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Australian Open, NASCAR races, basketball top weekend sports schedule

Novak Djokovic will attempt to win a ninth Australian Open title Sunday in Melbourne. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Novak Djokovic will attempt to win a ninth Australian Open title Sunday in Melbourne. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 19 (UPI) -- The 2021 Australian Open finals, a NASCAR Cup Series road course race and dozens of college basketball games fill the weekend sports schedule. Pro golfers and NBA stars also will be in action from Friday through Sunday.

Australian Open action winds down Saturday and Sunday in Melbourne. World No. 3 Naomi Osaka battles American Jennifer Brady in the women's singles final at 3:30 a.m. EST Saturday on ESPN.

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Novak Djokovic then takes on Daniil Medvedev in the men's singles final at 3:30 a.m. EST Sunday on ESPN.

Osaka will attempt to remain undefeated in Grand Slam finals. She also will try to win her second Australian Open title in three years.

RELATED Australian Open: Serena tearful after exit, mum on retirement

"People don't remember the runner-up," Osaka told reporters on Thursday. "You might, but the winner's name is the one engraved [on the trophy]. I think it try my hardest in the finals.

"That's where you set yourself apart."

Djokovic -- the top men's player in the world -- will attempt to win his third-consecutive title in Melbourne and 18th overall Grand Slam. He already has a record eight Australian Open singles titles.

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RELATED Australian Open: Novak Djokovic, Jennifer Brady advance to finals

NASCAR road course races

Cup Series drivers remained at Daytona International Speedway this week for the second weekend of the season. They'll compete Sunday in the 2021 O'Reilly Auto Parts 253 at Daytona.

Drivers raced on the main track last Sunday at the season-opening Daytona 500. They'll use an alternate track within the same complex Sunday. The 3.61-mile road course features 14 turns and 70 laps.

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Reigning Cup Series champion Chase Elliott won the event last year and is favored to defend his title. Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney, A.J. Allmendinger and Denny Hamlin are among the other favorites to win this year's road race.

Elliott will start in pole position on Sunday at Daytona. He has won the last four Cup Series races on road courses. Michael McDowell -- who won the 2021 Daytona 500 -- also will start in the front row. Austin Dillon and Hamlin will start third and fourth, respectively.

The 2021 O'Reilly Auto Parts 253 at Daytona airs at 3 p.m. EST Sunday on Fox. Xfinity Series drivers also will compete on the road course in the Super Start Batteries 188 at Daytona at 5 p.m. EST Saturday on FS1.

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Camping World Truck Series drivers will participate in the BrakeBest Brake Pads 159 at Daytona at 7:30 p.m. EST Friday on FS1.

College basketball

The 2020-21 college basketball season is winding down, with Selection Sunday just weeks away. Several teams have had their seasons altered or are still on pause due to positive COVID-19 cases and quarantines, but many of the top teams are still in action.

This weekend, 20 of the Top 25 teams in the coaches poll take the court. The top matchup features No. 3 Michigan against No. 4 Ohio State. The Big Ten rivals tip off at 1 p.m. EST Sunday on CBS.

Other ranked matchups this weekend include: No. 11 Texas Tech vs. No. 24 Kansas and No. 13 Texas vs. No. 15 West Virginia.

No. 8 Virginia also plays at Duke in a game that airs at 8 p.m. EST Saturday on ESPN. No. 20 Tennessee battles Southeastern Conference foe Kentucky at 1 p.m. EST Saturday on CBS.

Friday

Golf

Genesis Invitational: Second round from 2 to 6 p.m. EST on Golf Channel

NHL

Blackhawks vs. Hurricanes at 7 p.m. EST on NHL Network

Panthers vs. Red Wings at 7 p.m. EST on ESPN+

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College basketball

Saint Louis at Dayton at 7 p.m. EST on ESPN2

Toledo at Buffalo at 9 p.m. EST on ESPN2

NBA

Bulls at 76ers at 7:30 p.m. EST on ESPN

Jazz at Clippers at 10 p.m. EST on ESPN

NASCAR Truck Series

BrakeBest Brake Pads 159 at Daytona at 7:30 p.m. EST on FS1.

Saturday

Tennis

Australian Open women's singles final: Naomi Osaka vs. Jennifer Brady at 3:30 a.m. EST on ESPN

College basketball

Michigan State at Indiana at noon EST on ESPN

Vanderbilt at Alabama at 1 p.m. EST on SEC Network

UConn at Villanova at 1 p.m. EST on Fox

Kentucky at Tennessee at 1 p.m. EST on CBS

Texas Tech at Kansas at 2 p.m. EST on ESPN

Missouri at South Carolina at 2 p.m. EST on ESPN2

West Virginia at Texas at 3 p.m. EST on ABC

Florida State at Pittsburgh at 4 p.m. EST on ACC Network Alternate

Auburn at LSU at 4 p.m. EST on ESPN

Oklahoma at Iowa State at 6 p.m. EST on ESPN2

Louisville at North Carolina at 6 p.m. EST on ESPN

San Diego at Gonzaga at 8 p.m. EST on ESPN2

Virginia at Duke at 8 p.m. EST on ESPN

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Arkansas at Texas A&M at 8:30 p.m. EST on SEC Network

Arizona State at UCLA at 10 p.m. EST on ESPN2

Soccer

Premier League: Liverpool vs. Everton at 12:30 p.m. EST on NBC

Golf

Genesis Invitational: Third round from 1 to 3 p.m. EST on Golf Channel; 3 to 6 p.m. EST on CBS

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Super Start Batteries 188 at Daytona at 5 p.m. EST on FS1

NHL

Golden Knights vs. Avalanche at 3 p.m. EST on NBC

Maple Leafs vs. Canadiens at 7 p.m. EST on ESPN+

NBA

Heat at Lakers at 8:30 p.m. EST on ABC

Sunday

Tennis

Australian Open men's singles final: Novak Djokovic vs. Daniil Medvedev at 3:30 a.m. EST on ESPN

Golf

Genesis Invitational: Final round from 1 to 3 p.m. EST on Golf Channel; 3 to 6:30 p.m. EST on CBS

College basketball

Michigan at Ohio State at 1 p.m. EST on CBS

Cincinnati at Houston at 1 p.m. EST on ESPN

Wisconsin at Northwestern at 7 p.m. EST on Big Ten Network

NASCAR Cup Series

O'Reilly Auto Parts 253 at Daytona at 3 p.m. EST on Fox

NHL

Flyers vs. Bruins at 3 p.m. EST on NBC

Devils vs. Capitals at 7 p.m. EST on NBCSN

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NBA

Celtics at Pelicans at 3:30 p.m. EST on ABC

Nets at Clippers at 8 p.m. EST on ESPN

Moments from Serena Williams' career

Serena Williams returns the ball to her sister, Venus, during their match at the Lipton Tennis Championship in Key Biscayne, Fla., on March 28, 1998. Venus Williams, defeated her sister 6-1, 4-6, 6-4. Photo by Susan Knowles/UPI | License Photo

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