BC-AP Sports Digest
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The NFL has an officiating problem. PodcastOne Sports Now guest host Rob Maaddi and AP Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner discuss the blown call that cost the Saints a Super Bowl trip. AP Deputy Sports Editor Oskar Garcia weighs in on the NFL’s attempt to ban certain bets, and AP Baseball Writer Ben Walker considers free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.
Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray is considering a football career instead of baseball, but what kind of NFL prospect is the undersized quarterback? On the latest AP Top 25 College Football Podcast, ESPN’s Tom Luginbill joins AP’s Ralph Russo to discuss Murray’s choice.
GLF--FARMERS INSURANCE OPEN
SAN DIEGO _ Tiger Woods makes his 2019 debut at the Farmers Insurance Open against a field that includes Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth. Woods’ last tour start was four months ago, a victory at the season-ending Tour Championship. The eight-time winner at Torrey tied for 23rd last year. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 8 p.m.
MELBOURNE, Australia _ Still just 21, Naomi Osaka is on the verge of a second consecutive major championship. And the No. 1 ranking, too. The U.S. Open winner faces two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova on Saturday. By Tennis Writer Howard Fendrich. SENT: 850 words, photos.
BBO--REVISED ROSTER RULES
NEW YORK _ Major League Baseball has proposed going back to a 15-day disabled list and increasing the time optioned players usually must spend in the minors, the AP is told. The moves are aimed at reducing the use of relief pitchers and reviving offense. By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum. SENT: 600 words, photos.
The starters and captains for the NBA All-Star Game are announced, with LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo the likely leaders to pick the rosters for the Feb. 17 showcase in Charlotte, N.C. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 8 p.m.
FBN--SUPER BOWL-LEWIS RETURNS
ATLANTA _ Ray Lewis is throwing a huge Super Bowl party. It comes 18 years after he pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in the stabbing deaths of two men after the last Super Bowl in Atlanta. By Charles Odum. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 5 p.m.
SAN DIEGO _ SailGP, the new sailing league founded by tech billionaire Larry Ellison of Oracle Corp. and five-time America’s Cup winner Russell Coutts, begins next month with a regatta at Sydney Harbor. It will feature the world’s fastest sailboats, 50-foot catamarans going more than 50 mph. By Bernie Wilson. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
BKN--ON BASKETBALL-HARDEN’S RUN
What James Harden has done in his last five games is astounding by any measure. He’s averaging 52.2 points _ none of them off an assist. Now, with point guard Chris Paul coming back soon, Harden’s numbers will likely dip. And the Rockets should welcome that. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 3 p.m.
MELBOURNE, Australia _ Rafael Nadal is not treating tennis’ next generation well. Add 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas to the list of youngsters Nadal has cast aside on his way to his fifth final at the Australian Open. By Tennis Writer Howard Fendrich. SENT: 500 words, photos.
_ AUSTRALIAN OPEN-RAISING THE ROOF _ American Danielle Collins wishes roof stayed open. By Howard Fendrich. SENT: 450 words, photos.
_ TEN--OSAKA-SPONSOR _ Nissin drops Osaka ad after complaints. By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 550 words, photos.
_ AUSTRALIAN OPEN-MARGARET COURT-WINTOUR _ Vogue editor joins push to rename Margaret Court Arena. SENT: 350 words, photos.
_ TEN--AUSTRALIAN OPEN-THE LATEST _ Real-time updates throughout day.
_ TEN--AUSTRALIAN OPEN GLANCE _ SENT: 450 words, photos.
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. _ Jared Goff was 7 years old when Tom Brady won his first Super Bowl in early 2002. The Rams quarterback has looked up to his fellow Bay Area native ever since, and now they’re meeting in the Super Bowl. By Greg Beacham. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 9 p.m.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. _ Running well and converting on third down, the Patriots are dominating time of possession and keeping the ball out of opponents’ hands. They did it against the Chiefs and Chargers, and now intend to do so against the Rams. By Kyle Hightower. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos 6 p.m.
Last year, Gene Steratore was the Super Bowl referee. This year, he will be in the CBS booth as the rules analyst. He’s got his work cut out for him given the outcry over officiating in both of last weekend’s championship games. By Joe Reedy. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 7 p.m.
