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BC-AP Sports Digest

March 1, 2019

The supervisor is Fred Lief, 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@ap.org or 877-836-9477. All times EST.

Coaches Tom Izzo of Michigan State and John Beilein of Michigan State speak with AP sports writer Larry Lage about the schools’ rivalry on the latest episode of PodcastOne Sports Now. Also, co-hosts Jim Litke and Tim Dahlberg discuss how attendance is up in college basketball and the game seems to be moving past the ongoing FBI corruption investigation. https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast

TOP STORIES

BBN--PHILLIES-HARPER

Bryce Harper has the Philadelphia Phillies thinking October baseball before even arriving in camp. The six-time All-Star _ with a record $330 million, 13-year contract _ has given a jolt to a team that hasn’t had a winning record since 2011. By Rob Maaddi. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 3 p.m.

_ With:

_ BBN--PHILLIES-HARPER-BONUSES _ Harper can pad his $330 million with bonuses. By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum. SENT: 300 words, photos.

FBN--COMBINE-FATHER & SON

INDIANAPOLIS _ There’s one quarterback at the NFL scouting combine that New York Giants coach Pat Shurmur absolutely loves _ his son. Kyle Shurmur hopes to follow his father into professional football. By Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton. SENT: 800 words, photos.

_ With:

_ FBN--COMBINE-MURRAY’S DECISION _ Kyler Murray’s decision recalls Charlie Ward’s basketball-football quandary a quarter century ago. By Michael Marot. UPCOMING: 850 words, photos by 7 p.m.

BKC--BUBBLE WATCH

The American Athletic Conference has two teams that are essentially locks to make the NCAA Tournament in No. 8 Houston and No. 23 Cincinnati. Two others, UCF and Temple, may still have some work to do to get into the field of 68. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 4 p.m.

IDITAROD

ANCHORAGE, Alaska _ The Iditarod, the foremost sled dog race, begins this weekend _ a punishing 1,000-mile trek over fierce terrain. The race has been buffeted a dog-doping scandal, organizational disputes, animal activist protests and sponsor defections. By Rachel D’Oro. SENT: 950 words, photos.

COMMENTARY

SOC--PAUL NEWBERRY-MLS RESPECT

KENNESAW, Ga. _ Major League Soccer opens its 24th season this weekend. The quest for respect has already begun in the CONCACAF Champions League. To show it’s becoming one of the world’s better leagues, MLS must beat its powerful neighbor to the south. By Sports Columnist Paul Newberry. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 5 p.m.

BASEBALL

BBN--NATIONALS-AFTER HARPER

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. _ Bryce Harper is gone and now the Washington Nationals must move on without a player who was an unusual mix of popular and polarizing but an All-Star in six of his seven seasons. By Kristie Rieken. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 5 p.m.

BBA--RANGERS-SLIMMER CALHOUN

SURPRISE, Ariz. _ Willie Calhoun went on a 10-day eating splurge after last season. The then-rotund outfielder then got serious. He lost 24 pounds and was under 200 when he got to spring training with the Texas Rangers. By Stephen Hawkins. SENT: 500 words, photos.

_ Also:

_ BBO--SPRING TRAINING RDP _ UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 7 p.m.

NHL

HKN--SENATORS-BOUCHER FIRED

OTTAWA, Ontario _ The NHL-worst Senators fire coach Guy Boucher after a sixth straight loss and appoint assistant Marc Crawford the interim replacement. Ottawa came within one victory of the Stanley Cup Final in 2017 in Boucher’s first season behind the bench. SENT: 750 words, photos.

HKN--CAPITALS-ISLANDERS

UNIONDALE, N.Y. _ The first-place Islanders play the Washington Capitals in a game between the Metropolitan Division’s top two teams. New York coach Barry Trotz faces the team he led to the Stanley Cup title last season. By Vin. A. Cherwoo. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 7 p.m.

_ Also:

_ HKN--CANADIENS-PRICE VIDEO _ Montreal goalie Carey Price comforts young fan whose mother died. SENT: 200 words, photos.

NBA

BKN--BUCKS-LAKERS

LOS ANGELES _ Giannis Antetokounmpo and the NBA-best Bucks face LeBron James and the slumping Lakers. Milwaukee is going for a seventh straight victory. Los Angeles needs a win to get to .500. By Beth Harris. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 10:30 p.m.

