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BC-AP Sports Digest

March 3, 2019

The supervisor is Rebecca Miller, 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 apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477. All times EST.

A federal judge is soon expected to hand down a decision that could lead to sweeping changes in college sports. On the latest AP Top 25 College Football Podcast, Dennis Dodd from CBS Sports and AP’s Ralph Russo discuss the so-called Alston antitrust case against the NCAA. Plaintiffs want the courts to strike down the NCAA’s rules that prohibit schools from compensating football and basketball players beyond an athletic scholarship.

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

TOP STORIES

FBN--COMBINE-NFL FUTURE

INDIANAPOLIS _ Linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair sees his NFL future through a different prism. Rather than worry about fancy cars or expensive gadgets, he simply wants to provide his family with the simple things in life _ like a home. By Michael Marot. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 7 p.m.

BKC--T25-MICHIGAN-MARYLAND

COLLEGE PARK, Md. _ No. 9 Michigan faces No. 17 Maryland, which is coming off a lopsided defeat at Penn State but remains unbeaten at home in the Big Ten. By David Ginsburg. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts at 3:45 p.m.

BKC--T25-TOP 25 REWIND

Gonzaga moved back into the top spot in the AP college basketball poll and closed out an undefeated conference season. Win another WCC Tournament title and the Zags could be looking at the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. SENT: 720 words, photos.

BBA--ASTROS-CORREA

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. _ Carlos Correa would take more than 200 swings and lift weights every day during spring training in years past. After a season when he missed six weeks with a back injury that lingered for the rest of the year, he’s altered his preparations, vastly cutting back on everything from those swings to how many sprints he runs in hopes that taking it a bit easier in February and March will lead to better health in September and October. By Kristie Rieken. UPCOMING: 800 words by 8 p.m.

SPORTS SHOWCASE

BKC--ENGAGING FANS

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. _ College basketball programs are getting creative in their attempts to keep fans coming to games in an era when they can just as easily stay home and watch the action on their phones instead. That includes getting fans to use those phones to light up the arena during increasingly elaborate pregame festivities. By Steve Megargee. SENT: 990 words, photos.

BASEBALL

BBN--BRAVES-DUVALL

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. _ The Braves are still waiting for newcomer Josh Donaldson to be available, but Adam Duvall _ acquired last season _ finally hit a home run for Atlanta. If Duvall can return to his slugging ways, that could be a big boost for the Braves’ lineup. By Baseball Writer Noah Trister. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 8 p.m.

Also:

_ Spring training stories on the Cardinals, Reds, Angels and Dodgers.

_ BBO--SPRING TRAINING RDP _ UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 8 p.m.

FOOTBALL

FBN--COMBINE-WHAT’S IN A NAME?

INDIANAPOLIS _ While many pro prospects use the NFL scouting combine as a chance to correct misconceptions or misperceptions about their game, skills or character, Clemson edge rusher Clelin Ferrell is focused on correcting mispronunciations of his first name. By Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton. SENT: 560 words, photos.

GOLF

GLF--HONDA CLASSIC

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. _ Vijay Singh has played 218 official PGA Tour events since his last victory. The 56-year-old is in the final group Sunday at the Honda Classic, starting the day one shot off Wyndham Clark’s lead. By Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m.

Also:

_ GLF--LPGA SINGAPORE _ Sung Hyun Park wins 6th LPGA title with final-round 64 in Singapore. SENT: 270 words, photos.

_ GLF--PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS _ Mark O’Meara leads Cologuard Classic by one stroke entering final round of seniors event in Tucson, Arizona; Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz 11 back. UPCOMING: 350 words by 8 p.m.

_ GLF--OMAN OPEN _ American Kurt Kitayama wins Oman Open. SENT: 240 words.

NBA

BKN--ROCKETS-CELTICS

BOSTON _ The Celtics’ victory over the Wizards on Friday snapped a four-game losing streak and gave them their first win since the All-Star break. Now Boston hosts James Harden and the Houston Rockets, who have won four straight and are inching back up the Western Conference standings. By Kyle Hightower. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts at 3:30 p.m.

BKN--GRIZZLIES-THUNDER

OKLAHOMA CITY _ The Thunder, likely playing without All-Star forward Paul George for the third straight game, try to snap a four-game losing streak when they host the Memphis Grizzlies. By Cliff Brunt. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts at 7 p.m.

NHL

HKN--PREDATORS-WILD

MINNEAPOLIS _ The Nashville Predators visit the Minnesota Wild, six days after the teams swapped forwards, sending Mikael Granlund to the Predators and Kevin Fiala to the Wild. By Dave Campbell. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts at 7:30 p.m.

HKN--CAPITALS-RANGERS

NEW YORK _ Alex Ovechkin and the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals bring their three-game winning streak to Madison Square Garden to face the Rangers, who are wrapping up a three-game homestand. By Simmi Buttar. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game started at 12:30 p.m.

AUTO RACING

CAR--NASCAR-LAS VEGAS

LAS VEGAS _ Kyle Busch attempts to complete the third three-race weekend sweep in NASCAR history when he starts third in his hometown. Defending champion Kevin Harvick is on the pole. By Greg Beacham. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Race starts at 3:30 p.m.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

BKW--T25-MISSISSIPPI ST-SOUTH CAROLINA

COLUMBIA, S.C. _ The No. 5 Mississippi State women look to win their second straight outright Southeastern Conference title when they face No. 14 South Carolina. By Pete Iacobelli. UPCOMING: 600 words. Game starts at 2 p.m.

