BC-AP Sports Digest
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From Mack Brown to Neal Brown, college football’s coaching carousel keeps spinning. On the latest AP Top 25 College Football Podcast, Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated joins AP’s Ralph Russo to discuss the comings and goings of coaches. https://www.podcastone.com/AP-Top-25-College-Football-Podcast
PodcastOne Sports Now co-hosts Jim Litke and Tim Dahlberg discuss the latest doings in the NFL, the upcoming heavyweight title fight between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury and the college football season coming into sharper focus. Listen at podcastonesports.com, the podcastone app and apple podcasts. https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast
ARLINGTON, Texas — Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints go for an 11th straight win and a shot at wrapping up the NFC South when they face Dallas. The Cowboys have won three in a row and are trying to stay in first in the NFC East. By Pro Football Writer Schuyler Dixon. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 8:20 p.m.
TORONTO — The Raptors play the Warriors in a game Klay Thompson says might be a “preview of June.” Toronto has the league’s best record and has won six in a row. Golden State, the two-time defending champion, is no longer even first in its division and will again be without Stephen Curry. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 8 p.m.
FBC--NOT ENOUGH BOWLS
Army is ranked for the first time in 22 years but not yet guaranteed a bowl game. BYU, another independent with a huge national following, is in a similar spot. For the third straight season there will be more bowl-eligible teams than available bowl bids. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 4 p.m.
BKO--NBA’S AFRICA PLAY
SALY, Senegal — The NBA has big hopes for Africa, which has more than a billion people, a growing economy and a young urban population. The league has an office in South Africa and plays exhibition games on the continent. Now it is creating an African league with existing pro clubs. By Ken Maguire. SENT: 950 words, photos.
FBC--T25-SEC CHAMPIONSHIP-ALABAMA’S OFFENSE
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Kirby Smart’s Alabama defenses routinely practiced against Heisman-winning running backs and NFL-bound wide receivers. Still, the Georgia coach never saw a collection of offensive weapons quite like this during his days as the top-ranked Tide’s defensive coordinator. By John Zenor. SENT: 750 words, photos.
— FBC--T25-ACC CHAMPIONSHIP-CLEMSON’S DEFENSIVE FRONT — By Pete Iacobelli. SENT: 750 words, photos.
FBC--T25-RED RIVER REMATCH
ARLINGTON, Texas — Former Texas defensive end Cory Redding would have loved another shot at Oklahoma, especially in 2001 when the Longhorns’ only loss before the Big 12 title game was to their rival. But back then was no chance for a Red River rematch as there now will be for the league title. By Stephen Hawkins. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 5 p.m.
FBC--T25-BAD SOONERS DEFENSE — By Cliff Brunt. SENT: 600 words, photos.
FBC--T25-PAC 12 CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — While other conferences will hold championship games that will help determine the field for the College Football Playoff, the prize in the Pac-12 title game will be a more traditional one with a spot in the Rose Bowl. By Josh Dubow. SENT: 700 words, photos.
— FBC--T25-PAC 12 CHAMPIONSHIP-HANSEN — SENT: 700 words, photos.
— FBC--FCS PLAYOFFS-QUARTERBACK U — By Dave Kolpack. SENT: 650 words, photos.
— FBC--EAST CAROLINA-MONTGOMERY FIRED — SENT: 400 words.
FBN--NFL THIS WEEK
Two NFL rivalries that have lost some power are in play this weekend. Chiefs vs. Raiders dates to the AFL, but oddsmakers see Oakland getting routed at home. Seahawks vs. 49ers is a more recent rivalry, but Seattle is retooling and San Francisco rebuilding. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 1,700 words, photos. For weekend use. To be sent after Saints-Cowboys game.
COSTA MESA, Calif. — Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger — Class of 2004 quarterbacks — meet Sunday night when the Chargers face the Steelers. Rivers is coming off the most accurate game in NFL history but is intent on a Super Bowl, where Roethlisberger has been three times. By Joe Reedy. UPCOMING. 700 words, photos by 8 p.m.
BEREA, Ohio — Lost in the back-and-forth drama between Baker Mayfield and former coach Hue Jackson is this: Cleveland’s rookie quarterback had a sensational November, leading the Browns to two wins and completing 74 percent of his passes. By Tom Withers. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos.
— FBN--CHIEFS-RIVALS — By Dave Skretta. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.
— FBN--TITANS’ DEFENSE — By Pro Football Writer Teresa M. Walker. UPCOMING: 550 words, photo by 6 p.m.
— FBN--UNDISCIPLINED JAGUARS — By Mark Long. SENT: 750 words, photos.
— FBN--INSIDE THE NUMBERS — By Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi. SENT: 700 words, photos.
NASSAU, Bahamas — Tiger Woods, in his first 72-hole event since winning the Tour Championship, leads an 18-man field of top players at the Hero World Challenge. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.
— GLF--AUSTRALIAN PGA — Marc Leishman, looking for first pro victory at home, is two shots off lead after first round of Australian PGA. SENT: 400 words, photos.
