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BC-AP Sports Digest

March 30, 2019

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RALEIGH, N.C. _ The injury questions piled up in NCAA Sweet 16 games in the East and Midwest regions with the potential to impact who earns the final two spots in the Final Four. Kentucky’s PJ Washington returned from a foot injury and played through pain in a win against Houston. Duke didn’t have freshman starter Cam Reddish against Virginia Tech due to a knee injury. And Auburn is dealing with a potentially serious knee injury for Chuma Okeke from its win against Midwest top seed North Carolina. By Basketball Writer Aaron Beard. UPCOMING: 610 words, photos by 4 a.m.


KANSAS CITY, Mo. _ The euphoria of reaching the Elite Eight for the first time in 33 years had already worn off and Auburn coach Bruce Pearl was left to arrange his bravest smile on his face. His trigger-happy Tigers were moving on in the NCAA Tournament. They were doing it without their most versatile player. Behind yet another 3-point barrage, No. 5 seed Auburn overcame a slow start to roar past top-seeded North Carolina 97-80 in the Midwest Region semifinals Friday night. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.


_ BKC--NCAA-HOUSTON-KENTUCKY. By Eric Olson. SENT: 700 words, photos.


WASHINGTON _ There was nothing Zion Williamson could do but watch. Once again, Williamson and Duke were at the mercy of an opponent’s last-second shot at the rim. Once again, the Blue Devils and their phenomenal freshmen marched on in March Madness when the ball didn’t drop through. Williamson and No. 1 overall seed Duke moved into the Elite Eight by erasing a deficit and then holding on to edge No. 4-seeded Virginia Tech 75-73 on Friday night. By Howard Fendrich. SENT: 920 words, photos.


_ BKC--NCAA-LSU-MICHIGAN STATE. By Stephen Whyno. SENT: 700 words, photos.


ARCADIA, Calif. _ Racing returned to Santa Anita without incident Friday after the track was closed nearly a month ago following the deaths of 22 horses that forced changes in rules. Discrete Stevie B won the first race on the main dirt track in front of a small crowd that was typical of weekday attendance. By Racing Writer Beth Harris. SENT: 850 words, photos.


BOSTON _ A procession of wealthy parents have made their first appearances in federal court on charges they paid bribes to get their children into top colleges. The 15 parents who made brief appearances in Boston federal court Friday include CEOs, investment executives, real estate developers and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. But the initial court appearances were largely a formality. Defendants aren’t yet being asked to enter a plea. By Philip Marcelo. SENT: 680 words, photos.



The first two Final Four spots will come down to strength against strength. Gonzaga and its efficient offense will face Texas Tech’s stingy defense in the West Region. Virginia’s suffocating defense must find a way to stop high-scoring Purdue guard Carsen Edwards. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. UPCOMING: 610 words, photos by 4 a.m.


Defense was the key to teams advancing Friday night to the Elite Eight of the women’s NCAA Tournament. It might also be the difference on Saturday when eight more teams try and reach the regional finals, including top seeds Notre Dame and Baylor. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 4 a.m.


ANAHEIM, Calif. _ Texas Tech coach Chris Beard has spent his life as the underdog. He’ll be that once again Saturday when the Red Raiders face Gonzaga with a trip to the Final Four on the line. Beard wouldn’t have it any other way. A disciple of Bob Knight, the 46-year-old coaching lifer has brought his own brand of edgy competitiveness to Lubbock, Texas, where he’s trying to take an overlooked program to a place it’s never been before. By National Writer Eddie Pells. SENT: 1,050 words, photos.

_ With:

_ BKC--NCAA-TEXAS TECH-GONZAGA PREVIEW. By Joe Reedy. SENT: 700 words, photos.


LOUISVILLE, Ky. _ Purdue guard Carsen Edwards shot his way into Steph Curry territory _ matching the former Davidson star with four straight games of 25 points in the tournament. He gets a chance to knock down more 3s Saturday against Virginia in the South Regional final. By Teresa M. Walker. SENT: 690 words, photos.

_ With:

_ BKC--NCAA-PURDUE-VIRGINIA PREVIEW _ By Gary B. Graves. SENT: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.


ALBANY, N.Y. _ With UConn struggling on offense, Crystal Dangerfield took over. The Huskies’ junior guard scored 11 of her 15 points in the fourth quarter, including nine during a game-changing spurt to start the period and No. 2 UConn went on to beat sixth-seeded UCLA 69-61 on Friday night in the Albany Regional semifinals. Napheesa Collier had 25 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Huskies. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. SENT: 950 words, photos.

_ Also:

_ BKW--NCAA-GREENSBORO PREVIEW. By Joedy McCreary. SENT: 600 words, photos.

