BC-AP Sports Digest
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The miss by Bears kicker Cody Parkey won’t be easily forgotten in Chicago. Co-hosts Jim Litke and Tim Dahlberg discuss on AP’s PodcastOne Sports Now why kickers are so expendable, and yet so vital in a league that doesn’t seem to value them nearly enough. https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast
FBN--COLTS-CHIEFS- STAR POWER
KANSAS CITY, Mo. _ The Colts-Chiefs game in Saturday’s divisional playoff is loaded with offensive firepower, extending far beyond star quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Patrick Mahomes. By Dave Skretta. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. _ In a No. 1 vs. No. 2 women’s showdown, top-ranked Notre Dame plays Louisville. Louisville, led by Asia Durr, is unbeaten but still eyeing a signature victory. Last year, Notre Dame was stung by the Cardinals, losing by 33 points. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 7 p.m.
Lindsey Vonn, with yet another knee injury behind her and a milestone within reach, is determined to retire on her terms. The three-time Olympic medalist is set to resume her pursuit of the World Cup wins record. She is four victories shy of Ingemar Stenmark’s mark of 86. By Eric Willemsen. SENT: 650 words, photos.
VATICAN CITY _ The Vatican has formed a track team to compete in international event, hoping sports can be an instrument of dialogue, peace and solidarity. The team has about 60 runners _ Swiss Guards, priests, nuns, pharmacists and even a 62-year-old professor. By Nicole Winfield. SENT: 600 words, photos.
TEN--AUSTRALIAN OPEN-SERENA & ROGER
It was a terrific moment in a meaningless exhibition _ Serena Williams and Roger Federer sharing a court in mixed doubles for the first _ and only? _ time. They showered praise on each other and posed for a selfie. Both are 37, raising a question that will be a backdrop at the Australian Open. What happens when these two are gone? By Tennis Writer Howard Fendrich. SENT:800 words, photos. Replaces TEN--AUSTRALIAN OPEN-PREVIEW.
_ TEN--AUSTRALIAN OPEN-WOMEN’S CAPSULES _ By Howard Fendrich. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.
_ TEN--AUSTRALIAN OPEN-MEN’S CAPSULES _ By Howard Fendrich. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.
_ TEN--AUSTRALIAN OPEN-TRIVIA QUIZ _ By Howard Fendrich. SENT: 700 words, photos.
_ TEN--AUSTRALIAN OPEN GLANCE _ SENT: 400 words.
The Eagles have St. Nick, who hasn’t failed them in the most clutch situations. But New Orleans has a whole bunch of Saints. Picks for this weekend’s four NFL playoff games. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 600 words, graphic.
FBN--NFL THIS WEEK
NFL teams buck for a playoff bye all season. Then people wonder if those four lucky clubs are going to be rusty come the divisional round. The answer becomes clear when the Chiefs, Patriots, Saints and Rams begin postseason play this weekend. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. UPCOMING: 950 words, photos by 5 p.m. For weekend use.
FRISCO, Texas _ Now that Dak Prescott has his first postseason win, the Cowboys quarterback will try to help Dallas cross another hurdle _ getting past the divisional round for the first time in 23 years. By Pro Football Writer Schuyler Dixon. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 8 p.m.
_ FBN--RAMS-WHITWORTH _ By Joe Reedy. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 8 p.m.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. _ Patriots cornerback Jason McCourty went nine seasons without appearing in a playoff game with Tennessee and Cleveland. Now he’ll get his first taste of postseason football during Sunday’s divisional round, playing alongside twin brother Devin. By Kyle Hightower. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.
_ FBN--CHARGERS-DEFENDING BRADY _ By Joe Reedy. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 8 p.m.
PHILADELPHIA _ When injuries ravaged the secondary, the Eagles turned to inexperienced guys and castoffs. The no-names are making themselves known. By Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.
_ Preview capsules on four weekend games.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. _ The Broncos now have a 60-year-old rookie head coach in Vic Fangio as Vance Joseph’s successor. But the bigger name is Gary Kubiak, who is returning as offensive coordinator two years after leaving for health reasons. By Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton. SENT: 170 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m.
_ FBN--FALCONS-QUINN _ By Charles Odum. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 3 p.m.
_ FBN--JETS-HERNDON ARREST _ SENT: 120 words.
HONOLULU _ Jordan Spieth makes his 2019 debut as the Sony Open begins with the first full field of the year. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 7 p.m.
TEN--AUSTRALIAN OPEN DRAW
MELBOURNE, Australia _ Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic _ both with six Australian Open titles _ are in opposite sides of the draw for the year’s first major. Serena William, a seven-time winner, is seeded No. 16 but a strong contender. She skipped last year’s tournament after having a baby. By John Pye. SENT: 700 words, photos. With seedings list.
MADRID _ Twenty-eight pro tennis players, including one unidentified player from last year’s U.S. Open, have been linked to an international group accused of fixing matches, Spanish police say. The players are said to have taken bribes from an Armenian ring that was dismantled in October. By Tales Azzoni. SENT: 400 words.