UFC

MMA--UFC-JONES FUTURE

LAS VEGAS _ After trouncing another overmatched opponent at UFC 235, Jon Jones insisted he is content to keep cleaning out the UFC’s light heavyweight division instead of moving up to heavyweight. The pound-for-pound star says he would make one big exception for Brock Lesnar. By Greg Beacham. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 9 p.m.

SOCCER

SOC--ENGLISH ROUNDUP

LONDON _ Liverpool plays at Everton in the Merseyside derby, looking to regain top spot from Manchester City in the Premier League. Sixth-placed Chelsea faces Fulham in a west London derby and Brendan Rodgers starts his Leicester reign against Watford. By Rob Harris. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 3 p.m. With separates on Sunday’s three EPL games.

SKIING

SKI--WCUP-WOMEN’S SUPER-G CANCELED

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia _ The women’s super-G race in Sochi is canceled after adverse weather made it impossible to hold any of the week’s events. Sunday’s cancellation helps Mikaela Shiffrin’s chances of winning the super-G trophy, which she leads by 32 points over Liechtenstein’s Tina Weirather with one race remaining. By James Ellingworth. SENT: 350 words, photos.

Also:

_ SKI--WCUP-MEN’S SUPER-G _ Dominik Paris wins 2nd race in 2 days, goes top of super-G standings. SENT: 420 words, photos.

OTHER

_ IDITAROD _ Defending Iditarod champ remains self-proclaimed “goofball.” By Mark Thiessen. SENT: 750 words, photos.

_ CYC--AUSTRIA-DOPING _ Cyclist admits blood doping amid investigations into network. SENT: 260 words, photo.

_ WAKE FOREST-CURRIE _ Wake AD Ron Wellman retiring, John Currie to replace him. SENT: 310 words.

CAPSULES

_ BKN--NBA CAPSULES

_ HKN--NHL CAPSULES

_ BKC--T25-TOP 25 CAPSULES

_ BKW--T25-TOP 25 CAPSULES

_ SOC--MLS CAPSULES

___

Sunday Time Schedule (EST)

NBA

Portland at Charlotte, 1 p.m.

Houston at Boston, 3:30 p.m.

Atlanta at Chicago, 3:30 p.m.

New York at L.A. Clippers, 3:30 p.m.

Orlando at Cleveland, 6 p.m.

Toronto at Detroit, 6 p.m.

Minnesota at Washington, 6 p.m.

Memphis at Oklahoma City, 7 p.m.

NHL

Washington at N.Y. Rangers, 12:30 p.m.

Philadelphia vs. N.Y. Islanders at Nassau Coliseum, 3 p.m.

Vancouver at Vegas, 4 p.m.

Colorado at Anaheim, 4 p.m.

Ottawa at Florida, 5 p.m.

Winnipeg at Columbus, 7 p.m.

Nashville at Minnesota, 7:30 p.m.

Chicago at San Jose, 10 p.m.

College Basketball (Top 25)

Men

No. 9 Michigan at No. 17 Maryland, 3:45 p.m.

No. 10 Marquette vs. Creighton, 3 p.m.

No. 25 Washington at Stanford, 4 p.m.

Women

No. 3 Louisville at Pittsburgh, 2 p.m.

No. 4 Notre Dame vs. Virginia, 12:30 p.m.

No. 5 Mississippi State at No. 14 South Carolina, 2 p.m.

No. 6 Oregon at No. 21 Arizona State, 3 p.m.

No. 7 Stanford at Washington, 5 p.m.

No. 9 Oregon State at Arizona, 5 p.m.

No. 10 N.C. State vs. No. 15 Miami, 2:30 p.m.

No. 11 Kentucky at Georgia, 1 p.m.

No. 12 Iowa vs. Northwestern, 4 p.m.

No. 13 Marquette at Providence, 1 p.m.

No. 17 Syracuse at Boston College, 2 p.m.

No. 19 Texas A&M vs. Arkansas, 5 p.m.

No. 22 Florida State at Georgia Tech, 1 p.m.

No. 23 Drake at Missouri State, 3 p.m.

No. 25 UCLA vs. Colorado, 3 p.m.

MLS

Atlanta at D.C. United, 6 p.m.

Sporting Kansas City at Los Angeles FC, 8:30 p.m.

Exhibition Baseball

Minnesota (ss) vs. Boston at Fort Myers, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Houston vs. Washington at West Palm Beach, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Detroit (ss) vs. N.Y. Yankees (ss) at Tampa, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

N.Y. Mets vs. St. Louis at Jupiter, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Philadelphia vs. Minnesota (ss) at Fort Myers, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Tampa Bay vs. Pittsburgh at Bradenton, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Miami vs. Atlanta at Kissimmee, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

N.Y. Yankees (ss) vs. Toronto at Dunedin, Fla., 1:07 p.m.

Detroit (ss) vs. Baltimore at Sarasota, Fla., 3:05 p.m.

Chicago White Sox vs. Chicago Cubs at Mesa, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.

Kansas City vs. Cleveland at Goodyear, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.

Texas (ss) vs. L.A. Dodgers at Phoenix, 3:05 p.m.

Cincinnati vs. Milwaukee at Phoenix, 3:05 p.m.

San Diego vs. Texas (ss) at Surprise, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.

San Francisco vs. Colorado at Scottsdale, Ariz., 3:10 p.m.

Arizona vs. Seattle at Peoria, Ariz., 3:10 p.m.

Oakland vs. L.A. Angels at Tempe, Ariz., 3:10 p.m.