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Updated: 23 April 2015, 10:07 EDT

ESPN Caribbean Highlights - April 2015

ESPNCaribbean.com

ESPN Caribbean Network Highlights for April 2015

The NBA Playoffs tipoff the April lineup on ESPN, joined by the NCAA Men's Final Four, ATP World Tour tennis, The Masters Tournament, motor sports with the Verizon IndyCar Series, MotoGP and NHRA Drag Racing, more world football with the UEFA Europa League, matches from England, Spain, Germany, MLS, etc., the NFL Draft and more...

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION (NBA)

April sees the NBA wrap the regular season and brings opening action from the NBA Playoffs - catch LIVE coverage all month on ESPN

The National Basketball Association (NBA) wraps the regular season this month with continuing LIVE coverage on ESPN, followed by the tipoff to the NBA Playoffs on April 18. The Eastern Conference has proved to be much more competitive than many expected, as teams like the soaring Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls - not to mention the Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards - have kept the favored Cleveland Cavaliers and superstar LeBron James playing catch up.

The Western Conference continues to shine, with Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors fronting a deeply talented field that includes the fired-up Memphis Grizzlies, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks, Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers, and the always dangerous San Antonio Spurs, winners of a fifth NBA Championship last season (over the Miami Heat). And not to be counted out are the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are hard to beat when Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are healthy and on the court together.

NBA Wednesday and NBA Friday season coverage wraps LIVE on ESPN, followed by the tipoff to the NBA Playoffs on April 18.

Schedule: LIVE coverage - Host team shown first
Apr 1 08:00pm Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Toronto Raptors
Apr 3 08:00pm Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Apr 8 09:30pm Dallas Mavericks vs. Phoenix Suns
Apr 10 08:00pm Houston Rockets vs. San Antonio Spurs
Apr 15 08:00pm Toronto Raptors vs. Charlotte Hornets
Apr 18 Times TBD NBA Playoffs begin...

MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

April crowns a new Men's College Basketball champion - the NCAA Final Four airing LIVE on ESPN

As of this month there will be a new Men's College Basketball champion with the arrival of the NCAA Final Four, the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship, airing LIVE on ESPN from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Following March Madness, only four teams from the original field of 68 hopefuls remain standing in April to battle for this year's national championship.

The favorites remain the favorites when a national championship is on the line, although March is known for being a cruel month for aspiring champions. Still, among the teams expected to stay alive throughout this season's NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament are SEC power Kentucky, the preseason favorite that by late February was rolling on a 27-0 winning streak, plus the ACC trio of Virginia, Duke and Notre Dame, the Big Ten's Wisconsin, Pac-12's Arizona, Big 12's Kansas and WCC's Gonzaga.

ESPN's coverage of Men's College Basketball airs LIVE and on short-turnaround throughout the season, wrapping this month with LIVE coverage of the Final Four.

Schedule: LIVE coverage
Apr 4 06:00pm NCAA Final Four - Semifinal #1
Apr 4 08:30pm NCAA Final Four - Semifinal #2
Apr 6 09:00pm NCAA Final Four - Championship

TENNIS - 2015 ATP World Tour

Airing LIVE on ESPN in April - more ATP World Tour coverage from Miami and Monte-Carlo

Coverage of the ATP World Tour continues LIVE on ESPN in April with final action from the Miami Open presented by Itaú in Miami, Florida - won last year by Serbian star Novak Djokovic over Spain's Rafael Nadal - and the first stop on the clay court circuit of the Masters 1000, the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. Last season's event featured the first all-Swiss final for 14 years on the ATP World Tour as up-and-comer Stan Wawrinka defeated veteran star Roger Federer to take his first Masters 1000 title.

