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 making a run at another major bowl bid. ESPN’s “College GameDay” is coming to the school’s Orlando, Florida, campus this week So why are Knights fans so mad online? On the latest AP Top 25 College Football Podcast, Matt Murschel of the Orlando Sentinel joins AP’s Ralph Russo to talk about UCF’s rise to prominence and how this year’s team stacks up to last year’s unbeaten squad.
MEXICO CITY — The NFL’s decision to move the Kansas City Chiefs-Los Angeles Rams game due to the poor conditions of the turf at Azteca Stadium leaves many Mexicans disappointed, angry and wondering how it will affect the relationship with the league in the future. Based solely on the team records, the game was going to be one of the best ever played outside of the United States. But Mexico blew it. “Colossal shame,” read a headline in the sports newspaper Record. By Carlos Rodriguez. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 8 p.m.
— FBN--ESPN-LOGISTICS — ESPN has to scramble its traveling circus with site switch. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 550 words.
BBO--CY YOUNG AWARDS
The BBWAA announces the 2018 Cy Young Award winners. Mets ace Jacob deGrom is favored over Washington’s Max Scherzer in the NL, while Houston’s Justin Verlander, Cleveland’s Corey Kluber and Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell are up for the AL award. By Jake Seiner. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos from announcements at 6:18 p.m. (AL) and 6:48 p.m. (NL).
OLY--THE BIDDING GAME
Does anyone want to host the Winter Olympics? Residents in Calgary answered that question with a resounding “No,” and now the International Olympic Committee again has some soul-searching to do. By National Writer Eddie Pells. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 5 p.m.
VILLANOVA, Pa. — No. 8 Villanova hosts No. 18 Michigan in a rematch of the national champion game seven months ago. The Wildcats beat the Wolverines for their second title in three years. By Rob Maaddi. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 6:30 p.m.
LOS ANGELES — The best NBA team in Los Angeles right now isn’t the one with LeBron James. It’s the no-name Clippers. By Beth Harris. SENT: 770 words, photos.
The Le’Veon Bell saga is over for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are more than happy to more forward without the star running back. Bell will not play this season after declining to sign his franchise tag. By Will Graves. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 7 p.m.
METAIRIE, La. — One week after signing, then losing receiver Dez Bryant to an injury, the Saints welcomed another aging star, Brandon Marshall, to their receiver corps. By Brett Martel. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 7 p.m.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears are sailing along at a pace not seen by a Chicago offense in decades. But there have been inconsistencies. It would help if the gap in their efforts was ironed out if they’re going to beat Minnesota this week in an NFC North showdown. By Andrew Seligman. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 7 p.m.
SEATTLE — Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson have played a few memorable games in Seattle, from the Fail Mary to an unforgettable NFC title game. The Packers and Seahawks meet again Thursday night, but this time it’s playoff positioning at stake. By Tim Booth. UPCOMING: 750 words by 7 p.m.
— FBN--PRO PICKS. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 640 words, graphic.
— FBN--BENGALS-HUE’S RETURN. By Joe Kay. UPCOMING: 600 words, photo by 7 p.m.
— FBN--BROWNS-COACHING SEARCH. By Tom Withers. UPCOMING: 700 words, photo by 7 p.m.
— FBC--COWSBOYS-ELLIOTT’S PENANCE. By Pro Football Writer Schuyler Dixon. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 9 p.m.
— FBN--RAVENS-QUARTERBACKS. By David Ginsburg. SENT: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.
— FBN--REDSKINS-HOME-FIELD DISADVANTAGE. By Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 550 words, photos by 8 p.m.
FBC--T25-COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICKS
With limited intrigue among the Power Five conference playoff contenders this week, No. 11 UCF gets the spotlight as it puts the nation’s longest winning streak on the line against No. 19 Cincinnati. The Knights’ streak is 22 and pushing toward rare air in college football. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 1,050 words, photos.
Alabama set an SEC record with 12 players taken in the 2018 draft, including four in the first round. The top-ranked Crimson Tide are sure to have several high draft picks in next year’s draft, too, but there are players at many other SEC schools that also are likely to hear their names called in the first round. According to several mock draft boards, the SEC could have first-rounders from as many as nine different schools. By Kristie Rieken. SENT: 940 words, photos.
Four of the nation’s top 20 players in sacks are ACC players, including Clemson end Clelin Ferrell. In fact, the conference has a significant presence in many key categories, with the No. 2 Tigers and other schools benefiting from their timely playmakers. By Gary B. Graves. SENT: 800 words, photos.
ORLANDO, Fla. — A day after being introduced as the newest member of the Philadelphia 76ers, Jimmy Butler debuts for his new team against the Orlando Magic. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts 7 p.m.
TORONTO — The Raptors welcome former coach Dwane Casey and the Detroit Pistons north of the border. Casey was named coach of the year after Toronto won a franchise-record 59 games last season but was fired in May after the Raptors were eliminated in the second-round of the playoffs. By Ian Harrison. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts 7:30 p.m.
DURHAM, N.C. — No. 1 Duke debuts its top ranking when the Blue Devils play host to Eastern Michigan in their final home game before their trip to the Maui Invitational. By Joedy McCreary. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts 7 p.m.
