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 the big college 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
CHICAGO —No doubt about it now, the Bears really are serious about winning the NFC North. Khalil Mack had a sack and fumble recovery, Eddie Jackson returned an interception for a touchdown and Chicago tightened its grip on the division with a 25-20 victory over the second-place Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night. By Andrew Seligman. SENT: 900 words, photos.
— FBN--VIKINGS-NOWHERE TO RUN — By Jay Cohen. SENT: 650 words, photos.
FBN--REDSKINS-ALEX SMITH-SEASON OVER
LANDOVER, Md. — Alex Smith seemed to know immediately this was bad. Really, really bad. He covered his face with both hands, then a white towel, before his fractured right leg was placed in an air cast and he was carted off the field. By Football Writer Howard Fendrich. SENT: 675 words, photos.
— FBN--TEXANS-REDSKINS — By Stephen Whyno. SENT: 900 words, photos.
MIAMI — LeBron James stopped worrying about his place in history long ago. His legacy has been secure for years. The argument about where he ranks, whether or not he’s the best player to ever step on a basketball court, will continue forever and there will never be a definitive answer. That is, unless he keeps doing things like this. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 3 a.m.
— BKN--LAKERS-HEAT. By Tim Reynolds. SENT: 830 words, photos.
HOMESTEAD, Fla. — Joey Logano was the underdog in NASCAR’s title race, the driver few thought capable of keeping pace with the Big Three and stealing the title from one of the favorites. Logano proved everyone wrong with an upset victory in a season in which he only became a true contender once his Team Penske group started the postseason. He blazed his way through the playoffs and closed out his improbable run Sunday with a win at Homestead-Miami Speedway that seized his first NASCAR title. By Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. UPCOMING: 970 words, photos by 3 a.m.
FBN--ON FOOTBALL-THE BAD, BAD AND BAD
Bad penalties, bad decisions, bad coaching. And bad losses. They occurred all over the NFL on Sunday. The Jaguars, Cardinals, Chargers and Falcons all will be shaking their heads the way their fans are about how they blew games. By Football Writer Barry Wilner. UPCOMING: 820 words, photos by 3 a.m.
As much as the NFL would rather if everyone discussed all of the yards and TDs produced in game after game, and for whatever advancements in player safety, pro football is, at its core, a brutal sport — and what happened to Alex Smith’s right leg is not very different from what happened to Joe Theismann’s right leg, exactly 33 years apart. The AP takes a look at that and other top topics after the 11th Sunday of the season. By Pro Football Writer Howard Fendrich. UPCOMING: 715 words, photos by 3 a.m.
NEW ORLEANS —Drew Brees grinned, paused as if searching for the right words, and even let out the beginnings of a laugh. The Saints have made 40-point outings look routine lately, and the record-setting quarterback is trying to enjoy it without showing a hint of complacency. By Brett Martel. SENT: 810 words, photos.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. —Ben Roethlisberger threw two interceptions on his first 12 passes. The Pittsburgh Steelers failed to score in the first half for the first time in more than two years, and they still trailed by 10 approaching the 2-minute warning. So when Big Ben muscled his way over the goal line with 5 seconds left for a 20-16 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, he wasn’t sure where to rank this comeback. By Doug Ferguson. SENT: 960 words, photos.
GLENDALE, Ariz. — The hollering in the post-game locker room sounded as if Oakland had just won a playoff game or something. That’s how good victory finally felt for the Raiders. By Bob Baum. SENT: 850 words, photos.
ATLANTA — Brett Maher got another shot on the final play of the game. This time, he made it count. Maher’s 42-yard field goal as time expired Sunday gave Dallas a 22-19 victory over the Atlanta Falcons after the resurgent Cowboys squandered a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter. By Paul Newberry. SENT: 970 words, photos.
— FBN--NFL TODAY.
— FBN--NFL INJURIES.
— FBN--BROWNS-CONDOLEEZZA RICE — By Tom Withers. SENT: 600 words, photos.
FBN--ESPN-MONDAY NIGHT TRANSITION
LOS ANGELES — ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” crew is under the spotlight every week, but attention will be further magnified when the Los Angeles Rams host the Kansas City Chiefs in a matchup of 9-1 teams. This week’s game carries more storylines than usual. It’s the first Monday night game in Los Angeles since 1985. It’s also just the second time that teams meeting on Monday night in Week 11 or later have each had one or fewer losses. By Joe Reedy. SENT: 800 words, photos.
FBC--T25-AP TOP 25 HEAT CHECK
There are four teams that have already lost four games in the latest AP Top 25, about the number that would usually be found in the final poll of the season. So why not a team with five losses? By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 1,100 words, photos by 3 a.m.
