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BC-AP Sports Digest

December 30, 2018

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.

Gracious winners, brave losers and a homecoming queen with a kick top the list of PodcastOne Sports Now’s most heartwarming moments of 2018. Sister Jean, the 99-year-old nun who commanded the Final Four, recounts Loyola’s improbable run and reminds us what we like most about sports. Listen at podcastonesports.com, the podcastone app and apple podcasts. https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast

TOP STORIES

FBN--COLTS-TITANS

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A berth in the AFC playoffs is on the line, with the loser home for the postseason, when the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts meet in the NFL’s final game of the regular season. Also, with a victory over the Titans, the Colts’ Andrew Luck can become the first quarterback since at least 1970 to win his first 11 games against an opponent. By Pro Football Writer Teresa M. Walker. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 8:20 p.m.

With:

— FBN--WEEK 17-THE LATEST — Real-time updates throughout day.

— FBN--PLAYOFF PICTURE. Upcoming by 9 p.m., then updated after Colts-Titans game.

FBN--BEARS-VIKINGS

MINNEAPOLIS — NFC North champion Chicago visits Minnesota, where the Vikings are still trying in Week 17 to secure a spot in the playoffs with the looming possibility of a postseason rematch with the Bears the following week. By Pro Football Writer Dave Campbell. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 4:25 p.m.

FBN--BROWNS-RAVENS

BALTIMORE — It all comes down to this for the Baltimore Ravens: With a victory over the Cleveland Browns, they win the AFC North and end a three-year playoff drought. By David Ginsburg. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 4:25 p.m.

BKC--T25-TOP 25 REWIND

RALEIGH, N.C. — No. 16 Kentucky looks like it has made some significant gains since that opening-night blowout loss to Duke. The Wildcats are coming off a win at rival Louisville. By Aaron Beard. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 5 p.m.

COMMENTARY

FBN--CFP-ON FOOTBALL-NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

Before this installment of Alabama-Clemson is even played, know that Part 5 of college football’s epic championship series already is in production. With quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa and Trevor Lawrence in the fold for next season, go ahead and pencil Alabama and Clemson in for the 2019 title game, too. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 840 words, photos.

With:

— FBC--CFP-CHAMPIONSHIP — College Football Playoff: Alabama, Clemson again for title. By Stephen Hawkins. SENT: 650 words, photos.

— FBC--CFP-SEMIFINAL TV RATINGS — Lopsided games, schedule drag down CFP television ratings. SENT: 250 words, photos.

YEAR-END STORIES

YE--SPORTS QUIRKS

Sports traveled to unconventional places in 2018: Golfer Vijay Singh settled his lawsuit with the PGA Tour over his use of deer antler spray; the head of cybersecurity for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics does not know how to use a computer; and the NHL admonished a player for licking opponents. By Fred Lief. SENT: 960 words, photos.

YE--EMERGING STARS

Some of the names you may not know now but might by the end of 2019: third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the son of a Hall of Famer who most likely makes his big-league debut for Toronto next season; Toby Miller, a teenage snowboarder tutored by Shaun White; and Stanford defender Tierna Davidson, who might make the U.S. women’s national team for the 2019 World Cup. By Pat Graham. SENT: 800 words, photos.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

FBC--MIAMI-RICHT RETIRES

CORAL GALBES, Fla. — Mark Richt steps down as Miami coach, an announcement that catches the school off-guard and comes just days after the end of an underachieving season. The 58-year-old Richt says he was not forced out, and that the decision to retire was his. By Tim Reynolds. SENT: 450 words. UPCOMING: 700 words by 7 p.m.

Also:

— FBC--HOUSTON-APPLEWHITE FIRED — Houston fires coach Major Applewhite after 2 seasons. SENT: 150 words.

FBC--ROSE BOWL-QBs

PASADENA, Calif. — The Rose Bowl will be the final collegiate game for Washington’s Jake Browning. Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins still hasn’t announced if Tuesday’s contest will be his last. By Joe Reedy. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 7 p.m.

Monday Bowls:

FBC--GATOR BOWL PREVIEW

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — No. 21 Texas A&M and North Carolina State meet for the first time in the Gator Bowl, with both looking to end the season on a four-game winning streak. By Mark Long. UPCOMING: 600 words by 6 p.m. With capsule.

