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BC-AP Sports Digest

February 27, 2019

The supervisor is Rebecca Miller, followed by John Nicholson at 5 p.m. and Dennis Waszak Jr. 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-sports-weekly-podcast

TOP STORIES

BBN--ROCKIES-ARENADO

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. _ It may not last long, but for now, Colorado’s Nolan Arenado is the highest-paid position player in baseball on a per-year basis. Arenado’s new eight-year deal is the second big-money signing by a mid-sized NL West team in the past week after San Diego landed a $300 million, 10-year deal with San Diego. Bryce Harper remains on the market. Arenado is sticking with the team that first drafted him in the hope of being a fixture in Denver for his entire career. By Tim Booth. SENT: 700 words, photos.

FBN--NFL COMBINE

INDIANAPOLIS _ This is a sandwich year between stellar quarterback classes in 2018 and 2020, so the darlings of this year’s NFL scouting combine are the defensive linemen who will make their living chasing down quarterbacks. By Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton. SENT: 830 words, photos.

With:

_ FBN--STEELERS-BROWN _ Steelers hope to see less of Antonio Brown if they pull off trade. By Michael Marot. SENT: 130 words, photo. UPCOMING: 400 words by 4 p.m.

_ FBN--EAGLES-FOLES _ Eagles agree to let Nick Foles seek starting job in free agency. SENT: 130 words.

_ Other sidebars from combine on merits.

BKN--PELICANS-LAKERS

LOS ANGELES _ Anthony Davis and the Pelicans visit the Lakers for the first time since New Orleans decided not to send its superstar forward to Los Angeles at the trade deadline. Davis was held out of the teams’ meeting last week in New Orleans, and the Pelicans still won. By Greg Beacham. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts at 10:30 p.m.

BBO--LABOR

NEW YORK _ Baseball players and management appear headed to early labor negotiations this year that could lead to economic changes in the collective bargaining agreement, currently set to expire in December 2021. Management is prepared to back off its desire for a pitch clock this year and put off most on-field changes to 2020 at the earliest. By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum. UPCOMING: 600 words by 6 p.m.

BKN--SCHOOL SHOOTING-FLORIDA-WARRIORS

MIAMI _ Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant were on the practice court much longer than usual, and for good reason. Hours before the Golden State Warriors were to face the Miami Heat, the two-time defending NBA champions entertained guests from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High _ where students are still dealing with the aftereffects of the massacre that left 17 at their school dead last year. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 400 words by 5 p.m.

SPORTS SHOWCASE

BBO--MANAGING MILLENNIALS

MESA, Ariz. _ Millennials make up the vast majority of major leaguers today, and their influence is felt all over the sport. They were the earliest adopters of the advanced statistics that have become commonplace throughout baseball, and they inform much of what they do on the mound or at the plate. They want to know the reasoning behind what their coaches want them to do. By Jay Cohen. SENT: 820 words, photos.

NBA

BKN--BLAZERS-CELTICS

BOSTON _ The Boston Celtics return home after their third straight loss to host a Portland Trail Blazers team that has won four in a row. By Kyle Hightower. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts at 8 p.m.

BKN--BUCKS-KINGS

SACRAMENTO, Calif. _ A team that’s been hot on the road runs into one that’s been nearly unbeatable at home of late when the Milwaukee Bucks visit the Sacramento Kings. The Bucks have the NBA’s best record while the Kings have postseason hopes. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts at 10 p.m.

BASEBALL

BBA--ASTROS-REPLACING MARWIN

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. _ Marwin Gonzalez was Houston’s do-everything-utility man for years. Now that Gonzalez has signed with the Twins, the Astros will have to fill that role and know that one man probably won’t be able to do it alone. By Kristie Rieken. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 7 p.m.

Also:

_ Other spring training stories on the Cardinals, Cubs, Nationals.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Men:

BKC--T25-MARQUETTE-VILLANOVA

VILLANOVA, Pa. _ No. 10 Marquette presents a tough challenge for Villanova. Villanova has won two of its five games against ranked opponents this season. Marquette has won its last four games against conference opponents. By Dan Gelston. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts at 9 p.m.

Women:

BKW--T25-POTENTIAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR CANDIDATES

With a few weeks left in the regular season, the college women’s basketball’s player of the year race is wide open. Take your pick: There’s a little of something for everyone with talented post players, guards and wings. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. SENT: 930 words, photos.

NHL

HKN--LIGHTNING-RANGERS

NEW YORK _ Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov and the rest of the Tampa Bay Lightning have won nine in a row and lead the NHL with 100 points. They face the New York Rangers, who start a three-game homestand. By Simmi Buttar. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts at 7:30 p.m.

HKN--FLAMES-DEVILS

NEWARK, N.J. _ The Western Conference-leading Calgary Flames will face a new-look New Jersey Devils, who traded four veterans before the trading deadline and are now using a lineup with a lot of young players who spent a good part of the season in the AHL. By Tom Canavan. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts at 7:05 p.m.

