BC-AP Sports Digest
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BKC--NCAA-NORTH DAKOTA STATE-DUKE
COLUMBIA, S.C. _ The Zion show saunters onto college basketball’s biggest stage when top-seeded Duke and Zion Williamson play North Dakota State. Williamson is coming off an overpowering ACC tournament in his comeback from injury. By Pete Iacobelli. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 7:10 p.m.
_ BKC--NCAA TOURNAMENT-THE LATEST _ NCAA completes its first round with 16 games: results, in-progress updates, trends, color. Updated throughout day. Real-time updates throughout day.
HARTFORD, Conn. _ Ja Morant went from a promising freshman playing for a good mid-major program to one of the best players in college basketball for Murray State as a sophomore. How did that happen? By College Sports Writer Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.
BBN--NATIONALS-TRADER JACK IS BACK
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. _ Trader Jack is back at spring training at 88. Jack McKeon is now a special adviser with the Washington Nationals, more than a half-century after his debut as a minor league manager. So much about him is the same _ the knowledge, the humor and oh those stories. By Howard Fendrich. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 5 p.m.
IDITAROD-DOG TEAM QUITS
ANCHORAGE, Alaska _ The Iditarod musher who was hours ahead in the race when his dogs refused to keep running dismisses critics who say he ran them too hard. He says the dogs were unnerved by a bad memory from last year’s race. By Mark Thiessen. SENT: 700 words, photos.
BKC--NCAA-PAUL NEWBERRY-IZZO’S TIRADE
Tom Izzo’s One Shining Moment was embarrassing. Then again, this is the entitled profession that is the college basketball coach. Most of these guys believe their authority should never be challenged. Actually, they’re the ones who need to grow up. By Sports Columnist Paul Newberry. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 5 p.m.
COLUMBIA, S.C. _ Top-seeded Virginia, stung last year as the first team to lose to a No. 16 seed, is intent on avoiding another disastrous start. It takes on another No. 16 seed in Gardner-Webb, a newcomer to the NCAAs. By Jeffrey Collins. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 3:10 p.m.
_ BKC--NCAA-OKLAHOMA-MISSISSIPPI _ By Jeffrey Collins. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game started 12:40 p.m.
_ BKC--NCAA-UCF-VCU _ By Pete Iacobelli. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 9:40 p.m.
COLUMBUS, Ohio _ Tennessee, which spent time ranked No. 1 this season, now plays with the stakes raised. The Vols are trying to recover from a loss to Auburn in the SEC tournament and face a 15th-seed Colgate team that’s in the NCAAs for the first time since 1996. By Mitch Stacy. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game started 2:45 p.m.
_ BKC--NCAA-IOWA-CINCINNATI _ Iowa, 79, Cincinnati 72. By Joe Kay. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos.
_ BKC--NCAA--WASHINGTON-UTAH STATE _ By Joe Kay. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 6:50 p.m.
_ BKC--NCAA-IONA-NORTH CAROLINA _ By Mitch Stacy. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 9:20 p.m.
TULSA, Okla. _ Buffalo, one of the biggest surprises this season, plays an Arizona State team that has some confidence after beating St. John’s in a First Four game. Buffalo coach Nate Oats matches up with his former boss, the Sun Devils’ Bobby Hurley. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos Game starts 4 p.m.
_ BKC--NCAA-N KENTUCKY-TEXAS TECH _ UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts 1:30 p.m.
_ BKC-NCAA--GEORGIA ST-HOUSTON _ By Cliff Brunt. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts 7:20 p.m.
_ BKC-NCAA-OHIO ST-IOWA ST _ By Cliff Brunt. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts 9:50 p.m.
SAN JOSE, Calif. _ Oregon tries to give a lift to a Pac-12 conference that was not much of a factor this season. The Ducks, winner of the league tournament title, take on Ethan Happ and Wisconsin _ one of eight Big Ten teams to make the NCAA field. By Josh Dubow. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 4:30 p.m.
_ BKC--NCAA-UC IRVINE-KANSAS ST _ By Josh Dubow. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game started 2 p.m.
_ BKC--NCAA-LIBERTY-MISSISSIPPI ST _ By Josh Dubow. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts 7:27 p.m.
_ BKC--NCAA-SAINT LOUIS-VIRGINIA TECH _ By Josh Dubow. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts 9:57 p.m.
_ Previews of Saturday games from East, South, Midwest, West.
_ BKC--VANDERBILT-DREW FIRED _ Vanderbilt fires coach Bryce Drew after 9-23 year, winless in SEC. By Teresa M. Walker. SENT: 650 words, photos.
_ BKC--WAKE FOREST-MANNING _ Danny Manning to return at Wake Forest despite third 20-loss season in five years. SENT: 500 words, photos.
