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BC-AP Sports Digest

January 23, 2019

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Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray is considering a football career instead of baseball, but what kind of NFL prospect is the undersized quarterback? On the latest AP Top 25 College Football Podcast, ESPN’s Tom Luginbill joins AP’s Ralph Russo to discuss Murray’s choice.

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

TOP STORIES

BBO--HALL OF FAME

NEW YORK _ This honor was saved for the one and only Mariano Rivera. Not Babe Ruth. Not Hank Aaron. Not Cy Young. Not until “The Sandman” could everyone agree. Rivera became baseball’s first unanimous Hall of Fame selection, elected Tuesday along with Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina and the late Roy Halladay. By Jake Seiner. SENT: 1,650 words, photos.

TEN--AUSTRALIAN OPEN

MELBOURNE, Australia _ Serena Williams was one point — just one — from quite a comeback victory in the Australian Open quarterfinals when she turned her left ankle. Everything unraveled from there. Later Wednesday, 14-time major champion Novak Djokovic is scheduled to face 2014 U.S. Open finalist Kei Nishikori. By Howard Fendrich. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos.

Also:

_ TEN--AUSTRALIAN OPEN-THE LATEST _ Real-time updates throughout day.

_ TEN--AUSTRALIAN OPEN GLANCE _ UPCOMING: 450 words, photos.

FBN--SUPER BOWL-IN THE MIX

Build it and the Super Bowl will come. While that’s not exactly how the sites of the NFL’s championship extravaganza are determined, it sure doesn’t hurt to have a new, billion-dollar facility in your city. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

HKN--AROUND THE NHL

Twenty-three years after Fox’s glowing puck made its debut, the NHL’s next big technological advancement will be on display this weekend during All-Star festivities. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 970 words, photos by 3 a.m.

SPORTS SHOWCASE

BKC--MID-MAJORS-TRANSFER CURSE

Mid-major men’s basketball teams often have to deal with student-athletes who complete their degrees early and leave for a more established program for their final year of college eligibility. Those departures make it difficult for coaches at mid-majors to maintain their teams. By John Kekis. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 3 a.m.

COMMENTARY

BBO--TIM DAHLBERG-HALL OF FAME

Edgar Martinez got in just as his chances were running out, meaning baseball’s Hall of Fame will have yet another designated hitter. Three pitchers are in the newly elected class, too, including one whose credentials weren’t good enough in the decade his name came before baseball writers. With a dozen new members in last 2 years, Hall of Fame is becoming a crowded place. By AP Sport Columnist Tim Dahlberg. UPCOMING: 880 words, photos by 3 a.m.

GLF--ON THE FRINGE-TIGER

SAN DIEGO _ Rarely in sports has such a big moment had such a short shelf life. Tiger Woods delivered the moment all of golf anticipated when he won the Tour Championship. Twelve hours later, it was on to the Ryder Cup. And then he was out of view for two months. He starts a new year with even more hype. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 930 words, photos.

With:

_ GLF--GOLF NOTES _ By Doug Ferguson. SENT: 1,300 words, photos.

_ GLF--GOLF GLANCE _ SENT: 600 words.

SUPER BOWL

FBN--PATRIOTS-STILL GRONK

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. _ Even as Rob Gronkowski turned in a vintage performance with his big grabs down the stretch in the AFC championship game, the veteran Patriots tight end also did plenty of dirty work. By Kyle Hightower. SENT: 660 words, photos.

FBN--SUPER BOWL PREPARATIONS

ATLANTA _ As if the road closures surrounding Mercedes-Benz Stadium were not convincing signs that the countdown to Super Bowl 53 has started in Atlanta, one look inside the facility drives the point home. The end zones and sidelines already are painted with the Patriots and Rams names and colors. By Charles Odum. SENT: 570 words.

With:

_ SUPER BOWL-ATLANTA BILLBOARDS _ “NFL bleaux it” billboard in Atlanta speaks to officiating mess. SENT: 130 words, photos.

BASEBALL

BBO—HALL OF FAME-LOOKING AHEAD

Mariano Rivera sailed into the Hall of Fame without a single dissenting vote. Next year, it’s Derek Jeter’s turn _ and don’t expect much opposition then, either. By Baseball Writer Noah Trister. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 4 a.m.

Also:

_ BBO--HALL OF FAME-LARRY WALKER _ By Pat Graham. SENT: 660 words.

_ BBO--HALL OF FAME-MARTINEZ _ By Tim Booth. SENT: 690 words.

BBN--REDS-GRAY

CINCINNATI _ Sonny Gray has a Cincinnati connection. His father once tried out for the Reds, and Gray attended his first major league game at Great American Ball Park. He agreed to a trade from the Yankees and will now pitch in a park more akin to Yankee Stadium, where he struggled mightily last season. By Joe Kay. SENT: 870 words, photos.

NBA

BKN--NUGGETS-THE GUMSLINGER

DENVER _ Monte Morris restored his long-range jumper to mint condition. The Great Spearmint Gum Wrapper Experiment worked. Last summer, the Denver Nuggets backup point guard went through shooting drills with a wrapper from a stick of gum — mostly spearmint, he said — wedged between his thumb and index finger on his guide hand. It was a way to find a more reliable release. By Pat Graham. SENT: 750 words, photos.

