BC-AP Sports Digest
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A handful of moves at the NBA trade deadline means whoever is crowned “Beast of the East” should be an even tougher challenger to Golden State’s recent dominance of the Finals. But Toronto coach Nick Nurse tells PodcastOne Sports Now he’s focused on the making the mix-and-matchup Raptors versatile enough get past their new-look conference rivals when the playoffs roll around.
The 2019 college football season is 7½ months away. Time to start projecting. On the latest AP Top 25 College Football Podcast, Bill Connelly of SB Nation joins AP’s Ralph Russo to talk about the release of the S&P+ projections for next season.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. _ The Baltimore Ravens have agreed to trade quarterback Joe Flacco to the Denver Broncos for a fourth-round pick in this year’s NFL draft, the AP is told. Flacco, the MVP of the 2013 Super Bowl following a miraculous win at top-seeded Denver, became expendable in Baltimore with the emergence of rookie Lamar Jackson, the former Louisville star who led the Ravens into the playoffs after Flacco got hurt. By Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton. SENT: 880 words, photos.
TEMPE, Ariz. _ Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani, the AL Rookie of the Year, discusses his recovery from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery. By Janie McCauley. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 7 p.m.
LOS ANGELES _ In his first interview since he was disqualified for damaging greens in Saudi Arabia, Sergio Garcia says he will apologize as often as he needs to and expects to be under greater scrutiny for how he handles himself on the golf course. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 7 p.m.
CAR--NASCAR-DAYTONA 500-NEW LEADERSHIP
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. _ Jim France is running NASCAR the same way he lives his day-to-day life _ quietly, in the background, out of the spotlight he never craved. NASCAR’s new chairman was named head of the family business when a drunken driving arrest forced his nephew to step aside. France has publicly revealed almost nothing about his vision in the six months since he stepped in, but he’s clearly emboldened his staff to push hard in NASCAR’s attempt to stop its slide. By Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 5 p.m.
_ CAR--NASCAR-DAYTONA 500-THE LATEST _ Real-time updates throughout day.
ARE, Sweden _ With Lindsey Vonn’s retirement following that of Bode Miller and Julia Mancuso in recent years, and with Ted Ligety nearing the end of his career, it marks the end of a golden generation for the U.S. team. The only U.S. skier who has won a race this season is Mikaela Shiffrin, who is breaking record after record and is on course for a third straight overall World Cup title. By Andrew Dampf. SENT: 1,500 words, photos.
_ SKI--WORLDS-SHIFFRIN’S RIVAL _ Petra Vlhova is “a very strong rival” for Mikaela Shiffrin. By Andrew Dampf. SENT: 900 words, photos.
BKN--ALL-STAR-SHOOTING THE STEPBACK
James Harden turned to it to become the NBA’s most unstoppable scorer. Luka Doncic has ridden it to stardom on both sides of the Atlantic. The step-back 3-pointer is the perfect weapon for the modern NBA, practically a necessity in a game where the ability to find space to shoot from behind the arc is more valued than ever before. By Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney. SENT: 910 words, photos.
BKC--MURRAY STATE-MORANT’S RISE
Ja Morant is trying to stay grounded following his meteoric rise to the bright lights of college basketball’s national stage. While high-flying dunks have turned the Murray State sophomore point guard into a social media sensation, his floor leadership along with that vertical leap might make him an NBA draft lottery pick. By Gary B. Graves. SENT: 880 words, photos.
SOC--SMASHING THE LOFT
French soccer players are turning to the courts to fight workplace bullying and a practice known in France’s top leagues by an English word, “le loft.” It refers to the no-man’s land where clubs park footballers they no longer want but cannot get rid of immediately or who have fallen out of favor with club officials. By John Leicester. SENT: 1,360 words, photos.
AMSTERDAM _ Defending champion Real Madrid takes on Dutch club Ajax in the last 16 of the Champions League. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 7 p.m.
LOS ANGELES _ Tiger Woods has a half-dozen golf courses that he practically owns, from Torrey Pines to Bay Hill, from Augusta National to Muirfield Village. Riviera is far from that list. The course where he played his first PGA Tour event at age 16 is the one he has played the most times without winning. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 8 p.m.
