BC-AP Sports Digest
The supervisor is Bob Lentz, followed by Fred Lief 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(at)ap.org or 877-836-9477. All times EST.
Marcellus Wiley, a former NFL defensive end and Fox Sports personality, is still on the fence about allowing his young son play football. But he tells co-hosts Jim Litke and Tim Dahlberg on the AP’s PodcastOne Sports Now he likes what the NFL is doing to try to make the game safer. Listen at podcastonesports.com, the podcastone app and apple podcasts. https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast
SANTA CLARA, Calif. —With stunning ease — and a freshman quarterback — Clemson toppled college football’s greatest dynasty again to become the first perfect playoff champion. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 950 words, photos.
FBC--CFP-NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP-BEST EVER?
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — There will never be a definitive answer to the greatest team in college football history. That didn’t stop Clemson coach Dabo Swinney from lobbying for his squad. By Paul Newberry. SENT: 420 words, photos.
— FBC--CFP-NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP-CLEMSON LINE — SENT: 780 words, photos.
— FBC--CFP-NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP-TUA — By Josh Dubow. SENT: 660 words, photos.
— FBC--CFP-NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP-BIG PLAY CLEMSON — By Pete Iacobelli. SENT: 670 words, photos.
— FBC--CFP-PLAYOFF-EXPANSION — By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 370 words, photos.
FB--T25-COLLEGE FOOTBALL POLL
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Clemson finished No. 1 in The Associated Press poll for the third time after routing Alabama in the national championship game. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 500 words, photos.
— FBC--T25-AP TOP 25 — SENT: 240 words.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Green Bay Packers are turning to fast-rising offensive whiz Matt LaFleur to aid Aaron Rodgers and end a two-year absence from the postseason. LaFleur accepted an offer Monday to become the next head coach of the Packers, according to a person familiar with the decision. By Teresa M. Walker. SENT: 760 words, photos.
BKC--T25-TOP 25 THIS WEEK
North Carolina State has been one of college basketball’s biggest surprises, passing nearly every big test so far. The 15th-ranked Wolfpack will get perhaps the toughest one yet on Tuesday, facing No. 12 North Carolina. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos.
— BKC--COLLEGE BKB POLL — By Basketball Writer John Marshall. SENT: 650 words, photos.
BKW--T25-WHO’S NO 1
For the first time in a long time, a handful of teams could make an argument to be No. 1 in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. UPCOMING: 880 words, photos.
— BKW--WOMEN’S BKB POLL — By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. SENT: SENT: 400 words, photos.
FBC--CFP-NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP-PAUL NEWBERRY
SANTA CLARA, Calif. —By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, Nick Saban knew his seventh national title would not come on this night. He stalked the Alabama sideline as he always does, barking into his headset and at anyone within earshot.There was nothing he could do. By Sports Columnist Paul Newberry. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
Clemson finished the season ranked in the top 10 in three of the four major defensive categories and in two of the four on offense. By College Football Writer Eric Olson. UPCOMING: 460 words, photos by 3 a.m.
FBC--HALL OF FAME
Texas quarterback Vince Young and Notre Dame speedster Raghib Ismail have been selected for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, along with 11 other players and two coaches. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 300 words, photos.
— FBC--HALL OF FAME-BLIMP — By Tom Withers. SENT: 350 words, photos.
FBN--BEHIND THE CALL
The NFL’s wild weekend of wild-card games demonstrated that even in this age of explosive offenses, defense still dominates in the playoffs and it often comes down to a toe, a few fingers or even a 40-year-old hamstring. By Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton. UPCOMING: 930 words, photos by 3 a.m.
FBN--CHARGERS-ON TO NEW ENGLAND
COSTA MESA, Calif. —Gus Bradley was successful in coming up with a game plan to thwart an athletic rookie quarterback making his first postseason start. The Chargers defensive coordinator’s challenge this week though could not be more diametrically different. By Joe Reedy. SENT: 720 words, photos.
— FBN--PATRIOTS — By Kyle Hightower. SENT: 700 words, photos.
METAIRIE, La. —Saints linebacker A.J. Klein gushed over the poise and postseason accomplishments of Eagles backup quarterback Nick Foles. Philadelphia had better hope Klein is right, because the Superdome was home to Eagles starter Carson Wentz’s worst game this season before he went out with a back injury. By Brett Martel. SENT: 840 words, photos.
FBN--COWBOYS-BACK TO CALI
FRISCO, Texas —Before he knew the next opponent, owner Jerry Jones likened the recovery of his Dallas Cowboys from 3-5 to their first playoff win in four years to a boom-or-bust wagon train headed to California. Lo and behold, Dallas is set for a divisional game Saturday night against the Los Angeles Rams, not far from where the journey began in training camp north of LA. By Pro Football Writer Schuyler Dixon. SENT: 720 words, photos.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. —The Kansas City Chiefs didn’t draft Patrick Mahomes merely to make the playoffs. No, the Chiefs didn’t trade up to select Mahomes just to make the playoffs. They did it to win in the playoffs. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 820 words, photos.
