,410 points to move past Malone into sixth place all-time in scoring. ... Four straight losses and a couple empty boxes of Kleenex have the Heat looking to prove something tonight against the Trail Blazers. Portland has won 10 of its last 13, including an 89-85 victory over the Magic (minus Dwight Howard) last night.