Feb. 12 (UPI) -- The Daytona 500 is the main sports event this weekend, as 40 drivers circle a 2.5-mile track at nearly 200 mph Sunday in Daytona Beach, Fla. A tennis Grand Slam and dozens of basketball games also pack the schedule.
PGA Tour golfers have teed off for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, which runs from Thursday through Sunday. A UFC title bout airs Saturday and NHL games air from Friday through Sunday.
Wrecks, close-calls and other daring vehicular maneuvers make the annual "Great American Race" one of the most exciting events of the NASCAR season. The annual event also launches the Cup Series calendar.
Defending champion Denny Hamlin is the betting favorite to win the 2021 Daytona 500, which starts at 2:30 p.m. EST Sunday and airs on Fox. 2020 Cup Series champion Chase Elliott, Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney are among the other favorites to claim the checkered flag.
Alex Bowman claimed pole position Wednesday when he got his No. 48 Chevrolet up to 191.262 mph on the tri-oval track.
"I'm going to floor it and hopefully stay up front," Bowman told reporters Wednesday on a Zoom video conference.
NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers also will compete this weekend in Daytona. The Beef. It's What's For Dinner 300 starts at 5 p.m. EST Saturday and airs on FS1.
The 2021 Australian Open is underway in Melbourne as men's and women's tennis stars advance through the singles draw.
Men's defending champion Novak Djokovic still is in contention and remains the betting favorite to win the Grand Slam in Melbourne. Sofia Kenin, the 2020 women's singles champion, was knocked out Thursday in her second-round match.
Naomi Osaka, Ash Barty and Serena Williams are among the favorites to win the 2021 women's singles title. Daniil Medvedev, Dominic Thiem and Rafael Nadal are among the top contenders for the men's title, behind Djokovic.
Williams can tie Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles if she wins the tournament, but she hasn't claimed a major crown since 2017.
Third- and fourth-round action airs from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. EST on the Tennis Channel and ESPN networks this weekend through Monday morning.
Djokovic, Thiem, Williams, Osaka, Alexander Zverev, Nick Kyrgios and Simona Halep are among the top players in action on Friday.
NBA and college basketball teams continue to march through their respective seasons, despite constant disruption, postponements and player unavailability caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The NBA has several stellar matchups planned this weekend. Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans battle Luka Doncic's Dallas Mavericks at 7:30 p.m. EST Friday on ESPN. Ja Morant's Memphis Grizzlies then take on LeBron James' Los Angeles Lakers at 10 p.m. EST Friday on the same network.
The Brooklyn Nets and Oklahoma City Thunder highlight Saturday's NBA matchups. That game tips off at 8:30 p.m. EST Saturday on ABC.
Doncic's Mavericks host Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers at 7:30 p.m. EST Sunday on ESPN. The Denver Nuggets then host the Lakers at 10 p.m. EST Sunday in ESPN's final game of the weekend.
Gonzaga, Villanova, Ohio State, Virginia and Missouri -- who all rank inside the Top-10 in the men's basketball coaches poll -- also are in action on Saturday in nationally televised games. Duke, Kentucky, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Kansas, North Carolina, Michigan State, UCLA and Iowa also play Saturday.
Michigan battles Wisconsin at 1 p.m. EST Sunday on CBS in a matchup between two ranked Big Ten teams. Houston and Loyola Chicago are among the other ranked teams with nationally televised games Sunday.
Australian Open from 6 p.m. EST Thursday through 7 a.m. EST Friday and from 6 p.m. EST Friday to 7 a.m. EST Saturday on Tennis Channel, ESPN News and ESPN2
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Second round from 3 to 6 p.m. EST on Golf Channel
Bruins at Rangers at 7 p.m. EST on NHL Network
Pelicans at Mavericks at 7:30 p.m. EST on ESPN
Grizzlies at Lakers at 10 p.m. EST on ESPN
Australian Open from 6 p.m. EST Friday through 7 a.m. EST Saturday and from 6 p.m. EST Saturday to 7 a.m. EST Sunday on Tennis Channel, ESPN News and ESPN2
Indiana at Ohio State at noon EST on ESPN
Wake Forest at Florida State at noon EST on ACC Network Alternate
Loyola Chicago at Drake at noon EST on ESPN
Kansas State at Oklahoma State at noon EST on ESPNU
UConn at Xaver at noon EST on Fox
Oklahoma at West Virginia at 1 p.m. EST on Big 12 Network
Auburn at Kentucky at 1 p.m. EST on CBS
TCU at Texas at 2 p.m. EST on Longhorn Network
Tennessee at LSU at 2 p.m. EST on ESPN
Oregon at Arizona at 2 p.m. EST on ESPN2
Iowa at Michigan State at 2:30 p.m. EST on Fox
Kansas at Iowa State at 3 p.m. EST on ABC
Georgia at Alabama at 3:30 p.m. EST on SEC Network
Arkansas at Missouri at 4 p.m. EST on ESPN2
Duke at N.C. State at 4 p.m. EST on ESPN
Villanova at Creighton at 5 p.m. EST on Fox
Gonzaga at San Francisco at 6 p.m. EST on ESPN2
North Carolina at Virginia at 6 p.m. EST on ESPN
USC at Washington State at 8 p.m. EST on ESPNU
Premier League: Manchester City vs. Tottenham Hotspur at 12:30 p.m. EST on NBC
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Third round from 1 to 3 p.m. EST on Golf Channel; from 3 to 6 p.m. EST on CBS
Xfinity Series Beef. It's What's For Dinner. 300 at 5 p.m. EST on FS1
Lighting at Panthers at 7 p.m. EST on ESPN+
Canadiens at Maple Leafs at 7 p.m. EST on NHL Network
Nets at Warriors at 8:30 p.m. EST on ABC
UFC 258 on ESPN+
Jim Miller vs. Bobby Green at 10 p.m. EST
Maki Pitolo vs. Julian Marquez after first fight
Kelvin Gastelum vs. Ian Heinisch after second fight
Maycee Barber vs. Alexa Grasso after third fight
Kamaru Usman vs. Gilbert Burns after fourth fight
Australian Open from 6 p.m. EST Saturday through 7 a.m. EST Sunday and from 6 p.m. EST Sunday to 7 a.m. EST Monday on Tennis Channel, ESPN News and ESPN2
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Fourth round from 1 to 3 p.m. EST on Golf Channel; from 3 to 6:30 p.m. EST on CBS
Michigan at Wisconsin at 1 p.m. EST on CBS
Memphis at Houston at 1 p.m. EST on ESPN
Loyola Chicago at Drake at 3 p.m. EST on ESPN
Daytona 500 at 2:30 p.m. EST on Fox
Capitals at Penguins at 3 p.m. EST on NBC
Avalanche at Golden Knights at 7 p.m. EST on NBCSN
Blazers at Mavericks at 7:30 p.m. EST on ESPN
Lakers at Nuggets at 10 p.m. EST on ESPN