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BC-AP Sports Digest

April 4, 2019

The supervisor is Fred Lief, followed by Simmi Buttar at 5 p.m. and Bob Lenz at 1 a.m. The New York sports desk can be reached at 800-845-8450, ext. 1630. Sports photos, ext. 1918; graphics, ext. 7636; agate, ext. 1635. For up-to-the-minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at https://newsroom.ap.org For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477. All times EDT.

AP Sports runs a weekly podcast looking at big moments and issues in sports. The podcast is sent every Tuesday, hosted by columnist Jim Litke. Guests include journalists, athletes and other newsmakers. Listen at podcastonesports.com, the podcastone app and apple podcasts. https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast

Jalen Hurts is bringing a bit of Nick Saban to Oklahoma. On the latest AP Top 25 College Football Podcast, George Schroeder of USA Today joins the AP’s Ralph Russo to talk about the quarterback’s transition from Alabama to the Sooners.

https://www.podcastone.com/AP-Top-25-College-Football-Podcast

TOP STORIES

BKC--AP COACH OF THE YEAR

MINNEAPOLIS _ The AP announces its Coach of the Year in men’s college basketball. By Basketball Writer Aaron Beard. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Announcement 5 p.m.

BKW--AP AWARDS

TAMPA, Fla. _ The Player of the Year and Coach of the Year in women’s college basketball are announced by the AP. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. Announcement 4:15 p.m.

BKC--FINAL FOUR-SCANDALS

MINNEAPOLIS _ Nobody would argue that coaches Bruce Pearl of Auburn and Tom Izzo of Michigan State’s shouldn’t be at the Final Four. But some of the problems they’ve encountered over the year paint a picture of the unseemly side of college sports. By National Writer Eddie Pells. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 5 p.m.

GLF--MASTERS

AUGUSTA, Ga. _ The Masters should have been Rory McIlroy’s first major title. Now it’s the only one he’s missing. Tiger Woods won it four times before turning 30. But he is far removed from his last green jacket and is now 43. Woods and McIlroy are central figures next week at Augusta National. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 900 words, photos.

_ With:

_ GLF--MASTERS-HOLE BY HOLE _ By Doug Ferguson. SENT: 2,000 words.

_ GLF--MASTERS-FACTS & FIGURES. SENT: 450 words.

HKO--HUMBOLDT-STRASCHNITZKI MOVES ON

PHILADELPHIA _ Ryan Straschnitzki is trying to move on a year after the bus crash. The former hockey prospect was left paralyzed from the chest down after the bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos hockey team collided with a truck at a rural intersection in Canada. The accident left 16 dead. By Dan Gelston. SENT: 2,500 words, photos.

_ With:

_ HKO--HUMBOLDT-SURVIVORS _ Updates on the 13 crash survivors. SENT: 1,600 words, photos.

SPORTS SHOWCASE

BBM--MINOR MONEY MATTERS

PHOENIX _ MLB generates billions in revenue each season, yet its minor leaguers are sleeping on air mattresses and skipping meals, making as little as $3,300 a season. The inequity is attracting companies eager to invest in players for a cut of potential big league paydays. By Jake Seiner. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

GYM--MAGGIE’S MISSION

NORMAN, Okla. _ It has been more than a year since Oklahoma gymnast Maggie Nichols was revealed as Athlete A, the first to report sexual abuse by Larry Nassar to USA Gymnastics. Nichols now awaits the NCAA championships and wants the sport she loves to survive the scandal. By Cliff Brunt. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

FINAL FOUR

Men:

BKC--NCAA-EMMERT

MINNEAPOLIS _ NCAA President Mark Emmert holds his annual Final Four news conference, with college basketball embroiled in a corruption scandal. By College Sports Writer Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. News conference starts 4:30 p.m.

BKC--FINAL FOUR-ARRIVALS

MINNEAPOLIS _ Tom Izzo has never been to U.S. Bank Stadium, but the Michigan State coach certainly knows his way around the Final Four. Not so much for the other three coaches and their schools heading to college basketball’s biggest stage. By Dave Skretta. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m.