— FBC--T25-COLLEGE FOOTBALL POLL — By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 600 words, photos.
Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor turned in the best performance of his career in a week that saw four of the season’s top nine rushing totals. By College Football Writer Eric Olson. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 3 a.m.
LAWRENCE, Kan. —Les Miles walked confidently to the podium and slipped on a familiar white hat. This one had “KU” embroidered across the front. The quirky and energetic coach who led LSU to the 2007 national title, after building a consistent winner at Oklahoma State, is back in the Big 12. His task this time is to turn around a long-suffering program at Kansas, where years of losing have left fan apathy at historically high levels. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
FBC--T25-BIG TEN SHOWDOWN
COLUMBUS, Ohio —Maybe both teams already were looking ahead to The Game. Whatever it was, Michigan and Ohio State struggled with middling Big Ten teams Saturday. Instead of easy tuneups, the games against 5-5 teams nearly became nightmare traps. By Mitch Stacy. SENT: 630 words, photos.
SEATTLE —Jake Browning has been the quarterback for more victories than any other player in Pac-12 Conference history. He’s rewritten the record book for No. 16 Washington and despite the undue criticism that has come his way by the fan base at times through his career, will long be regarded as one of the great quarterbacks to wear the Huskies’ purple and gold. By Tim Booth. SENT: 640 words, photos.
— FBC--COLORADO-MACINTYRE FIRED — By Arnie Stapleton. SENT: 920 words, photos.
BKN--AROUND THE NBA
There has been some early tinkering to lineups, a few hiccups and lots of drama to start the NBA season. None of the league’s final four teams from last season — Boston, Cleveland, Houston, Golden State — look like locks to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy this time. By Kyle Hightower. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 3 a.m.
CHARLESTON, S.C. —Nickeil Alexander-Walker had 25 points, Ahmed Hill and Justin Robinson had 23 points apiece and No. 16 Virginia Tech rallied from 12 points down in the second half to beat No. 23 Purdue 89-83 in the Charleston Classic championship. By Pete Iacobelli. SENT: 740 words, photos.
BKC--AIR FORCE RESERVE TIP-OFF
UNCASVILLE, Conn. — No. 18 Michigan showed off its offensive versatility and a relentless defense in winning this weekend’s Air Force Reserve Tip-Off tournament. Ignas Brazdeikis scored 20 points to lead the 18th-ranked Wolverines to a 66-47 victory over Providence in Sunday’s championship game. By Pat Eaton-Robb. SENT: 800 words, PHOTOS.
ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands —Kansas State coach Bruce Weber didn’t panic when his 12th-ranked Wildcats struggled to score Sunday against Penn. Instead, Weber counted on Kansas State’s defense to settle things down in the Wildcats’ 64-48 victory over the Quakers in the semifinals of the Paradise Jam tournament. SENT: 650 words.
BKD--PARADISE JAM — UPCOMING: 100 words, by 3 a.m.
LAHAINA, Hawaii —The Duke juggernaut heads to paradise, where college basketball’s most talked-about team will be even more in the spotlight at the Maui Invitational. The top-ranked Blue Devils should be able to handle it. They’re 5 for 5 at the Lahaina Civic Center: five trips to Maui, five additions to the already-full trophy case for the trip home. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. SENT: 850 words, photos.
Quentin Hillsman is already thinking ahead to March and the NCAA Tournament. Syracuse’s coach scheduled up in the early part of the season with games against No. 3 Oregon and No. 20 Texas A&M with the hopes of playing well and potentially getting a home game in the opening weekend of the NCAAs. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. UPCOMING: 660 words, photos by 3 a.m.
HOMESTEAD, Fla. — Joey Logano raced into NASCAR anointed as its next star. He was 18, dubbed “Sliced Bread” because of all the hype, and in way over his head. It made Logano an easy target on and off the track and threatened his career. Logano was out of a job five years after he arrived but given a second chance by Roger Penske, the titans of motorsports. Now he’s part of Penske’s storied history as NASCAR’s newest champion.. By Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. SENT: 1,300 words, photos.
— CAR--NASCAR-HOMESTEAD-FORD FINALLY WINS — By Mark Long. SENT: 380 words, photos.
— CAR-NASCAR--HOMSTEAD-LOSERS LAMENT — By Dan Gelston. SENT: 670 words, photos.
HOMESTEAD, Fla. — Martin Truex Jr. badly wanted to end Furniture Row’s existence with a second straight championship. He came up one spot short in NASCAR’s season finale to spoil the farewell. By Mark Long. SENT: 830 words, photos.
