BC-AP Sports Digest
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Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Robinson Cano and Paul Goldschmidt take their first swings with new teams while aces Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, Blake Snell and Justin Verlander are on the mound for baseball’s full opening day. Cano’s first at-bat is a good one _ a homer off Scherzer. By Baseball Writer Ben Walker. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m.
_ BBO--OPENING DAY-THE LATEST _ Real-time updates throughout day.
BBO--A CHANGING GAME
For a sport that leans so much on tradition, baseball seems to be changing at a swift pace. Whether it’s because of new technology, new strategies or new rules, the game could look a lot different over the next decade or so. By Baseball Writer Noah Trister. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
ANAHEIM, Calif. _ Top-seeded Gonzaga, with formidable big men Brandon Clarke and Rui Hachimura, faces No. 4 seed Florida State in a West Region semifinal. This is a Sweet 16 rematch, with the Seminoles having won 75-60 last year. By Joe Reedy. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 7:09 p.m.
_ BKC--NCAA TOURNAMENT-THE LATEST _ In-game updates, results, news, color. Updated throughout day.
COLUMBUS, Ohio _ A 40-year-old neuropsychologist from Columbus, Ohio, has defied staggering odds _ Gregg Nigl has so far correctly picked every NCAA Tournament game. Now, this March Madness wizard is flying with his son to California to watch their beloved Michigan Wolverines. By Mitch Stacy. SENT: 450 words, photos.
SPORTS BETTING SUMMIT
OXON HILL, Md. _ A year ago, major U.S. sports leagues were still fighting states and casino companies in court over legal gambling. Now, league and casino executives are sharing laughs during panel discussions and striking deals that will integrate gambling into the fan experience. By Ben Nuckols. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 5 p.m.
_ HKN--NHL-SPORTS BETTING _ NHL enters third partnership with gambling operator. By Ben Nuckols. SENT: 350 words, photos.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. _ Colton Herta is a shaggy-haired, taco-loving teen living in his parents’ Southern California home. He’s also IndyCar’s newest winner, the youngest in series history, and the next American for fans to embrace. By Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 4 p.m.
Ten years ago, ski racer Thomas Walsh was diagnosed with cancer. By his side that day was Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin. Parts of Walsh’s pelvis and lung were moved. Shriffin remains one of his biggest fans as he rises through the ranks as a Paralympian. By Pat Graham. SENT: 900 words, photos.
ANAHEIM, Calif. _ In a game between of two of the country’s top defenses, Michigan looks to take another step toward a second straight Final Four when it faces Texas Tech in a West Region semifinal. By National Writer Eddie Pells. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 9:39 p.m.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. _ Tennessee, in the midst of a season that could be the best for the men in school history, plays Purdue in a South Regional semifinal. The Boilermakers are eyeing their first Elite Eight berth since 2000. By Teresa M. Walker. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 7:29 p.m.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. _ Top-seeded Virginia goes for the Elite Eight in the South when it faces No. 12 Oregon, which in this tournament of favorites must pass for Cinderella. The Cavaliers are coming off a strong second-round over Oklahoma. The Ducks have won 10 straight. By Gary B. Graves. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 9:57 p.m.
_ Friday Games:
_ BKC--NCAA-EAST REGION PREVIEW _ Michigan State-LSU; Duke-Virginia Tech. By Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 5 p.m.
_ BKC--NCAA-MIDWEST REGION PREVIEW _ North Carolina-Auburn; Kentucky-Houston. By Dave Skretta. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 7 p.m.
_ BKC--ALABAMA-OATS _ New Alabama coach Nate Oats, off a 32-4 season at Buffalo, is introduced. By John Zenor. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.
_ BKC--NIAGARA-PATRICK BEILEIN _ Patrick Beilein, son Michigan coach, hired as Niagara’s coach. SENT: 160 words.
_ BKC--SAINT JOSEPH’S-NEW COACH _ 76ers assistant Billy Lange hired as Saint Joseph’s coach. SENT: 120 words, photos. UPCOMING: 450 words by 5 p.m.
ALBANY, N.Y. _ UCLA crashed the Albany Regional with an upset of third-seeded Maryland. The Bruins now get No. 2 UConn while Louisville plays Oregon State in the other semifinal. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 5 p.m.
PORTLAND, Ore. _ They don’t exactly have home-court advantage, but second-seeded Oregon has the next best thing. The Ducks have a Sweet 16, and perhaps and Elite Eight game, just a couple of hours from Eugene. By Anne M. Peterson. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 7 p.m.
