BC-AP Sports Digest
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College basketball analyst Jay Bilas believes players will eventually be paid. The former Duke star tells co-hosts Jim Litke and Tim Dahlberg on AP’s PodcastOne Sports Now he’s not sure top players will forgo a year on college’s big stage to play in the NBA’s developmental league. Also, AP Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner weighs in on which teams may have given up on the season. https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast
No. 11 Central Florida has won 22 straight games and is eyeing another major bowl. So why are Knights fans mad online? On the latest AP Top 25 College Football Podcast, Matt Murschel of the Orlando Sentinel joins the AP’s Ralph Russo to discuss UCF’s rise and how this year’s team stacks up to last year’s unbeaten squad. https://www.podcastone.com/AP-Top-25-College-Football-Podcast
NEW YORK — Boston’s Mookie Betts is the leading contender for the AL Most Valuable Player Award and Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich is the favorite for the NL honor. By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Announcements at 6:18 p.m. (NL), 6:48 p.m. (AL).
SEATTLE — Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks look to avoid their first three-game losing streak since 2011 when they face Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in a prime-time matchup with playoff implications. By Tim Booth. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos Game starts 8:20 p.m.
HOUSTON — The Golden State Warriors, with Stephen Curry out for a fourth straight game with a strained groin and friction between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green, play a Houston Rockets team that can get to .500 with a victory. By Kristie Rieken. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 8 p.m.
— BKN--WARRIORS-GREEN — Green not apologizing, says he and Durant moving on. By Kristie Rieken. SENT: 160 words, photos. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 4 p.m.
FBC--T25-NOTRE DAME IN NYC
NEW YORK — Notre Dame has deep roots in New York City, with a huge following of “Subway Alumni.” The No. 3 Irish return to their home away from away Saturday to face No. 12 Syracuse in the most significant college football game at Yankee Stadium since the 1940s. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 850 words, photos.
OLY--CUR-GARLIC GIRLS-ABUSE ALLEGATIONS
SEOUL, South Korea — The Garlic Girls, South Korea’s hugely popular Olympic silver medalist curlers, accuse their coaches of abusive treatment in a dispute that has spoiled one of the year’s feel-good sports stories. By Kim Tong-Hyung. SENT: 800 words, photos.
BKN--BUCKS-BIG SHOT BROOK
MILWAUKEE — Brook Lopez is making opponents think twice about how to guard the Bucks’ 7-footer. In just three years, Lopez has gone from being a novice at the arc to shooting 40 percent and draining a career-best eight 3s against Denver. By Genaro C. Armas. SENT: 700 words, photos.
BKN--ON BASKETBALL-BUTLER’S DEBUT
ORLANDO, Fla. — Jimmy Butler is certain that when the 76ers figure things out, they will be a contender. The question is how long will Philadelphia’s latest “Process” take. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 700 words, photos.
ATLANTA — Baseball owners approve a contract extension for Commissioner Rob Manfred, sign off on a $5 billion, seven-year TV deal with Fox and pass on any decisions on ways to speed games after a significant attendance drop. By Paul Newberry. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
— BBO--MLB ALL-STARS-JAPAN — Host Japan beats MLB All-Stars 4-1 in exhibition finale, takes series 5-1. By Jim Armstrong. SENT: 250 words, photos.
FBN--NFL THIS WEEK
What might be the NFL’s Game of the Year has already made big headlines. Chiefs vs. Rams was moved from Mexico City because of a poor field and is back in Los Angeles in prime time. This could be a wild, high-scoring affair. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. UPCOMING: 1,600 words, photos. For weekend use. To be sent after Packers-Seahawks game.
FBN--INSIDE THE NUMBERS
PHILADELPHIA — Zach Ertz of the Eagles keeps making catches. Carson Wentz’s favorite target is on pace for a record season for tight ends, breaking marks held by Jason Witten and Rob Gronkowski. By Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi. SENT: 550 words, photos.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs’ defense has been maligned all season, but one area that has stood out has been the ability to pressure the quarterback. And that has helped ease some pressure off a mishmash defensive backfield. By Dave Skretta. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.