Both Wawrinka and Federer finished 2014 high in the rankings, as did Nadal even as he battled health problems, but it was Djokovic ultimately ending as the yearend No. 1. It was the 11th straight season that the yearend World No. 1 ranking was held by either Djokovic, Federer or Nadal. Still, new names are making headlines, among them Canada's Milos Raonic and Croatia's Marin Cilic, the latter the winner of the 2014 US Open over Japan's Kei Nishikori. All three advanced to the last season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

ATP World Tour coverage airs LIVE and on short-turnaround throughout the season on ESPN and ESPN2.

Schedule: LIVE coverage
Apr 1 03:00pm Masters 1000: Miami Open presented by Itaú - Quarterfinal
Apr 1 10:30pm Masters 1000: Miami Open presented by Itaú - Quarterfinal (S)
Apr 2 03:00pm Masters 1000: Miami Open presented by Itaú - Quarterfinal
Apr 2 07:00pm Masters 1000: Miami Open presented by Itaú - Quarterfinal
Apr 3 01:00pm Masters 1000: Miami Open presented by Itaú - Semifinal #1 (T)
Apr 3 07:00pm Masters 1000: Miami Open presented by Itaú - Semifinal #2
Apr 5 01:00pm Masters 1000: Miami Open presented by Itaú - Final (T)
Apr 13 04:30am Masters 1000: Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters - First Round
Apr 14 04:30am Masters 1000: Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters - First Round/Second Rd
Apr 15 04:30am Masters 1000: Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters - Second Round
Apr 16 04:30am Masters 1000: Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters - Round of 16
Apr 17 04:30am Masters 1000: Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters - Quarterfinals
Apr 19 09:00am Masters 1000: Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters - Final (S) Short-turnaround; (T) Taped

GOLF - The Masters Tournament

The season's first major is here - catch LIVE coverage of the Masters Tournament and Par 3 Contest on ESPN

The moment golf lovers have been waiting for is finally here with the arrival of the season's first major championship, the renowned Masters Tournament. Returning yearly to famed Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, the Masters - along with the U.S. Open, The Open Championship and PGA Championship - forms part of golf's most prestigious series of tournaments. The sport's best will be on the links, hoping to earn their place among the players truly considered golf's greatest.

Last year saw U.S. pro Bubba Watson, known for his quirky personal style as well as his devastating swing, pull away from rising star Jordan Spieth on the back nine to win his second Masters in three years. Only eight other players have won the Masters in such a short time span, among them Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Jack Nicklaus. Watson and Spieth are expected back, as is a stellar lineup of top international golfers led by Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, Sweden's Henrik Stenson, Australia's Jason Day and Adam Scott, Spain's Sergio Garcia and England's Justin Rose, among others.

The traditional lead-in to the Masters is also back with coverage on ESPN of the entertaining Par 3 Contest. This Wednesday tradition at the Masters Tournament allows golfers, family members and invited guests to try their luck on the August National Golf Club's tough Par 3 Course. While this lighthearted event sets the stage for the more serious action to come, no Par 3 winner has ever gone on to win the Masters.

Coverage of the Masters Tournament airs LIVE April 9 - 12.

Schedule: LIVE coverage
Apr 8 03:00pm 2015 Masters Par 3 Contest
Apr 9 03:00pm 2015 Masters Tournament - First Round
Apr 10 03:00pm 2015 Masters Tournament - Second Round
Apr 11 03:00pm 2015 Masters Tournament - Third Round
Apr 12 02:00pm 2015 Masters Tournament - Final Round

MOTOR SPORTS - Verizon IndyCar Series, MotoGP and NHRA Drag Racing

IndyCar racing continues LIVE on ESPN/ESPN2 in April with more season coverage of the Verizon IndyCar Series

The Verizon IndyCar Series, top-flight open wheel racing starring some of the world's most skilled international drivers, continues LIVE all month on ESPN/ESPN2. ESPN delivers all the action from the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on the Streets of Long Beach and from Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, while the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana from NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale airs on ESPN2.