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. _ Mickey Callaway’s first season as manager of the New York Mets was messy. Now set to begin his second spring training in charge, this time with a revamped roster under a new GM who expects the team to contend, Callaway has plenty of weight on his shoulders as he tries to engineer a smoother ride. By Baseball Writer Mike Fitzpatrick. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 9 p.m.
_ Spring training stories on the Orioles, Red Sox, Tigers, Royals, White Sox, Cardinals, Cubs, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Marlins and Pirates.
_ BBN--PHILLIES-NOLA _ Aaron Nola, Phillies agree to $45 million, 4-year deal, avoiding arbitration. SENT: 170 words.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. _ No. 1 Tennessee seeks to earn its 19th consecutive victory and remain in sole possession of first place in the Southeastern Conference when it hosts South Carolina. Tennessee won 92-70 at South Carolina on Jan. 29. By Steve Megargee. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts at 6:30 p.m.
FBO--SPORTS BETTING-NEW FOOTBALL LEAGUE
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. _ Almost no one knows the players, and there’s virtually no history to look back on. But that’s not stopping people from making bets on America’s newest professional football league, the Alliance of American Football. With one weekend of games under its belt, the league is drawing interest from some gamblers. By Wayne Parry. SENT: 850 words, photo.
_ FBO--AAF-TELEVISION. By Joe Reedy. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 4 p.m.
MINNEAPOLIS _ James Harden, who has had 30 straight 30-point games, and the Houston Rockets start a three-game road trip by visiting the Minnesota Timberwolves, who won the first meeting between the teams this season 103-91. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts at 8 p.m.
PITTSBURGH _ The Pittsburgh Penguins will be without Evgeni Malkin when they host Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers. Malkin is serving a one-game suspension for an illegal high stick. By Will Graves. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts at 8 p.m.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. _ The Nashville Predators’ 13-3 start to the season is a distant memory. Now they’ve lost seven of their last 10 at home, and a lack of scoring past the top line may force general manager David Poile’s hand before the NHL trade deadline. By Teresa M. Walker. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 7 p.m.
HKN--AROUND THE NHL
NHL goaltenders prepare for the unexpected and unpredictable, ready for pucks deflecting off sticks, bodies, feet or even a divot in the ice past all the gear designed to help defend their net. The freaky, fluky or simply weird goals can be laughed off by goalies who know sometimes the puck just takes a funny bounce. By Teresa M. Walker. SENT: 1,090 words, photos.
_ BOX--JOSHUA-MILLER _ Heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua to make U.S. debut against Jarrell Miller. SENT: 400 words, photos.
_ OLY--ANTI-DOPING-ATHLETES GROUP _ New athletes group formed to tackle doping in sports. By National Writer Eddie Pells. SENT: 500 words, photos.
_ OLY--2026 BIDS-STOCKHOLM-IBRAHIMOVIC _ Sweden calls on Zlatan Ibrahimovic to offer backing to Olympic bid. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 520 words, photos.
_ BKN--NBA CAPSULES
_ HKN--NHL CAPSULES
_ BKC--TOP 25 CAPSULES
_ BKW--TOP 25 CAPSULES
Wednesday Time Schedule (EST)
Brooklyn at Cleveland, 7 p.m.
Milwaukee at Indiana, 7 p.m.
Detroit at Boston, 7:30 p.m.
Philadelphia at New York, 7:30 p.m.
Washington at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.
Houston at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Memphis at Chicago, 8 p.m.
Miami at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
Sacramento at Denver, 9 p.m.
Golden State at Portland, 10:30 p.m.
Phoenix at L.A. Clippers, 10:30 p.m.
Edmonton at Pittsburgh, 8 p.m.
Vancouver at Anaheim, 10:30 p.m.
College Basketball (Top 25)
No. 1 Tennessee vs. South Carolina, 6:30 p.m.
No. 13 Villanova vs. Providence, 6:30 p.m.
No. 15 Texas Tech at Oklahoma State, 9 p.m.
No. 17 Florida State vs. Wake Forest, 7 p.m.
No. 22 Virginia Tech vs. Georgia Tech, 8 p.m.
No. 1 Baylor at Kansas State, 8 p.m.
No. 6 Notre Dame at Boston College, 7 p.m.
No. 12 N.C. State at No. 16 Syracuse, 7 p.m.
No. 18 Iowa State at TCU, 7:30 p.m.<