BKW--NCAA-BAYLOR-KALANI’S FINAL CHANCE
WACO, Texas _ Kalani Brown has conference titles, NCAA trips and individual awards. The only thing missing for Baylor’s 6-foot-7 senior center is a Final Four trip. Next up is a regional semifinal Saturday against South Carolina in Greensboro, N.C. By Stephen Hawkins. SENT: 650 words, photos.
_ BKW--ESPN-UCONN _ UConn fans wary of conference’s deal with ESPN. By Pat Eaton-Robb. SENT: 500 words, photos.
PHILADELPHIA _ With big-money Bryce Harper in the lineup and expectations soaring, the Phillies open a season in which they’ll be aiming for their first postseason appearance since 2011. They face Julio Teheran and the NL East champion Atlanta Braves. By Dan Gelston. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 3:05 p.m.
SEATTLE _ The Red Sox, with AL MVP Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez, try to become first repeat champions since the Yankees won three straight titles from 1998 to 2000. Chris Sale starts against Seattle, which opened its season with two victories in Japan. By Tim Booth. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 7:10 p.m.
SAN DIEGO _ Manny Machado makes his San Diego debut when the revitalized Padres open against San Francisco. The Giants’ Bruce Bochy begins his 25th and final season as a major league manager, with Madison Bumgarner getting the start. By Bernie Wilson. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 4 p.m.
LOS ANGELES _ The Dodgers begin pursuit of their third straight NL title. Hyun-Jin Ryu of Los Angeles gets his first opening day start with Clayton Kershaw out, opposing Zack Greinke and the Arizona Diamondbacks. By Greg Beacham. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 4:10 p.m.
_ BBO--JERSEY SALES _ Bryce Harper overtakes Aaron Judge for MLB’s top-selling jersey. SENT: 200 words, photos.
AUSTIN, Texas _ Tiger Woods plays Brandt Snedeker, and Jim Furyk faces Phil Mickelson in the second round of group play at the Dell Technologies Match Play. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 8 p.m.
_ GLF--MATCH PLAY-THE LATEST _ Real-time developments throughout day.
_ GLF--MATCH PLAY-NOTEBOOK _ By Jim Vertuno. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 8 p.m.
_ GLF--MATCH PLAY-RESULTS
_ GLF--MATCH PLAY GROUPS
_ GLF--DOMINICAN REPUBLIC _ Opening round of PGA Tour event, with retired quarterback, NFL analyst Tony Romo in field for second straight year. UPCOMING: 400 words by 7 p.m.
_ GLF--LPGA TOUR _ First round of Kia Classic in Carlsbad, Calif., the final tournament before the season’s first LPGA major. UPCOMING: 350 words by 10 p.m.
_ GLF--INDIAN OPEN _ Julian Suri, Stephen Gallacher in front after first round in New Delhi in European/Asian tour play. SENT: 200 words.
HOUSTON _ The Denver Nuggets, just a half game behind the first-place Warriors in the Western Conference, play a Houston Rockets team looking to bounce back from a loss to the Bucks. By Kristie Rieken. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 8 p.m.
_ BKN--SPURS-GINOBILI _ Spurs retire Manu Ginobili’s No. 20 jersey during halftime ceremony. UPCOMING: 400 words, photos by 10 p.m.
_ BKN--JAZZ-EXUM _ Jazz guard Dante Exum has knee surgery, out indefinitely. SENT: 100 words.
SAKHIR, Bahrain _ Another Schumacher is driving Ferrari’s famed red car. Mick Schumacher, 20-year-old son of Formula One great Michael Schumacher, makes his F2 debut followed by his first Formula One test for Ferrari. By Jerome Pugmire. SENT: 650 words, photos.
_ CAR--F1-BAHRAIN GP _ Lewis Hamilton looks to bounce back this weekend at Bahrain Grand Prix. By Jerome Pugmire. SENT: 600 words, photos.
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. _ Simona Halep is one win from returning to No. 1, and one win from the Miami Open final. Roger Federer also goes for a semifinal berth. By Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Halep match not before 9 p.m.
_ TEN--AUSTRALIA-SEASON OVERHAUL _ Mixed-team Hopman Cup makes way for ATP Cup next year. SENT: 350 words.
