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BC-AP Sports Digest

January 9, 2019

The supervisor is Bob Lentz, followed by Rebecca Miller at 9 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.

The miss by Bears kicker Cody Parkey won’t be easily forgotten in Chicago. Co-hosts Jim Litke and Tim Dahlberg discuss on AP’s PodcastOne Sports Now why kickers are so expendable, and yet so vital in a league that doesn’t seem to value them nearly enough.

https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast

TOP STORIES

FBC--CFP-CHAMPION CLEMSON

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Dabo Swinney won’t be celebrating for long. After leading Clemson to its second national title in three years, he’s itching to get started on another. By Paul Newberry. SENT: 950 words, photos.

FBN--COLTS-STARTING FAST

INDIANAPOLIS — Andrew Luck has done some of his most memorable work rallying the Indianapolis Colts. He’d rather spend the time protecting leads. By Mike Marot. UPCOMING: 730 words, photos by 3 a.m.

FBN--BUCCANEERS-ARIANS

TAMPA, Fla. — Bruce Arians is the latest coach entrusted to transform the struggling Tampa Bay Buccaneers into winners. The 66-year-old came out of a one-year retirement Tuesday to fill the team’s fifth coaching vacancy in a decade. By Fred Goodall. SENT: 760 words, photos.

FBN--CARDINALS-KINGSBURY

PHOENIX — The Arizona Cardinals have hired former Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury as their head coach, a move aimed at providing guidance for young quarterback Josh Rosen and resuscitating the worst offense in the NFL. By Bob Baum. SENT: 670 words, photos.

BKC--T25-DUKE-WAKE FOREST

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Nobody in college basketball attacks the rim quite like freshman sensation Zion Williamson does. His Duke teammates started doing it in the second half, and suddenly the top-ranked Blue Devils had yet another blowout victory. By Joedy McCreary. SENT: 780 words, photos.

BKW--HAMPTON-SIX STROKE

NEW YORK — David Six knows he is fortunate to be alive. Hampton’s coach has cherished being able to lead the Lady Pirates after suffering a stroke this summer. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 3 a.m.

BBO--SPENDING DROP

NEW YORK —Spending on Major League Baseball payrolls dropped last season for the first time since 2010, an $18 million decrease attributable to drug and domestic violence suspensions and a player retiring at midseason. By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum. SENT: 1,000 words, photos. With agate, charts.

COMMENTARY

GLF--ON THE FRINGE-OLD ROOKIE

HONOLULU — The Sony Open really is paradise for Chris Thompson, who could have swam to Hawaii faster than it took him to reach the PGA Tour. He turned pro in 1999. Twenty years later, he finally is teeing it up along with the elite in golf. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 900 words, photos.

With:

— GLF--GOLF NOTES — By Doug Ferguson. SENT: 1,300 words, photos.

— GLF--GOLF GLANCE — SENT: 400 words.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

FBC--CFP-ALABAMA-LONG OFFSEASON

MONTGOMERY, Ala. —Alabama coach Nick Saban is famously quick to start focusing on his postseason to-do list, whether the Crimson Tide just won a national championship or fell short. It’s how he’s wired, and there’s plenty of work to do this offseason. By John Zenor. SENT: 770 words, photos.

— Also:

— FBC--T25-AP TOP 25 HEAT CHECK — By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 1,550 words, photos.

— FBC--CFP-NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP-TV RATINGS — By Ralph Russo. SENT: 150 words, photos.

NFL

FBN--CHIEFS-DEFENSIVE SHORTCOMINGS

KANSAS CITY, Mo. —The Kansas City Chiefs’ defense had been hearing all season about how bad they were, and how they were the biggest threat to an offensive juggernaut falling short of reaching the Super Bowl. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 790 words, photos.

FBN--COWBOYS-2ND-ROUND PLAYOFFS

FRISCO, Texas —Defensive end Randy Gregory and linebacker Jaylon Smith are paying off as second-round draft gambles by the Dallas Cowboys. By Pro Football Writer Schuyler Dixon. SENT: 860 words, photos.

Also:

— FBN--COLTS-MCAFEE’S NEW QUEST — By Michael Marot. SENT: 710 words, photos.

— FBN--PATRIOTS-MCDANIELS — By Kyle Hightower. SENT: 400 words, photos.

— FBN--PACKERS-LAFLEUR — SENT: 250 words, photos.

— FBN--BROWNS-COACHING SEARCH — By Tom Withers. SENT: 780 words, photos.

NBA

BKN--TIMBERWOLVES-THUNDER

OKLAHOMA CITY — Ryan Saunders went right into the fire in his first game as the Minnesota Timberwolves’ interim coach. His debut was a down-to-the wire finish with the Oklahoma City Thunder, one of the best teams in the Western Conference. By Cliff Brunt. SENT: 700 words, photos.

