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BC-AP Sports Digest

April 1, 2019

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TOP STORIES

BKC--NCAA-FINAL FOUR LOOKAHEAD

It’s Izzo and the newbies as Auburn’s Bruce Pearl, Virginia’s Tony Bennett and Texas Tech’s Chris Beard make their first Final Four appearances. Michigan State’s Tom Izzo will coach in his eighth Final Four after leading Michigan State to a win over Duke in the NCAA Tournament on Sunday. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. SENT: 850 words, photos.

BKC--NCAA-FINAL FOUR RESET

RALEIGH, N.C. _ The Final Four features multiple tough defenses, a surging team that hasn’t lost in five weeks and one Hall of Fame coach. Virginia, Michigan State, Texas Tech and Auburn earned trips to Minneapolis for this weekend’s national semifinals by emerging from regions filled with high seeds. By Aaron Beard. UPCOMING: 820 words, photos by 4 a.m.

BKC--NCAA-DUKE IS DONE

WASHINGTON _ Twenty minutes after his first and, in all likelihood, last season at Duke ended with an Elite Eight exit, Zion Williamson trudged through an arena hallway, his head down. Following closely behind was teammate RJ Barrett, another fabulous freshman for the NCAA Tournament’s No. 1 overall seed. Duke lost to Michigan State 68-67 in the East Regional final, likely sending Williamson to the NBA. By Howard Fendrich. SENT: 640 words, photos.

BKC--NCAA-TOURNAMENT MONEY

The Southeastern Conference made a concerted effort three years ago to improve the quality of basketball in a league known for football _ and it has paid off. The SEC earned at least $32.1 million through the NCAA’s system for paying conferences based on how their teams perform in the NCAA Tournament. It’s the highest share for the SEC at 19 units, the term the NCAA uses for the bids and wins that qualify for payment. By College Sports Writer Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 4 a.m.

BKW--NCAA-WOMEN’S TIPPING OFF

Half of the Final Four is set and the other two teams will be decided Monday night. UConn extended its record run of consecutive appearances in the Final Four to 12 while Oregon reached its first national semifinals with victories on Sunday. Notre Dame, Baylor, Stanford and Iowa will try and join them in Tampa, Florida. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 4 a.m.

GLF--MATCH PLAY

AUSTIN, Texas _ Kevin Kisner can’t think of another tournament that made him grind so hard. It all felt worth it when he made good on his second try at winning golf’s most unpredictable tournament. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 920 words, photos.

_ With:

_ GLF--MATCH PLAY-RESULTS

_ GLF--MATCH PLAY-CARDS

CAR--NASCAR-TEXAS

FORT WORTH, Texas _ Denny Hamlin had such a fast car at Texas that he was able to win even after two penalties on pit road and some other issues during green flag conditions. By Stephen Hawkins. SENT. 1,000 words, photos.

SPORTS SHOWCASE

TEN--DAVIS CUP-VIRTUAL SPONSORS

MADRID _The group behind the revamped Davis Cup is implementing a new sponsorship strategy that will make tennis’ “World Cup” look different to television viewers _ all depending on where they are watching it. With virtual replacement technology that is currently used by the Spanish league, sponsors’ logos and banners will be superimposed digitally on the courts, allowing organizers to sell different sponsorship packages worldwide and increase revenue possibilities. By Tales Azzoni. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 5 a.m.