COLLEGE ADMISSIONS BRIBERY
BOSTON _ The former women’s soccer coach at Yale is expected to plead guilty to taking bribes for pretending applicants were recruits to boost their chances of getting into the school. Rudy Meredith was a key figure in the investigation into the school admissions scandal. By Alanna Durkin Richer. SENT: 450 words, photos. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 4 p.m.
_ BAYLOR-SEXUAL ASSAULT INVESTIGATION _ Judge orders release of documents in Baylor assault cases. SENT: 300 words. UPCOMING: 450 words by 5 p.m.
FBC--GEORGIA TECH MOURNS
ATLANTA _ Georgia Tech is mourning one of its own while trying to prepare for a season. Defensive lineman Brandon Adams was getting ready for spring practice when he died on campus last weekend. It’s not clear why. By Paul Newberry. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 6 p.m.
MANCHESTER, England _ Manchester United hires Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as its permanent coach, giving him a three-year contract. The decision seemed inevitable, with Solskjaer having transformed United and lifted the gloom since Jose Mourinho’s firing in December. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 800 words, photos.
MILAN _ The scene was something odd for Italy. More than 39,000 fans packing a major European stadium to watch a game between the women’s teams from Juventus and Fiorentina. Says baffled Juventus coach Rita Guarino “What is this, a cartoon? But no, it’s reality.” By Daniella Matar. SENT: 900 words, photos.
_ SOC--SPAIN SPOTLIGHT-MESSI VS WU _ Lionel Messi goes against 20-year-old Chinese sensation in Spanish league. By Tales Azzoni. SENT: 550 words, photos.
_ SOC--EUROPEAN SOCCER WEEKEND _ Huddersfield could be first team relegated from Premier League. SENT: 700 words, photos.
_ OLY--BOX-AIBA-RUSSIAN OFFER _ Russian offers to clear $16 million federation debt if IOC keeps boxing in Olympics. By Graham Dunbar. SENT: 600 words, photos.
_ BOX--USYK-HEAVYWEIGHT MOVE _ Unified cruiserweight champ Oleksandr Usyk of Ukraine moves up to heavyweight. SENT: 160 words, photos.
_ MMA--ONE CHAMPIONSHIP _ Former UFC champ Eddie Alvarez to fight Russia’s Timofey Nasyukkhin in Japan in One Championship bout. SENT: 350 words, photos.
_ RAC--SANTA ANITA-FATALITIES _ California racing authorities discuss safety, medication rules at Santa Anita following 22 horse deaths. UPCOMING: 350 words by 8 p.m.
_ BBO--BASEBALL CAPSULES
_ BKN--NBA CAPSULES
_ HKN--NHL CAPSULES
_ BKC--NCAA TOURNAMENT CAPSULES
Thursday Time Schedule (EDT)
Men’s NCAA Tournament
At Louisville, Ky.
Tennessee vs. Purdue, 7:29 p.m.
Virginia vs. Oregon, 9:57 p.m.
At Anaheim, Calif.
Gonzaga vs. Florida State, 7:09 p.m.
Michigan vs. Texas Tech, 9:39 p.m.
Baltimore at N.Y. Yankees, 1:05 p.m.
N.Y. Mets at Washington, 1:05 p.m.
St. Louis at Milwaukee, 2:10 p.m.
Atlanta at Philadelphia, 3:05 p.m.
Detroit at Toronto, 3:37 p.m.
Houston at Tampa Bay, 4 p.m.
Chicago Cubs at Texas, 4:05 p.m.
L.A. Angels at Oakland, 4:07 p.m.
Cleveland at Minnesota, 4:10 p.m.
Arizona at L.A. Dodgers, 4:10 p.m.
Colorado at Miami, 4:10 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati, 4:10 p.m.
San Francisco at San Diego, 4:10 p.m.
Chicago White Sox at Kansas City, 4:15 p.m.
Boston at Seattle, 7:10 p.m.
Brooklyn at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Orlando at Detroit, 7 p.m.
Dallas at Miami, 7:30 p.m.
Toronto at New York, 7:30 p.m.
Denver at Houston, 8 p.m.
L.A. Clippers at Milwaukee, 8 p.m.
Sacramento at New Orleans, 8 p.m.
Cleveland at San Antonio, 8:30 p.m.
Washington at Carolina, 7 p.m.
Montreal at Columbus, 7 p.m.
Detroit at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Florida at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.
N.Y. Islanders at Winnipeg, 8 p.m.
Dallas at Edmonton, 9 p.m.
Los Angeles at Vancouver, 10 p.m.
Chicago at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.