College baseball World Series
Unlike other college championships, the college World Series has a permanent site: Omaha, Neb., has hosted the event since 1949. Eight regional winners will square off in 19,500-seat Rosenblatt Municipal Stadium, home of the minor-league Omaha Royals. Western schools once dominated, but Wichita State, Georgia, and Louisiana State (twice) have won four of the last five titles. This year's contestants are Florida State, Auburn, Arizona State, Louisiana State, Oklahoma, Cal State-Fullerton, Georgia Tech, and top-seeded Miami (Fla.).
National Basketball Association Finals
With the ``three-peat'' Chicago Bulls out of the way, the league is prepared to crown a new champion: either the Houston Rockets or the winner of the Eastern Conference final between the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers. The best-of-seven series will conclude no later than June 22.
US Open Golf Championships
For the seventh time in the Open's 94-year history, the men's tournament returns to the venerable Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pa., outside Pittsburgh. Whereas Georgia's Masters tournament has assumed a strong international flavor, with Europeans winning six of the last seven years, the Open continues as a bastion for US shotmakers. Americans have won the last 12 in a row, including last year, when Lee Janzen was the surprise victor.
June 17-July 17
World Cup soccer
This month-long mega-event comes to the United States for the first time in its 64-year history. Twenty-four teams will play in eight cities across the country, with two ultimately meeting in the final at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. Altogether there will be 52 games and an anticipated cumulative television audience of 31 billion viewers worldwide. Germany won the last World Cup in 1990.
Le Mans 24-Hour Race
This is perhaps auto racing's best-known endurance event. Teams of drivers (usually three per team) take turns racing cars around a closed circuit in Le Mans, France, to see which team can travel the most miles in the allotted time.
June 20-July 3
Wimbledon tennis championships
Pro tennis has been criticized on several fronts lately, but Wimbledon always reenergizes the sport. Ironically, the player everybody will be watching is headed out the door: Nine-time women's champion Martina Navratilova will be playing her last Big W singles event, hoping to avoid a repeat of her first-round upset last month at the French Open. Steffi Graf has been practically penciled in as the women's winner. Pete Sampras is the defending men's champion.
US Rowing National Championships
About 1,000 of the nation's best rowers will descend on Indianapolis three months before it becomes the first-ever US host to the world championships. Indianapolis has hosted the nationals since 1986 and boasts the country's only internationally sanctioned course.