BC-AP Sports Digest
The supervisor is Fred Lief, followed by John Nicholson at 5 p.m. and Bob Lentz 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 877-836-9477. All times EST.
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.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. _ The Chiefs haven’t won a home playoff game, or made it to the AFC title game, since the 1993 season. They try to end both droughts when they face Andrew Luck and the surging Indianapolis Colts, a team responsible for much of Kansas City’s postseason anguish. By Dave Skretta. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Game starts 4:30 p.m.
LOS ANGELES _ Dak Prescott and the Cowboys attempt to reach their first NFC championship game in 23 years when they visit Jared Goff and the Rams, who haven’t won a playoff game in 14 years. Dallas rolled into the divisional playoff round by beating Seattle while Los Angeles had a bye. By Greg Beacham. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Game starts 8:15 p.m.
MELBOURNE, Australia _ Rafael Nadal calls it a “very important loss.” Andy Murray, a five-time Australian Open finalist, acknowledges the year’s first major could be his last tournament because of an ailing hip. The two are joined Down Under by the rest of the Big Four _ Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. By John Pye. SENT: 750 words, photos.
NEW ORLEANS _ Sean Payton questions the notion of the Eagles somehow deriving extra motivation from a lopsided November loss in New Orleans. Yet the Saints coach does acknowledge that Philadelphia has played better entering Sunday’s rematch in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs. By Brett Martel. ??? SENT: 750 words, photos.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. _ The Patriots go for their eighth straight trip to the AFC title game in Sunday’s divisional round. They face a Los Angeles Chargers team that is 8-1 on the road this season and coming off a wild-card win at Baltimore. Tom Brady and Philip Rivers will be the oldest quarterbacks to meet in a playoff game. By Kyle Hightower. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 4 p.m.
FBN--NFL THIS WEEK
NFL teams buck for a playoff bye all season. Then people wonder if those four lucky clubs are going to be rusty come the divisional round. The answer becomes clear when the Chiefs, Patriots, Saints and Rams begin postseason play. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 1,050 words, photos. First sent Jan. 10 for weekend use. To be updated after each of Saturday’s two games.
_ FBN--BROWNS-LITCHENS _ Freddie Kitchens officially hired as Browns coach after strong run as offensive coordinator. By Tom Withers. SENT: 750 words, photos.
MELBOURNE, Australia _ Simona Halep is ranked No. 1 entering the Australian Open. If the draw goes according to form, she faces Venus Williams in the third round and Serena Williams in the fourth. Then there’s her opening match against Kaia Kanepi, who beat her in the first round at the U.S. Open last year. SENT: 600 words, photos.
_ Australian Open tuneups in Australia (Sydney, Hobart).
HONOLULU _ Matt Kuchar is in front entering the third round of the Sony Open, one shot ahead of Andrew Putnam. He is at 14-under 126, matching the lowest 36-hole score of his PGA Tour career. Jordan Spieth, in his 2019 debut, missed the cut. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 11 p.m.
_ GLF--OAHU MUSINGS _ PGA Tour now a young man’s game. By Doug Ferguson. SENT: 750 words, photos.
OKLAHOMA CITY _ The Thunder and Spurs go at it again, two days after San Antonio beat Oklahoma City in a wild one, 154-147 in double overtime. In that thriller, LaMarcus Aldridge scored 56 points for the Spurs and Russell Westbrook had 24 points, 24 assists and 13 rebounds for Oklahoma City. By Cliff Brunt. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 8 p.m.
LOS ANGELES _ Blake Griffin returns to Staples Center for the first time as an opposing player when the Pistons play the Los Angeles Clippers. Griffin is averaging a career-high 25.3 points and 8.5 rebounds. Detroit has dropped four straight and eight of 10. By Beth Harris. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 3:30 p.m.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. _ No. 1 Duke looks for its ninth straight win when it plays at No. 13 Florida State. Coach Leonard Hamilton has four career wins over a No. 1 team, including one over Duke eight years ago. Florida State’s only losses have come against No. 4 Virginia and national champion Villanova. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. 2011. Game started 2 p.m.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. _ No. 12 North Carolina tries to follow a road rivalry win by beating a Louisville team coming off an overtime loss to Pittsburgh. The Tar Heels defeated No. 15 North Carolina State on Tuesday. By Basketball Writer Aaron Beard. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game started noon.
