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BC-AP Sports Digest

December 26, 2018
BC-AP Sports Digest,1537

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(at)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 heart-warming moments of 2018. Sister Jean, the 99-year-old nun who stole the show at the Final Four, recounts Loyola’s improbable run to the Final Four 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



FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa were on the awards circuit with one another earlier this month. Fitting, then, that they’ll share another stage Saturday, when the star quarterbacks face off in the Orange Bowl for a berth in the national championship game. By Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 5 p.m.


— FBC--CFP--COTTON BOWL-WIMBUSH — Brandon Wimbush preps as Notre Dame QB in CFP before maybe leaving. By Stephen Hawkins. SENT: 420 words, photo.

— FBC--CFP--COTTON BOWL-DEXTER LAWRENCE — Clemson preparing to face Notre Dame without star DT Dexter Lawrence. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 420 words, photo.


DALLAS — These are odd times to be a defensive coordinator in college football. Offenses have never been better and offensive coordinators are far more likely to work their way up to head coach in recent years. Oklahoma made the playoff after firing its defensive coordinator this season. But if you have some success, like Brent Venables of Clemson, the pay has soared to more than $2 million per year. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 7 p.m.


Serena Williams has been voted Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year for the fifth time. Williams reached the finals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open after a remarkable return to tennis. That came after she needed four surgeries after developing blood clots after giving birth to her daughter. Williams trails only six-time winner Babe Didrikson Zaharias for most AP honors among women. By Brian Mahoney. SENT: 800 words, photos.


For all the excitement over the likes of Patrick Mahomes and Baker Mayfield, two of the baby-faced, new-age quarterbacks bringing their spread DNA from college towns to NFL cities, old standbys had a major say in the playoff pecking order. Such guys as Aaron Donald, J.J. Watt, Khalil Mack, Travis Kelce, Kyle Fuller, and Adam Vinatieri. By Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton. SENT: 800 words, photos. Part of a series of season-ending NFL stories.


LAS VEGAS — In the heart of college-football mad Mississippi, a Native American tribe earlier this year became the first to open a sports book on tribal lands outside Nevada following a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Tribes cheered the end of a ban on sports betting, but months later, only two tribes have opened sports books as the regulatory challenges and low-margin nature of the business have prompted them to carefully weigh whether their casinos truly need the amenity. By Regina Garcia Cano. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.



MIAMI — Toronto, which has the NBA’s best record at 25-10, takes on the league’s hottest team, Miami, which has won five straight to claw back to the .500 mark. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 7:30 p.m.



KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The one constant all season for the Kansas City Chiefs has been the one thing that nobody was certain about entering the season: Patrick Mahomes. By Dave Skretta. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m.


OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Lamar Jackson gets most of the headlines, yet he’s merely one of several rookies whose contributions have brought the Ravens to the cusp of a playoff berth as AFC North champions. By David Ginsburg. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 4 p.m.


Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger can be the first player in team history to lead the league in yards passing. The 15-year veteran, however, is more focused on trying to find a way to keep Pittsburgh’s playoff hopes alive. By Will Graves. UPCOMING: 600 words by 6 p.m.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Marcus Mariota’s status for a game is in question yet again after being knocked out of his third game this season. The Titans have added an extra quarterback in Austin Davis even as they hope an extra day before Sunday night’s finale against Indianapolis helps Mariota start a must-win game to reach the playoffs. By Pro Football Writer Teresa M. Walker. UPCOMING: 550 words, photos by 7 p.m.


— FBN--BEARS-FINE TUNING. By Andrew Seligman. UPCOMING: 600 words by 8 p.m.

— FBN--CARDINALS-SWEARINGER. By Bob Baum. UPCOMING: 600 words by 8 p.m.

— FBN--DENVER’S DIVE. By Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton. SENT: 750 words, photos.

— FBN--DOLPHINS-TANNEHILL. By Steven Wine. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 6 p.m.

— FBN--GIANTS-MANNING. By Tom Canavan. SENT: 720 words, photos.

— FBN--JAGUARS-BORTLES. By Mark Long. SENT: 630 words, photos.

— FBN--PRO PICKS. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 670 words, graphic.

— FBN--POWER RANKINGS. By Simmi Buttar. SENT: 520 words, photos.



EUGENE, Ore. — Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert says he’ll return for his senior season. Herbert announced his decision before the Ducks left Eugene for the Redbox Bowl. SENT: 250 words, photo.

Wednesday Games:


DALLAS — No. 23 Boise State seeks its second straight 11-win season in the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl against Boston College at historic Cotton Bowl Stadium. BC is looking for the first eight-win season under Steve Addazio. By Schuyler Dixon. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game started 1:30 p.m.


DETROIT — Paul Johnson simply wants some time off. And he’s about to get it. The 61-year-old coach will lead Georgia Tech for the final time against Minnesota in the Quick Lane Bowl. By Larry Lage. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 5:15 p.m.


PHOENIX — California and TCU play in what’s expected to be a defense-dominated Cheez-It Bowl. By John Marshall. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 7 p.m.

Thursday Games:


SHREVEPORT, La. — Duke and Temple meet for the first time on the football field when they play in the Independence Bowl. The Blue Devils are trying to end the season with a positive after a disappointing last half of the year. Temple is trying to earn its ninth win despite losing coach Geoff Collins to Georgia Tech after the regular season. By David Brandt. SENT: 750 words, photos. With capsule.


NEW YORK — Take me out to the bowl game! Yankee Stadium again serves as home of the Pinstripe Bowl when Miami plays Wisconsin. By Dan Gelston. SENT: 710 words, photos. With capsule.


HOUSTON — The Baylor Bears, winners of just one game last season, look for their seventh victory when they meet Vanderbilt in the Texas Bowl. By Kristie Rieken. UPCOMING: 600 words by 6 p.m. With capsule.



LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas State was supposed to have the best chance of ending Kansas’ run of consecutive Big 12 titles. Then, the Wildcats lost preseason player of the year Dean Wade to an injury. Can they still give the Jayhawks a run? Or can someone else step up? By Dave Skretta. SENT: 770 words, photos.


The Big Ten’s expanded schedule is shaping up to be quite a grind now that the league has six teams in the Top 25. Big Ten men’s basketball teams are playing 20 conference games each this season. By Noah Trister. SENT: 820 words, photos.

— Previews for the SEC and ACC (Thursday) and Pac-12 (Friday) are moving later in the week.



LONDON — Liverpool looks to maintain its four-point lead at the top of the Premier League by beating Newcastle at Anfield. Second-placed Manchester City travels to Leicester, while third-placed Tottenham hosts Bournemouth at Wembley. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer takes charge of a home game for the first time as Manchester United coach when his side takes on Huddersfield. By Tony Jimenez. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 3 p.m. With separates on Wednesday’s nine EPL games.




Wednesday Time Schedule (EST)


Phoenix at Orlando, 7 p.m.

Washington at Detroit, 7 p.m.

Charlotte at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.

Indiana at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.

Toronto at Miami, 7:30 p.m.

Cleveland at Memphis, 8 p.m.

Minnesota at Chicago, 8 p.m.

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

New Orleans at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

Sacramento at L.A. Clippers, 10:30 p.m.

College Football

SERVPRO First Responder Bowl at Dallas: Boston College vs. Boise State, 1:30 p.m.

Quick Lane Bowl at Detroit: Minnesota vs. Georgia Tech, 5:15 p.m.

Cheez-It Bowl at Phoenix: California vs. TCU, 9 p.m.

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