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BC-AP Sports Digest

March 2, 2019

The supervisor is Fred Lief, followed by John Nicholson at 5 p.m. and Bob Lentz 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 EST.

Coaches Tom Izzo of Michigan State and John Beilein of Michigan State speak with AP sports writer Larry Lage about the schools’ rivalry on the latest episode of PodcastOne Sports Now. Also, co-hosts Jim Litke and Tim Dahlberg discuss how attendance is up in college basketball and the game seems to be moving past the ongoing FBI corruption investigation. https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast



CLEARWATER, Fla. _ Standing not on a mountaintop but the top of the first base dugout, Bryce Harper is to be introduced by the Philadelphia Phillies. He brings with him a $330 million, 13-year contract and incalculable expectations. By Rob Maaddi. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 6 p.m.


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. _ No. 4 Kentucky plays No. 7 Tennessee in a game between two of the three SEC leaders. Kentucky beat Tennessee 86-69 two weeks ago in Lexington to end the Volunteers’ school-record 19-game winning streak. By Steve Megargee. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game started 2 p.m.


KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia _ Mikaela Shiffrin wins the World Cup overall title for the third straight year after the super-G in Sochi is canceled because of snowstorms. Shriffin was not racing and in Italy training. Says Shiffrin: “It’s quite strange because I am sitting here right now on my bed.” By James Ellingworth. SENT: 550 words, photos.



Sports gambling is suddenly a priority for lawmakers since a Supreme Court ruling last year left it up to states to decide. But not everywhere. In fact, the three largest states _ California, Texas, Florida _ are on the sidelines. By Geoff Mulvihill. SENT: 1,250 words, photos.

_ With:

_ GAMBLING ANALYTICS _ Big-time gamblers, not just nerds, head to MIT analytics conference. By Jimmy Golen. UPCOMING: 600 words by 5 p.m.



PEORIA, Ariz. _ Manny Machado makes his Cactus League debut for the San Diego Padres when they play the San Francisco Giants. By Dave Skretta. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 3 p.m.


LAKELAND, Fla. _ Tigers owner Chris Ilitch is optimistic about his team’s rebuild. He says the club is following the blueprint that has brought success in the past to the Tigers and the Detroit Red Wings, the NHL team he owns. By Noah Trister. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.


PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. _ After spending his entire career with Cleveland, Michael Brantley says joining the Houston Astros was a bit like going to a new high school. But those first-day butterflies are gone and the outfielder is fitting in famously with his new teammates. By Kristie Rieken. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.

_ Also:

_ BBA--ROYALS-PEREZ _ Star catcher Salvador Perez likely needs Tommy John surgery. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 600 words, photos.

_ BBA--MARINERS-HILL’S INFLUENCE _ Perry Hill, 66-year-old infield instructor, commands respect. By Tim Booth. SENT: 750 words, photos.

_ BBO--SPRING TRAINING RDP _ UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 8 p.m.



INDIANAPOLIS _ After watching linebacker Darius Leonard of South Carolina State win last year’s NFL defensive rookie of the year award, college prospects from small schools, such as pass rusher Oshane Ximines of Old Dominion, have taken notice. By Michael Marot. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 7 p.m.

_ With:

_ FBN--COMBINE-ANOTHER BOSA _ Nick Bosa set to follow brother into NFL. By Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.


It’s too early to assess the Alliance of American Football. After all, this is its fourth weekend of games. But with an infusion of $250 million from Tom Dundon, owner of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, the AAF is finding its footing. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 900 words, photos.



PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. _ Sungjae Im and Keith Mitchell are in front entering the third round of the Honda Classic, with 42 players within five strokes of the lead. Im and Mitchell have yet to win on the PGA Tour. By Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6:30 p.m.

_ Also:

_ GLF--LPGA SINGAPORE _ Top-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn by a shots after three rounds of LPGA tournament. SENT: 150 words.

_ GLF--PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS _ Kenny Perry leads by a stroke entering second round of seniors event in Tucson, Ariz.; Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz eight back. UPCOMING: 300 words by 8 p.m.

_ GLF--OMAN OPEN _ Second round of European tour event in Persian Gulf cut short because of sandstorms; Maximilian Kieffer in front. SENT: 130 words.



SALT LAKE CITY _ The Bucks, winners of seven straight and holding the NBA’s best record, play the Utah Jazz. The Bucks are the only team to have clinched a playoff spot. This is a back-to-back for Milwaukee, which is coming off a win over the Lakers. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 9 p.m.