With:

— BKN--THUNDER-NOEL — SENT: 250 words, photos.

NHL

HKN--AROUND THE NHL

While teams that fired their coaches this season aren’t faring much better, four of the six that made a change over the summer are in playoff position at the midway mark. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos by 3 a.m.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

BKC--T25-NORTH CAROLINA-NC STATE

RALEIGH, N.C. —North Carolina made the 30-minute drive to visit ranked rival North Carolina State and left Raleigh just as the 12th-ranked Tar Heels always seem to do: with a win. By Basketball Writer Aaron Beard. SENT: 790 words, photos.

BKN--T25-ST JOHN’S-VILLANOVA

VILLANOVA, Pa. — Collin Gillespie snagged the final rebound and hugged the basketball as a couple of St. John’s players took some last-gasp swipes at knocking it loose. Gillespie wasn’t letting go and — after a sluggish start — Villanova just may be tightening its grip as the team to beat in the Big East. By Dan Gelston. SENT: 820 words, photos.

BKC--WEST VIRGINIA-HUGGINS

West Virginia coach Bob Huggins grew tired of the lack of commitment from his players during what’s gone from a promising to a lackluster season. So he sent them a message: He started a freshman walk-on in a Big 12 road game. By John Raby. SENT: 600 words, photos.

Also:

— BKC--PAC-12 THIS WEEK — UPCOMING: 400 words, photos by 3 a.m.

GOLF

GLF--RYDER CUP-EUROPE CAPTAIN

Padraig Harrington will be Europe’s captain for the 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin. Harrington played on four Ryder Cup-winning teams and served as vice captain for the past three Ryder Cups. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 650 words, photos.

Also:

— GLF--PGA TOUR-CURRY — SENT: 260 words.

WINTER SPORTS

SKI--WCUP-WOMEN’S SLALOM

FLACHAU, Austria —Petra Vlhova of Slovakia won a women’s World Cup night slalom Tuesday, denying Mikaela Shiffrin a record-equaling eighth consecutive win in the discipline. Vlhova was third after the opening run but posted the fastest second-run time. Shiffrin finished her run 0.15 seconds behind the Slovakian winner. SENT: 760 words, photos.

TENNIS

— TEN--SYDNEY INTERNATIONAL — SENT: 400 words, photos.

— TEN--HOBART INTERNATIONAL — SENT: 300 words, photos.

— TEN--ASB CLASSIC — SENT: 250 words.

OLYMPICS

— OLY--LOPEZ-BA OVERTURNED — By National Writer Eddie Pells. SENT: 180 words.

LAW

— CANADA-BUS CRASH — SENT: 500 words, photos.

— BKH--USA BASKETBALL-INELIGIBLE PLAYER —SENT: 570 words, photos.

SOCCER

— SOC--ENGLISH ROUNDUP — By Global Soccer Writer Rob Harris. SENT: 710 words, photos.

— SOC--AFRICAN CUP-EGYPT — SENT: 140 words, photos.

CAPSULES

— BKN--NBA CAPSULES

— HKN--NHL CAPSULES

— BKC--TOP 25 CAPSULES

___

Wednesday Time Schedule (EST)

NBA

Indiana at Boston, 7 p.m.

Philadelphia at Washington, 7 p.m.

Atlanta at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.

Cleveland at New Orleans, 8 p.m.

Milwaukee at Houston, 8 p.m.

San Antonio at Memphis, 8 p.m.

Phoenix at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

Orlando at Utah, 9 p.m.

Chicago at Portland, 10 p.m.

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

NHL

Nashville at Chicago, 8 p.m.

Colorado at Calgary, 9:30 p.m.

Ottawa at Anaheim, 10 p.m.

TOP 25 BASKETBALL

Men

No. 4 Virginia at Boston College, 9 p.m.

No. 7 Kansas vs. No. 25 TCU, 9 p.m.

No. 9 Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech, 7 p.m.

No. 10 Nevada vs. San Jose State, 11 p.m.

No. 11 Auburn at Mississippi, 7 p.m.

No. 13 Florida State vs. Miami, 9 p.m.

No. 16 Ohio State at Rutgers, 7 p.m.

No. 17 Houston at Temple, 7 p.m.

No. 21 Marquette at Creighton, 7 p.m.

Women

No. 3 UConn vs. Cincinnati, 7 p.m.

No. 4 Baylor vs. Kansas State, 8 p.m.

No. 11 Texas vs. Oklahoma, 8 p.m.

No. 18 Minnesota at No. 23 Michigan State, 7 p.m.

No. 20 Iowa State vs. TCU, 7:30 p.m.

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