Last year's event in Long Beach was won by England's Mike Conway, who snatched victory away from Australian talent Will Power, the latter going on to take the 2014 IndyCar Series title. Meanwhile, it was U.S. driver Ryan Hunter-Reay - the IndyCar Series champion in 2012 - taking the victory in Alabama for a second consecutive year. Power and Hunter-Reay return as top contenders in the new season joined by, among others, three-time past champion Scott Dixon, Brazil's Helio Castroneves and Colombia's Juan Pablo Montoya.

ESPN/ESPN2 present season coverage of the Verizon IndyCar Series airing LIVE, on short-turnaround and taped.

Schedule: LIVE coverage
Apr 19 04:30pm Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach - Streets of Long Beach, CA
Apr 26 03:30pm Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama - Barber Motorsports Park, AL

MotoGP continues on ESPN with race action from Austin, Texas and Argentina

Grand Prix motorcycle racing from MotoGP continues on ESPN in April with racing from both North and South America with the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, followed by the Gran Premio Red Bull de la República Argentina in Termas de Río Hondo. Last year saw Spanish rider Marc Márquez follow up his win at the season-opener in Qatar with victories at both of these stops, with Argentina delivering an all-Spanish podium with Márquez, Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo taking the honors.

All the Spaniards are back in top form, ready to again push themselves (and each other) to the limits as they vie for the 2015 title, with the Italian duo of Valentino Rossi and rising star Andrea Dovizioso also in the mix. Rossi, a seven-time champion in the top category who finished second to Márquez last season, has been overshadowed by the Spaniards in recent years, but in 2014 showed the old enviable form that won him five championships in a row between 2001 and 2005.

ESPN presents full coverage, airing LIVE, on short-turnaround or taped, of the 18-race MotoGP season.

Schedule:
Apr 12 08:00pm Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas - Circuit of The Americas (S)
Apr 19 04:00pm G.P. Red Bull de la Rep. Argentina - Termas de Río Hondo
(L) (L) Live; (S) Short-turnaround

April at the races always makes us smile - NHRA Drag Racing continues on ESPN

ESPN has more teeth-rattling, goose-bump raising race action in April as the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series makes stops in Las Vegas and Houston. The two most popular divisions, Top Fuel and Funny Car, are certain to keep fans on the edge of their seats all season as drivers vie for points in the first 18 races in hopes of making the cut for the six-race playoffs, the Countdown to the Championship, beginning in September.

Eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher is looking to defend his Top Fuel crown against a field of challengers led by J.R. Todd, Spencer Massey and former world champions Shawn Langdon and Antron Brown. In Funny Car, the John Force-Matt Hagan rivalry has never been more heated or more entertaining. Hagan claimed his second world championship over Force last season, reversing the 2013 results where Force bested Hagan for a record 16th title. Expect fireworks.

ESPN's season coverage of the 24-race NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series includes both qualifying (generally on Sundays) and race day action; final eliminations are featured at each stop. Races air on short-turnaround.

Schedule: ET Apr 13 08:00pm SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals - Las Vegas, NV Apr 26 08:00pm O'Reilly Auto Parts Spring Nationals - Houston, TX Races air on short-turnaround

UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE

The UEFA Europa League continues on ESPN/ESPN2 with coverage of both legs from the Quarterfinals

The UEFA Europa League continues its march towards crowning a new champion in May with coverage this month on ESPN/ESPN2 of both legs of the Quarterfinals. Some notable changes this season have made the UEFA Europa League stronger than ever, first among them being a juicy prize for the winners: a place in the UEFA Champions League. This move has upped the stakes for all clubs hoping to take their place alongside recent champions of the caliber of Spain's Atlético de Madrid and England's Chelsea.

The Round of 32 dished up some tasty matches, leaving a long list of serious contenders to contemplate for the later rounds. Sevilla, the holders, and fellow Spanish side Villarreal looked in good position to advance, while English clubs Liverpool and Everton were also rolling. The Italian sides faced some tough tests as Roma took on the Netherlands' Feyenoord, Fiorentina went up against England's Tottenham Hotspur, and Inter Milan faced on old rival in Scotland's Celtic.

