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BC-AP Sports Digest

March 29, 2019

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Duke got by a giant Tacko to reach the Sweet 16. Waiting for the Blue Devils in Washington will be a familiar foe. Five days after escaping Central Florida and 7-foot-6 center Tacko Fall, the Blue Devils play fellow ACC-er Virginia Tech on Friday. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. UPCOMING: 850 words, photos by 4 a.m.


Bryce Harper bowed to his new fans, Mookie Betts and the World Series champion Boston Red Sox drew cheers far from Fenway Park and the great Mariano Rivera threw one more strike from the mound at Yankee Stadium. Then it was time to play Home Run Derby on a record-setting opening day. By Baseball Writer Ben Walker. SENT: 850 words, photos.


LOUISVILLE, Ky. _Down two to Tennessee with 2.7 seconds left, Purdue narrowly avoided a 5-second call before Carsen Edwards took a pass in the corner and heaved up a 3-point attempt that bounced off the rim. But a whistle gave Edwards a reprieve. Edwards finished with 29 points as Purdue advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2000, beating Tennessee 99-94 after blowing an 18-point lead. By Teresa M. Walker. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.


ANAHEIM, Calif. — More than 24 minutes into the game, the nation’s best defense had yet to allow its 20th point. Yes, Texas Tech makes it tough on people. One more clamp-down job like this and the Red Raiders will be D-ing up in the Final Four. By National Writer Eddie Pells. SENT: 745 words, photos.


ALBANY, N.Y. _ There will be plenty of star power and Pac-12 teams on display when the women’s Sweet 16 tips off on Friday night with four games. Napheesa Collier and UConn will get things underway when they face UCLA. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. UPCOMING: 680 words, photos by 4 a.m.


MIAMI _ The game had been over for at least half an hour and 2,000 people remained in the stands at AmericanAirlines Arena, all of them standing. They wore Slovenia jerseys. Miami jerseys. Dallas jerseys. And when Goran Dragic _ the player of the night _ emerged from the locker room for his curtain call, the roar was deafening. They jumped and chanted, all these Slovenians who made the trip to Miami to see Dragic vs. Luka Doncic, their favorite native sons, meet as NBA opponents for the first time. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 520 words, photos by 4 a.m.




WASHINGTON — Zion Williamson went to Duke for its winning history. Kerry Blackshear went to Virginia Tech to create one. Tom Izzo feels the need to explain why Michigan State hadn’t been in the Sweet 16 in four years. Tony Benford is excited LSU is back for the first time in 13 years. By Stephen Whyno. SENT: 790 words, photos.


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The last four teams standing in the Midwest Region are a celebration of everything that is good about college basketball: star players, over-achievers, tradition-rich programs and successful coaches. They also exemplify everything wrong with the game. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 980 words, photos.

Thursday Games

_ BKC--NCAA-FLORIDA STATE-GONZAGA _ Gonzaga is in the Elite Eight for the fourth time in history following a 72-58 victory over Florida State. By Joe Reedy. SENT: 850 words, photos.

_ BKC--NCAA-OREGON-VIRGINIA _No. 1 seed Virginia reached its second regional final in four years with a 53-49 victory over No. 12 Oregon on Thursday night in the NCAA Tournament. By Gary B. Graves. SENT: 750 words, photos.

_ Coaches:

_ BKC--ALABAMA-OATS _ New Alabama men’s basketball coach Nate Oats says Crimson Tide ‘can make a Final Four’. By John Zenor. SENT: 700 words, photos.

_ BKC--NIAGARA-PATRICK BEILEIN _ Patrick Beilein, son Michigan coach, hired as Niagara’s coach. SENT: 290 words.

_ BKC--SAINT JOSEPH’S-NEW COACH _ 76ers assistant Billy Lange hired as Saint Joseph’s coach. SENT: 400 words, photos.



ALBANY, N.Y. _ UCLA coach Cori Close told her team to pack for 10 days when the Bruins left Los Angeles last week for the NCAA Tournament. She had a feeling the Bruins would make it to the second weekend of the tournament. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. SENT: 960 words, photos.