_ FBN--CHIEFS-WRONG DEE FORD _ Chiefs fans vent on Twitter at Englishwoman named Dee Ford. SENT: 180 words.
AP Sports Extra: Super Bowl _ A paginated preview of the Super Bowl is available in AP Newsroom by searching for “Sports Extra” under the Graphics tab. Three sizes of pages are available _ full broadsheet, half broadsheet, tabloid _ with space for local advertising or content. The pages look at the Rams-Patriots matchup, keys to the game and other facts and figures. For questions, contact Barry Bedlan at email@example.com
BORDEAUX, France _ A child rape and sex abuse trial in France highlights again how sports officials can use the lure and power of sports to hurt children. In the latest case, a former national swim champion is sentenced to 12 years in prison. By John Leicester. SENT: 950 words, photos.
INDIANAPOLIS _ Pacers scoring lead Victor Oladipo is done for the season after rupturing a knee tendon. The All-Star guard left Wednesday night’s game against Toronto on a stretcher. He was averaging more than 19 points and was a first-team all-NBA defensive selection last season. By Michael Marot. SENT: 450 words, photos.
BKN--KINGS ON THE RUN
The Sacramento Kings decided to push the pace this season with their young backcourt, and might keep running all the way to their first playoff berth since 2006. By Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney. SENT: 700 words, photos.
WASHINGTON _ The champion Golden State Warriors go for their season-best ninth win in a row when they play the Wizards. Washington, led by Bradley Beal, has won seven of 10. By Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 8 p.m.
_ BKN--WARRIORS-COUSINS’ JOLT _ DeMarcus Cousins’ return gives Warriors a midseason lift. By Stephen Whyno. SENT: 700 words, photos, video.
HKN--ALL-STAR MEDIA DAY
SAN JOSE, Calif. _ Led by captains Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews, the NHL All-Star Game is undergoing a youth movement. There are more skaters in the game this weekend age 22 and younger than in their 30s. By Josh Dubow. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 11 p.m.
_ HKN--IMPROVING RANGERS _ Rangers playing their best hockey in a month. By Vin A. Cherwoo. SENT: 650 words, photos.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. _ Tennessee forward Grant Williams has a knack for getting to the foul line and making his free throws. All of which has meant big things for the nation’s No. 1 team. By Steve Megargee. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.
IOWA CITY, Iowa _ No. 6 Michigan State puts its perfect Big Ten record on the line at Iowa. The 19th-ranked Hawkeyes have won five straight after a 0-3 start in the league. By Luke Meredith. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts 7 p.m.
_ BKC--T25-NC STATE-LOUISVILLE _ No. 23 Louisville hosts No. 21 North Carolina State. By Gary B. Graves. UPCOMING. 600 words, photos. Game starts 7 p.m.
_ BKC--BIG 12 JUMBLE _ Big 12 standings hard to figure entering Big 12/SEC Challenge. By Stephen Hawkins. UPCOMING. 650 words, photos by 6 p.m.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. _ No. 1 Notre Dame, winners of 11 in a row, plays a Tennessee team that has lost five straight for its longest skid since 1970. By Steve Megargee. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts 7 p.m.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. _ Mike Pouncey of the Chargers and Maurkice Pouncey of the Steelers are going all out. The twins are turning the Pro Bowl in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday into a reunion bash for friends and relatives. By Mark Long. UPCOMING: 600 words by 4 p.m.
Hannah Storm and Andrea Kremer are coming back for an encore. The veteran duo will return next season to call the Thursday night package on Amazon’s prime video service. Amazon wanted something different from the Fox broadcast with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. By Josh Dubow. SENT: 700 words, photos.
_ FBC--SENIOR BOWL _ Louisiana Tech’s Jaylon Ferguson, the NCAA career sack leader, among standout edge rushers at Senior Bowl. By John Zenor. UPCOMING: 550 words, photos by 5 p.m.
_ FBN--BEARS-PAGANO _ New Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano inherits first-rate unit. By Andrew Seligman. SENT: 100 words. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 6 p.m.
LONDON _ The search is abandoned for the plane that disappeared over the English Channel carrying Argentine player Emiliano Sala. Authorities call the chances of survival “extremely remote.” A sobbing sister begs them to keep looking. By Global Soccer Writer Rob Harris. SENT: 550 words, photos.