TAMPA, Fla. _ In a matchup of NHL’s best and worst, the leading-leading Tampa Bay Lightning look to rebound from the end of a franchise-record 10-game winning streak when they face Ottawa. The Senators, losers of six straight, are playing for the first time since firing coach Guy Boucher. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 7 p.m.



LAS VEGAS _ NASCAR’s top drivers don’t really know what to expect when the new rules package is fully implemented Sunday. The tapered spacers and aero ducts are designed to make races tighter and more exciting. By Greg Beacham. UPCOMING: 650 words by 8 p.m.

_ With:

_ CAR--NASCAR-LAS VEGAS-XFINITY _ UPCOMING: 400 words. Race starts 4 p.m.




DURHAM, N.C. _ No. 3 Duke, with star freshman Zion Williamson missing a third straight game because of a sprained knee, returns home to face a Miami team that hasn’t won on the road in more than a year. By Joedy McCreary. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts 4 p.m.

_ Other Top 10 games: No. 1 Gonzaga-Saint Mary’s (10 p.m.); No. 2 Virginia-Pittsburgh (2 p.m.); No. 5 North Carolina-Clemson (6 p.m.); No. 6 Michigan State-Indiana (noon); No. 8 Houston-UCF (4 p.m.).



COLUMBIA, S.C. _ The SEC comes down to No. 5 Mississippi State and No. 14 South Carolina _ again. The teams close the regular season Sunday with the top seed in next week’s league tournament at stake. By Pete Iacobelli. SENT: 550 words, photos.

_ Also:

_ BKW--IOWA STATE-TEXAS _ No. 18 Texas hosts No. 20 Iowa State. UPCOMING: 150 words. Game starts 8 p.m.



NEW YORK _ Erislandy Lara of Cuba looks to regain a 154-pound title when he faces Brian Castano of Argentina. Another Cuban Luis Ortiz is also on the card. By Brian Mahoney. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Lara-Castano bout starts about 11:30 p.m.


MMA--UFC 235

LAS VEGAS _ Jon Jones defends his light heavyweight title against Anthony Smith in UFC 235. Welterweight champ Tyron Woodley meets Kamaru Usman, and 34-year-old Ben Askren makes his long-awaited UFC debut against former champ Robbie Lawler. By Greg Beacham. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Main card starts about 9:30 p.m.



ANCHORAGE, Alaska _ Big crowds converge on Alaska’s largest city, with hundreds of dogs and mushers starting the 1,000-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race with a short ceremonial run along snow-heaped streets. By Rachel D’Oro. SENT: 350 words, photos. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 11 p.m.



CARSON, Calif. _ In an MLS season opener, the LA Galaxy and Zlatan Ibrahimovic play a Chicago Fire team led by midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger. The Galaxy unveil a statue of David Beckham and induct him into the team’s Ring of Honor. By Joe Reedy. UPCOMING: 400 words, photos. Game starts 8 p.m.


ABERDEEN, Scotland _ FIFA President Gianni Infantino sees women as role models for male players. He says it’s time for the men to clean up their act. His comments contrast with those of predecessor Sepp Blatter, who urged women to wear tighter uniforms. By Global Soccer Writer Rob Harris. SENT: 400 words, photos.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. _ The U.S. women try to bounce back against England after opening the SheBelieves Cup with a 2-2 tie against Japan in this tuneup tournament for the Women’s World Cup. By Teresa M. Walker. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts 4:30 p.m.

_ With:

_ SOC--US-FAMOUS WOMEN JERSEYS _ U.S. jerseys feature names of prominent women, from Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Cardi B. SENT: 150 words.

_ SOC--BRAZIL-JAPAN _ UPCOMING: 150 words. Game started 2 p.m.

_ Also:

_ SOC--ENGLISH ROUNDUP _ Manchester City takes Premier League lead with 1-0 win at Bournemouth. SENT: 700 words, photos.



DUBAI, United Arab Emirates _ Roger Federer wins his 100th career title, beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Dubai Championships final. Jimmy Connors is the other male player to reach the milestone, finishing with 109. SENT: 250 words, photos.

_ Also:

_ Tournaments in Acapulco, Mexico; Sao Paulo.



GREENSBORO, N.C. _ Grace McCallum and five-time national champion Sam Mikulak headline the American Cup. Japanese stars Mai Murakami and Kenzo Shirai are also in the field at this major international meet. UPCOMING: 500 words by 6 p.m.