HKN--AROUND THE NHL
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Pekka Rinne is off to an even better start than last season when he finally won the Vezina Trophy, and backup Juuse Saros ranks among the top 10 for victories. The Predators may have the NHL’s best goalie combo on and off the ice. By Teresa M. Walker. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.
DENVER — The Colorado Avalanche host the Boston Bruins in a meeting of two of the top lines in hockey. The Avalanche boast the line of Mikko Rantanen, Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog, who’ve combined for 69 points. The Bruins feature Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak, who have a combined 68 points. By Pat Graham. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 10 p.m.
— HKN--PENGUINS-BUSY DAY — Penguins GM Jim Rutherford signs new deal, trades for Tanner Pearson. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 5 p.m.
MIAMI — It was easy to push around Joey Logano when he first broke into NASCAR billed as the next big star. He doesn’t stand for it anymore and as the outlier of this championship race, Logano believes he’s the favorite to win the Cup title. By AP Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. SENT: 1,050 words, photos. First in a series of profiles on the 4 championship drivers.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Cameron Champ was a freshman in high school and a graduate of The First Tee program, missing only the means to travel the country to play junior golf tournaments with hopes of getting noticed outside Northern California. One phone call from his father to Hunter Mahan’s caddy made a difference as big as some of his drives. Champ is now a top attraction this week in the RSM Classic at Sea Island. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 800 words, photos.
NAPLES, Fla. — Ariya Jutanugarn already is the LPGA’s player of the year and leading money-winner this season. She’ll look to cap the season with a win in the CME Group Tour Championship that begins Thursday. By Tim Reynolds. SENT: 590 words, photos.
LONDON — Novak Djokovic won his second straight match at the ATP Finals to close in on a spot in the semifinals. He beat Alexander Zverev 6-4, 6-1. The five-time champion from Serbia saved two break points at 4-4 in the opening set and then broke Zverev in the following game to take the lead. Zverev won only one more game. Marin Cilic and John Isner meet in the late match. By Sam Johnston. SENT: 450 words, photos. UPCOMING: 650 words by 6 p.m.
— TEN--RADWANSKA-RETIREMENT — Former Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanska retires from tennis. SENT: 200 words, photos.
ATLANTA — New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner discusses the state of his team, which has money to spend after a run to the playoffs with one of baseball’s most dynamic young rosters. The Yankees want to bolster their pitching staff and could make a run at one of the prized players in the free agent market, Manny Machado. By Paul Newberry. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 5 p.m.
— BBO--MLB ALL-STARS-JAPAN — Japan beats MLB All-Stars 6-5 to clinch exhibition series. By Jim Armstrong. SENT: 350 words, photos.
LONDON — Back with the United States for only the second time in an injury-troubled year, Christian Pulisic has watched the Americans rebuild from afar after their failure to qualify for the World Cup. Pulisic is talking like a veteran and yet only debuted in March 2016. The Hershey, Pennsylvania, native has 21 appearances and nine goals, the last in the 2-1 loss at Trinidad and Tobago in October 2017 that ended the American’s streak of seven straight World Cups. By Soccer Writer Rob Harris. SENT: 700 words, photos.
OLY--CUR-GARLIC GIRLS-ABUSE ALLEGATIONS
SEOUL, South Korea — The so-called Garlic Girls who swept to fame during their stirring run to an Olympic curling silver medal have alleged they were verbally abused by a South Korean official and subjected to unreasonable orders from coaches. By John Duerden. SENT: 505 words, photos.
— BKN--NBA CAPSULES
— HKN--NHL CAPSULES
— BKC--T25-TOP 25 CAPSULES
— BKW--T25-TOP 25 CAPSULES
Wednesday Time Schedule (EST)
Cleveland at Washington, 7 p.m.
Philadelphia at Orlando, 7 p.m.
Chicago at Boston, 7:30 p.m.
Detroit at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.
Miami at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.
Memphis at Milwaukee, 8 p.m.
New Orleans at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
New York at Oklahoma City, 8 p.m.
Utah at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
San Antonio at Phoenix, 9 p.m.
Portland at L.A. Lakers, 10:30 p.m.
Washington at Winnipeg, 8 p.m.
St. Louis at Chicago, 8 p.m.
Boston at Colorado, 10 p.m.
Anaheim at Vegas, 10:30 p.m.
College Basketball (Top 25)
No. 1 Duke vs. Eastern Michigan, 7 p.m.
No. 8 Villanova vs. No. 18 Michigan, 6:30 p.m.
No. 9 Auburn vs. Mississippi College, 8 p.m.
No. 10 Kentucky vs. North Dakota, 9 p.m.
No. 11 Michigan State vs. Louisiana-Monroe, 7 p.m.
No. 19 Clemson vs. Sam Houston State, 7 p.m.
No. 24 Marquette at Indiana, 8:30 p.m.
No. 3 Oregon at Utah State, 9 p.m.
No. 8 Oregon State vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 2 p.m.
No. 9 Maryland at George Washington, 7 p.m.
No. 12 Tennessee vs. UNC Asheville, 7 p.m.
No. 14 Georgia at UCLA, 2 p.m.
No. 18 Syracuse vs. No. 20 Texas A&M at the Westchester County Center, White Plains, N.Y., 7 p.m.
No. 25 Minnesota at Xavier, 7 p.m.