SOC--ATLANTA UNITED-PITY MARTINEZ
ATLANTA _ South American player of the year Gonzalo “Pity” Martinez is acquired by Atlanta United, bolstering a team that won the MLS Cup in its second season. Martinez could be on the field when Atlanta debuts in the CONCACAF Champions League next month. By Paul Newberry. SENT: 650 words, photos.
_ SOC--FIFA-REFEREE BANNED _ FIFA bans former referee for life for bribery, match-fixing. By Graham Dunbar. SENT: 600 words.
_ SOC--ENGLISH ROUNDUP _ Tottenham, up 1-0, enters second leg of English League Cup semifinal at Chelsea. UPCOMING: 400 words, photos by 4 p.m.
_ SOC--FIFA-BAHRANI REFUGEE _ FIFA asks Thai premier to release Bahrain refugee player. By Global Soccer Writer Rob Harris. SENT: 500 words, photos.
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. _ Accelerate, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic, and Justify, the retired Triple Crown champion, are the front-runners for Horse of the Year at the Eclipse Awards. By Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos. Announcement about 10:30 p.m.
DETROIT _ Bradie Tennell begins the defense of her title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships when the women compete in the short program. By Noah Trister. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Pairs short program starts 4:30 p.m., women’s short program at 7:54 p.m.
_ FIG--EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS _ Russia’s Mikhail Kolyada wins short program at European championships. SENT: 400 words, photos.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. _ The cars are usually the stars of the glittery Rolex 24 at Daytona. This annual kickoff of the motorsport season is both an action-packed endurance race and a festival for the car collecting set. This season marks the 50th anniversary for the IMSA series. By Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. UPCOMING: 750 words by 8 p.m.
_ CAR--NHRA-COURTNEY FORCE-RETIRES _ Courtney Force, NHRA’s winningest female Funny Car driver, ends driving career. SENT: 120 words, photos.
Chris Mazdzer is giving his neck a bit of a rest, with hopes of having a medal draped around it at this weekend’s luge world championships in Germany. The Olympic singles silver medalist from New York State is to compete in only doubles and the team relay. By Tim Reynolds. SENT: 650 words, photos.
_ SKI--WCUP-WOMEN’S DOWNHILL TRAINING _ Lindsey Vonn skips downhill training in Germany to rest ailing knees. By Ciaran Fahey. SENT: 450 words, photos.
Jim McKean, an umpire for 10 no-hitters and three World Series during a big league career from 1973 to 2001, dies at 73. The Canadian also worked three All-Star Games. By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum. SENT: 600 words, photos.
_ GLF--DUBAI DESERT CLASSIC _ Matthew Fitzpatrick up by a stroke after first round in United Arab Emirates. SENT: 300 words, photos.
_ OLY--WADA ELECTION _ Norway lawmaker launches her bid to lead anti-doping body. SENT: 150 words, photos.
_ BBA--MARINERS-SPRING AWAITS _ Mariners hold pre-spring training luncheon after roster overhaul. By Tim Booth. UPCOMING: 600 words by 7 p.m.
_ BKN--NBA CAPSULES
_ HKN--NHL CAPSULES
_ BKC--TOP 25 CAPSULES
_ BKW--TOP 25 CAPSULES
Thursday Time Schedule (EST)
Golden State at Washington, 8 p.m.
New Orleans at Oklahoma City, 8 p.m.
Portland at Phoenix, 9 p.m.
Minnesota at L.A. Lakers, 10:30 p.m.
College Basketball (Top 25)
No. 4 Gonzaga at Santa Clara, 11 p.m.
No. 6 Michigan State at No. 19 Iowa, 7 p.m.
No. 21 N.C. State at No. 23 Louisville, 8 p.m.
No. 1 Notre Dame at Tennessee, 7 p.m.
No. 4 Louisville at No. 22 Florida State, 7 p.m.
No. 7 Mississippi State at Florida, 7 p.m.
No. 8 N.C. State vs. Clemson, 7 p.m.
No. 11 Maryland at Ohio State, 8 p.m.
No. 15 Kentucky vs. No. 25 Missouri, 6:30 p.m.
No. 18 Gonzaga vs. San Francisco, 9 p.m.
No. 23 Michigan State vs. Illinois, 7 p.m.
No. 24 Texas A&M at Auburn, 8:30 p.m.