FBN--TEXANS-THOMAS CATCHING UP
HOUSTON — Demaryius Thomas spent Houston’s bye week studying the playbook and watching film. The receiver, traded from Denver on Oct. 30, does not have the luxury of a break after struggling in his Texans debut. By Kristie Rieken. SENT: 550 words, photos.
— FBN--BENGALS-LEWIS IN CHARGE — By Joe Kay. SENT: 700 words, photos.
— FBN--STEELERS-RED HOT RED ZONE — By Will Graves. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.
— FBN--TITANS-DIFFERENT LOOKS — By Pro Football Writer Teresa M. Walker. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.
— FBN--VIKINGS-ADJUSTING DEFENSE — By Pro Football Writer Dave Campbell. UPCOMING: 600 words, by 6 p.m.
— FBN--COWBOYS-EMERGING VANDER ESCH — By Pro Football Writer Schuyler Dixon. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 8 p.m.
— FBN--FALCONS-JONES — By George Henry. UPCOMING: 550 words, photos by 6 p.m.
FBC--T25-ALABAMA’S RUNNING GAME
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Top-ranked Alabama’s offense, led by Tua Tagovailoa, can still try to play the neighborhood bully at times, just not quite so effectively as in recent seasons. By John Zenor. SENT: 500 words, photos.
WACO, Texas — Baylor’s Jalen Hurd, once a top running back in the SEC, is one of the Big 12′s top receivers. He is about 20 pounds lighter than his days at Tennessee and says it has been good to rest his body after sitting out last season. By Stephen Hawkins. SENT: 700 words, photos.
CINCINNATI — Coach Luke Fickell listens to country music while driving to work, so he might be unaware of the talk about how he’s turned around Cincinnati football in a year. The No. 19 Bearcats are contention for the American Athletic title, with No. 11 UCF up next. By Joe Kay. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.
— Friday Preview (Top 25):
— FBC--T25-BOISE STATE-NEW MEXICO PREVIEW — By Tim Booth. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 4 p.m.
— FBC--T25-BIG 12-FINAL FOUR QBS — By John Raby. SENT: 700 words, photos.
— FBC--BIG TEN-TOP FRESHMEN — By Dave Campbell. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.
— Conference previews on ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12.
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR’s four title contenders meet in Miami Beach to preview Sunday’s championship race. By Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m.
— CAR--NASCAR-KYLE BUSCH — Kyle Busch set to race for his second NASCAR title. By Dan Gelston. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 6 p.m.
— CAR--NASCAR-HOMESTEAD-TRUCKS — Brett Moffitt races for Truck Series championship Friday. By Dan Gelston. UPCOMING: 600 words by 8 p.m.
DURHAM, N.C. — The season is just starting, but Duke’s freshmen already have arrived. They put on a show in a rout of then-No. 2 Kentucky and bolted to No. 1. Their games — even their pregame layup lines — have become must-see events. By Joedy McCreary. SENT: 650 words, photos.
CHARLESTON, S.C. — No. 16 Virginia Tech and No. 23 Purdue get their first real tests of the season when they headline the eight-team Charleston Classic. On Thursday night night, the Hokies play Ball State, and Purdue faces Appalachian State. By Pete Iacobelli. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos.
— BKC--CHARLESTON CLASSIC-THE LATEST — Real-time updates throughout night.
NEW YORK — The Rangers visit the Islanders in a crosstown matchup of teams surprisingly near the top of the Metropolitan Division. The second-place Islanders have won six of their last nine, and the third-place Rangers have are on a season-best 6-0-1 stretch. By Vin A. Cherwoo. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 7 p.m.
NAPLES, Fla. — Defending champion Ariya Jutanugarn leads the field in the opening round of the LPGA’s season-ending CME Group Tour Championship. By Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 600 words by 5 p.m.
— GLF--WORLD TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP — Tommy Fleetwood’s slight hopes of keeping European Tour title stay alive after first round in Dubai. SENT: 400 words, photos.
— GLF--RSM CLASSIC — Webb Simpson is highest-ranked player in the field when year’s final PGA Tour event begins in Georgia. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 6 p.m.