SOCCER

SOC--ENGLISH ROUNDUP

Premier League title rivals Liverpool and Manchester City are separated by one point as they head into home games against Watford and West Ham, respectively. Also, third-place Tottenham visits Chelsea and Manchester United travels to Crystal Palace. By Steve Douglas. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.

Also:

_ SOC--SPANISH ROUNDUP _ Real Madrid hosts Barcelona in the second leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals. The teams drew 1-1 at the Camp Nou three weeks ago. It is the first of two consecutive matches between the teams, who also meet Saturday. By Tales Azzoni. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 7:30 p.m.

_ SOC--RUSSIA-ID CARDS _ Russia outlines plan for soccer fan ID cards. SENT: 400 words.

SOC--WWCUP-WORLD CUP-100 DAYS

The Women’s World Cup countdown has begun in earnest. Wednesday marks 100 days until kickoff for the game’s biggest tournament, opening on June 7 in Paris. The United States is the defending champion, and the top-ranked Americans are also the presumptive favorites this time around. By Anne M. Peterson. SENT: 960 words, photos.

With:

_ SOC--WWCUP-US-FOX _ JP Dellacamera, Aly Wagner to be Fox’s lead team for Women’s World Cup. SENT: 410 words, photos.

OLYMPICS

OLY--GERMANY-ATHLETE ADVERTISING

GENEVA _ In a win for athletes over Olympic restrictions, a German federal agency rules that “abusive” limits on games-time promotional activities should be relaxed. The judgment gives athletes in Germany more rights to earn money when interest peaks in most of their sports. By Graham Dunbar. SENT: 760 words, photos.

GOLF

GLF--HONDA CLASSIC

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. _ Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods are among the golfers who live in the vicinity of PGA National and may very well be home this weekend. They just won’t be playing at the Honda Classic. By Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 4 p.m.

GLF--LPGA SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE _ The LPGA Tour completes its four-week swing through Australia and Asia with a healthy Michelle Wie aiming to defend her title at the HSBC Women’s World Championship at Sentosa Golf Club’s Tanjong course. Wie underwent surgery on her right hand earlier this month because of lingering issues from a car accident two years ago. SENT: 350 words, photo.

OTHER

SKI--NORDIC WORLDS-DOPING RAIDS

SEEFELD, Austria _ Five elite athletes and four others are arrested in doping raids in Austria and Germany amid the Nordic skiing world championships. Austria’s Federal Police Office says the raids targeted “a doping network operating worldwide” and focused on Seefeld, where the championships are taking place. SENT: 460 words, photos.

Also:

_ CAR--F1-TESTING _ Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel crashes in F1 preseason testing SENT: 450 words, photos.

_ Tennis tournaments in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Sao Paulo.

CAPSULES

_ BKN--NBA CAPSULES

_ HKN--NHL CAPSULES

_ BKC--T25-TOP 25 CAPSULES

___

Wednesday Time Schedule (EST)

NBA

Houston at Charlotte, 7 p.m.

Golden State at Miami, 7:30 p.m.

Minnesota at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.

Washington at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.

Chicago at Memphis, 8 p.m.

Portland at Boston, 8 p.m.

Detroit at San Antonio, 8:30 p.m.

Indiana at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

L.A. Clippers at Utah, 9 p.m.

Milwaukee at Sacramento, 10 p.m.

New Orleans at L.A. Lakers, 10:30 p.m.

NHL

Edmonton at Toronto, 7 p.m.

Calgary at New Jersey, 7 p.m.

Tampa Bay at N.Y. Rangers, 7:30 p.m.

Vancouver at Colorado, 9:30 p.m.

Chicago at Anaheim, 10 p.m.

College Basketball (Top 25)

Men

No. 2 Virginia vs. Georgia Tech, 7 p.m.

No. 7 Tennessee at Mississippi, 7 p.m.

No. 8 Houston at East Carolina, 7 p.m.

No. 10 Marquette at Villanova, 9 p.m.

No. 11 Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma State, 7 p.m.

No. 12 Nevada vs. UNLV, 11 p.m.

No. 14 Purdue vs. Illinois, 8:30 p.m.

No. 17 Maryland at Penn State, 6:30 p.m.

No. 23 Cincinnati at SMU, 9 p.m.

Exhibition Baseball

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

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

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

N.Y. Yankees vs. Detroit at Lakeland, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Atlanta vs. St. Louis at Jupiter, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Minnesota vs. Philadelphia at Clearwater, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Boston (ss) vs. Tampa Bay at Port Charlotte, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Miami vs. N.Y. Mets at Port St. Lucie, Fla., 1:10 p.m.

Kansas City vs. San Francisco at Scottsdale, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.

Cincinnati vs. Chicago White Sox at Glendale, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.

Cleveland (ss) vs. Milwaukee at Phoenix, 3:05 p.m.

L.A. Dodgers vs. Oakland at Mesa, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.

Chicago Cubs vs. Texas at Surprise, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.

Seattle vs. Cleveland (ss) at Goodyear, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.

L.A. Angels vs. Colorado at Scottsdale, Ariz., 3:10 p.m.

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