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BC-AP Sports Digest

February 18, 2019

The supervisor is Fred Lief, followed by Vin A. Cherwoo at 5 p.m. and Doug Feinberg 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 handful of moves at the NBA trade deadline means whoever rules the East should pose a tougher challenger to the winner in the West. But Toronto coach Nick Nurse tells PodcastOne Sports Now he’s focused on making the Raptors versatile enough to get past their new-look conference rivals. https://www.podcastone.com/podcastone-sports-now

The 2019 college football season is 7½ months away. Time to start projecting. On the latest AP Top 25 College Football Podcast, Bill Connelly of SB Nation joins AP’s Ralph Russo to talk about next season. https://www.podcastone.com/AP-Top-25-College-Football-Podcast



SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. _ Bruce Bochy of the Giants says he will retire after this season, his 25th as a major league manager. He turns 64 in April and says “it’s time.” He led San Francisco to three titles and every manager with three or more is in the Hall of Fame. By Baseball Writer Janie McCauley. SENT: 120 words. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.


MESA, Ariz. _ Chicago Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts apologizes to the team’s players and coaching staff at spring training over racist emails written by his father. He calls the emails “unacceptable” and stresses his father has no direct role or economic interest in the team. By Baseball Writer Janie McCauley. SENT: 550 words, photos.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. _ Dwyane Wade’s All-Star weekend is over. Now the push to the playoffs begins, and the Miami Heat star says he will be ready for the concluding steps of his last dance. Says Magic Johnson: “We’re going to miss him.” By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 950 words, photos.


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. _ Jim France told ’em to race and NASCAR’s next generation didn’t disappoint. The Daytona 500 packed an unforeseen punch and featured a feel-good winner who dedicated the victory to his late car owner. By Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. SENT: 850 words, photos.


FORT WORTH, Texas _ Kyler Murray accepts the Davey O’Brien award as the nation’s top college quarterback. This is the Heisman winner’s first appearance since he decided to play in the NFL and not report to spring training as a first-round pick of the Oakland A’s. By Pro Football Writer Schuyler Dixon. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 8 p.m.



BEAUMONT-SUR-OISE, France _ It’s now easier than ever in France to act out “Star Wars” fantasies. The country’s fencing federation has turned to a distant galaxy, recognizing lightsaber dueling and granting the iconic weapon the same status as the foil, epee and sabre used at the Olympics. By John Leicester. SENT: 900 words, photos.



RALEIGH, N.C. _ Duke returns to No. 1 in the men’s AP rankings. The Blue Devils replace Tennessee, which had spent four weeks at the top but lost at Kentucky. Gonzaga is No. 2, followed by Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee. By Basketball Writer Aaron Beard. SENT: 550 words, photos.


NEW YORK _ Rice joins the women’s AP poll for the first time in school history, having won 15 straight games to take a No. 25 ranking. Baylor remains No. 1, followed by Oregon, UConn, Louisville and Notre Dame. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. SENT: 450 words, photos.



SURPRISE, Ariz. _ Now 30 and going into his 11th season, Elvis Andrus has been with the Texas Rangers longer than any player on the roster. With star third baseman Adrian Beltre now retired, the shortstop is going to assume a bigger leadership role. By Stephen Hawkins. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. _ Pitcher Luke Weaver and catcher Carson Kelly came to Arizona in a trade that sent Paul Goldschmidt to St. Louis. The Diamondbacks aren’t expecting them to replace the popular slugger, but just be themselves. By John Marshall. UPCOMING: 700 words by 6 p.m.


JUPITER, Fla. _ Jorge Posada talks about his new job as special adviser to his former New York Yankees teammate Derek Jeter, the Miami Marlins CEO. By Steven Wine. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 5 p.m.

_ Also:

_ BBA--RAYS-KIERMAIER _ By Fred Goodall. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 6 p.m.

_ BBA--BREWERS-CLEAN SLATE _ By Stephen Hawkins. SENT: 650 words, photos.

_ Other spring training stories from Pirates, Dodgers, Cardinals, White Sox, Orioles, Twins, Reds, Angels, Mets, Royals.




KNOXVILLE, Tenn. _ Its 19-game winning streak and No. 1 ranking gone, Tennessee must try to fix the flaws that were evident in an 86-69 loss at Kentucky. The Volunteers are eyeing a second straight SEC title and No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. By Steve Megargee. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.


BLACKSBURG, Va. _ No. 3 Virginia looks for a regular-season sweep of No. 20 Virginia Tech in a game between ACC powers. The Cavaliers beat the Hokies 81-59 a month ago. Virginia is coming off a win over Notre Dame. Virginia Tech won at Pittsburgh in its last outing. By Hank Kurz Jr. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 7 p.m.

_ Also:

_ BKC--T25-MICHIGAN ST-WARD _ Michigan State forward Nick Ward has hand surgery, out at least a few weeks. By Larry Lage. SENT: 250 words, photos.



CORVALLIS, Ore. _ The No. 2 Oregon Ducks, who defeated their state rival at home on Friday night, play at No. 12 Oregon State. By Anne M. Peterson. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 9 p.m.

_ Also:

_ BKW--T25-NOTRE DAME-NC STATE _ No. 5 Notre Dame visits No. 9 North Carolina State. By Basketball Writer Aaron Beard. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 7 p.m.



LAUSANNE, Switzerland _ The standoff between Olympic champion Caster Semenya and track and field’s ruling body over gender, hormones and performance reaches a pivotal phase with the start of a hearing in a case that could reverberate across sports. By Jamey Keaten. SENT: 500 words, photos.



Jordan Binnington didn’t get his first real chance to be an NHL goaltender until age 25, but he’s making the most of it. Binnington is 12-1-1 and his St. Louis Blues have won 10 in a row in part because of his play. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. SENT: 700 words, photos.



A cap worn by Yankees great Lou Gehrig, dating to the early 1930s, is up for auction and could worth $200,000. Also on sale: a baseball signed by Hall of Famers Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Tris Speaker and Eddie Collins. By Vin A. Cherwoo. SENT: 700 words, photos.


_ SOC--ENGLISH ROUNDUP _ Manchester United plays at Chelsea in FA Cup. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 5 p.m.

_ SOC--ORLANDO CITY-NANI _ Ex-Man United winger Nani joins Orlando City of MLS. SENT: 150 words, photos.


_ TEN--WTA RANKINGS-WILLIAMS _ Serena Williams back in top 10 after giving birth. SENT: 130 words.

_ OLY--TOKYO-KOIKE _ Tokyo governor declines to address bribery scandal, future of Japanese Olympic Committee president. By Haruka Nuga. SENT: 400 words, photos.






Monday Time Schedule (EST)

^Time Schedule<


Arizona at Calgary, 4 p.m.

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

Ottawa at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.

Vegas at Colorado, 9 p.m.

Boston at San Jose, 10 p.m.

Washington at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.

College Basketball (Top 25)


No. 3 Virginia at No. 20 Virginia Tech, 7 p.m.

No. 22 Wisconsin vs. Illinois, 8 p.m.

No. 23 Kansas State at West Virginia, 9 p.m.


No. 2 Oregon at No. 12 Oregon State, 9 p.m.

No. 5 Notre Dame at No. 9 N.C. State, 7 p.m.