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BC-Sports Showcase Digest

March 26, 2019

A look ahead to top enterprise and feature stories planned globally by AP Sports. New digests will go out each Thursday and Monday and will be repeated on other weekdays. Please note that story plans may change depending on news and other issues.

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As with all our operations, we welcome and want your feedback. If you have thoughts or questions about the Sports Showcase Digest or the material listed, please reach out to Oskar Garcia, deputy sports editor for presentation and storytelling, at 215-446-6632 or at ogarcia@ap.org.

All times are Eastern.

TUESDAY, March 26

BKC--NCAA-TOURNAMENT MONEY

An NCAA Tournament bid or an early upset is like winning the lottery for mid-major schools. The infusion of money improves the conference’s chances of producing the next Cinderella. But an AP analysis finds those windfalls are becoming rarer, with power conferences hoarding tournament revenue. By College Sports Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 1,550 words, photos. Abridged version: 850 words.

With:

BKC--NCAA TOURNAMENT MONEY-DEAL MAKERS

With Gonzaga courted by the Mountain West Conference, school leaders wanted to leverage their position. They cut a deal with their current league, the West Coast Conference, to earn NCAA shares according to the Zags’ tournament success. Most conferences go with an even split. By National Writer Eddie Pells. SENT: 900 words, photos.

_ BKC--NCAA-TOURNAMENT MONEY-HOW IT WORKS _ By Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 750 words, photos.

Data distribution: The APs is sharing more than 20 years’ worth of tournament payout data on data.world, which members can use to explore the amount a school’s wins have earned for its conference and the amount a school has received relative to its production. If your news organization is not yet licensed to access our data distribution, contact apdigitalsales@ap.org. The data.world link: https://data.world/associatedpress/ncaa-conference-payouts

OLY-JOHN LEICESTER-WEIGHTLIFTING’S WOES

PARIS _ The initial picture that emerged from weightlifting’s world championships seemed positive: All of the drug tests initially came back negative, offering hope that the troubled sport’s efforts to change its doping culture and lift the threat of being kicked out of the Olympic Games might be bearing fruit. But then sophisticated computer algorithms got to work on reanalyzing the results. That high-tech additional screening revealed a grim picture of continued doping, including by reigning Olympic champions, that will be presented to the International Olympic Committee this week. Given that weightlifting was already on probation, this should be the last straw: The time has now come give weightlifters’ Olympic spots to athletes from other sports that offer a more believable, more inspiring example. By Sports Columnist John Leicester. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 5 a.m. Tuesday.

THURSDAY, March 28

SKI--FAST FRIENDS

Ten years ago, ski racer Thomas Walsh was diagnosed with cancer that ended up taking his pelvis. By his side that day was Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin. She remains one of his biggest fans as Walsh rises through the ranks as a Paralympian. They’ve long been good friends, with Walsh taking some of his first lessons from Shiffrin’s mom. “He has that kind of ‘zest-for-life’ that is very rare, very contagious, and cannot be stifled. Not even by cancer,” Shiffrin said. By Pat Graham. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 3 a.m. Thursday.

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Again, if you have questions about the Sports Showcase Digest or the material listed, please reach out to Oskar Garcia at 215-446-6632 or ogarcia@ap.org.

Thanks,

AP Sports