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BC-AP Sports Digest

February 21, 2019

The supervisor is Bob Lentz, followed by Rebecca Miller at 9 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 EST.

PodcastOne SportsNow hosts Jim Litke and Tim Dahlberg grab a sand-trap rake and drag pro golfer Matt Kuchar for winning $1.3 million at a tournament in Mexico and nearly stiffing his fill-in caddie. As a bonus, Dahlberg recalls his own moment of glory while toting the bag for a PGA Tour winner, Then, just-retired AP sports writer Bob Baum joins the pair to reminisce about the warmest _ and goofiest _ moments over four-plus decades with a courtside seat. https://www.podcastone.com/podcastone-sports-now

Stanford coach David Shaw is one of the college football’s most insightful coaches, with well-thought out opinions on big-picture topics. He also is about to begin a three-year term as chairman of the NCAA football rules committee. Shaw joins AP’s Ralph Russo on the latest AP Top 25 College Football Podcast to discuss why he thinks the targeting rule needs to be changed, and how. And tweaking overtime rules to lessen the chances of marathon games. Plus, why he believes the transfer portal could be hurting more athletes than it helps. Shaw also shares some insight on the increasing number of players leaving school early for the NFL and why even great college players might not be ready to compete for a job. https://www.podcastone.com/AP-Top-25-College-Football-Podcast



DURHAM, N.C. _ Top-ranked Duke might have to figure out what the Zion Show will look like without its namesake. And Zion Williamson could have some things of his own to sort out, too. All because of a freak injury to arguably the most exciting player in college basketball in the opening minute of the sport’s fiercest rivalry. By Joedy McCreary. UPCOMING: 620 words, photos by 4 a.m.


DURHAM, N.C. _ Zion Williamson blew out his shoe, and then No. 8 North Carolina blew out top-ranked Duke. Luke Maye took full advantage of a freak injury to the freshman sensation, finishing with 30 points and 15 rebounds to help the Tar Heels rout Duke 88-72 on Wednesday night. By Joedy McCreary. SENT: 820 words, photos.


NEW YORK _ Many middle-class free agents have seen their salaries slashed, and agent Scott Boras says baseball needs major economic changes this year and can’t afford to wait until the current collective bargaining agreement expires in December 2021. By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum. SENT: 1,200 words, photos.


MIAMI _ Golden State is still the favorite for a fourth title in five years. Milwaukee, Toronto, Indiana, Boston, Philadelphia, Oklahoma City and Denver can all go ahead and cancel those mid-April vacation plans if they were foolish enough to have made them in the first place. For LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, some work awaits. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.


DENVER _ The U.S. Olympic Committee has tabbed Paralympic executive Rick Adams to serve as its new chief of sport performance, and will also create a new department charged with making it easier for athletes to deal with off-the-field needs, including health care and reporting inappropriate conduct. By National Writer Eddie Pells. UPCOMING: 400 words, photos by 4 a.m.



Duke has garnered plenty of attention this season with its foursome of future NBA first-round draft picks. Other teams like Virginia, Gonzaga and Nevada have taken a different approach to success, relying on veteran players to lead them into March Madness. By John Marshall. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 4 a.m.



Manny Machado’s new $300 million contract put a stop _ at least temporarily _ to a growing chorus of player complaints that major league teams were conspiring to do deep damage to the free agent market. It did nothing, however, to change the new reality of baseball. And that’s something players should be worrying about between now and 2021, when the current collective bargaining agreement expires and the threat of labor action looms. By Sports Columnist Tim Dahlberg. UPCOMING: 710 words, photos by 4 a.m.



GLENDALE, Ariz. _ The Chicago White Sox made no effort to hide their disappointment over losing the Manny Machado sweepstakes. They went to extra lengths, bringing in Machado’s brother-in-law, another close friend and pulling out the stops in attempting to sell the free agent on the future of White Sox baseball. SENT: 590 words, photos.


