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Thursday, March 3, 2011
Basketball action provides NFL distraction

By Amanda Rykoff

Men's college basketball: A big night of college hoops tips off at 7 p.m. with Tennessee at South Carolina (ESPN). The Vols have won the last eight meetings against the Gamecocks. ... Also at 7 p.m., red-hot No. 15 St. John's visits Seton Hall (ESPN2). The Red Storm have won six straight, eight of their last nine and are off to their best start in Big East play (11-5) since the 1999-2000 season. ... At 9 p.m., Indiana visits No. 10 Wisconsin (ESPN). The Badgers have won seven straight in the series. ... Still in the hunt for a share of the regular-season Pac-10 title, UCLA visits Washington (9 p.m., ESPN2). ... No. 18 Arizona looks to rebound after back-to-back losses when Oregon State visits at 9 p.m. The Wildcats are 16-0 at the McKale Center this year.

Women's college basketball: Four of the Top 25 teams play tonight. No. 12 Green Bay looks to stay undefeated in the Horizon League when it visits Wright State at 7 p.m. ... The first round of the women's ACC tournament features Clemson vs. No. 19 North Carolina at 8 p.m. ... No. 2 Stanford hosts rival Cal at 9 p.m. The Cardinal are 17-0 in Pac-10 play. ... Also in Pac-10 play, No. 9 UCLA hosts Washington at 10 p.m.

NBA: We've got two games tonight for the TNT doubleheader. First it's an Eastern Conference showdown when the Magic, winners of three straight and five of six, visit the Heat, who have lost three straight to teams over .500. Dwight Howard has 11 straight games with 20-plus points and 10-plus rebounds. ... At 10:30 p.m., the post-Carmelo Nuggets visit the post-Deron Williams and Jerry Sloan Utah Jazz. The Nuggets are 5-1 since Anthony was shipped to New York. The Jazz are 1-6 since Sloan resigned.

NFL labor negotiations: The current collective bargaining agreement expires at 11:59 p.m. ET tonight. Will the NFLPA decertify? It is likely before the end of today. Will there be an extension of the deadline? Maybe. Will a deal be struck? Doubtful. Will the owners declare a lockout? Probably. We're watching the clock.

Information from ESPN Stats and Information was used in this report.