_ Australian Open tuneups in Australia (Sydney, Hobart) and New Zealand.
DENVER _ The Nuggets, with the best record in the Western Conference, return home to face a Los Angeles Clippers team that has won three in a row and trails Golden State by 2 1/2 games in the Pacific Division. Denver has won 10 straight at home. By Pat Graham. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 9 p.m.
BKC--WAKE FOREST’S WOES
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. _ Little has gone right for coach Danny Manning and Wake Forest in a season marked by surprising home losses to Houston Baptist and Gardner-Webb. What’s more, the heart of the ACC schedule is still to come. By Joedy McCreary. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 4 p.m.
_ Lookaheads to this week’s play in Big Ten, Big 12.
BKL--WNBA MOCK DRAFT
NEW YORK _ The AP polls a panel of WNBA coaches and general managers for a mock draft of the two rounds this spring. The top three picks are Teaira McCowan (Mississippi State), Asia Durr (Louisville) and Kalani Brown (Baylor). By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. SENT: 850 words, photos.
Stanford’s Tierna Davidson skipped her senior year to enter the NWSL draft. The defender, a candidate to play for the U.S. at this year’s World Cup in France, will see where she lands Thursday. The Chicago Red Stars hold the first pick. By Anne M. Peterson. SENT: 150 words, photos. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 7 p.m.
_ SOC--ITALIAN SUPER COUP-SAUDI ARABIA _ Qatari broadcaster asks Italy to move game from Saudi Arabia. By Global Soccer Writer Rob Harris. SENT: 550 words, photos.
_ BBN--NATIONALS-DOZIER _ Second baseman Brian Dozier, Nationals agree to $9 million, one-year deal, the AP is told. By Howard Fendrich. SENT: 300 words, photos.
_ BBN--GIANTS-BALLPARK NAME _ Giants change stadium name to Oracle Park. By Baseball Writer Janie McCauley. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 8 p.m.
_ FBC--BEAR BRYTANT AWARD _ Dabo Swinney, Nick Saban among seven finalists for Bear Bryant Award, given to top college football coach. UPCOMING: 150 words by 10 p.m.
_ FBC--WEST VIRGINIA-BROWN _ Neal Brown introduced as West Virginia’s coach. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 5 p.m.
_ PEOPLE-RAISMAN-BROKEN ELBOW _ Olympic champion gymnast Aly Raisman breaks elbow in fall on stairs. SENT: 130 words, photos.
_ SPD--NETHERLANDS-KNEGT _ Dutch Olympic short-track speedskating silver medalist seriously burned after clothes catch fire at home. SENT: 130 words, photos.
_ OLY--RUSSIAN DOPING _ WADA starts work on copying doping data in Moscow lab. SENT: 350 words, photos.
_ OLY--YOSHIDA RETIRES _ Japanese three-time Olympic wrestling champ retires at 36. By Jim Armstrong. SENT: 350 words, photos.
_ CAR--NASCAR-MOFFITT HIRED _ Truck Series champion Bret Moffitt hired at GMS Racing, costing another star driver his ride. By Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. SENT: 500 words, photos.
_ SKI--WCUP-WINNER DISQUALIFIED _ German skier stripped of World Cup win for oxygen tank use. SENT: 150 words.
_ RAC--KENTUCKY DERBY-PURSE _ Kentucky Derby purse up to $3 million; first boost in 14 years. SENT: 180 words.
_ PURDUE FAN-THREATS _ FBI investigating death threats against family of late Purdue superfan, cancer activist. SENT: 140 words.
_ BKN--NBA CAPSULES
_ HKN--NHL CAPSULES
_ BKC--TOP 25 CAPSULES
_ BKW--TOP 25 CAPSULES
Thursday Time Schedule (EST)
Boston at Miami, 7 p.m.
L.A. Clippers at Denver, 9 p.m.
Oklahoma City at San Antonio, 9:30 p.m.
Detroit at Sacramento, 10 p.m.
Nashville at Columbus, 7 p.m.
N.Y. Islanders at N.Y. Rangers, 7 p.m.
Washington at Boston, 7 p.m.
Toronto at New Jersey, 7 p.m.
Dallas at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Carolina at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.
Montreal at St. Louis, 8 p.m.
Winnipeg at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Florida at Edmonton, 9 p.m.
Arizona at Vancouver, 10 p.m.
San Jose at Vegas, 10 p.m.
Ottawa at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.
College Basketball (Top 25)
No. 2 Michigan at Illinois, 8 p.m.
No. 5 Gonzaga vs. Pacific, 11 p.m.
No. 1 Notre Dame vs. No. 2 Louisville, 7 p.m.
No. 7 Mississippi State vs. Georgia, 9 p.m.
No. 8 N.C. State vs. Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
No. 13 Tennessee vs. No. 16 Kentucky, 7 p.m.
No. 17 Iowa at Purdue, 8 p.m.
No. 21 South Carolina vs. Florida, 7 p.m.
No. 25 Indiana at Ohio State, 6 p.m.