— GLF--MAURITIUS OPEN — Victor Perez, a graduate from Challenge Tour, tied for lead after first round of European Tour play on Indian Ocean island. SENT: 200 words.
TAMPA, Fla. — The Sabres put their 10-game winning streak on the line against the Tampa Bay Lightning, who have won three of four on a five-game homestand. Buffalo and Toronto are tied for the most points in the league. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 7:30 p.m.
— HKN--WAIVERS — Goalie moves: Hurricanes put Scott Darling on waivers; Coyotes claim Calvin Pickard. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. SENT: 250 words, photos.
SPOKANE, Wash. — No. 1 Gonzaga enters the toughest remaining stretch of its nonconference schedule without two key players. Forward Killian Tillie and guard Geno Crandall are both out for at least the next month after injuries during practice. By Nicholas K. Geranios. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 8 p.m.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — No. 1 Notre Dame hosts No. 14 Iowa in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, with the Fighting Irish awaiting a weekend showdown with No. 2 UConn. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts 7 p.m.
HARRISON, N.J. — The New York Red Bulls try to become the first team to overturn a three-goal deficit in the second leg of an MLS playoff after losing last weekend’s opener 3-0 at Atlanta. By Ronald Blum. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 7:30 p.m.
SOC--TIMBERS-SPORTING -SPORTING KC
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Portland Timbers play at the Sporting Kansas City in the return leg of the Western Conference finals. The first leg was a scoreless draw. By Dave Skretta. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 8:30 p.m.
The Stanford women’s soccer team has a 45-match unbeaten streak, but this season came with a few challenges. By Anne M. Peterson. UPCOMING: 500 words by 7 p.m.
— SOC--SPANISH LEAGUE-US — Spanish league sues its federation in attempt to play regular-season match in Miami. By Tales Azzoni. SENT: 550 words, photos.
— SOC--EUROPA LEAGUE ROUNDUP — Dynamo Kiev advances to knockout stage of Europa League. By Karel Janicek. SENT: 200 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m.
— SOC--UKRAINE-EUROPA LEAGUE — Ukrainian club says Europa League game against Arsenal will proceed in Kiev amid martial law elsewhere in country. SENT: 130 words.
TOKYO — After finding the 2026 Winter Olympics a tough sell, the IOC finally has two bidders who are all in: Stockholm and the Italian entry of Milan and Cortina d’ Ampezzo. This marks a return to a traditional venue after Sochi, Pyeongchang and Beijing in 2022. By Stephen Wade. SENT: 750 words, photos.
— OLY--SHEIKH AHMAD — Kuwaiti sheikh fighting criminal case in Switzerland is praised by IOC president. By Stephen Wade. SENT: 300 words, photos.
BKO--BASKETBALL SAVES THE WORLD
NEW YORK — Basketball is moving from the court to the classroom at NYU, though students won’t be tested on dribbling or shooting. The professor running the course is taken by the game’s allure from New Jersey to China. Basketball, he says, is one of the few things everybody can get behind. By Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney. SENT: 900 words, photos.
LA RIOJA, Argentina — The U.S., close to clinching a berth in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, plays at Argentina in a matchup of the two best teams in their qualifying group. UPCOMING: 650 words by 10 p.m. Game starts 7:30 p.m.
BEAVER CREEK, Colo. — Season after season, Austria’s Marcel Hirscher felt a mountain of pressure to constantly defend his overall World Cup title. This season, not so much. Fatherhood changed that. And now he’s contemplating his future on the slopes. By Pat Graham. SENT: 750 words, photos.
— FIG--GP FINAL-HANYU — Olympic figure skating champion Yuzuru Hanyu to miss Grand Prix Final because of ankle injury. SENT: 150 words, photos.
— BKN--NBA CAPSULES
— HKN--NHL CAPSULES
— SOC--MLS PLAYOFF CAPSULES
— BKW--T25-TOP 25 CAPSULES
Thursday Time Schedule (EST)
New Orleans at Dallas, 8:20 p.m.
Golden State at Toronto, 8 p.m.
Indiana at L.A. Lakers, 10:30 p.m.
L.A. Clippers at Sacramento, 10:30 p.m.
N.Y. Islanders at Boston, 7 p.m.
Minnesota at Columbus, 7 p.m.
N.Y. Rangers at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.
Buffalo at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.
Chicago at Winnipeg, 8 p.m.
Arizona at Nashville, 8 p.m.
Los Angeles at Edmonton, 9 p.m.
Vegas at Vancouver, 10 p.m.
Atlanta at New York, 7:30 p.m.
Portland at Sporting Kansas City, 9:30 p.m.
College Basketball (Top 25)
No. 1 Notre Dame vs. No. 14 Iowa, 7 p.m.
No. 5 Louisville vs. Nebraska, 7 p.m.
No. 7 Maryland vs. Georgia Tech, 6:30 p.m.
No. 12 Syracuse at No. 20 Minnesota, 8:30 p.m.
No. 13 N.C. State vs. Michigan, 7 p.m.
No. 17 Texas A&M vs. Lamar, noon
No. 21 Miami at Purdue, 7 p.m.