— GLF--AUSTRALIAN OPEN — Byeong Hun An up by a stroke after first round in Sydney, a British Open qualifier. SENT: 400 words, photos.
LONDON — Christian Pulisic plays just his second game for the U.S. in 13 months, an exhibition against England at Wembley that marks Wayne Rooney’s farewell to the Three Lions. By Global Soccer Writer Rob Harris. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game started 3 p.m.
— SOC--EUROPEAN ROUNDUP — Spain, looking to reach UEFA Nations League final, plays at Croatia; top-ranked Belgium visits Iceland. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 7 p.m.
— SOC--PREMIER LEAGUE-SCUDAMORE — Premier League clubs to give departing chairman $6 million over three years despite public backlash. By Rob Harris. SENT: 350 words.
— SOC--NWSL-PLAYERS ASSOCIATION — National Women’s Soccer League recognizes players’ union. SENT: 150 words.
LONDON — Roger Federer plays Kevin Anderson with a semifinal berth on the line at the ATP Finals. Dominic Thiem stays alive for a spot in the semis after beating Kei Nishikori 6-1, 6-4. SENT: 250 words, photos. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 6 p.m.
ROME — Enjoying its status as the leading contender to host the 2026 Winter Olympics, the Milan-Cortina d’Ampezzo bid gets another boost with a funding promise from the Italian government. The bid by Calgary was rebuffed by voters two days ago. Buy Andrew Dampf. SENT; 750 words, photos.
— JAPAN-CYBERSECURITY — Cybersecurity chief for 2020 Tokyo Olympics has never used a computer. By Business Writer Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 300 words, photos.
— OLY--WADA MEETING — Moscow doping lab to be opened for visit by doping authorities. By Aida Sultanova and James Ellingworth. SENT: 600 words, photos.
— OLY--DOPING-LIN — Taiwan woman who held weightlifting record banned eight years for doping. SENT: 120 words.
— CYC--DOPING-CARDOSO — Portuguese rider banned four years for doping before 2017 Tour de France. SENT: 120 words, photos.
— BIA--RUSSIAN DOPING — Russian biathlon federation given road map after doping scandals. SENT: 130 words.
— SWM--FINA-BREAKAWAY MEETS — Meet in Italy canceled after ruling body threatens to ban swimmers seeking more prize money. By Graham Dunbar. SENT: 400 words.
— BKN--NBA CAPSULES
— HKN--NHL CAPSULES
— BKC--T25-TOP 25 CAPSULES
— BKW--T25-TOP 25 CAPSULES
Thursday Time Schedule (EST)
Green Bay at Seattle, 8:20 p.m.
Golden State at Houston, 8 p.m.
Atlanta at Denver, 9 p.m.
San Antonio at L.A. Clippers, 10:30 p.m.
Florida at Columbus, 7 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
New Jersey at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
N.Y. Rangers at N.Y. Islanders, 7 p.m.
Detroit at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.
Vancouver at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Nashville at Arizona, 9 p.m.
Montreal at Calgary, 9 p.m.
Toronto at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.
College Basketball (Top 25)
No. 3 Gonzaga vs. Texas A&M, 11:30 p.m.
No. 13 Oregon vs. Iowa at New York, 9 p.m.
No. 15 Syracuse vs. UConn at New York, 7 p.m.
No. 16 Virginia Tech vs. Ball State at Charleston, S.C., 11:30 a.m.
No. 21 TCU vs. Fresno State, 9 p.m.
No. 23 Purdue vs. Appalachian State at Charleston, S.C., 5 p.m.
No. 4 Baylor vs. Southern, 7 p.m.
No. 6 Mississippi State vs. Lamar, 8 p.m.
No. 7 Stanford vs. San Francisco, 10 p.m.
No. 10 South Carolina vs. Clemson, 6:30 p.m.
No. 11 Texas vs. McNeese State, 8 p.m.
No. 17 N.C. State vs. Vanderbilt, 7 p.m.
No. 19 Marquette at No. 24 Miami, 7 p.m.
No. 21 South Florida vs. Bethune-Cookman, 7 p.m.