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BC-AP Sports Digest

March 16, 2019

The supervisor is Fred Lief, followed by John Nicholson at 5 p.m. and Dennis Waszak Jr. at 1 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 EDT.

With the deaths of two great sports writers, co-hosts Jim Litke and Tim Dahlberg discuss on the PodcastOne Sports Now how athletes are now covered in the era of instant news and how Dan Jenkins and Hugh McIlvanney gave the kind of insight increasingly hard to find these days. https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast

TOP STORIES

BKC--T25-ACC-FLORIDA STATE-DUKE

CHARLOTTE, N.C. _ No. 5 Duke, powered by Zion Williamson, plays No. 12 Florida State in the ACC tournament championship game. The Seminoles upset No. 2 Virginia in the semifinals while the Blue Devils edged No. 3 North Carolina. By Aaron Beard. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Game starts 8:30 p.m.

COLLEGE ADMISSIONS-BRIBERY-SPECIAL ADMITS

Gerald Gurney spent nearly two decades in athletics administration at Oklahoma. He’d give the admissions office the names of athletes recommended for enrollment who didn’t meet entry standards. He calls the process “the original sin of college.” By Eric Olson. SENT: 1,200 words, photos.

GLF--PLYERS CHAMPIONSHIP

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. _ Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood share the lead going into the third round of The Players Championship. Tiger Woods is nine back. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 8 p.m.

BOX--GARCIA-SPENCE

ARLINGTON, Texas _ In a bout between unbeaten boxers, four-division champion Mikey Garcia fights Errol Spence. Garcia moved up two weight classes and will be trying to take the hometown favorite’s IBF welterweight title. By Stephen Hawkins. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Fight starts about 11 p.m.

SPORTS SHOWCASE

BKC--FIRST FOUR-DAYTON’S GEM

DAYTON, Ohio _ Dayton, the only city to host NCAA Tournament play-in games since they began in 2001, has taken four routine college basketball games and made them crackle with energy. It gives this city national exposure money can’t buy. By Mitch Stacy. SENT: 700 words, photos.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Men:

BKC--T25-B12-IOWA ST-KANSAS

KANSAS CITY, Mo. _ Two of the most successful teams in Big 12 tournament history meet for only the second time in the finals when No. 17 Kansas faces Iowa State. The Jayhawks failed to win a share of the Big 12 regular-season title for the first time in 15 years. By Dave Skretta. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 6 p.m.

BKC--T25-BEAST-SETON HALL-VILLANOVA

NEW YORK _ No. 25 Villanova tries to defend its Big East tournament championship against Seton Hall. The Pirates beat the Wildcats for the 2016 Big East crown, Villanova’s only conference tournament loss in the previous four seasons. By Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 6:30 p.m.

BKC--T25-SEC-TENNESSEE-KENTUCKY

NASHVILLE, Tenn. _ No. 4 Kentucky, with Reid Travis back in the lineup, takes on No. 8 Tennessee in the SEC tournament semifinals. Tennessee lost 86-69 at Kentucky on Feb. 16 to end a 19-game winning streak but trounced the Wildcats two weeks later. By Steve Megargee. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts about 3:30 p.m.

_ With:

_ BKC--T25-SEC-FLORIDA-AUBURN _ By Teresa M. Walker. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game started 1 p.m.

BKC--T25-B10-WISCONSIN-MICHIGAN STATE

CHICAGO _ No. 6 Michigan State plays No. 19 Wisconsin for a spot in the Big Ten tournament final. The top-seeded Spartans beat the Badgers 67-59 in their only meeting this season. By Jay Cohen. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game started 1 p.m.

_ With:

_ BKC--T25-B10-MINNESOTA-MICHIGAN _ By Andrew Seligman. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts about 3:30 p.m.

_ Other tournament finals (automatic NCAA bid):

_ America East _ Vermont 66, Maryland-Baltimore County 49.

_ Big Sky _ Montana vs. Eastern Washington, 8 p.m.

_ Big West _ UC Irvine vs. Cal State Fullerton, midnight

_ Conference USA _ Old Dominion vs. Western Kentucky, 8:30 p.m.

_ Mid-American _ Buffalo vs. Bowling Green, 7:30 p.m.

_ Mid-Eastern Athletic _ Norfolk State vs. N.C. Central, 1 p.m.

_ Mountain West _ San Diego State vs. Utah State, 6 p.m.

_ Pacific-12 _ Washington vs. Oregon, 10:30 p.m.

_ Southland _ New Orleans vs. Abilene Christian, 9:30 p.m.

_ Southwestern Athletic _ Prairie View A&M vs. Texas Southern, 5 p.m.

_ Western Athletic _ New Mexico State vs. Grand Canyon, 10 p.m.

Women:

BKW--T25-NOTRE DAME-YOUNG

SOUTH BEND, Ind. _ Jackie Young has emerged as the do-everything player for Notre Dame. The junior is leading the No. 3 Fighting Irish in the defense of their NCAA championship. SENT: 600 words, photos.

