BC-AP Sports Digest
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The madness of March has already begun with conference tournaments in full swing and Selection Sunday looming. The latest edition of the AP Top 25 College Football Podcast is a basketball special edition. Listen at podcastonesports.com, the podcastone app and apple podcasts.
With the recent passing of two of the greatest sports writers of our time, PodcastOne Sports co-hosts Jim Litke and Tim Dahlberg take a look at how athletes are covered in the era of instant news and how Dan Jenkins and Hugh McIlvanney gave us the kind of insight that is increasingly hard to find these days. Listen at podcastonesports.com, the podcastone app and apple podcasts.
HOUSTON _ Klay Thompson scored 30 points, DeMarcus Cousins had a season-high 27 and the Golden State Warriors snapped Houston’s nine-game winning streak with a 106-104 victory over the Rockets. Playing without injured star Kevin Durant, the Warriors bounced back after a loss to Phoenix on Sunday and avoided being swept by Houston after the Rockets won the first three meetings this season. By Kristie Rieken. SENT: 951 words, photos.
ALAMEDA, Calif. _ General manager Mike Mayock and coach Jon Gruden had meticulously put together a plan to rebuild the Oakland Raiders with three first-round draft picks and a couple of smart free agent signings when they suddenly got sent in a different direction. The Raiders dealt third- and fifth-round picks in the upcoming draft to the Steelers for Antonio Brown and gave him a new three-year contract worth $50.125 million. By Josh Dubow. SENT: 803 words, photos.
LOS ANGELES _ Colleges and companies moved swiftly to distance themselves from employees swept up in a nationwide college admissions scheme, many of them coaches accused of taking bribes and others prominent parents accused of angling to get their children into top schools by portraying them as recruited athletes. At least nine athletic coaches and 33 parents were among those charged. By Michael Melia and Andrew Dalton. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.
SWARTHMORE, Pa. - Devon Still and his daughter, Leah, started Still Strong Foundation to help families battle cancer. Still was in the area to visit a home for families suffering through cancer and his offer his support. Leah Still, now 8, became an inspiration to millions as her football-playing father shared details of her brave fight. By Dan Gelston. UPCOMING. 650 words.
CLEVELAND _ The Cleveland Browns returned as an expansion team in 1999. They became a real one Tuesday night and made it official on Wednesday. It only took 20 mostly tortuous years _ and one tremendous trade. No longer a punching bag, the Browns are punching back. From hopeless to hope-filled. Finally. By Tom Withers. SENT: 835 words, photos.
_ FBN--GIANTS-POST BECKHAM _ By Tom Canavan. SENT: 596 words.
TCU and St. John’s were among the programs that earned wins on Wednesday to bolster their NCAA Tournament resume. TCU needed a late 3-pointer from Desmond Bane to beat Oklahoma State 73-70 and give the Horned Frogs their 20th win of the season. Several important bubble games loom on Thursday, including Indiana versus Ohio State and Texas versus Kansas. By David Brandt. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.
OKLAHOMA CITY _ Russell Westbrook scored 31 points in his 26th triple-double of the season, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Brooklyn Nets 108-96. Westbrook added 12 rebounds and 11 assists for the 130th triple-double of his career. By Cliff Brunt. SENT: 636 words, photos.
TOKYO _ Ichiro is Japan’s greatest baseball player, and arguably its best athlete. He’s a source of national pride; the first position player to make it in the majors, countering the perception that the country produced only pitchers and players like Ichiro were too small. He’s revered for breaking through, for his fashion sense, and his Zen-like training. He’ll be the first Japanese inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, almost surely on the first ballot. Now he returns to Japan as the Seattle Mariners and Oakland A’s open the MLB season. One giant question lingers: will he fully retire, try to play on, or does he have something else in mind? By Stephen Wade. UPCOMING. 1,000 words, photos.
OAKLAND, Calif. _ The Oakland Athletics realize they won’t surprise the rest of baseball this season as they did last year with their knack for late-game rallies and winning the close ones. Oakland rode its young power-hitting lineup to the AL wild card game, where the A’s lost to the New York Yankees. The A’s open this season against the Seattle Mariners in Japan on March 20. By Janie McCauley. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos.