HOMESTEAD, Fla. —Seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus are parting ways after 17 years together. Sponsor Lowe’s also is leaving NASCAR. Johnson and Knaus talked strategy for the final time at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Knaus gave Johnson a good-luck smack on the helmet before he walked off to the pit box. By Dan Gelston. SENT: 860 words, photos.
HOMESTEAD, Fla. — NASCAR is open to wholesale changes for 2020 that can include everything from doubleheaders, midweek races, a shortened schedule, shorter races and even a potential shared event schedule with IndyCar. New NASCAR President Steve Phelps says the sanctioning body is optimistic the series can weather its downturn. By Jenna Fryer. SENT: 740 words, photos.
— CAR--F3-FLOERSCH CRASH — Teenage driver survives spectacular crash at Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix. SENT: 270 words.
LONDON —Despite beating Novak Djokovic in straight sets to win the ATP Finals at only 21, Alexander Zverev knows keeping pace with the Serb isn’t going to be easy. Zverev claimed the biggest title of his career with a 6-4, 6-3 upset on Sunday, becoming the youngest champion of the season-ending event since Djokovic claimed the first of his five titles a decade ago — also at age 21. By Sam Johnston. SENT: 840 words, photos.
NAPLES, Fla. —Lexi Thompson was the best this week, and Ariya Jutanugarn was the best all season. Neither left any doubt about that Sunday. SENT: 800 words, photos.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. —Charles Howell III made a 15-foot birdie putt on the second hole of a playoff with Patrick Rodgers on Sunday in the RSM Classic to end an 11-year victory drought. SENT: 540 words, photos.
— GLF--WORLD TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP — SENT: 500 words.
— GLF--AUSTRALIAN OPEN — SENT: 300 words, photos.
LEVI, Finland — Marcel Hirscher posted the fastest time in both runs to win the season-open men’s World Cup slalom. The seven-time overall champion edged Henrik Kristoffersen twice, and finished the race 0.09 seconds ahead of the Norwegian. The rest of field, led by Olympic champion Andre Myhrer of Sweden, was more than 1.4 seconds behind. SENT: 550 words, photos.
— SPD--WCUP — Russia’s Pavel Kulizhnikov wins 1,000 meters at speed skating World Cup. SENT: 140 words.
LONDON —Harry Kane’s goalless streak was only five minutes from extending to eight games when the captain finally found the net again for England. By Rob Harris. SENT: 830 words, photos.
— FBN--NFL CAPSULES
— BKN--NBA CAPSULES
— HKN--NHL CAPSULES
— BKC--T25-TOP 25 CAPSULES
— BKW--T25-TOP 25 CAPSULES
Monday Time Schedule (EST)
Kansas City at L.A. Rams, 8:15 p.m.
Boston at Charlotte, 7 p.m.
Cleveland at Detroit, 7 p.m.
Phoenix at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Utah at Indiana, 7 p.m.
L.A. Clippers at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.
Dallas at Memphis, 8 p.m.
Denver at Milwaukee, 8 p.m.
San Antonio at New Orleans, 8 p.m.
Oklahoma City at Sacramento, 10 p.m.
Dallas at N.Y. Rangers, 7 p.m.
Columbus at Toronto, 7 p.m.
Buffalo at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
Washington at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.
Florida at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Nashville, 8 p.m.
Los Angeles at St. Louis, 8 p.m.
Vegas at Calgary, 9 p.m.
Winnipeg at Vancouver, 10 p.m
TOP 25 BASKETBALL
No. 1 Duke vs. San Diego State at Lahaina Civic Center, Maui, Hawaii, 5 p.m.
No. 3 Gonzaga vs. Illinois at Lahaina Civic Center, Maui, Hawaii, 11:30 p.m.
No. 6 Nevada vs. Cal Baptist at Lawlor Events Center, Reno, Nev., 10 p.m.
No. 7 North Carolina vs. Saint Francis (Pa.), 8 p.m.
No. 9 Auburn vs. Xavier at Lahaina Civic Center, Maui, Hawaii, 2:30 p.m.
No. 12 Kansas State vs. Missouri at UVI Sports and Fitness Center, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, 9:30 p.m.
No. 14 Florida State vs. Canisius, 7 p.m.
No. 17 Mississippi State vs. Arizona State at T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, 11 p.m.
No. 19 Clemson vs. Akron at John Gray Gym, George Town, Cayman Islands, 11 a.m.
No. 20 UCLA vs. Presbyterian, 11 p.m.
No. 5 Louisville at Boise State, 5 p.m.
No. 16 Missouri vs. SIU Edwardsville, 8 p.m.