NCAA TOURNAMENT

Men:

BKC--NCAA-MICHIGAN ST-DUKE

WASHINGTON _ Cassius Winston missed an open jump shot but was right there for the rebound. Without hesitating, he stepped back and swished a 3-pointer. The biggest moment for Michigan State is still to come after Winston led the Spartans back to the Final Four for the first time since 2015. By Stephen Whyno. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

BKC--NCAA-AUBURN-KENTUCKY

KANSAS CITY, Mo. _ The confetti was still swirling around Auburn coach Bruce Pearl when he gazed over a team headed to the first Final Four in school history and declared, “This one was for Chuma!” Drawing inspiration from injured forward Chuma Okeke, the No. 5 seed Tigers finished off a joyful romp through college basketball royalty by bringing down the winningest program of all. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

BKC--NCAA-TEXAS TECH-THE SMALL TIME

ANAHEIM, Calif. _ It’s fair to say there would be no Final Four for Texas Tech if there weren’t plenty of places like Fort Scott. Fort Scott Community College in Kansas is one of the 11 stops Red Raiders coach Chris Beard made before he landed the top job in Lubbock, Texas, where he’s built the Red Raiders into a title contender in a mere three years. By National Writer Eddie Pells. SENT: 600 words, photos.

Women:

BKW--NCAA-IOWA-BAYLOR PREVIEW

GREENSBORO, N.C. _ Top overall seed Baylor might actually face its first challenge of the women’s NCAA Tournament: slowing Iowa star Megan Gustafson. The nation’s leading scorer faces off against the Bears’ elite front line in an intriguing Greensboro Regional final matchup Monday night. By Joedy McCreary. SENT: 640 words, photos.

BKW--NCAA-STANFORD-NOTRE DAME PREVIEW

CHICAGO — Defending national champion Notre Dame and Stanford have Hall of Fame coaches in Muffet McGraw and Tara VanDerveer and successful traditions that include two NCAA titles for each program. Even though they followed similar paths, they went years without meeting. But lately, they keep bumping into each other. By Andrew Seligman. SENT: 830 words, photos.

BKW--NCAA-UCONN-LOUISVILLE

ALBANY, N.Y. _ Katie Lou Samuelson put UConn on her injured back and shot the Huskies into a record 12th straight Final Four. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

With:

_ BKW--CENTENARIAN-UCONN FAN _ Cheering UConn on to its victory over Louisville was 101-year-old Harold Oehler. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. SENT: 410 words, photos.

BKW--NCAA-OREGON-MISSISSIPPI ST

PORTLAND, Ore. _ Off to Oregon’s first appearance in the Final Four, guard Sabrina Ionescu set the theme for the second-seeded Ducks BY SAING Oregon isn’t done yet. By Anne M. Peterson. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

BASEBALL

BBO--THIS WEEK IN BASEBALL

Opening day was particularly special for Fernando Tatis Jr. and Eloy Jimenez. In large part because they weren’t stuck at El Paso and Charlotte. By Baseball Writer Noah Trister. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 4 a.m.

BBN--CARDINALS-BREWERS

MILWAUKEE — Christian Yelich led the way for the Milwaukee Brewers, from his first swing to the very last one for the game. So it was a pretty typical day for the reigning NL MVP. SENT: 850 words, photos.

BBA--RED SOX-MARINERS

SEATTLE _ The rebuilding Seattle Mariners are off to a surprising start. The lineup is leading the way. The Mariners scored 34 times while taking three of four from the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox in their first series at home. SENT: 600 words, photos.

With:

_ BBA--RED SOX-BOGAERTS _ Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts has agreed to terms on a new contract that would keep him in Boston through 2025 and guarantee him $132 million. By Jimmy Golen. SENT: 290 words, photos.

BBN--BRAVES-PHILLIES

PHILADELPHIA _Bryce Harper turned Philly into a baseball city again with his star power, his slugging and a sweep. With a pair of mammoth homers making him at home in his new digs, Harper is now ready for a blast from the past. By Dan Gelston. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

BBA--ORIOLES-YANKEES

NEW YORK _ Jim Palmer cut across the Baltimore clubhouse, headed over to young left-handers John Means and Paul Fry, and reached out for handshakes. “Nice job, boys,” the Hall of Fame pitcher and longtime Orioles announcer praised. Same goes for all the Orioles right now after they won their season-opening series at Yankee Stadium, By Baseball Writer Ben Walker. SENT: 820 words, photos.