_ BKW--NCAA CHICAGO PREVIEW. By Andrew Seligman. SENT: 600 words, photos.


BERKELEY, Calif. _ California has hired Mark Fox as its new men’s basketball coach just five days after firing Wyking Jones. Fox had a 286-176 record in 14 seasons as coach at Nevada and Georgia. He made the NCAA Tournament five times but never advanced to the Sweet 16. By Josh Dubow. SENT: 600 words, photos.



MILWAUKEE _ Paul Goldschmidt hit three home runs and then was intentionally walked in the ninth inning with a chance to tie the major league record, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 9-5. Brewers manager Craig Counsell signaled for the free pass with one out and a runner on second. Cardinals fans behind the visiting dugout cheered as Goldschmidt approached the plate and booed loudly when Counsell made the move. By Joe Totoraitis. SENT: 700 words, photos.


LAKELAND, Fla. _ Niko Goodrum, Andrew Romine and Enrique Hernandez aren’t exactly stars, but there’s increasing evidence major league teams are putting more value on versatile players like them. More players have been moved around the diamond in recent seasons, a sign of how important the modern utility player is to the flexibility of a big league lineup. Even standouts like Javier Baez have shown they can play several different positions. By Baseball Writer Noah Trister. SENT: 980 words, photos.


ARLINGTON, Texas _ The Texas Rangers are about to face a pair of their former aces, Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels, in consecutive games against the Chicago Cubs. Darvish and Hamels will pitch the second and third games of the season-opening series in the ballpark they used to call home. The Rangers are going through quite a rotation reclamation. They have four new starters, and three of them are coming off Tommy John surgery in 2017. By Stephen Hawkins. SENT: 610 words, photos.

_ Also:

_ BBA--ANGELS-UPTON. SENT: 120 words, photo.






ATLANTA _ When the playoffs begin, they’ll be watching at home with the rest of us. But teams such as the Hawks, Mavericks, Lakers and even the Knicks have developed plenty of intriguing storylines in the NBA losers’ bracket. By Sports Columnist Paul Newberry. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.



AUSTIN, Texas _ Tiger Woods gave the fans all they could ask Friday in the Dell Technologies Match Play. And then Rory McIlroy gave them a little more. Both won their matches, about 30 minutes apart, setting up a Saturday morning showdown between golf’s biggest name and its hottest player, only one of them moving on to the quarterfinals of a bracket that has only five of the top 16 seeds remaining. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 1,030 words, photos.


_ GLF--MATCH PLAY-SPIETH. By Jim Vertuno. SENT: 530 words, photos.

_ Also:


_ GLF--LPGA TOUR. SENT: 350 words.


_ GLF--INDIAN OPEN. SENT: 170 words.



FORT WORTH, Texas _ Jimmie Johnson will start on the pole at Texas, where he is a seven-time winner. With Johnson leading the way after a final-stage fast lap of 188.890 mph, Hendrick Motorsports took the top three qualifying spots. William Byron was second and Chase Elliott third. Daniel Suarez qualified fourth using a strategy different than most. He went out alone on the track for his laps during qualifying. By Stephen Hawkins. SENT: 640 words, photos.


_ CAR--NASCAR-TEXAS. By Stephen Hawkins. SENT: 600 words, photos.

_ CAR--NASCAR-TEXAS-TRUCKS. SENT: 350 words, photos.



MINNEAPOLIS _ Karl-Anthony Towns made a free throw with 0.5 seconds remaining in overtime after Stephen Curry led a frantic rally to tie the game, lifting the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 131-130 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night. Minnesota led by nine with 1:41 remaining in the extra period before Curry made three 3-pointers during an 11-2 run, including the tying one from the corner with 0.5 seconds left. But Towns was fouled by Kevin Durant on the ensuing inbounds pass. He made the first free throw to give him 15 points, missed the second and time expired as Towns secured the offensive rebound. By Joe Ziemer. SENT: 850 words, photos.

_ Also:

_ BKN--KNICKS-NTILIKINA. SENT: 130 words, photo.

_ BKN--CELTICS-FAN BANNED. SENT: 145 words, photo.



HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. _ Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey fondly remembers how the majority of the betting public and handicappers overlooked Orb six years ago, all the way to the Kentucky Derby. If it happens again with Code of Honor, he won’t complain. Code of Honor, the winner of the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park, returns to that same track Saturday for the $1 million Florida Derby. A field of 11 is entered, and Hidden Scroll is the likely favorite even after getting beaten by Code of Honor four weeks ago. By Tim Reynolds. SENT: 650 words, photos.



MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. _ For an NFL stadium, it will be a different kind of Sunday showdown: Roger Federer against John Isner. Both won Friday and advanced to the final of the Miami Open, which moved this year to the Dolphins’ complex from its longtime Key Biscayne home. By Steven Wine. SENT: 790 words, photos.



ATLANTA _ Atlanta police say Georgia Tech football player Brandon Adams was doing a dance routine when he collapsed and died last weekend at age 21. Police say there was nothing in the autopsy to indicate foul play and no evidence to warrant a criminal investigation. Georgia authorities are awaiting lab reports before ruling on a cause of death. By Paul Newberry. SENT: 610 words, photos.

_ Also:

_ FBC--OBIT-BELLINO. SENT: 130 words.




PHILADELPHIA _ Justin Gaethje fights Edson Barboza in a lightweight bout in the main event of the UFC card in Philadelphia. Karolina Kowalkeiwicz fights Michelle Waterson in a women’s strawweight fight on the ESPN card. This marks the third time UFC will hold an event at the Wells Fargo Center. Philadelphia hasn’t been the site of a card since UFC 133 in August 2011, and the promotion’s only other show was UFC 101 in August 2009. By Dan Gelston. SENT: 900 words, photos.



BUENOS AIRES, Argentina _ Argentina star Lionel Messi has admitted to being upset with constant criticism in his homeland. Messi said in an interview that even his 6-year-old son asks why his countrymen attack his performances with the national team. By Almudena Calatrava. SENT: 410 words, photos.


_ SPORTS BETTING-RHODE ISLAND. By Jennifer McDermott. SENT: 600 words, photos.

_ COLISEUM NAME CHANGE. By John Antczak. SENT: 550 words, photos.

_ HKN--STRUGGLING SHARKS. By Josh Dubow. SENT: 760 words, photos.




Saturday Time Schedule (EDT)


Men (Regional Championships)

Gonzaga vs. Texas Tech at Anaheim, Calif., 6:09 p.m.

Purdue vs. Virginia at Louisville, Ky., 8:49 p.m.

Women (Regional Semifinals)

N.C. State vs. Iowa at Greensboro, N.C., 11:30 a.m.

Baylor vs. South Carolina at Greensboro, N.C., 2 p.m.

Notre Dame vs. Texas A&M at Chicago, 4 p.m.

Missouri State vs. Stanford at Chicago, 6:30 p.m.


Baltimore at N.Y. Yankees, 1:05 p.m.

N.Y. Mets at Washington, 1:05 p.m.

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati, 2:10 p.m.

Cleveland at Minnesota, 2:10 p.m.

Chicago White Sox at Kansas City, 2:15 p.m.

Detroit at Toronto, 3:07 p.m.

Atlanta at Philadelphia, 4:05 p.m.

Houston at Tampa Bay, 6:10 p.m.

Colorado at Miami, 6:10 p.m.

St. Louis at Milwaukee, 7:10 p.m.

Chicago Cubs at Texas, 8:05 p.m.

San Francisco at San Diego, 8:40 p.m.

L.A. Angels at Oakland, 9:07 p.m.

Boston at Seattle, 9:10 p.m.

Arizona at L.A. Dodgers, 9:10 p.m.


Cleveland at L.A. Clippers, 3:30 p.m.

Boston at Brooklyn, 6 p.m.

Sacramento at Houston, 6 p.m.

Portland at Detroit, 7 p.m.

Orlando at Indiana, 7 p.m.

Miami at New York, 7:30 p.m.

Toronto at Chicago, 8 p.m.

Philadelphia at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Memphis at Phoenix, 10 p.m.


Florida at Boston, 1 p.m.

Philadelphia at Carolina, 1:30 p.m.

Montreal at Winnipeg, 7 p.m.

Toronto at Ottawa, 7 p.m.

Washington at Tampa Bay, 7 p.m.

St. Louis at New Jersey, 7 p.m.

Buffalo vs. N.Y. Islanders at Nassau Coliseum, 7 p.m.

Columbus at Nashville, 8 p.m.

Vegas at San Jose, 9 p.m.

Dallas at Vancouver, 10 p.m.

Anaheim at Edmonton, 10 p.m.

Chicago at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.


New York at Chicago, 1 p.m.

Minnesota United at New England, 2 p.m.

Montreal at Sporting Kansas City, 3 p.m.

Los Angeles FC at San Jose, 3:30 p.m.

Atlanta at Columbus, 7:30 p.m.

Philadelphia at Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m.

FC Dallas at Real Salt Lake, 9 p.m.

Houston at Colorado, 9 p.m.

Seattle at Vancouver, 10 p.m.