CLEMSON, S.C. _ All-American Christian Wilkins tossed doughnuts to the crowd and showed off a victory cigar. On a chilly, overcast morning, Clemson celebrates its second national football title in three seasons before thousands of roaring fans. By Pete Iacobelli. SENT: 600 words, photos.
_ FBC--ALABAMA-RAY ARRESTED _ Alabama lineman LaBryan Ray charged with public intoxication. SENT: 140 words.
SAN JOSE, Calif. _ The Sharks go for their sixth straight win when they play the Senators. San Jose has the second most points in the Western Conference and trails Calgary by three points in the Pacific Division. Ottawa is tied for last place in the Atlantic Division. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 10 p.m.
OLY--TOKYO 2020-CORRUPTION PROBE-REACTION
TOKYO _ The investigation into possible corruption by a powerful IOC member who is also a distant relative of Japan’s royal family clouds the Tokyo Olympics. These games, whose preparations the IOC deemed the “best ever,” open in 18 months. By Stephen Wade and Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 750 words, photos.
SKI--WCUP-MEN’S GIANT SLALOM
ADELBODEN, Switzerland _ Olympic champion Marcel Hirscher overturns Henrik Kristoffersen’s first-run lead to win a World Cup giant slalom. Hirscher pads his lead in the overall standings with his eighth World Cup victory this season. He is eyeing a record-extending eighth straight title. SENT: 400 words, photos.
_ LUG--WORLD CUP _ Olympic champion Natalie Geisenberger upset in women’s luge in Latvia. SENT: 250 words, photos.
_ BOB--WORLD CUP _ Olympic champ Mariama Jamanka wins women’s bobsled race in Germany; Elana Meyers Taylor of U.S. is second. SENT: 200 words, photos.
_ SOC--ENGLISH ROUNDUP _ Fifth-place Arsenal loses for third time in six Premier League matches. By Global Soccer Writer Rob Harris. SENT: 500 words, photos. With separates on seven games.
_ BKN--NBA CAPSULES
_ HKN--NHL CAPSULES
_ BKC--TOP 25 CAPSULES
_ BKW--TOP 25 CAPSULES
Saturday Time Schedule (EST)
NFL Playoffs (Divisional Round)
AFC: Indianapolis at Kansas City, 4:35 p.m.
NFC: Dallas at L.A. Rams, 8:15 p.m.
Detroit at L.A. Clippers, 3:30 p.m.
Memphis at Miami, 5 p.m.
Boston at Orlando, 7 p.m.
New Orleans at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
San Antonio at Oklahoma City, 8 p.m.
Denver at Phoenix, 9 p.m.
Charlotte at Sacramento, 10 p.m.
Chicago at Utah, 10 p.m.
Philadelphia at New Jersey, 1 p.m.
N.Y. Rangers at N.Y. Islanders, 1 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Boston at Toronto, 7 p.m.
Colorado at Montreal, 7 p.m.
Columbus at Washington, 7 p.m.
Detroit at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Vegas at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.
St. Louis at Dallas, 9 p.m.
Ottawa at San Jose, 10 p.m.
Arizona at Edmonton, 10 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.
College Basketball (Top 25)
No. 1 Duke at No. 13 Florida State, 2 p.m.
No. 3 Tennessee at Florida, 6 p.m.
No. 4 Virginia at Clemson, noon
No. 5 Gonzaga at San Francisco, 10 p.m.
No. 7 Kansas at Baylor, 4 p.m.
No. 8 Texas Tech at Texas, 2 p.m.
No. 10 Nevada at Fresno State, 8 p.m.
No. 11 Auburn vs. Georgia, 4 p.m.
No. 12 North Carolina vs. Louisville, noon
No. 14 Mississippi State vs. Mississippi, 1 p.m.
No. 15 N.C. State vs. Pittsburgh, noon
No. 16 Ohio State at Iowa, 2:30 p.m.
No. 17 Houston vs. Wichita State, 8 p.m.
No. 18 Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt, 8:30 p.m.
No. 19 Buffalo vs. Miami (Ohio), noon
No. 20 Iowa State vs. Kansas State, noon
No. 21 Marquette vs. Seton Hall, 2 p.m.
No. 23 Oklahoma vs. No. 25 TCU, 2 p.m.
No. 24 St. John’s vs. DePaul, 6 p.m.
No. 4 Baylor at TCU, 4 p.m.
No. 9 Maryland vs. Michigan, 4:30 p.m.
No. 11 Texas at No. 20 Iowa State, 5 p.m.
No. 14 Gonzaga vs. Portland, 5 p.m.