KISSIMMEE, Fla. _ Finding a job was pretty easy for Josh Donaldson. Proving he can keep it will be the tough part. The former AL MVP didn’t have to wait long for a new opportunity, signing a one-year, $23 million contract with the Atlanta Braves less than a month after the World Series ended. SENT: 600 words, photos.


PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — As workouts began to wind down, word began spreading across the San Diego Padres’ practice fields at Peoria Sports Complex. The Padres, a team stuck in a 12-year playoff-less rut, were on the verge of making their biggest free agent splash ever. Manny Machado, the big-hitting, slick-fielding infielder, was going to be paid $300 million to play for the Padres for the next decade. The news Tuesday put noticeable pep in the players’ step for the remainder of the workouts. By John Marshall. SENT: 780 words, photos.


TOKYO — Amateur baseball officials in Japan are debating the introduction of pitch limits aimed at preventing injuries to high school players. Marathon pitching performances have long been a trademark of the National Summer High School Baseball Championship which is held every August and is arguably the country’s most popular sporting event. By Jim Armstrong. SENT: 330 words, photos.


_ BBA--TWINS-CLOSER COMPETITION _ SENT: 680 words, photos.

_ BBN--CARDINALS-MILLER _ SENT: 500 words, photos.



USA Football has introduced the council that will oversee the implementation of its Football Development Model for the sport. The FDM, part of the overall American Development Model for athletes backed by the U.S. Olympic Committee, is a first of its kind framework to help parents, coaches and program leaders provide what players need to develop and grow as athletes and people through football participation. By Football Writer Barry Wilner. UPCOMING: 670 words, photos by 4 a.m.


KANSAS CITY, Mo. _ Steve Spagnuolo spent much of his year out of coaching making the 45-minute drive from his home in Philadelphia to the headquarters of NFL Films in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. After spending time at the repository for all NFL game film, he’s now taking over as Andy Reid’s defensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 790 words, photos.


_ FBN--STEELERS-BELL AND BROWN _ By Will Graves. SENT: 960 words.




SAN DIEGO _ With their arena packed for the first time this season, the San Diego State Aztecs rewarded the fans with yet another victory against Nevada, and this one’s going into the record book. By Bernie Wilson. SENT: 940 words, photos.


BATON ROUGE, La. _When Florida’s Kevaughn Allen pulled up for an open 3 early in the second half at LSU, he’d been limited to just three shots and had not scored a point. Allen’s fourth shot went down — a moment LSU coach Will Wade called “the biggest play of the game.” By Brett Martel. SENT: 840 words, photos.


WASHINGTON _ Patrick Ewing’s Georgetown Hoyas and Villanova added another bit of history to the teams’ rivalry. Ewing, whose collegiate career ended in a stunning loss to the Wildcats in the 1985 national championship game, earned his biggest coaching victory to date against Villanova. SENT: 650 words, photos.



Kansas plays at Texas Tech in a key Big 12 matchup. The Jayhawks and Red Raiders enter play tied for second place in the league at 9-4, a game behind surging Kansas State. By Luke Meredith. UPCOMING: 460 words, photos by 4 a.m.


It’s finally here: The first of two late-season matchups between Michigan State and Michigan is this coming weekend. By Noah Trister. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 4 a.m.



WACO, Texas _ This kind of celebration never gets old for No. 1 Baylor, even with bigger goals the Lady Bears want to reach. Confetti and balloons fell from the rafters, “We Are The Champions” blared from the speakers and nine Big 12 championship trophies were lined up on a table at center court in a display of the dominance by the Lady Bears after an 80-40 win over Kansas on Wednesday night. SENT: 780 words, photos.



What a difference a year doesn’t make at West Point. An academy-record 11 wins last season and a final ranking of No. 19 in the AP Top 25? Army coach Jeff Monken says he still has to explain the academy to recruits. By John Kekis. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 4 a.m.