_ SKI--WCUP-MEN’S DOWNHILL _ Dominik Paris wins next-to-last men’s downhill in Norway, preventing Beat Feuz from taking season-long title in discipline. SENT: 400 words, photos.

_ BRIDGE-DOPING _ World Bridge Federation says its No. 1 player is suspended for failing drug test. SENT: 220 words.

_ BBC--OBIT-HILL _ Longtime Rutgers baseball coach Fred Hill dies at 84. SENT: 350 words, photos.








Saturday Time Schedule (EST)


Detroit at Cleveland, 5 p.m.

Orlando at Indiana, 7 p.m.

Brooklyn at Miami, 7:30 p.m.

Golden State at Philadelphia, 8:30 p.m.

Memphis at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

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

New Orleans at Denver, 9 p.m.

L.A. Lakers at Phoenix, 9 p.m.

Milwaukee at Utah, 9 p.m.


Edmonton at Columbus, 1 p.m.

Chicago at Los Angeles, 4 p.m.

New Jersey at Boston, 7 p.m.

Buffalo at Toronto, 7 p.m.

Pittsburgh at Montreal, 7 p.m.

Ottawa at Tampa Bay, 7 p.m.

Carolina at Florida, 7 p.m.

Detroit at Arizona, 8 p.m.

Dallas at St. Louis, 8 p.m.

Minnesota at Calgary, 10 p.m.

College Basketball (Top 25)


No. 1 Gonzaga at Saint Mary’s, 10 p.m.

No. 2 Virginia vs. Pittsburgh, 2 p.m.

No. 3 Duke vs. Miami, 4 p.m.

No. 4 Kentucky at No. 7 Tennessee, 2 p.m.

No. 5 North Carolina at Clemson, 6 p.m.

No. 6 Michigan State at Indiana, noon

No. 8 Houston vs. UCF, 4 p.m.

No. 11 Texas Tech at TCU, 4 p.m.

No. 12 Nevada at Utah State, 8:30 p.m.

No. 13 LSU at Alabama, noon

No. 14 Purdue vs. Ohio State, 2 p.m.

No. 15 Kansas at Oklahoma State, noon

No. 16 Kansas State vs. Baylor, 8 p.m.

No. 18 Florida State vs. N.C. State, noon

No. 19 Wisconsin vs. Penn State, 1 p.m.

No. 22 Iowa vs. Rutgers, 5 p.m.

No. 23 Cincinnati vs. Memphis, 8 p.m.

No. 24 Wofford at Samford, 2 p.m.


No. 1 Baylor vs. Oklahoma State, 2 p.m.

No. 2 UConn vs. Houston, 1 p.m.

No. 8 Maryland vs. Illinois, 2 p.m.

No. 16 Gonzaga vs. Loyola Marymount, 5 p.m.

No. 18 Texas vs. No. 20 Iowa State, 8 p.m.

No. 24 Rice vs. Louisiana Tech, 3 p.m.


Toronto FC at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.

New York City FC at Orlando City, 2:30 p.m.

New England at FC Dallas, 4:30 p.m.

New York at Columbus, 4:30 p.m.

Minnesota United at Vancouver, 6 p.m.

Portland at Colorado, 6 p.m.

Real Salt Lake at Houston, 6 p.m.

Chicago at LA Galaxy, 8 p.m.

Cincinnati at Seattle, 10 p.m.

Montreal at San Jose, 10 p.m.

Exhibition Baseball

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

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

Philadelphia vs. Tampa Bay (ss) at Port Charlotte, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Miami vs. St. Louis at Jupiter, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

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

N.Y. Yankees vs. Pittsburgh at Bradenton, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

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

Houston vs. N.Y. Mets at Port St. Lucie, Fla., 1:10 p.m.

Milwaukee vs. Chicago Cubs at Mesa, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.

Texas vs. San Francisco (ss) at Scottsdale, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.

Cleveland vs. Oakland at Mesa, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.

Colorado vs. Chicago White Sox at Phoenix, 3:05 p.m.

Seattle vs. Kansas City at Surprise, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.

L.A. Angels vs. Cincinnati at Phoenix, 3:05 p.m.

San Francisco (ss) vs. San Diego at Peoria, Ariz., 3:10 p.m.

L.A. Dodgers vs. Arizona at Scottsdale, Ariz., 3:10 p.m.