BBO--CUBS-RANGERS

ARLINGTON, Texas _Two straight days facing their former aces, two straight early deficits. And now two straight wins for the rebuilding Texas Rangers against the World Series-or-bust Chicago Cubs. By Schuyler Dixon. SENT. 840 words, photos.

TENNIS

TEN--MIAMI OPEN

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. _ Orange streamers rained down while Roger Federer held another championship trophy aloft, his familiar grin as wide as ever. For the ageless Federer, winning never gets old. By Steven Wine. SENT: 780 words, photos.

NBA

BKN--AROUND THE NBA

NEW YORK _ The Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics were stepping stones for LeBron James on his annual trips to the NBA Finals. Now they are getting ready for their chance in the Eastern Conference playoffs that no longer include James. By Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney. UPCOMING: 870 words, photos by 4 a.m.

BKN--HORNETS-WARRIORS

OAKLAND, Calif. — Towel around his neck, Stephen Curry raised both arms and pointed to the crowd with appreciation. Curry and Steve Kerr realize the importance of small steps on the way to deep postseason runs and hanging championship banners. One down. Many important victories still ahead in Golden State’s quest to three-peat. By Janie McCauley. SENT: 870 words, photos.

HOCKEY

HKN--FLAMES-SHARKS

SAN JOSE, Calif. _ It wasn’t discussed before the Calgary Flames took the ice Sunday night. It didn’t have to be. With a first divisional championship in 13 years within their grasp, they left nothing to chance. The Flames scored three times in less than two minutes late in the first period on their way to clinching the top spots in the Western Conference and the Pacific Division with a 5-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks. SENT: 700 words, photos.

HKN--BLUE JACKETS-SABRES

BUFFALO, N.Y. _Don’t look now, but goalie Sergei Bobrovsky and the Columbus Blue Jackets are mounting yet another late-season surge to make the playoffs. By Hockey Writer John Wawrow. SENT: 810 words, photos.

HKW--CWHL FOLDS

The Canadian Women’s Hockey League’s abrupt decision to cease operations leaves North America with one pro league, and opens questions regarding the future of the women’s sport on both sides of the border. By Hockey Writer John Wawrow. SENT: 760 words, photos.

AUTO RACING

CAR--F1-BAHRAIN GP

SAKHIR, Bahrain _ Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton profited from Ferrari’s latest failure and won a dramatic Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday. The race looked likely to finish a Ferrari 1-2 for Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel. But Vettel cracked under the pressure of Hamilton’s attack with less than 20 laps left and span out of contention. By Jerome Pugmire. SENT: 830 words, photos.

HORSE RACING

RAC--SANTA ANITA-FATALITIES

ARCADIA, Calif. — A two-horse spill in the $100,000 San Simeon Stakes at Santa Anita on Sunday led to the 23rd equine fatality at the Southern California track in just over three months. SENT: 430 words, photos.

SOCCER

_ SOC--LIVERPOOL-TOTTENHAM _ Liverpool returned to the top of the Premier League as a 90th-minute own-goal from Toby Alderweireld gave Juergen Klopp’s team all three points at Anfield on Sunday in a 2-1 win over third-placed Tottenham. SENT: 570 words, photos.

_ SOC--SPANISH RDP _ Karim Benzema scored in the 89th minute to give Real Madrid a 3-2 victory over bottom side Huesca in the Spanish league. By Joseph Wilson. SENT: 730 words, photos.

_ SOR--GERMAN RDP _ Frankfurt grabs fourth spot in Bundesliga, Champions League beckons. By Ciaran Fahey. SENT: 430 words, photos.

_ SOC--ITALIAN RDP _ A 4-1 thrashing at home by Napoli on Sunday added another chapter to Roma’s season of discontent. By Andrew Dampf. SENT: 540 words, photos.