_ With:

_ BKC--NCAA-FINAL FOUR-THE LATEST _ Real-time updates throughout day.

_ BKC--NCAA-FINAL FOUR GUIDE _ Final Four rides wave of compelling Elite Eight games. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. SENT: 550 words, photos.

_ Also:

_ BKC--NIT CHAMPIONSHIP _ Lipscomb plays Texas for NIT title in New York. By Dan Gelston. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 7 p.m.

_ BKC--TEXAS A&M-WILLIAMS _ Buzz Williams introduced as Texas A&M coach. By Kristie Rieken. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.

Women:

BKW--FINAL FOUR-UCONN-NOTRE DAME PREVIEW

TAMPA, Fla. _ The greatest rivalry in women’s basketball is renewed at the Final Four on Friday when No. 2 UConn faces top-seed Notre Dame in the semifinals. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.

BKW--FINAL FOUR-OREGON-BAYLOR PREVIEW

TAMPA, Fla. _ Two-time champion Baylor plays Final Four newcomer Oregon in the semifinals Friday. The Lady Bears insist being the No. 1 overall seed doesn’t necessarily make them the favorite. By Fred Goodall. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.

BKW--FINAL FOUR-EQUAL OPPORTUNITY

TAMPA, Fla. _ Muffet McGraw says it’s time for more women in positions of power. And not just in women’s basketball. The Notre Dame coach is disappointed there aren’t more female leaders in all walks of life. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. SENT: 450 words, photos.

BASEBALL

BBO--ALL-STAR BONUSES

NEW YORK _ The most popular players in All-Star voting will be in the money _ at least enough to cover much of the season’s clubhouse tips. The highest vote-getter in both leagues in the first round of the new fan voting system will receive a $15,000 bonus, according to the AP. By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum. SENT: 500 words, photos.

BBN--NATIONALS-METS

NEW YORK _ After a 5-1 road trip to start the season, the New York Mets send Noah Syndergaard to the mound in their home opener against Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals. By Baseball Writer Mike Fitzpatrick. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game started 1:10 p.m.

_ Also:

_ BBA--YANKEES-TULOWITZKI _ Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (calf) joins Yankees’ overflowing injury list. By David Ginsburg. SENT: 250 words, photos.

_ BBM--METS-TEBOW _ Tim Tebow makes Triple-A debut in Syracuse, N.Y., for Mets affiliate. By John Kekis. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos. Game started 2:05 p.m.

_ BBN--DODGERS-KERSHAW _ Clayton Kershaw pitches in rehab assignment for Triple-A team in Oklahoma City. By Cliff Brunt. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos. Game starts 8:05 p.m.

GOLF

GLF--LPGA TOUR

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. _ Nelly Korda opens play in the ANA Inspiration, trying to build on her fast start to the LPGA Tour season in the first major championship of the year. By John Nicholson. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 10 p.m.

GLF--AUGUSTA WOMEN’S AMATEUR

AUGUSTA, Ga. _ NCAA champion Jennifer Kupcho looks to stay in the lead at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. The real pressure is the cut _ the top 30 from the 72-player field face a final round Saturday at the home of the Masters. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.

_ Also:

_ GLF--VALERO TEXAS OPEN _ Jordan Spieth tunes up for Masters at Valero Texas Open in San Antonio. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 8 p.m.

NBA

BKN--NBA PLAYOFF PICTURE

With a week to go, Milwaukee is on the brink of clinching the NBA’s best record, and the bottom of the East is a mess. In the West, Golden State has yet to secure the No. 1 spot, Houston is charging at Denver for the No. 2 seed and San Antonio has slipped to eighth. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 700 words, photos.

BKN--WARRIORS-LAKERS

LOS ANGELES _ Stephen Curry and the defending champion Golden State Warriors resume their push for a top seed, facing a Los Angeles Lakers team that is closing a losing season without LeBron James. By Beth Harris. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 10:30 p.m.