MIAMI _ Jeff Van Gundy has an idea on how to fix the NBA All-Star Game. His plan: Eliminate it. The former NBA coach and now longtime television commentator for ABC and ESPN, says what he’s seeing now from the game is embarrassing and “a bastardization of the game that is beautiful to watch.” By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 480 words, photos by 4 a.m.


_ BKN--BLAZERS RESUME _ By Anne M. Peterson. SENT: 600 words, photos.

_ BKN--76ERS EMBIID OUT _ SENT: 250 words, photos.



MEXICO CITY _ Tiger Woods brings his star power to a Mexican golf community wondering if it would ever see him when this World Golf Championship first came to Chapultepec Golf Club. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 890 words, photos.


_ GLF--RYDER CUP _ By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 700 words.



NASHVILLE, Tenn. _Playing in Nashville means tapping into Music City, and the Major League Soccer team debuting in 2020 unveiled its name as the Nashville Soccer Club along with a logo and colors Wednesday before approximately 1,500 fans. By Teresa M. Walker. SENT: 630 words, photos.


MADRID _Atletico Madrid’s vaunted center-back pairing finally got the better of Cristiano Ronaldo on Wednesday, even providing the goals after holding their long-time rival scoreless for once. In a match where Atletico had more trouble with video review than Ronaldo, the Spanish team kept the Portugal star in check but had to overcome two key VAR decisions to defeat Juventus 2-0 in the first leg of the Champions League’s round of 16. By Tales Azzoni. SENT: 750 words, photos.


_ SOC--FRENCH ROUNDUP _ Kylian Mbappe scored his league-leading 20th goal of the season as Paris Saint-Germain beat Montpellier 5-1 on Wednesday to move 15 points clear, having played one game less than second-place Lille. By Jerome Pugmire. SENT: 390 words, photos.

_ SOC--SCHALKE-MAN CITY _ SENT: 730 words, photos.


_ TEN--DELRAY BEACH _ Second-seeded John Isner advanced to the third round of the Delray Beach Open on Wednesday night, beating Lukas Lacko of Slovakia 6-4, 6-3.

SENT: 150 words.

_ TEN--RIO OPEN _ SENT: 130 words.

_ TEN--DUBAI _ SENT: 350 words, photos.


_CAR--F1-FORMULA ONE-NORTH AMERICA _ By Jim Vertuno. SENT: 830 words, photos.

_ CAR--F1-TESTING _ SENT: 550 words, photos.






Thursday Time Schedule (EST)


Miami at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.

Phoenix at Cleveland, 7 p.m.

Portland at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.

Boston at Milwaukee, 8 p.m.

Houston at L.A. Lakers, 10:30 p.m.

Sacramento at Golden State, 10:30 p.m.


Washington at Toronto, 7 p.m.

Ottawa at New Jersey, 7 p.m.

Carolina at Florida, 7 p.m.

San Jose at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.

Minnesota at N.Y. Rangers, 7 p.m.

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

Philadelphia at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

Los Angeles at Nashville, 8 p.m.

St. Louis at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

N.Y. Islanders at Edmonton, 9 p.m.

Arizona at Vancouver, 10 p.m.


Seattle vs. Oakland at Mesa, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.



No. 2 Gonzaga vs. Pepperdine, 9 p.m.

No. 7 Michigan at Minnesota, 7 p.m.


No. 4 Louisville at Virginia, 7 p.m.

No. 5 Notre Dame vs. Duke, 7 p.m.

No. 6 Mississippi State at Mississippi, 8 p.m.

No. 8 Maryland vs. Minnesota, 7 p.m.

No. 9 N.C. State vs. Wake Forest, 7 p.m.

No. 10 Iowa at Indiana, 8 p.m.

No. 13 South Carolina vs. No. 16 Kentucky, 7 p.m.

No. 14 Miami at Virginia Tech, 7 p.m.

No. 15 Gonzaga at Santa Clara, 10 p.m.

No. 18 Syracuse vs. Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.

No. 21 Texas A&M vs. Tennessee, 9 p.m.

No. 23 South Dakota vs. Denver, 8 p.m.