_ SOC--FRENCH RDP _ Forward Enzo Crivelli scored the winner as Caen upset Monaco 1-0 in the French league to move out of the relegation zone on Sunday. SENT: 250 words; will be updated.

_ SOC--CARDIFF-CHELSEA _ Cardiff manager Neil Warnock stood in the center circle, hands on hips, silently staring toward the referee and his assistants after an officiating mistake helped Chelsea to come back and win 2-1 in the Premier League on Sunday. SENT: 320 words, photos.

MIXED MARTIAL ARTS

MMA--ONE CHAMPIONSHIP JAPAN

TOKYO _ Russian Timofey Nasyukhin upset American Eddie Alvarez with a first-round technical knockout in the mixed martial arts One Championship on Sunday at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Tokyo’s premier sumo venue. Nasyukhin floored Alvarez with a right hand to the side of the head with 55 seconds left in the opening round of the lightweight bout, which was Alvarez’s debut with One Championship. By Jim Armstrong. SENT: 470 words, photos.

GOLF

_ GLF--DOMINICAN REPUBLIC _ Graeme McDowell won the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship on Sunday for his first PGA Tour title since November 2015. SENT: 560 words.

_ GLF--PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS _Scott Parel made a 12-foot par putt to match Kevin Sutherland on the fifth hole of a playoff before play was suspended due to darkness. They will finish Monday. SENT: 590 words.

_ GLF--LPGA TOUR _Nasa Hataoka won the Kia Classic on Sunday at Aviara Golf Club for her third victory in her last 16 LPGA Tour starts. SENT: 420 words, photos.

_ GLF--INDIAN OPEN _ Stephen Gallacher birdied three of his last four holes in a stunning comeback to win the Indian Open on Sunday. SENT: 150 words.

OTHER

_ JAPAN-TOYOTA-BASKETBALL ROBOT _ By Business Writer Yuri Kageyama. Upcoming: 600 words, photos.

CAPSULES

_ BBO--BASEBALL CAPSULES

_ BKN--NBA CAPSULES

_ HKN--NHL CAPSULES

_ BKC--NCAA TOURNAMENT CAPSULES

_ BKW--NCAA TOURNAMENT CAPSULES

_ GLF--GOLF CAPSULES

___

Monday Time Schedule (EDT)

Women’s NCAA Tournament

Regional Final

At Greensboro, N.C.

Iowa vs. Baylor, 7 p.m.

At Chicago

Notre Dame vs. Stanford, 9 p.m.

BASEBALL

St. Louis at Pittsburgh, 1:05 p.m.

Chicago White Sox at Cleveland, 4:10 p.m.

Detroit at N.Y. Yankees, 6:35 p.m.

Milwaukee at Cincinnati, 6:40 p.m.

Baltimore at Toronto, 7:07 p.m.

Colorado at Tampa Bay, 7:10 p.m.

Chicago Cubs at Atlanta, 7:10 p.m.

N.Y. Mets at Miami, 7:10 p.m.

Houston at Texas, 8:05 p.m.

Boston at Oakland, 10:07 p.m.

L.A. Angels at Seattle, 10:10 p.m.

Arizona at San Diego, 10:10 p.m.

San Francisco at L.A. Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.

NBA

Detroit at Indiana, 7 p.m.

Chicago at New York, 7:30 p.m.

Miami at Boston, 7:30 p.m.

Milwaukee at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.

Orlando at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.

Portland at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Philadelphia at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

Charlotte at Utah, 9 p.m.

Cleveland at Phoenix, 10 p.m.

NHL

Washington at Florida, 7 p.m.

Toronto vs. N.Y. Islanders at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 7 p.m.

N.Y. Rangers at New Jersey, 7 p.m.

Tampa Bay at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.

Colorado at St. Louis, 8 p.m.

Winnipeg at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.

Edmonton at Vegas, 10 p.m.

Calgary at Los Angeles, 10 p.m.