NHL

HKN--JETS-AVALANCHE

DENVER _ Winnipeg and Colorado have plenty on the line, with the regular season ending Saturday. The Jets are trying to wrap up the Central Division while the Avalanche are hoping to secure the final wild-card spot. By Pat Graham. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 9 p.m.

SOCCER

SOC--ITALY SPOTLIGHT-RONALDO’S FITNESS

ROME _ Those perfectly sculpted abdominal muscles that Cristiano Ronaldo shows off on social media are not just for vanity. With the Juventus striker working his way back from a minor thigh problem, it’s worth remembering how few matches he has missed because of injury. By Andrew Dampf. SENT: 650 words, photos.

_ Also:

_ SOC--AUSTRALIA-US _ U.S. women play Australia in Commerce City, Colo., in World Cup tuneup for both teams. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos. Game starts 9 p.m.

_ SOC--PREMIER LEAGUE FINANCES _ Tottenham earns record profit for soccer team _ nearly $148 million. _ By Global Soccer Writer Rob Harris. SENT: 550 words, photos.

_ SOC--FRANCE-RACISM _ TV commentator apologizes after describing stats of French league player as “not bad for a black.” SENT: 120 words.

_ SOC--FIFA RANKINGS _ Belgium stays No. 1 in FIFA rankings; U.S. moves up a spot to No. 24. SENT: 150 words.

WOMEN’S HOCKEY

HKW--WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

ESPOO, Finland _ The U.S. women begin their bid for a fifth straight title _ and eighth in the last nine world championships _ when they open against host Finland. Canada, Germany win openers. SENT: 200 words, photos. UPCOMING: 450 words, photos. Finland-US started 12:30 p.m.

_ With:

_ HKW--CWHL FOLDS-NEXT STEPS _ Top women’s players vow to shape pro hockey in North America. SENT: 700 words, photos.

DOPING

_ ATH--DOPING-SAVINA _ Russian runner, husband charged in doping, false identity case. SENT: 140 words.

_ WEI--DOPING-LOMOVA _ Star female Russian weightlifter suspended for positive steroid test. SENT: 150 words.

OTHER

_ TEN--CHARLESTON _ Sloane Stephens plays defending champion Kiki Bertens for quarterfinal spot in clay-court tournament in South Carolina. UPCOMING: 150 words by 7 p.m.

_ FBN--JETS-NEW UNIFORMS _ Jets unveil new uniform, revamped logo at Manhattan ballroom. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 10 p.m.

CAPSULES

_ BBO--BASEBALL CAPSULES

_ BKN--NBA CAPSULES

_ HKN--NHL CAPSULES

___

Thursday Time Schedule (EDT)

Baseball

Kansas City at Detroit, 1:10 p.m.

Washington at N.Y. Mets, 1:10 p.m.

Seattle at Chicago White Sox, ppd., 2:10 p.m.

N.Y. Yankees at Baltimore, 3:05 p.m.

Boston at Oakland, 3:37 p.m.

San Diego at St. Louis, ppd., 4:15 p.m.

Toronto at Cleveland, 6:10 p.m.

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh, 7:05 p.m.

Chicago Cubs at Atlanta, 7:20 p.m.

Texas at L.A. Angels, 10:07 p.m.

NBA

Milwaukee at Philadelphia, 8 p.m.

Cleveland at Sacramento, 10 p.m.

Golden State at L.A. Lakers, 10:30 p.m.

NHL

N.Y. Islanders at Florida, 7 p.m.

Ottawa at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

New Jersey at Carolina, 7 p.m.

Montreal at Washington, 7 p.m.

Detroit at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.

Tampa Bay at Toronto, 7 p.m.

Boston at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Philadelphia at St. Louis, 8 p.m.

Vancouver at Nashville, 8 p.m.

Winnipeg at Colorado, 9 p.m.

San Jose at Edmonton, 9 p.m.

Arizona at Vegas, 10 p.m.

College Basketball (NIT Championship)

Lipscomb vs. Texas, at New York, 7 p.m.