_ Tournament finals (automatic NCAA bid):

_ Mid-American _ Buffalo 77, Ohio 61.

_ Sun Belt _ Little Rock 57, South Alabama 56.

_ Big West _ UC Davis vs. Hawaii, 6:30 p.m.

_ Colonial Athletic _ Towson vs. Drexel, 1 p.m.

_ Conference USA _ Rice vs. Middle Tennessee, 5:30 p.m.

_ Mid-Eastern Athletic _ Norfolk State vs. Bethune-Cookman, 4 p.m.

_ Southwestern Athletic _ Southern vs. Jackson State, 1:30 p.m.

_ Western Athletic _ New Mexico State vs. Texas-Rio Grande Valley, 5 p.m.

BASEBALL

BBA--ICHIRO TALKS FUTURE

TOKYO _ Ichiro Suzuki is enjoying it while he can. He’s back in Japan and sure to play when the Seattle Mariners face the Oakland Athletics in two games to open the season. He’s 45 and knows it can end any moment. But if he has a grand retirement plan, he’s not saying. By Stephen Wade. SENT: 650 words, photos.

_ Also:

_ BBN--PHILLIES-HARPER _ Harper a “little sore” with bruised ankle; sits out game. SENT: 250 words, photos. UPCOMING: 400 words, photos by 6 p.m.

_ BBO--SPRING TRAINING RDP _ UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 9 p.m.

TENNIS

TEN--INDIAN WELLS

INDIAN WELLS, Calif _ Rafael Nadal withdraws from his semifinal with Roger Federer because of a knee injury and won’t play again until mid-April. Federer advances to the BNP Paribas Open final against the winner of the Milos Raonic-Dominic Thiem semifinal. By Beth Harris. SENT: 130 words, photos. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.

SKIING

SKI--WCUP-WOMEN’S SLALOM

SOLDEU, Andorra _ Mikaela Shiffrin wins a World Cup slalom for the 40th time, tying her with Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark for the most victories in the discipline. Alexis Pinturault wins a men’s giant slalom, becoming France’s most prolific World Cup skier. SENT: 500 words, photos.

AUTO RACING

CAR--NASCAR-FONTANA

FONTANA, Calif. _ The NASCAR Cup Series has had four different winners in four races this season, but only two teams have reached Victory Lane. Stewart-Haas Racing is itching for its first victory this weekend, and Hendrick Motor believes it’s making progress. By Greg Beacham. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 9 p.m.

_ With:

_ CAR--NASCAR-FONTANA-INFINITY _ Kyle Busch looks to tie Richard Petty’s record with his 200th victory across three major series. By Greg Beacham. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos. Race starts 5 p.m.

CAR--F1-AUSTRALIAN GP

MELBOURNE, Australia _ Lewis Hamilton takes the pole at Formula One opener for sixth straight year. It is the eighth time he starts in the No. 1 position in Australia, equaling Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna’s record for most poles at one F1 circuit. By John Pye. SENT: 600 words, photos.

_ With:

_ CAR--F1-AUSTRALIAN GP-VETTEL _ Sebastian Vettel eyes Schumacher’s mark of three straight Australian GP titles. By John Pye. SENT: 350 words, photos.

NBA

BKN--WARRIORS-THUNDER

OKLAHOMA CITY _ Kevin Durant faces his former team when the Warriors play the Thunder. Golden State is trying to hold onto the best record in the West. Oklahoma City needs a strong finish for home-court advantage in the first round. By Cliff Brunt. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 8:30 p.m.

NHL

HKN--PREDATORS-SHARKS

SAN JOSE, Calif. _ The San Jose Sharks play the Nashville Predators in a matchup between two of the top teams in the Western Conference. Each is one point behind its division leader. By Josh Dubow. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 10:30 p.m.

HORSE RACING

RAC--REBEL STAKES

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. _ Game Winner and Improbable, both trained by Bob Baffert, headline separate divisions of the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park. Eight Southern California-based horses are in Arkansas for the Kentucky Derby prep after Santa Anita closed. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos. Post times: 5:57 p.m., 7:06 p.m.

INTERNATIONAL BASKETBALL

BKO--WORLD CUP-DRAW

USA Basketball still doesn’t know which players will be in China this summer. But its first three opponents are set. The Americans, eyeing an unprecedented third straight FIBA World Cup title, are grouped with the Czech Republic, Turkey and Japan. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 850 words, photos.

AP PHOTO GALLERY

SOC--SOCCER NETS-PHOTO GALLERY

MONTE ISOLA, Italy _ Want to know where all those nets for soccer, basketball and volleyball come from? Well, step off the ferry onto Monte Isola in northern Italy. It feels like going back in time. SENT: 250 words, photos.