NHL

HKN--ISLANDERS-TROTZ’S CHANGES

Barry Trotz sees his first season with the Islanders much like his first with the Capitals _ a work in progress. But Trotz has already changed the culture and the structure for the Islanders, who are in first place despite losing John Tavares. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. SENT: 950 words, photos, video.

HKN--PANTHERS-DEJA VU

SUNRISE, Fla. _ The Florida Panthers are hoping for deja vu. Sort of. A year ago, the Panthers shook off a disastrous start to the season and caught fire after the All-Star break. They need to do even better now. By Tim Reynolds. SENT: 500 words, photos.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Men:

BKC--T25-TENNESSEE-DEFENSIVE FOCUS

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. _ The Tennessee Volunteers believe the best way to stay atop the rankings is by upping their defensive intensity. By Steve Megargee. SENT: 740 words, photos.

Also:

_ COLLEGE CORRUPTION _ By Larry Neumeister. SENT: 300 words, photos.

Women:

BKW--NOTRE DAME-DYNAMIC DUO

SOUTH BEND, Ind. _ Forwards Jessica Shepard and Brianna Turner rule the boards, a big reason why Notre Dame is No. 1 and has won 11 in a row. They have 11 double-doubles between them this season entering Thursday night’s game against struggling Tennessee. SENT: 700 words, photos.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

FBC--SENIOR BOWL

MOBILE, Ala. _ Gardner Minshew carved his own meandering path from walk-on to NFL prospect. He began as a walk-on at Troy, took a sharp left to junior college, bounced over to East Carolina, made a beeline toward Alabama and finally ended with one terrific final season at Washington State. By John Zenor. SENT: 630 words, photos.

Also:

_ FBC--SOUTH CAROLINA-SANDERS’ SON _ SENT: 140 words.

OLYMPICS

OLY--RUSSIAN DOPING

The World Anti-Doping Agency straddles the wide gulf between vindication and capitulation, agreeing to keep Russia’s anti-doping operation in business after receiving much-sought data that could be used to prosecute cheaters. By National Writer Eddie Pells. SENT: 700 words, photos.

With:

_ OLY--RUSSIAN DOPING-ZUBKOV _ By James Ellingworth. SENT: 250 words, photos.

SOCCER

SOC--US-SPAIN

Christen Press scored in the 53rd minute and the U.S. national team rebounded from a rare loss with a 1-0 victory over Spain in Alicante on Tuesday. UPCOMING: 180 words.

Also:

_ SOC--MISSING PLANE-SALA _ By Angela Charlton and Rob Harris. SENT: 500 words, photos.

_ SOC--MLS-SOUNDERS BEGIN _ By Tim Booth. SENT: 620 words.

FIGURE SKATING

FIG--US CHAMPIONSHIPS

The whirlwind rise of Bradie Tennell began at last year’s U.S. Figure Skating Championships, where she startled a veteran field to win her first national title and an Olympic spot. The 20-year-old defends her title this week in Detroit, this time as the favorite. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 850 words, photos.

HORSE RACING

RAC--PEGASUS WORLD CUP

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. _ Accelerate’s big week is here, and it’s off to a start his connections wanted. Accelerate is the 9-5 early favorite to win Saturday’s $9 million Pegasus World Cup, drawing the No. 5 post in a field of 12 for the race to be run over 1 1/8 miles of dirt at Gulfstream Park. By Tim Reynolds. SENT: 600 words, photos.

OTHER

_ SUPREME COURT-COACH-POSTGAME PRAYER _ SENT: 130 words.

_ FBN--CHIEFS-SUTTON FIRED _ By Dave Skretta. SENT: 750 words.

_ FBN--MCFADDEN-DWI CHARGE _ SENT: 140 words.

CAPSULES

_ BKN--NBA CAPSULES

_ HKN--NHL CAPSULES

_ BKC--TOP 25 CAPSULES

___

Wednesday Time Schedule (EST)

NBA

Toronto at Indiana, 7 p.m.

Cleveland at Boston, 7:30 p.m.

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

L.A. Clippers at Miami, 7:30 p.m.

Orlando at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.

Atlanta at Chicago, 8 p.m.

Charlotte at Memphis, 8 p.m.

Detroit at New Orleans, 8 p.m.

San Antonio at Philadelphia, 8 p.m.

Denver at Utah, 10:30 p.m.

NHL

Arizona at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

Washington at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.

Minnesota at Colorado, 9:30 p.m.

Nashville at Vegas, 10 p.m.

St. Louis at Anaheim, 10 p.m.

Carolina at Vancouver, 10:30 p.m.

TOP 25 BASKETBALL

Men

No. 1 Tennessee at Vanderbilt, 7 p.m.

No. 7 Nevada vs. Colorado State, 11 p.m.

No. 12 Marquette vs. DePaul, 8:30 p.m.

No. 17 Houston vs. East Carolina, 8 p.m.

No. 25 LSU vs. Georgia, 7 p.m.

Women

No. 2 Baylor vs. No. 20 Iowa State, 8 p.m.

No. 3 UConn vs. SMU, 7 p.m.

No. 12 Texas vs. Kansas, 8 p.m.

No. 13 Syracuse vs. Miami, 7 p.m.

No. 14 Rutgers at No. 17 Iowa, 8 p.m.

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