GOLF

GLF--HONDA CLASSIC

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. _ Jhonattan Vegas takes a two-shot lead into the second round of the Honda Classic. Defending champion Justin Thomas is four shots back. By Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m.

_ Also:

_ GLF--LPGA SINGAPORE _ Amy Olson leads by two shots after second round of LPGA tournament. SENT: 250 words.

_ GLF--PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS _ Seniors event begins in Tucson, Ariz., with Steve Sticker the defending champ and retired pitcher John Smoltz making seniors debut. UPCOMING: 300 words by 8 p.m.

_ GLF--OMAN OPEN _ Sandstorms force abandonment of second round on European tour in Persian Gulf. SENT: 150 words.

AUTO RACING

CAR--NASCAR-LAS VEGAS-LARSON

LAS VEGAS _ Kyle Larson just can’t catch a break on 1 1/2-mile tracks, with a speeding penalty while leading last week in Atlanta derailing his latest effort to win an intermediate race. He might break out in Las Vegas, where the rising star usually runs well. By Greg Beacham. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 8 p.m.

_ With:

_ CAR--NASCAR-LAS VEGAS-TRUCKS _ UPCOMING: 300 words. Race starts 9 p.m.

_ Also:

_ CAR--F1-TESTING _ Ferrari ends Formula One preseason with fastest car _ and doubts. By Joseph Wilson. SENT: 500 words, photos.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Men:

BKC--DETROIT MERCY-DAVIS’ RECORD

DETROIT _ Detroit Mercy guard Antoine Davis broke Stephen Curry’s freshman 3-point record with a 30-foot swish he practiced hundreds, if not thousands, of times before becoming an unlikely star. Says Davis: “The feeling is unreal.” By Larry Lage. SENT: 600 words, photos.

BKC--T25-TENNESSEE-KENTUCKY REMATCH

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. _ Reid Travis was a key contributor in Kentucky’s 86-69 victory over Tennessee two weeks ago, but a sprained knee likely will prevent him from playing in Saturday’s rematch between the No. 4 Wildcats and No. 7 Volunteers. By Steve Megargee. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.

_ Also:

_ BKC--T25-K-STATE-BIG 12 _ No. 16 Kansas State awaits key Big 12 game with Baylor. By Dave Skretta. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 5 p.m.

_ Previews of weekend play in ACC, SEC.

Women:

BKW--MINNESOTA-WHALEN’S WAY

PISCATAWAY, N.J. _ It’s been a learning process for Lindsay Whalen in her first year as coach of Minnesota. On and off the court, she has been finding her way with a bit of help. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. SENT: 800 words, photos.

_ Also:

_ BKW--T25-OREGON ST-ARIZONA ST _ No. 9 Oregon State at No. 21 Arizona State. UPCOMING: 600 words. Game starts 8 p.m.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

FBC--RULE CHANGES

The NCAA rules committee is expected to announce proposed changes to overtime and targeting fouls. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 4 p.m.

_ Also:

_ FBC--NOTRE DAME-IRISH SPRING _ Notre Dame opens spring practices two months after loss to Clemson in playoff. UPCOMING: 500 words by 4 p.m.

BOXING

BOX--CUBANS’ CHALLENGE

NEW YORK _ Luis Ortiz is afraid of water, but left Cuba by boat. So did Erislandy Lara, after his first attempt to defect failed. After a perilous escape from their homeland they fight Saturday night at Barclays Center in separate bouts. By Brian Mahoney. SENT: 700 words, photos.

BOX--OLAJIDE’S REGIMEN

NEW YORK _ When actor Chris Hemsworth sought contributions for his fitness and health app he turned to boxing. He found Michael Olajide Jr., who lost an eye in the ring and was once beaten by Thomas Hearns in a title fight. The series of aerobic workouts is built around the sweet science. By Barry Wilner. SENT: 550 words, photos.

UFC

MMA--UFC 235

LAS VEGAS _ Jon Jones is picking up speed. After fighting just twice in a four-year stretch of his prime, the long-troubled light heavyweight champion is in his second fight in just nine weeks when he takes on Anthony Smith at UFC 235. By Greg Beacham. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 9 p.m.