SOCCER

_ SOC--2023 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP _ FIFA to make public the vote for 2023 Women’s World Cup. By Global Soccer Writer Rob Harris. SENT: 250 words, photos.

_ SOC--ENGLISH ROUNDUP _ Manchester City plays Swansea in FA Cup quarterfinals; Watford reaches semis. By Mattias Karen. SENT: 450 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 5 p.m.

_ SOC--SPANISH ROUNDUP _ Zinedine Zidane begins second stint as Real Madrid coach with 2-0 win over Celta Vigo in Spanish league. By Tales Azzoni. SENT: 450 words, photos.

_ SOC--INGOLSTADT-FIGHTING RACISM _ Second-division German club to wear anti-fascist message on jersey after abuse of Israeli captain. By Ciaran Fahey. SENT: 350 words, photos.

DOPING

_ OLY--RUSSIAN DOPING _ Russian doping-test firm denies warning athletes of tests. SENT: 140 words.

CAPSULES

_ BKN--NBA CAPSULES

_ HKN--NHL CAPSULES

_ BKC--T25-TOP 25 CAPSULES

_ BKW--T25-TOP 25 CAPSULES

_ SOC--MLS CAPSULES

___

Saturday Time Schedule (EDT)

NBA

Atlanta at Boston, 12:30 p.m.

Memphis at Washington, 7 p.m.

Phoenix at New Orleans, 7 p.m.

Cleveland at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

Golden State at Oklahoma City, 8:30 p.m.

Portland at San Antonio, 8:30 p.m.

Indiana at Denver, 9 p.m.

Brooklyn at Utah, 9 p.m.

NHL

St. Louis at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.

N.Y. Islanders at Detroit, 2 p.m.

Florida at Los Angeles, 4 p.m.

Columbus at Boston, 7 p.m.

Chicago at Montreal, 7 p.m.

Toronto at Ottawa, 7 p.m.

Washington at Tampa Bay, 7 p.m.

Buffalo at Carolina, 7 p.m.

Calgary at Winnipeg, 7 p.m.

N.Y. Rangers at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Edmonton at Arizona, 10 p.m.

Nashville at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.

College Basketball (Top 25)

Men

No. 4 Kentucky vs. No. 8 Tennessee at Nashville, Tenn., 3:30 p.m.

No. 5 Duke vs. No. 12 Florida State at Charlotte, N.C., 8:30 p.m.

No. 6 Michigan State vs. No. 19 Wisconsin at Chicago, 1 p.m.

No. 10 Michigan vs. Minnesota at Chicago, 3:30 p.m.

No. 11 Houston at Memphis, 3 p.m.

No. 17 Kansas vs. Iowa State at Kansas City, Mo., 6 p.m.

No. 18 Buffalo vs. Bowling Green at Cleveland, 7:30 p.m.

No. 22 Auburn vs. Florida at Nashville, Tenn., 1 p.m.

No. 24 Cincinnati vs. Wichita State at Memphis, Tenn., 5:30 p.m.

No. 25 Villanova vs. Seton Hall at New York, 6:35 p.m.

Women

No. 21 Drake vs. Illinois State at Moline, Ill., 2:30 p.m.

No. 24 Rice vs. Middle Tennessee at Frisco, Texas, 5:30 p.m.

MLS

Seattle at Chicago, 1 p.m.

FC Dallas at Columbus, 2 p.m.

Vancouver at Houston, 3 p.m.

San Jose at New York, 3:30 p.m.

Montreal at Orlando City, 4 p.m.

Real Salt Lake at D.C. United, 8 p.m.

Minnesota United at LA Galaxy, 10:30 p.m.

Exhibition Baseball

Atlanta vs. Boston at Fort Myers, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

St. Louis vs. Washington at West Palm Beach, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

N.Y. Mets vs. Miami at Jupiter, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Minnesota vs. Tampa Bay at Port Charlotte, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Toronto (ss) vs. N.Y. Yankees at Tampa, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Pittsburgh vs. Detroit at Lakeland, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Houston vs. Philadelphia at Clearwater, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Baltimore vs. Toronto (ss) at Dunedin, Fla., 1:07 p.m.

Texas vs. Cincinnati at Phoenix, 4:05 p.m.

Milwaukee (ss) vs. Kansas City (ss) at Surprise, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

L.A. Dodgers vs. Chicago White Sox at Phoenix, 4:05 p.m.

Colorado vs. Milwaukee (ss) at Phoenix, 4:05 p.m.

San Diego (ss) vs. San Francisco at Scottsdale, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

Chicago Cubs vs. Arizona at Scottsdale, Ariz., 4:10 p.m.

Kansas City (ss) vs. San Diego (ss) at Peoria, Ariz., 4:10 p.m.

Cleveland vs. L.A. Angels at Tempe, Ariz., 4:10 p.m.

Seattle vs. Yomiuri (Japan) at Tokyo, 11:05 p.m.