STORRS, Conn. _ UConn begins its bid for a 12th national title with a decided chip on its shoulder. The Huskies have been relegated to a No. 2 seed for their first-round game against Towson. Says UConn forward Napheesa Collier, “We’re going to come out swinging.” By Pat Eaton-Robb. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts 7 p.m. start.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. _ Top-seeded Louisville, with Asia Durr and Sam Fuehring scoring 19 points each, routs 16th-seeded Robert Morris 69-34. Louisville runs off 27 straight points in the first half. The Cardinals played without coach suspended Jeff Walz. By Gary B. Graves. SENT: 350 words, photos. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 4 p.m.
STANFORD, Calif. _ Ten months ago, Tara VanDeveer, the Hall of Fame Stanford coach, asked her counterpart at UC Davis for some advice on running her team’s offense. Davis coach Jennifer Gross obliged. On Saturday, the two coaches face each other in a first-round game. By Janie McCauley. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m.
STARKVILLE, Miss. _ Mississippi State’s Anriel Howard and Clemson’s Simone Westbrook are among the growing number of graduate transfers in the women’s game. The NCAA rule is not new, but it’s been more prevalent in the men’s game. By David Brandt. SENT: 700 words, photos.
The St. Louis Cardinals and slugger Paul Goldschmidt are nearing completion of a $130 million, five-year deal that would make him the highest-paid player in club history, the AP is told. The 31-year-old first baseman was acquired in a trade with Arizona. He had just one year left on his contract. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 600 words, photos.
_ AL, NL preview capsules, by division. SENT: Each division about 2,400 words, photos.
_ BBO--SPRING TRAINING RDP _ UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 8 p.m.
A paginated preview of the MLB season, with the first full day of regular-season games starting March 28, is available in AP Newsroom by searching for “Sports Extra” or “SE” under the Graphics tab. The pages look at some of the biggest players who have switched teams since last season as well as the top prospects and dates of note. For questions, contact Barry Bedlan at email@example.com
PALM HARBOR, Fla. _ Paul Casey has a 66 and shares the early lead in his bid to become the first back-to-back winner of the Valspar Championship. Dustin Johnson is among those two shots behind. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7:30 p.m.
PHOENIX _ Celine Boutier leads by a shot entering the second round of the Founders Cup, the event that honors the 13 women who founded the LPGA Tour. By John Nicholson. UPCOMING: 650 words by 10:30 p.m.
_ GLF--MAYBANK CHAMPIONSHIP _ Ernie Els trails leader Thomas Pieters by two shots after second round of European tour event in Malaysia. SENT: 400 words, photos.
MIAMI _ Chris Bosh is making music, sketching and drinking beer. He’s happy and best of all healthy. The Miami Heat will retire his No. 1 on Tuesday night, making him the fourth former franchise pillar with a jersey in the arena rafters. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 900 words, photos.
HOUSTON _ The Rockets look to get back on track against San Antonio after a tough overtime loss to Memphis, where James Harden scored 57 points. The Spurs have won nine of 10 and trail Houston by three games in the Southwest Division. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 8 p.m.
Reviewing pass interference penalties will be among proposals NFL owners hear when they meet next week in Phoenix. The issue has become a scorching topic since the NFC championship game. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 450 words. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.
FBN--REPPING YOUR SON
It didn’t take long for TJ Linta to select an agent _ Joe Linta, his father and also his high school coach. Joe Linta doesn’t have a huge NFL clientele, but he’s respected because of his background as a coach and scout. By Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 900 words.
SAITAMA, Japan _ Olympic champion Alina Zagitova of Russia wins the free skate for her first title at the world championships. Elizabet Tursynbaeva of Kazakhstan is the first woman to land a quadruple jump at the worlds. By Jim Armstrong. SENT: 400 words, photos.
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. _ Eight-time champion Serena Williams plays her first match at the new Miami Open site where she faces Rebecca Peterson. Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic are also in action. By Steven Wine. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 6 p.m.
LONDON _ World champion France begins its European Championship qualifying campaign at Moldova. Portugal, with Cristiano Ronaldo playing for his country for the first time since the World Cup, starts its European title defense at home against Ukraine. By Global Soccer Writer Rob Harris. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.
_ SOC--FOOTBALL LEAKS _ Portuguese hacker to be questioned in Football Leaks case that embarrassed top clubs. SENT: 150 words.
AUSTIN, Texas _ Larry Foyt spent many days in the Austin growing up, but most of that time was out at the lake on skis. Now he wants to create some new Central Texas memories, including a checkered flag at the IndyCar Classic in the “home race” for one of racing’s most famous families. By Jim Vertuno. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.
TRACK & FIELD
BURLINGTON, Vt. _ Flo Filion Meiler is 84 but feels like 70. She is off to a masters track and field meet in Poland, where she’ll compete in the pole vault and a host of other events. She doesn’t have to worry about her rivals in the pole vault. She’s the only entry in her age group. By Lisa Rathke. SENT: 750 words, photos, video.
ATH--MARATHONS FOR WATER
Mina Guli completed 62 marathons in 62 days on five continents _ all to raise awareness about global water shortages. She stopped only because she broke a thigh bone in South Africa. But online supporters around the world stepped in. The effort is tied to U.N. World Water Day. By Melissa Murphy. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
_ ATH--DOPING-IVANOV _ Russian race walker Alexander Ivanov stripped of 2013 world championship title for doping. SENT: 200 words.