— Wrapups on Bears, Ravens, Seahawks.
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State is proving it doesn’t need NBA-ready talent to succeed. The Spartans have surged to No. 6 in the AP Top 25 with eight straight victories. They’re clicking with a team that seems to have much more experience than jaw-dropping talent. By Larry Lage. SENT: 670 words, photos.
— BKC--COLLEGE CORRUPTION — By Basketball Writer John Marshall. SENT: 330 words.
— BKC--T25-NC STATE-DEEP ROTATION — By Basketball Writer Aaron Beard. SENT: 610 words, photos.
— BKC--IOWA ST-SHAYOK — By Luke Meredith. SENT: 620 words, photos.
HOUSTON —With James Harden getting double-teamed almost every time he had the ball Monday night against the Denver Nuggets, he looked for other Houston Rockets to step up and make plays. Chief among them was Clint Capela, who set a career high with 31 points as the Rockets beat the Nuggets 125-113. By Kristie Rieken. SENT: 650 words, photos.
MINNEAPOLIS —Ryan Saunders has always had basketball in his blood, the consummate coach’s son who as a kid would sometimes doze off on the couch after joining dad for a late-night review of game film. Roughly three years after the death of his father, Flip Saunders , the 32-year-old Ryan Saunders has assumed the job in Minnesota he’s been aiming for all along, albeit earlier and more abruptly than ever expected. By Dave Campbell. SENT: 930 words, photos.
GLF--XANDER THE GREAT
KAPALUA, Hawaii — Eighteen months ago, Xander Schauffele had played 18 times on the PGA Tour and missed half the cuts. Now he has won four times in 18 months and is ranked No. 6. The 25-year-old Californian has taken his place among golf’s emerging generation of stars. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 800 words, photos.
NEW YORK —Troy Tulowitzki would be happy if the New York Yankees add Manny Machado to their infield, even if the move costs the 34-year-old shortstop playing time. By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum. SENT: 660 words, photos.
CHULA VISTA, Calif. —New coach Gregg Berhalter is taking the U.S. national team back to all sorts of basics during his first training camp. By Greg Beacham. SENT: 920 words, photos.
— SOC--ENGLISH ROUNDUP —A makeshift Liverpool team containing three teenagers making their senior debuts was beaten by Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 in the third round of the FA Cup, with a 30-meter strike by Ruben Neves sealing the win on Monday. SENT: 530 words, photos.
— SOC--ASIAN CUP — SENT: 400 words, photos.
Lindsey Vonn plans to return this weekend for speed races in Austria, resuming her quest for the career record for World Cup victories. These will be her first races of the season after she hurt her knee and missed six events. She needs five more victories to break Ingemar Stenmark’s record of 86 wins. By Eric Willemsen. SENT: 500 words, photos.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Daniel Suarez is getting a reset on his career, a second chance to prove he can win at NASCAR’s top level. Pushed out of a ride with Joe Gibbs Racing, one of the top teams, Suarez now finds a soft landing at Stewart-Haas Racing. By Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. SENT: 700 words, photos.
— OHIO STATE-TEAM DOCTOR-WHISTLEBLOWER — SENT: 150 words, photos.
— ATH--NETHERLANDS-TRAINER ABUSE —SENT: 160 words.
— Australian Open tuneups in Australia (Sydney, Hobart) and New Zealand.
— OLY-RUSSIAN DOPING — SENT: 300 words.
— CYC--USA CYCLING-CEO — By Dave Skretta. SENT: 550 words.
— BKN--NBA CAPSULES
— HKN--NHL CAPSULES
Tuesday Time Schedule (EST)
Indiana at Cleveland, 7 p.m.
Washington at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Atlanta at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.
Denver at Miami, 7:30 p.m.
Minnesota at Oklahoma City, 8 p.m.
Sacramento at Phoenix, 9 p.m.
Charlotte at L.A. Clippers, 10:30 p.m.
New York at Golden State, 10:30 p.m.
Minnesota at Boston, 7 p.m.
Carolina vs. N.Y. Islanders at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 7 p.m.
Florida at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
New Jersey at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Philadelphia at Washington, 7:30 p.m.
Columbus at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.
Montreal at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.
Dallas at St. Louis, 8 p.m.
Colorado at Winnipeg, 8 p.m.
N.Y. Rangers at Vegas, 10 p.m.
Edmonton at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.
TOP 25 BASKETBALL
No. 1 Duke at Wake Forest, 7 p.m.
No. 3 Tennessee at Missouri, 7 p.m.
No. 6 Michigan State vs. Purdue, 9 p.m.
No. 8 Texas Tech vs. No. 23 Oklahoma, 9 p.m.
No. 12 North Carolina at No. 15 N.C. State, 9 p.m.
No. 14 Mississippi State at South Carolina, 9 p.m.
No. 18 Kentucky vs. Texas A&M, 7 p.m.
No. 19 Buffalo vs. Toledo, 7 p.m.
No. 20 Iowa State at Baylor, 7 p.m.
No. 24 St. John’s at Villanova, 7 p.m.
No. 9 Maryland at Nebraska, 8 p.m.