Coverage of the UEFA Europa League airs LIVE and on short-turnaround throughout the competition on ESPN/ESPN2. Stay tuned in May for coverage from the Semifinals (both legs) and the Final airing from National Stadium Warsaw in Poland.

Schedule: ET Apr 16 03:00pm UEFA Europa League - Quarterfinals, 1st Leg (L) Apr 16 05:00pm UEFA Europa League - Quarterfinals, 1st Leg (S) Apr 16 08:00pm UEFA Europa League - Quarterfinals, 1st Leg (S) Apr 23 03:00pm UEFA Europa League - Quarterfinals, 2nd Leg (L) Apr 23 05:00pm UEFA Europa League - Quarterfinals, 2nd Leg (S) Apr 23 08:00pm UEFA Europa League - Quarterfinals, 2nd Leg (S) (L) Live; (S) Short-turnaround

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE

England's top level of football continues LIVE on ESPN - the Barclays Premier League

It's been another stellar season of action on ESPN from the Barclays Premier League, as England's top clubs battle for one of the most prestigious titles in world football. Holders Manchester City and top rival Chelsea have waged a stirring battle all season, and they top the rankings in part because they each boast one of the league's hottest strikers: Sergio Agüero and Diego Costa, respectively.

As the season raced toward its finish, the frontrunners had opened a significant lead over their next closest challengers, Arsenal and Manchester United. While Man United owns 20 Premier League titles, this year's side is more a work-in-progress than a contender, while Arsenal hasn't lifted the league trophy since 2004. Chelsea has also been frustrated in past years, coming up short since their last championship in 2010. Whether they, or anyone, can catch Man City before the season ends next month is a drama worth following.

ESPN's coverage of the English Premier League airs all season, LIVE and on short-turnaround, featuring 1-2 matches per week. NOTES: EPL not available to cruise lines; matches airing on short-turnaround/taped on ESPN Caribbean will air LIVE on ESPN2 Caribbean.

Schedule: LIVE coverage
Apr 4 07:45am Barclays Premier League
Apr 11 09:55am Barclays Premier League
Apr 18 09:55am Barclays Premier League
Apr 25 09:55am Barclays Premier League
*NOTE: English Premier League not available to cruise lines.

MORE INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL - Spanish Primera División, Italian Serie A, German Bundesliga, French Ligue 1, Brazilian football and more

World football continues on ESPN/ESPN2 with weekly coverage from Spain, Germany, Italy, France, the Netherlands and beyond

ESPN and ESPN2 cover world football all season with weekly coverage of the strongest leagues and most skilled sides in the game. Leading the lineup is the Spanish Primera División and games from the Copa del Rey, plus the Italian Serie A, German Bundesliga, French Ligue 1, Dutch First Division, Portuguese Liga and Brazil's Campeonato Paulista.

The Big Two can now officially be called the Big Three in the Spanish Primera División, as holders Atlético de Madrid - energized with the return of striker Fernando Torres to the fold - have kept Real Madrid and Barcelona cleanly in their sights. In the German Bundesliga it is again Bayern Munich setting the pace, and with no truly strong challengers stepping up the leaders are on track for a third consecutive league title.

Juventus is another side that, even with top rival AS Roma playing strongly, appears to have a fourth consecutive Italian Serie A "scudetto" wrapped up. Meanwhile in French Ligue 1, Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon have played leapfrog at the top of the standings most of the season, with Marseille not far off the leaders' pace.

While legendary club Ajax has claimed the last four Dutch First Division titles, this season is looking problematic for a repeat as traditional rival PSV Eindhoven - winners of four straight titles from 2005 to 2008 - are back on top of the standings and certain to keep the pressure on Ajax right up to the season's final whistle. In the Portuguese Liga, it is again a battle between Porto and Benfica, winners between them of the last dozen league titles (nine for Porto and three for Benfica), with Benfica looking determined to make this latest one theirs.