PORTLAND, Ore. _ Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer remembers the team’s last meeting with Arizona State as grueling. He expects much the same when the top-seeded Bulldogs face the No. 5 Sun Devils on Friday night in the Sweet 16. By Anne M. Peterson. SENT: 840 words, photos.


_ BKW--ESPN-UCONN _ UConn fans wary of conference’s deal with ESPN. By Pat Eaton-Robb. SENT: 500 words, photos.



SEATTLE _ Tim Beckham, Domingo Santana and Seattle’s hodgepodge of new faces sent the defending World Series champions to a deflating start. The Mariners didn’t just knock off Boston. They thumped their way past the Red Sox and their ace, Chris Sale. By Tim Booth. SENT: 900 words, photos.


PHILADELPHIA _ Bryce Harper struck out twice in green Phanatic cleats in his $330 million debut and bowed to thousands of fans in No. 3 jerseys who gave him rousing standing ovations in the Philadelphia Phillies’ 10-4 win over the Atlanta Braves on Thursday. By Dan Gelston. SENT: 920 words, photos.


SAN DIEGO _Manny Machado went hitless in his first game with the San Diego Padres and Fernando Tatis Jr. singled twice in his big league debut, a 2-0 opening win over the San Francisco Giants. By Bernie Wilson. SENT: 980 words, photos.


LOS ANGELES _While one homer after another rocketed into the stands at Chavez Ravine, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ dugout celebrations became increasingly incredulous. Five homers in the first six innings? Followed by three more in swift succession in the seventh? Even the Dodgers’ power-packed lineup was impressed by itself. By Greg Beacham. SENT: 940 words, photos.


WASHINGTON _ In some respects, the first game of 2019 felt a bit like a remnant of 2018 all over again for manager Dave Martinez and the Washington Nationals. By Howard Fendrich. UPCOMING: 550 words, photos by 4 a.m.


_ BBO--JERSEY SALES _ Bryce Harper overtakes Aaron Judge for MLB’s top-selling jersey. SENT: 200 words, photos.



HOUSTON _Known for their high-powered offense, the Houston Rockets downed the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night with a big defensive performance. By Kristie Rieken. SENT: 740 words, photos.


MILWAUKEE — Giannis Antetokounmpo wants to fight through a right ankle injury that has hampered him over the last two weeks. But the Milwaukee Bucks forward may need some rest to get fully healthy before the playoffs start in mid-April. And his status was of prime concern after the Bucks’ 128-118 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers. SENT: 960 words, photos.


_ BKN--SPURS-GINOBILI _ Spurs retire Manu Ginobili’s No. 20 jersey during halftime ceremony. SENT: 400 words, photos.

_ BKN--JAZZ-EXUM _ Jazz guard Dante Exum has knee surgery, out indefinitely. SENT: 100 words.



NEW YORK _ The Associated Press polled a panel of WNBA coaches and general managers for a mock draft of the three rounds this spring. Panelists were limited to college seniors and eligible foreign players. While last season there was a clear-cut No. 1 in A’ja Wilson, there is no consensus top pick this year. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. UPCOMING: 1,100 words, photos by 4 a.m.



AUSTIN, Texas _ Tiger Woods lost his match and got off easy. At least he still has a chance in the Dell Technologies Match Play. Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 970 words, photos.


_ GLF--MATCH PLAY-NOTEBOOK _ By Jim Vertuno. SENT: 850 words, photos.




_ GLF--DOMINICAN REPUBLIC _ Joel Dahmen and Matt Jones share the lead after the opening round of PGA Tour event in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. SENT: 520 words.

_ GLF--LPGA TOUR _Chella Choi birdied the final three holes for a 7-under 65 and the first-round lead Thursday in the Kia Classic. SENT: 360 words.

_ GLF--INDIAN OPEN _ Julian Suri, Stephen Gallacher in front after first round in New Delhi in European/Asian tour play. SENT: 200 words.



CHARLOTTE, N.C. _ Colton Herta is a shaggy-haired, taco-loving teen too cheap to move out of his parents Southern California home. He’s also IndyCar’s newest winner and enjoying a whirlwind celebration that took him to Yankee Stadium for opening day. By Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. SENT: 840 words, photos.


