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Playoffs in spotlight on April sports calendar

The NCAA Tournament ends, the NBA and NHL get their playoffs underway, golf stages its marquee event, and the NFL holds its annual draft. Here’s a look at 10 highlights on the April sports calendar.

NBA Regular Season (April 1-14)

The NBA’s regular season schedule comes to an end on Sunday, April 14 with a huge, 15-game day of matinee action – seven games are set to tip off at 1:00pm ET, with the other eight scheduled for 3:30pm ET. On the line will be postseason seeding plus positioning in the NBA’s Play-In Tournament.

NHL Regular Season (April 1-18)

The NHL also wraps up its regular-season schedule in mid-April, four days later than the NBA on Thursday, April 18. Just six games on the ice for the NHL on April 18, though, with highlight games for the day including Vancouver at Winnipeg (8:00pm ET) and Edmonton at Colorado (9:30pm ET).

MLB Regular Season (April 1-30)

The baseball season actually began in late March, but the campaign gets into full swing in April with early series to watch including Texas at Tampa Bay, Toronto at Houston, and San Francisco at the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Rangers also host the Astros to cap off the first week of the April slate.

CBB Final Four (April 6-8)

March Madness for 2024 has been whittled down to four teams, with UConn facing Alabama and NC State taking on Purdue in the Final Four in Glendale, Arizona on Saturday, April 6. The two winners will then battle in the national championship game at State Farm Stadium on April 8.

Masters Tournament (April 11-14)

Golf’s most prestigious event gets started on Thursday, April 11 at Augusta National Golf Club. Jon Rahm is the defending champ at the Masters, pulling away from Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson to win by four strokes last year. Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, and Russell Henry were five behind.

UFC 300: Pereira vs. Hill (April 13)

The UFC hits the octagon at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena on Saturday, April 13 for its UFC 300 event, which includes Alex Pereira facing Jamahal Hill for the light heavyweight championship and Zhang Weili meeting Yan Xiaonan for the women’s strawweight title. Also on the card are lightweight fights between Justin Gaethje and Max Holloway, and between Charles Oliveira and Arman Tsarukyan.

NBA Play-In Tournament (April 16-19)

The NBA Play-In Tournament is back again this postseason, meaning the teams that finish in seventh place through 10th place in both the East and the West will battle from April 16 to April 19 to determine the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds in their respective conferences. The Play-In Tournament has a total of six games (three in each conference) – click here for the breakdown on how it all works.

NBA Postseason (April 20-30)

Once the NBA Play-In Tournament is complete it’ll finally be time to get the league’s playoffs underway in earnest, with first-round matchups set to get going on the weekend of April 20-21. Second-round and third-round matchups take place in May, with the NBA Finals set for June.

NHL Postseason (April 20-30)

The NHL doesn’t have a play-in tournament, so its playoffs are scheduled to get underway with its first-round matchups on Saturday, April 20. The league’s postseason then winds its way through the months of April and May before the Stanley Cup final decides the champion in June.

NFL Draft (April 25-27)

The NFL Draft is a three-day event, with the first round – which gets the most eyeballs – set for Thursday, April 25 and the rest of the picks being made over the next two days. The Chicago Bears hold the first overall selection, and they’re expected to take USC quarterback Caleb Williams.

With zero championships between his MLB, NHL, and NFL teams over the last 30 years, Dave keeps one foot in the past while shaking his fist at the present. Having provided content to all manner of sports websites over a 20-year career in the industry, Dave brings to Attiq an eye for all things editorial and a disdain for all things New York Yankees. Click here for Dave's posts.