SOC--CHAMPIONS LEAGUE-MLS MISERY
ATLANTA _ When the final whistle blew, Atlanta United had a bit of a moral victory. That’s about it. The reigning MLS Cup winners were bounced out of the CONCACAF Champions League, leaving only one U.S. based team left in the tournament that looks nearly certain to remain in Mexico’s trophy case. By Paul Newberry. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 3 a.m. EDT.
SUR--SURF MOVIE-MOMENTUM GENERATION
The day surfing lost one of its most beloved rabble-rousers was the day it rediscovered its soul. That’s one of the many takeaways from “Momentum Generation,” a documentary that is, at its core, about surfers, but speaks every bit as loudly about friendship, loyalty and the price people will pay to be the best at what they do. The movie discusses the history of a gang of surf buddies, while also taking a look at the sport’s roots, all only a year before it makes its debut at the Olympics. By Eddie Pells. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos.
_ TEN--INDIAN WELLS _ By Beth Harris. SENT: 857 words, photos.
_ CAR--F1-OBIT-WHITING _ By John Pye. SENT: 577 words, photos.
_ OLY--WADA-NEW PRESIDENT _ By Graham Dunbar. SENT: 740 words, photos.
Thursday’s Time Schedule
No. 2 Virginia vs. N.C. State at Charlotte, N.C., 12:30 p.m.
No. 3 North Carolina vs. Louisville at Charlotte, N.C., 7 p.m.
No. 5 Duke vs. Syracuse at Charlotte, N.C., 9:30 p.m.
No. 7 Texas Tech vs. West Virginia at Kansas City, Mo., 7 p.m.
No. 12 Florida State vs. No. 16 Virginia Tech at Charlotte, N.C., 3 p.m.
No. 14 Nevada vs. Boise State at Las Vegas, 3 p.m.
No. 15 Kansas State vs. TCU at Kansas City, Mo., 3 p.m.
No. 17 Kansas vs. Texas at Kansas City, Mo., 9:30 p.m.
No. 18 Buffalo vs. Akron at Cleveland, Noon
No. 21 Maryland vs. Nebraska at Chicago, 2:55 p.m.
No. 22 Auburn vs. Missouri at Nashville, Tenn., 3:30 p.m.
No. 23 Marquette vs. St. John’s at New York, 7 p.m.
No. 25 Villanova vs. Providence at New York, Noon
No. 24 Rice vs. North Texas at Frisco, Texas, Noon
Cleveland at Orlando, 7 p.m.
Oklahoma City at Indiana, 7 p.m.
Sacramento at Boston, 7:30 p.m.
L.A. Lakers at Toronto, 8 p.m.
Minnesota at Utah, 9 p.m.
Dallas at Denver, 10:30 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Montreal vs. N.Y. Islanders at Uniondale, N.Y., 7 p.m.
Washington at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
St. Louis at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.
Boston at Winnipeg, 8 p.m.
Dallas at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Anaheim at Arizona, 10 p.m.
Nashville at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.
Florida at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.
Philadelphia (ss) vs. Pittsburgh at Bradenton, Fla., 1:05 p.m.
Philadelphia (ss) vs. Tampa Bay at Port Charlotte, Fla., 1:05 p.m.
Washington vs. Minnesota (ss) at Fort Myers, Fla., 1:05 p.m.
Minnesota (ss) vs. Baltimore at Sarasota, Fla., 1:05 p.m.
Boston vs. Detroit at Lakeland, Fla., 1:05 p.m.
Miami vs. Houston at West Palm Beach, Fla., 1:05 p.m.
N.Y. Mets vs. St. Louis at Jupiter, Fla., 1:05 p.m.
N.Y. Yankees vs. Toronto at Dunedin, Fla., 1:07 p.m.
Texas (ss) vs. Kansas City at Surprise, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.
Texas (ss) vs. Chicago Cubs at Mesa, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.
Colorado vs. Cleveland at Goodyear, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.
Cincinnati vs. L.A. Dodgers (ss) at Glendale, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.
L.A. Angels vs. Milwaukee at Phoenix, 4:05 p.m.
San Francisco vs. Arizona at Scottsdale, Ariz., 4:10 p.m.
L.A. Dodgers (ss) vs. San Diego at Peoria, Ariz., 9:40 p.m.<