_ CAR--F1-BAHRAIN GP _ Lewis Hamilton looks to bounce back this weekend at Bahrain Grand Prix. By Jerome Pugmire. SENT: 600 words, photos.



MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. _Ashleigh Barty waited six hours to get her spot in the Miami Open women’s final. Denis Shapovalov needed to pull off yet another comeback to earn his berth into the semifinals. Roger Federer, meanwhile, made winning seem relatively easy. And Simona Halep’s chance to return to No. 1 in the world fell apart against Karolina Pliskova. By Tim Reynolds. SENT: 920 words, photos.



OXON HILL, Md. _ Executives from U.S. sports leagues and sportsbook operators put their new closeness on display at two-day summit on sports betting. By Ben Nuckols. SENT: 900 words, photos.


_ HKN--NHL-SPORTS BETTING _ NHL enters third partnership with gambling operator. By Ben Nuckols. SENT: 350 words, photos.



BOSTON _ A former women’s soccer coach at Yale University pleaded guilty Thursday to taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for pretending applicants were recruits to boost their chances of getting into the school. By Alanna Durkin Richer. SENT: 690 words, photos.

_ Also:

_ BAYLOR-SEXUAL ASSAULT INVESTIGATION _ Judge orders release of documents in Baylor assault cases. By David Warren. SENT: 430 words, photos.



ATLANTA _ Georgia Tech is trying to prepare for next season while mourning the death of teammate Brandon Adams By Paul Newberry. SENT: 930 words, photos.



MANCHESTER, England _ Manchester United hires Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as its permanent coach, giving him a three-year contract. The decision seemed inevitable, with Solskjaer having transformed United and lifted the gloom since Jose Mourinho’s firing in December. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 870 words, photos.

_ Also:

_ SOC--SPAIN SPOTLIGHT-MESSI VS WU _ Lionel Messi goes against 20-year-old Chinese sensation in Spanish league. By Tales Azzoni. SENT: 550 words, photos.

_ SOC--EUROPEAN SOCCER WEEKEND _ Huddersfield could be first team relegated from Premier League. SENT: 700 words, photos.



ARCADIA, Calif. — The California Horse Racing Board voted Thursday to severely limit the use of whips on horses in racing statewide and approved medication changes on a smaller scale following the deaths of 22 horses at Santa Anita Park. By Amanda Lee Myers. SENT: 970 words, photos.







Friday Time Schedule (EDT)

Men’s NCAA Tournament

Regional Semifinals

At Washington

Michigan State vs. LSU, 7:09 p.m.

Duke vs. Virginia Tech, 9:39 p.m.

At Kansas City, Mo.

North Carolina vs. Auburn, 7:29 p.m.

Kentucky vs. Houston, 9:57 p.m.

Women’s NCAA Tournament

Regional Semifinals

At Portland, Ore.

Mississippi State vs. Arizona State, 9 p.m.

South Dakota State vs. Oregon, 11:30 p.m.

At Albany, N.Y.

UCLA vs. UConn, 7 p.m.

Louisville vs. Oregon State, 9:30 p.m.


Detroit at Toronto, 7:07 p.m.

Houston at Tampa Bay, 7:10 p.m.

Colorado at Miami, 7:10 p.m.

St. Louis at Milwaukee, 8:10 p.m.

L.A. Angels at Oakland, 10:07 p.m.

Boston at Seattle, 10:10 p.m.

Arizona at L.A. Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.

San Francisco at San Diego, 10:10 p.m.


Indiana at Boston, 7 p.m.

Portland at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.

Denver at Oklahoma City, 8 p.m.

Golden State at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Washington at Utah, 9 p.m.

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


St. Louis at N.Y. Rangers, 7 p.m.

Nashville at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.

New Jersey at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.

Anaheim at Calgary, 9 p.m.

Arizona at Colorado, 9 p.m.

Minnesota at Vegas, 10 p.m.


New York City FC at Toronto FC, 8 p.m.