SOCCER

SOC--MLS-PLAYERS TO WATCH

MLS begins this weekend, with Wayne Rooney (D.C.) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Los Angeles) both in the league for full seasons. Tim Howard bids farewell as he heads into retirement, Jordan Morris returns from injury in Seattle and champion Atlanta United might have the most potent attack. By Tim Booth. SENT: 550 words, photos.

_ Also:

_ SOC--EUROPEAN SOCCER WEEKEND _ Barcelona vs. Real Madrid highlights European weekend play. SENT: 650 words, photos.

_ SOC--FIFA-CHUNG BANNED _ FIFA bans former senior vice president for 6 1/2 years for financial misconduct. SENT: 150 words, photos.

TENNIS

_ TEN--DUBAI CHAMPIONSHIPS _ Roger Federer advances in Dubai, putting him one win from 100th title. SENT: 200 words, photos.

_ Tournaments in Acapulco, Mexico; Sao Paulo.

LAW

_ FBN--PATRIOTS OWNER-PROSTITUTION CHARGE _ Prosecutors haven’t seen videos in Robert Kraft case. SENT: 150 words.

_ SKI--NORDIC WORLDS-DOPING RAIDS _ Austrian police investigating man who leaked doping raid video. SENT: 450 words, photos.

OTHER

_ FBO--ALLIANCE-MANZIEL _ Johnny Manziel in holding pattern with Alliance of American Football. SENT: 250 words, photos.

_ SKI--WCUP-WOMEN’S DOWNHILL CANCELED _ Mikaela Shiffrin’s third straight overall title could come sooner than expected with Sochi downhill canceled. By James Ellingworth. SENT: 300 words, photos.

_ OLY--RUSSIAN DOPING-BEER BAN _ Russia to bar athletes drinking beer at doping tests. SENT: 200 words.

CAPSULES

_ BKN--NBA CAPSULES

_ HKN--NHL CAPSULES

_ BKW--T25-TOP 25 CAPSULES

___

Friday Time Schedule (EST)

NBA

Charlotte at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.

Chicago at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.

Portland at Toronto, 8 p.m.

Washington at Boston, 8 p.m.

New Orleans at Phoenix, 9 p.m.

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

Milwaukee at L.A. Lakers, 10:30 p.m.

NHL

Pittsburgh at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

Washington at N.Y. Islanders (Nassau Coliseum), 7 p.m.

Philadelphia at New Jersey, 7 p.m.

Montreal at N.Y. Rangers, 7 p.m.

St. Louis at Carolina, 7:30 p.m.

Nashville at Winnipeg, 8 p.m.

Vegas at Anaheim, 10 p.m.

Colorado at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.

College Basketball (Top 25)

Men

No. 21 Buffalo at Miami (Ohio), 8 p.m.

Women

No. 6 Oregon at Arizona, 10 p.m.

No. 7 Stanford at Washington State, 10 p.m.

No. 9 Oregon State at No. 21 Arizona State, 8 p.m.

No. 13 Marquette at Creighton, 8 p.m.

No. 23 Drake at Southern Illinois, 7 p.m.

No. 25 UCLA vs. Utah, 10 p.m.

Exhibition Baseball

Tampa Bay vs. Baltimore (ss) at Sarasota, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

N.Y. Mets vs. Detroit at Lakeland, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Toronto (ss) vs. Atlanta at Kissimmee, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Boston vs. Minnesota at Fort Myers, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Pittsburgh (ss) vs. Philadelphia at Clearwater, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Washington vs. Miami at Jupiter, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Pittsburgh (ss) vs. Toronto (ss) at Dunedin, Fla., 1:07 p.m.

Chicago White Sox vs. Texas at Surprise, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.

Colorado vs. Oakland at Mesa, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.

Kansas City vs. L.A. Angels at Tempe, Ariz., 3:10 p.m.

Chicago Cubs vs. Arizona at Scottsdale, Ariz., 3:10 p.m.

Milwaukee vs. Seattle at Peoria, Ariz., 3:10 p.m.

St. Louis vs. Houston at West Palm Beach, Fla., 6:05 p.m.

Baltimore (ss) vs. N.Y. Yankees at Tampa, Fla., 6:35 p.m.

L.A. Dodgers (ss) vs. Cleveland at Goodyear, Ariz., 8:05 p.m.

San Diego vs. L.A. Dodgers (ss) at Glendale, Ariz., 8:05 p.m.

Cincinnati vs. San Francisco at Scottsdale, Ariz., 9:05 p.m.