_ Women’s hockey semifinals at Hamden, Conn.: Clarkson vs. Wisconsin (4 p.m.), Cornell vs. Minnesota (7 p.m.). UPCOMING: 150 words on each game.
_ WRE--NCAA WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS _ Penn State in front at NCAA wrestling in Pittsburgh. UPCOMING: 400 words, photos by 11 p.m.
_ BOX--PETERSON BROTHERS _ Brothers Lamont, Anthony Peterson to fight on same card in Maryland before hometown fans. UPCOMING: 400 words by 5 p.m.
_ BKC--NCAA TOURNAMENT CAPSULES
_ BKN--NBA CAPSULES
_ HKN--NHL CAPSULES
Friday Time Schedule (EDT)
Memphis at Orlando, 7 p.m.
Denver at New York, 7:30 p.m.
L.A. Clippers at Cleveland, 7:30 p.m.
Oklahoma City at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.
San Antonio at Houston, 8 p.m.
Miami at Milwaukee, 8:30 p.m.
Brooklyn at L.A. Lakers, 10:30 p.m.
Minnesota at Washington, 7 p.m.
San Jose at Anaheim, 10 p.m.
Men’s NCAA Tournament
At Columbia, S.C.
Mississippi vs. Oklahoma, 12:40 p.m.
Virginia vs. Gardner-Webb, 3:10 p.m.
Duke vs. North Dakota State, 7:10 p.m.
VCU vs. UCF, 9:40 p.m.
At Columbus, Ohio
Cincinnati vs. Iowa, 12:15 p.m.
Tennessee vs. Colgate, 2:45 p.m.<
Utah State vs. Washington, 6:50 p.m.
North Carolina vs. Iona, 9:20 p.m.
At Tulsa, Okla.
Texas Tech vs. Northern Kentucky, 1:30 p.m.
Buffalo vs. Arizona State, 4 p.m.<
Houston vs. Georgia State, 7:20 p.m.
Iowa State vs. Ohio State, 9:50 p.m.
At San Jose, Calif.
Kansas State vs. UC Irvine, 2 p.m.
Wisconsin vs. Oregon, 4:30 p.m.<
Mississippi State vs. Liberty, 7:27 p.m.
Virginia Tech vs. Saint Louis, 9:57 p.m.
Women’s NCAA Tournament
At Charlotte, N.C.
South Carolina vs. Belmont, 1:45 p.m.
Florida State vs. Bucknell, 30 minutes after first game
At Iowa City
Iowa vs. Mercer, 2 p.m.
Missouri vs. Drake, 30 minutes after first game
At Starkville, Miss.
South Dakota vs. Clemson, 7 p.m.
Mississippi State vs. Southern U., 30 minutes after first game
At Coral Gables, Fla.
Arizona State vs. UCF, 7 p.m.
Miami vs. Florida Gulf Coast, 30 minutes after first game
At Eugene, Ore.
Texas vs. Indiana, 7 p.m.
Oregon vs. Portland State, 30 minutes after first game
College Station, Texas
Marquette vs. Rice, 2 p.m.
Texas A&M vs. Wright State, 30 minutes after first game
At Louisville, Ky.
Louisville vs. Robert Morris, noon
Michigan vs. Kansas State, 30 minutes after first game
At Storrs, Conn.
Rutgers vs. Buffalo, 4:30 p.m.
UConn vs. Towson, 30 minutes after first game
Pittsburgh vs. Tampa Bay at Port Charlotte, Fla., 1:05 p.m.
St. Louis vs. N.Y. Mets (ss) at Port St. Lucie, Fla., 1:10 p.m.
Arizona vs. L.A. Dodgers at Glendale, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.
Texas vs. Chicago Cubs (ss) at Mesa, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.
Cincinnati vs. Milwaukee at Phoenix, 4:05 p.m.
Chicago White Sox vs. L.A. Angels (ss) at Tempe, Ariz., 4:10 p.m.
Detroit vs. Atlanta at Kissimmee, Fla., 6:05 p.m.
Boston vs. Minnesota at Fort Myers, Fla., 6:05 p.m.
N.Y. Mets (ss) vs. Houston at West Palm Beach, Fla., 6:05 p.m.
Baltimore vs. Toronto at Dunedin, Fla., 6:07 p.m.
Philadelphia vs. N.Y. Yankees at Tampa, Fla., 6:35 p.m.
Washington vs. Miami at Jupiter, Fla., 7:05 p.m.
San Francisco (ss) vs. Kansas City at Surprise, Ariz., 9:05 p.m.
Chicago Cubs (ss) vs. Cleveland at Goodyear, Ariz., 9:05 p.m.
San Diego vs. Colorado at Scottsdale, Ariz., 9:40 p.m.
L.A. Angels (ss) vs. Seattle at Peoria, Ariz., 9:40 p.m.
Colorado vs. San Francisco (ss) at Scottsdale, Ariz., 10:05 p.m.