BC-AP Sports Digest
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From Mack Brown to Neal Brown, college football’s silly season of coaching moves is cranking up. On the latest AP Top 25 College Football Podcast, Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated joins AP’s Ralph Russo to discuss the comings and goings of coaches.
Amid a flurry of gloomy news headlines, PodcastOne Sports Now co-hosts Jim Litke and Tim Dahlberg welcome the distractions provided by the NFL, the upcoming heavyweight title fight between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, and the college football season coming into sharper focus. Listen at podcastonesports.com, the podcastone app and apple podcasts.
ARLINGTON, Texas — Dak Prescott desperately scrambled for a first down in a game of fourth-quarter keepaway, then took three knees starting from the New Orleans 1 to run out the clock by the narrowest possible margin. Anything to keep Drew Brees and the NFL’s highest-scoring offense on the sideline. Ezekiel Elliott scored the only Dallas touchdown on a 16-yard screen pass and the Cowboys stifled Brees and the Saints, ending New Orleans’ 10-game winning streak with a 13-10 victory Thursday night. By Pro Football Writer Schuyler Dixon. SENT: 900 words.
TORONTO — Not even a dominant Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors could slow down the red-hot Toronto Raptors. Kawhi Leonard scored a season-high 37 points, Pascal Siakam added a career-high 26 and the Raptors overcame a 51-point performance from Durant to beat the Warriors 131-128 in overtime on Thursday night, extending their winning streak to seven. SENT: 800 words, photos.
FBN--TIM DAHLBERG-NEW FOOTBALL LEAGUE
LAS VEGAS — It wasn’t exactly the NFL draft, though it was held in the middle of all the glitz that Las Vegas offers. The only positions open were at quarterback, but even quarterbacks won’t get rich soon because they will paid the same base salary as everyone else in the new Alliance of American Football league. SENT: 600 words.
PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is stepping out of the shadow of teammate Antonio Brown and becoming a star in his own right. Smith-Schuster leads the Steelers in receptions and receiving yards heading into a showdown against the Los Angeles Chargers. Smith-Schuster says he’s not worried about developing a rivalry with Brown, insisting they’re both focused on winning a Super Bowl. By Will Graves. SENT: 800 words, photos.
FBC--FIVE THINGS TO KNOW FOR CHAMP WEEK
College football closes its regular season with championship weekend, leading to selection Sunday when the playoff is set and the bowls are matchups are finalized.
This is the first season in FBS where each of the 10 conferences has a championship game, but as a bonus there are some regular-season games sprinkled in to the slate. No. 1 Alabama and No. 4 Georgia in the SEC title game highlight the slate along with Kyler Murray and No. 5 Oklahoma vs. No. 9 Texas in the Big 12 title game. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 600 words.
BC--T25-BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW
ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas players knew when they celebrated their win over Oklahoma back in October that they could see the three-time defending Big 12 champion Sooners again. They will Saturday in a rare Red River rematch, when the fifth-ranked Sooners play the ninth-ranked Longhorns in the Big 12 championship game. By Stephen Hawkins. UPCOMING. 850 words, photos.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt tight end Turner Cockrell died Thursday at home after battling cancer for more than a year. He was 21.
Cockrell was surrounded by family in Acworth, Georgia, when he died. The Commodores were told of Cockrell’s death at a team meeting Thursday afternoon, Vanderbilt spokesman Larry Leathers said. SENT: 250 words.
The NHL is widely expected to add Seattle as its 32nd franchise next week, but expansion may not be over. Houston, Quebec City and even Europe stand out as potential destinations. No North American professional sports league has gone beyond 32 teams yet. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly says there is no magic number to stop. He says expansion is appropriate when it makes sense and adds value to the league. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. SENT: 750 words.
TAMPA, Fla. — The Buffalo Sabres came up just short of a history-making run. Cedric Paquette broke a tie with 5:41 left and the Tampa Bay Lightning ended the Sabres’ franchise-record-tying winning streak at 10 games with a 5-4 victory Thursday night. SENT: 600 words.
BOSTON — Rick Middleton raised his No. 16 to the TD Garden rafters Thursday night, nearly three decades after playing his final game with the Bruins. Middleton, nicknamed “Nifty,” spent 12 seasons with the black and gold from 1976 to 1988, scoring 402 goals and totaling 898 points. The right wing ranks third in goals and fourth in points in Bruins history.
LA RIOJA, Argentina — The U.S. will have to wait at least a few more days before clinching a berth in the 2019 Basketball World Cup. Nicolas Laprovittola scored 17 points, Lucio Redivo added 14 and Argentina shook off a slow start to beat the U.S. 80-63 in a World Cup qualifying game on Thursday night. The win put Argentina (8-1) atop Group E qualifying in the Americas region, one game up on the U.S. (7-2) with three contests remaining for both teams. SENT: 600 words.
LOS ANGELES — The sun shines on Tyson Fury every morning in California. The larger-than-life heavyweight from Manchester has found comfort and calm far from home. Whether training in the high-altitude seclusion of Big Bear or sampling Los Angeles’ good life at a Lakers game, Fury believes he has found the proper place to start again. By Greg Beacham.
WOMENS COLLEGE BASKETBALL
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Arike Ogunbowale scored 30 points and her fellow starters all finished in double figures as No. 1 Notre Dame routed 14th-ranked Iowa 105-71 on Thursday night. The game was the final tuneup for the Irish (7-0) before their showdown with No. 2 UConn on Sunday afternoon. SENT: 600 words, photos.
STANFORD, Calif. — Every practice, Kevin Hambly writes out his Stanford volleyball starting lineup on the white board — just so there’s no question, even though the women usually have a pretty good idea already. If they miss a serve during a drill, Hambly wants another one, an easy one, just to keep things moving and to get the needed repetition. Good-natured setter and team jokester Jenna Gray gives him a hard time about all of it, especially whatever is written on the board to make sure Hambly is on top of it.
Friday’s Time Schedule
No. 10 Washington vs. No. 17 Utah, Pac-12 championship at Santa Clara, Calif., 8 p.m.
College Basketball (Top 25)
No. 9 Michigan State at Rutgers, 6 p.m.
No. 14 Iowa vs. No. 22 Wisconsin, 8 p.m.
No. 17 Texas vs. Radford, 7 p.m.
No. 21 Buffalo vs. Milwaukee at Belfast, Northern Ireland, 5:30 a.m.
No. 25 Mississippi State at Dayton, 7 p.m.
Chicago at Detroit, 7 p.m.
Cleveland at Boston, 7 p.m.
Utah at Charlotte, 7 p.m.
Washington at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Memphis at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.
Atlanta at Oklahoma City, 8 p.m.
Houston at San Antonio, 8 p.m.
New Orleans at Miami, 8 p.m.
Orlando at Phoenix, 9 p.m.
Dallas at L.A. Lakers, 10:30 p.m.
Denver at Portland, 10:30 p.m.
Buffalo at Florida, 7 p.m.
New Jersey at Washington, 7 p.m.
Anaheim at Carolina, 7:30 p.m.
Los Angeles at Calgary, 9 p.m.
St. Louis at Colorado, 9 p.m.