BC-AP Sports Digest
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MINNEAPOLIS —Once Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings took the lead on Green Bay, they played with a fierce refusal to let it go. They held onto the ball with the same determination. By Pro Football Writer Dave Campbell. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
— FBN--PUNCHLESS PACKERS — By Football Writer Dave Campbell. SENT: 720 words, photos.
DENVER — For a man who tips the scales at close to 300 pounds, nose tackle Shelby Harris sure gets overlooked a lot. Ben Roethlisberger didn’t see him Sunday when Harris intercepted his pass to Antonio Brown from the Denver 2 with 1:03 remaining, sealing the Broncos’ 24-17 win that snapped the Pittsburgh Steelers’ six-game winning streak. By Football Writer Arnie Stapleton. SENT: 920 words, photos.
CARSON, Calif. — After a record-breaking day, Philip Rivers was quick to credit the guys on the receiving end of his pinpoint passes. Rivers tied the NFL mark for consecutive completions and broke records for the most to start a game and the highest completion percentage in a game as the Los Angeles Chargers dismantled the Arizona Cardinals 45-10 on Sunday. By Joe Reedy. SENT: 970 words, photos.
NEW YORK — Jimmy Butler’s new teammates saw him drift to one of his favorite spots on the court and already knew what to expect. Butler made a 3-pointer with 2.3 seconds remaining to give the Philadelphia 76ers a 127-125 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday. Butler’s shot from the right wing, similar to the one that beat Charlotte in overtime on Nov. 17, capped Philadelphia’s rally from 20 points down in a game the Nets led nearly all the way. By Adry Torres. SENT: 820 words,, photos.
SOC--WORLD CUP-QATAR’S PREP
DOHA, Qatar — Four years from the start of the 2022 World Cup, the signs of progress across Qatar are hard to miss: from the seemingly endless sea of construction cranes that dot the landscape to the state of the art venues to the genetically engineered strain of grass designed to hold up in the middle of the desert. The logistics, however, might be the easy part for the small Muslim nation as it attempts to balance the political and cultural stakes of hosting one of the world’s largest sporting events. By Will Graves. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos by 3 a.m.
SOC--WORLD CUP-QATAR’S PREP-ABRIDGED — UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 3 a.m.
FBN--ON FOOTBALL-NOT QUITE THERE
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — When Patriots players looked around the locker room Sunday, they saw a generally healthy squad. That’s scary for the rest of the NFL. Or maybe not. Unless New England makes some key improvements over the next month — and can anyone doubt the Patriots will, given their track record? — a third straight trip to the Super Bowl will be problematic. By Football Writer Barry Wilner. UPCOMING: 780 words, photos by 3 a.m.
Led by brash rookie QB Baker Mayfield, the Cleveland Browns suddenly merit keeping an eye on. Are they legitimate playoff contenders yet? Of course not; only their most ardent fans would say so. Still, the Browns now matter, both because they’re capable of winning and because they’ve got some swagger. The AP takes a look at that and other top topics after the NFL season’s 12th Sunday. By Pro Football Writer Howard Fendrich. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 3 a.m.
HOUSTON — When the Houston Texans take the field Monday night against the Tennessee Titans in their first game since Robert “Bob” McNair died, they’ll carry a reminder of the team’s late owner and founder. Affixed to the back of each player’s helmet as they try to set a franchise record with their eighth straight win will be a small decal in the shape of a football with simple white block letters bearing his initials of “RCM.” By Kristie Rieken. SENT: 810 words, photos.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —Tyler Lockett knew if Russell Wilson bought him a few more seconds, he could spring himself for a big play. Wilson did just that, sidestepping a few pass rushers in the pocket and enabling Lockett to slip behind cornerback Captain Munnerlyn and haul in a 43-yard completion at the Carolina 10. Wilson then took a knee twice and spiked the ball once to set up Sebastian Janikowski’s 31-yard field goal as time expired, allowing the Seattle Seahawks to complete a 30-27 come-from-behind win over the Panthers on Sunday. By Steve Reed. SENT. 930 words, photos.
PHILADELPHIA —The injury-depleted defense held on long enough for Carson Wentz and Philadelphia’s new-found rushing attack to rally. Jake Elliott kicked a 43-yard field goal with 22 seconds remaining, and the Eagles beat the New York Giants 25-22 on Sunday after trailing 12-0 early and 19-14 in the fourth quarter. By Football Writer Rob Maaddi. SENT: 750 words, photos.
CINCINNATI —As the touchdown passes quickly piled up, Baker Mayfield felt like he was back at Oklahoma leading his team to another freewheeling win. His new team — the Cleveland Browns — are starting to feel a bit like it’s the good old days, too.By Joe Kay. SENT: 900 words, photos.
— FBN--NFL TODAY.
— FBN--NFL INJURIES.
— FBN--49ERS-FOSTER ARRESTED — 49ers releasing Reuben Foster after domestic violence arrest. By Pro Football Writer Josh Dubow. SENT: 800 words, photos.
FBC--T25-AP TOP 25 HEAT CHECK
In college football’s current great debate — Ohio State or Oklahoma? — AP Top 25 voters went with the Sooners. The Buckeyes surged to No. 6 in The Associated Press college football on Sunday on the strength of a record-breaking blowout of Michigan the day before. The College Football Playoff selection committee will weigh in Tuesday when its latest rankings come out. Michigan came into the weekend No. 4 in both the AP and CFP rankings so beating the Wolverines so convincingly is significant. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 1,300 words, photos by 3 a.m.
— FBC--T25-COLLEGE FOOTBALL POLL — By Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 560 words, photos.
Air Force’s Cole Fagan is the pride of fullbacks this week. Fagan had career highs of 34 carries for 260 yards against Colorado State for the top rushing performance in the Football Bowl Subdivision over the past week and the best by a fullback in Falcons’ history. By Football Writer Eric Olson. UPCOMING: 490 words, photos by 3 a.m.
— FBC--T25-SEC CHAMPIONSHIP — By John Zenor. SENT: 720 words, photos.
— FBC--T25-ACC CHAMPIONSHIP — By Pete Iacobelli. SENT: 680 words, photos.
— FBC--T25-BIG 10 CHAMPIONSHIP — By Mitch Stacy. SENT: 600 words, photos.
— FBC--T25-NOTRE DAME-KELLY — By Joe Reedy. SENT: 860 words, photos.
— FBC--NORTH CAROLINA-FEDORA — By Aaron Beard. SENT: 760 words, photos.
— FBC--TEXAS TECH-KINGSBURY — SENT: 790 words, photos.
— FBC--USC-HELTON STAYS — By Greg Beacham. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
— FBC--ILLINOIS-SMITH EXTENSION — SENT: 370 words.
BKN--AROUND THE NBA
Under the former NBA schedule, the first month of the season would just be coming to a close this week. The earlier start that the league went to last year, with the regular season beginning two weeks sooner, means some teams are now already more than a quarter of the way through their 82-game schedules. The extra time doesn’t make it any easier to explain things so far. By Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney. UPCOMING: 860 words, photos by 3 a.m.
BKC--T25-HOLIDAY HOOPS-WHAT WE LEARNED
Experienced Gonzaga and Virginia sent not-so-subtle reminders not to discount talented, veteran-led teams. While Duke and its vaunted freshmen class were the talk college basketball for the first two weeks of the season, Gonzaga and Virginia walked away with titles to cap off Thanksgiving holiday tournaments. By Basketball Writer Aaron Beard. UPCOMING: 940 words, photos by 3 a.m.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. —Villanova is making a case to get back into the Top-25. Collin Gillespie had a game-high 17 points, including two key late free throws, and the Wildcats won the AdvoCare Invitational by beating No. 14 Florida State 66-60. By Mark Didtler. SENT: 770 words, photos.
NEW YORK — It was a great week of basketball north of the border with the Vancouver Showcase. Top-ranked Notre Dame won the inaugural Canadian tournament, rallying from a 14-point deficit in the first half to beat No. 9 Oregon State. The Irish remained unbeaten with the 91-81 victory Saturday. The Beavers knocked off No. 13 South Carolina in the semifinals. Facing two national ranked teams will help the Beavers in the long run. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. UPCOMING: 580 words, photos by 3 a.m.
SOC--MLS-NEW YORK-ATLANTA UNITED
ATLANTA —After the final whistle blew, the Atlanta players lingered in the middle of the pitch, doling out hugs and soaking up the cheers of more than 70,000 fans. Everyone knew this was a huge step toward the MLS Cup. Josef Martinez, Franco Escobar and Hector Villalba scored for Atlanta United to lead a 3-0 rout of the Supporters’ Shield-winning New York Red Bulls in the opening leg of the Eastern Conference final Sunday. By Paul Newberry. SENT: 890 words, photos.
— SOC--MLS-SPORTING KC-TIMBERS. By Anne M. Peterson. SENT: 740 words, photos.
— SOC--ENGLISH ROUNDUP —In its second season away from the Champions League, Arsenal is showing signs it intends to return to the elite competition. The Gunners won 2-1 at Bournemouth on Sunday to move within one point of fourth-placed Chelsea and the Champions League spots. By Daniella Matar. SENT: 430 words, photos.
— SOC--COPA LIBERTADORES FINAL — The Copa Libertadores final between Argentine rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate is postponed in a major embarrassment for South American football. The game, which is the continent’s equivalent of Europe’s Champions League final, had already been delayed after Boca’s bus was attacked by River fans. By Luis Andres Henao and Mauricio Savarese. SENT: 540 words, photos.
— SKI--WCUP-WOMEN’S SLALOM — American Mikaela Shiffrin wins another World Cup slalom at Killington, Vt. SENT: 490 words, photos.
— SKI--WCUP-MEN’S SUPER-G —Norwegian tandem has turned the Lake Louise super-G course into their personal playground. SENT: 400 words, photos.
— LUG--WORLD CUP — Germany’s Natalie Geisenberger, Austrian team of Thomas Steu-Lorenz Koller sweep weekend World Cup luge races. SENT: 300 words.
— GLF--WORLD CUP — Belgium hangs on for 3-stroke win at World Cup of GolfBy Dennis Passa. SENT: 530 words, photos.
— GLF--HONG KONG OPEN — Aaron Rai wins first European Tour title in Hong Kong. SENT: 280 words.
CAR--F1-ABU DHABI GP
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — World champion Lewis Hamilton coasts to victory from pole position at the year-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and in doing so equals his personal best for a season with his 11th win of the campaign. Having already secured a fifth F1 title, the British Mercedes driver beat Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel at the Yas Marina circuit to secure the 73rd win of his career. By Jerome Pugmire. SENT: 820 words, photos.
— CAR--F1-FERRARI-VETTEL’S TASK — Beaten Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel knows he must improve next year. SENT: 780 words, photos.
EDMONTON —Terry Williams and Bo Levi Mitchell helped the Calgary Stampeders end their Grey Cup misery. Williams had a Grey Cup-record 97-yard punt return for a touchdown and Calgary beat the Ottawa Redblacks 27-16 on Sunday night after falling short the previous two years in the Canadian Football League title game. SENT: 550 words, photos.
TEN--DAVIS CUP FINAL
LILLE, France — Marin Cilic seals Croatia’s victory over defending champion France in the Davis Cup final with a 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-3 win over Lucas Pouille. Cilic, a former U.S. Open champion, gave Croatia a 3-1 unassailable lead in the best-of-five series on indoor clay in northern France with a ruthless display. By Samuel Petrequin. SENT: 850 words, photos.
— FBN--NFL CAPSULES
— BKN--NBA CAPSULES
— HKN--NHL CAPSULES
— BKC--T25-TOP 25 CAPSULES
— BKW--T25-TOP 25 CAPSULES
Monday Time Schedule (EST)
Tennessee at Houston, 8:15 p.m.
Houston at Washington, 7 p.m.
Milwaukee at Charlotte, 7 p.m.
Minnesota at Cleveland, 7 p.m.
Boston at New Orleans, 8 p.m.
San Antonio at Chicago, 8 p.m.
Indiana at Utah, 9 p.m.
Orlando at Golden State, 10:30 p.m.
Washington at N.Y. Islanders, 7 p.m.
Ottawa at N.Y. Rangers, 7 p.m.
New Jersey at Florida, 7 p.m.
Boston at Toronto, 7 p.m.
Columbus at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.
TOP 25 BASKETBALL
No. 3 Gonzaga vs. North Dakota State, 9 p.m.
No. 15 Mississippi State vs. Alcorn State, 8 p.m.
No. 16 Clemson vs. Nebraska, 7 p.m.
No. 18 TCU vs. Eastern Michigan, 8 p.m.
No. 21 Oregon vs. Texas Southern, 11 p.m.
No. 5 Louisville vs. Miami (Ohio), 7 p.m.
No. 16 DePaul vs. Savannah State, 8 p.m.