Morning Line Archives: April 2-April 9

It’s Crossover Week in the world of sports. The college basketball season comes to a close on Monday night and gives way to the baseball season, which starts on Wednesday. The NHL regular season finishes on Saturday, and the Masters runs Thursday through Sunday. The biggest Saturday in horse racing prior to the Triple Crown goes down with big Derby Prep races at three tracks across the country.

With the exception of The Masters—where I highly recommend tuning into Greg DePalma’s Sports Show, over at Prime Sports Network for  thorough analysis—TheSportsNotebook will be on top of everything. Below is this week’s agenda for the articles that will run here each day. Unless noted otherwise, all material is published no later than 3 PM ET on the day it’s scheduled.

MONDAY, APRIL 2: Of course we preview the Kentucky-Kansas NCAA championship game, and also start digging into the NBA again, as the pros are down to 24 days left in the regular season. Oklahoma City, coming off Sunday’s thumping of Chicago gets the spotlight. In the continued buildup to baseball season, TheSportsNotebook turned to contributor Will Fairbanks and asked him to identify some surprise teams–he’s got one AL and one NL team that he expects to significantly exceed expectations.

TUESDAY, APRIL 3: Recap the NCAA final, and now it’s time to really hone in on hockey, a theme that will be heavy all week long, as the NHL regular season ends on Saturday. Our features will look at Stanley Cup contenders and size up how they’re going into the playoffs. What better place to start than last year’s Cup champs, the Boston Bruins.  For baseball, Will will shift his focus to individual players and point us to some MLB surprise players for 2012. And at 3 PM EST, I will be podcasting over at Prime Sports Network with Greg DePalma for the first part of a two-part MLB preview. 

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4: Major league baseball starts tonight, and while TheSportsNotebook has already previewed all 30 teams individually, it’s now time to tie it all together with a complete Opening Day Extravaganza with final predictions, mixed in with some bad betting advice on the best pennant odds and Over/Under win props. NHL coverage moves to the team who came within a game of the Cup last season, the Vancouver Canucks. In a podcasting re-enactment of the Stanely Cup rivalry–me as a Bruins fan, and Greg DePalma a Canucks diehard, he and I will will wrap up the baseball preview at 3 PM ET.

THURSDAY, APRIL 5: All hockey today at TheSportsNotebook. The New York Rangers have been getting hype all year long. The St. Louis Blues are getting next to none. But both are in the hunt for best overall record in the regular season, and we’ll look at both.

FRIDAY, APRIL 6 thru SUNDAY APRIL 8: Easter Weekend Edition: Between the activities of faith & family, a lot of people are busy over Easter, and the Notebook editor is no different. But on Friday there will be articles on the Texas Rangers’ starting rotation, in anticipation of their Sunday night ESPN game with the Chicago White Sox, plus  a preview of Saturday’s  three big Kentucky Derby prep races.

Then on Saturday morning, we’ll go to the NBA, with the Philadelphai 76ers getting ESPN coverage on Saturday night against Orlando and then a big battle with Boston on NBA-TV Sunday night, the Notebook will hone in on the last stretch of the Sixers-Celtics battle. And finally we”ll review the NHL MVP race and make a pick as the regular season ends Saturday night.