FBC--LIBERTY BOWL PREVIEW

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Missouri quarterback Drew Lock seeks to end his prolific career on the right note by leading his team to a fifth straight victory when the 24th-ranked Tigers face Oklahoma State in the Liberty Bowl. By Steve Megargee. UPCOMING: 700 words by 6 p.m. With capsule.

Also:

— FBC--MILITARY BOWL PREVIEW — Cincinnati (10-2) vs. Virginia Tech (6-6), in Annapolis, Maryland. By David Ginsburg. UPCOMING: 740 words, photos by 5 p.m. With capsule.

— FBC--SUN BOWL PREVIEW — Stanford (8-4) vs. Pittsburgh (7-6) in El Paso, Texas. UPCOMING: 600 words by 7 p.m. With capsule.

— FBC--REDBOX BOWL PREVIEW — Michigan State (7-5) vs. Oregon (8-4) in Santa Clara, California. By Josh Dubow. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 5 p.m. With capsule.

— FBC--HOLIDAY BOWL PREVIEW — Northwestern (8-5) vs. Utah (9-4) in San Diego. By Bernie Wilson. UPCOMING: 600 words by 8 p.m. With capsule.

OTHER

MMA--PROFESSIONAL FIGHTERS LEAGUE

Olympic judo gold medalist Kayla Harrison can take another step toward one day staking claim as the best female fighter in mixed martial arts in her headline fight at PFL 11. Harrison competes in a 155-pound bout on Monday night at the Hulu Theatre in Madison Square Garden. The Professional Fighters League season wraps on New Year’s Eve with six championship fights and a $1 million prize awarded to each winner. By Dan Gelston. SENT: 780 words.

Also:

— SOC--ENGLISH ROUNDUP — Manchester City tries to bounce back from two straight losses when it visits resurgent Southampton in the Premier League, with Chelsea also needing a win in the early game against Crystal Palace to avoid losing more ground to leader Liverpool. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tries to extend his perfect start at Manchester United with a win against Bournemouth. Burnley hosts West Ham. By Mattias Karen. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 3 p.m. With separates on four games.

— TEN--HOPMAN CUP — Roger Feders starts preparation for his Australian Open title defense in style with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Cameron Norrie as Switzerland beats Britain at the Hopman Cup. SENT: 420 words, photos.

CAPSULES

— FBN--NFL CAPSULES

— BKN--NBA CAPSULES

— BKW--T25-TOP 25 CAPSULES

___

Sunday Time Schedule (EST)

NFL

Miami at Buffalo, 1 p.m.

Atlanta at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.

Jacksonville at Houston, 1 p.m.

Dallas at N.Y. Giants, 1 p.m.

Detroit at Green Bay, 1 p.m.

N.Y. Jets at New England, 1 p.m.

Carolina at New Orleans, 1 p.m.

Arizona at Seattle, 4:25 p.m.

L.A. Chargers at Denver, 4:25 p.m.

Oakland at Kansas City, 4:25 p.m.

San Francisco at L.A. Rams, 4:25 p.m.

Philadelphia at Washington, 4:25 p.m.

Chicago at Minnesota, 4:25 p.m.

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh, 4:25 p.m.

Cleveland at Baltimore, 4:25 p.m.

Indianapolis at Tennessee, 8:20 p.m.

NBA

Detroit at Orlando, 3:30 p.m.

Minnesota at Miami, 6 p.m.

Chicago at Toronto, 6 p.m.

Oklahoma City at Dallas, 7 p.m.

Philadelphia at Portland, 9 p.m.

Sacramento at L.A. Lakers, 9:30 p.m.

NHL

Vegas at Arizona, 8 p.m.

College Basketball (Top 25)

Men

No. 2 Michigan vs. Binghamton, Noon

Women

No. 2 Notre Dame vs. Lehigh, 1 p.m.

No. 8 Mississippi State vs. Louisiana-Lafayette, 3 p.m.

No. 9 N.C. State vs. Davidson, 2 p.m.

No. 10 Tennessee vs. Belmont, 2 p.m.

No. 14 California vs. Harvard, 5 p.m.

No. 16 Iowa at No. 21 Michigan State, 1 p.m.

No. 17 Arizona State at Arizona, 7 p.m.

No. 24 Miami vs. Central Michigan, 4 p.m.

No. 25 South Carolina vs. Furman, 2 p.m.

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