Rounding out ESPN's football coverage is more action from Brazil, the land of "the beautiful game," with coverage from Brazil's Campeonato Paulista, home to some of the best clubs in all of Brazil, among them Santos, Corinthians, Palmeiras and São Paulo.

Catch weekly football coverage from around the world airing LIVE and on short-turnaround throughout the season on ESPN and ESPN2; dates/times TBC closer to airdate.

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER (MLS)

Top action from the U.S. continues - it's MLS on ESPN

Major League Soccer (MLS) celebrates its 20th season with increased television presence, two more weekends of high-profile rivalry games and, for the first time in league history, on the final day of the regular season - October 25, the new "Decision Day" - all 20 teams will take the field in simultaneous matches to help determine who will advance to an expanded MLS Cup Playoffs, now featuring 12 teams.

While some high-profile players -among them French veteran Thierry Henry and U.S. star Landon Donovan - bid adieu to MLS at the end of last season, summer will see the arrival of two big-name English midfielders as Frank Lampard joins expansion team New York City F.C. from Manchester City, while Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard brings his skill and expertise to the defending champion Los Angeles Galaxy, where he'll join forces with Irish striker Robbie Keane, the reigning league and MLS Cup MVP.

ESPN's coverage of Major League Soccer airs all season, LIVE and on short-turnaround.

Schedule: Host team shown first
Apr 5 05:00pm San Jose Earthquakes vs. Real Salt Lake (L)
Apr 13 05:00pm Portland Timbers vs. Orlando City SC (S)
Apr 19 08:00pm Philadelphia Union vs. New England Revolution (S)
Apr 27 05:00pm New York Red Bulls vs. Los Angeles Galaxy (S)
(L) Live; (S) Short-turnaround

NFL DRAFT

The future of the NFL is on full display - the 2015 NFL Draft airing LIVE on ESPN

April/May features LIVE coverage on ESPN of an event that yearly shapes the future of the National Football League (NFL), the NFL Draft. This is the 80th annual meeting of NFL franchises, an encounter where they choose newly eligible football players and go a long way towards determining not only their own future, but that of a talented group of NFL hopefuls.

The Draft takes place this year at Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, Illinois, following 50 previous drafts that were held in New York. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who compiled the league's worst record last season, will select first, followed by the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars, while the winners of Super Bowl XLIX, the New England Patriots, select last.

Coverage airs LIVE on ESPN opening with the first round on April 30, 8:00pm, and continuing on May 1 and 2.

ESPN FC

ESPN's roundtable talk show, ESPN FC, continues five days a week, Monday to Friday. Viewer email helps set the agenda as a variety of entertaining hosts - fronted by Tommy Smyth, Shaka Hislop and a top-flight lineup of world football experts - debate the game's hottest issues.

This popular program reviews weekend matches and previews upcoming mid-week action from the UEFA Champions League, Copa Libertadores and other notable national/international matches. Also spotlighted are recaps of mid-week matches and previews of upcoming weekend matches, plus a weekly studio segment from the United Kingdom.

ESPN FC airs Monday to Friday at 7:00pm, joined by a Sunday program airing in the evening.

OLBERMANN

Uninhibited, unflinching and utterly unpredictable - join Keith Olbermann weeknights on ESPN

Late-night on ESPN is notably spicier with the presence of Olbermann in the lineup, a late-night program focusing on the latest sports topics making news. A mix of interviews, highlights and panel discussions, blended with Keith Olbermann's unique perspective and insightful commentary, delivers a show that is always the topic of conversation around the water-cooler the following day.

Olbermann's colorful history includes a stint at ESPN back in the 1990s, followed by work at NBC, Fox and MSNBC, where he hosted a primetime political news program. With his distinctive personality, sophistication and savvy, Olbermann delivers a nightly hour of sports television that is thought-provoking and entertaining and never, ever dull. It is one hour of late-night sports programming not to be missed.

Olbermann airs weeknights late evening on ESPN.

NOTE: All TIMES EASTERN. ALL SCHEDULES SUBJECT TO CHANGE. PLEASE CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS.