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BC-AP Sports Digest

March 13, 2019

The supervisor is Brian Mahoney, followed by Becky Miller at 9 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.

Orel Hershiser isn’t worried about how analytics affects pitching. The Los Angeles Dodger great tells PodcastOne Sports Now co-hosts Tim Dahlberg and Jim Litke that managers will figure out how to play situational baseball with their pitching staffs soon enough, and wholesale changes aren’t needed in the way the game is played. https://www.podcastone.com/podcastone-sports-now

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray is not so short and Mississippi State defensive end Montez Sweat is very fast. While those were the big takeaways from the NFL combine, plenty more was learned in Indianapolis last week. On the latest AP Top 25 College Football Podcast, Dane Brugler, NFL draft analyst for The Athletic, joins the AP’s Ralph Russo to assess which prospects helped themselves and which ones might have hurt their stock. https://podcastone.com/AP-Top-25-College-Football-Podcast

TOP STORIES

FBN--FREE AGENCY

While the free agency spending frenzy runs wild, the Giants and Browns found a way to overshadow it: a trade of Odell Beckham Jr. Not to be outdone, however, the Jets got the guy at the top of their free agency list, agreeing with former Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell on a deal early Wednesday morning. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

US--COLLEGE ADMISSIONS-BRIBERY

BOSTON _ A fast-moving college admissions scandal moved from bombshell indictments to guilty pleas in a matter of hours, yet the full fallout from the federal case against the rich and famous could take months or more to unfold. Big names such as actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin headline the list of some 50 people charged in documents released Tuesday that describe a scheme to cheat the admissions process at eight sought-after schools. By Ryan Kryska. SENT: 600 words, photos.

COMMENTARY

TIM DAHLBERG-COLLEGE SCANDALS

The latest federal probe into the seamy underbelly of college athletics uncovered just the opposite of what we usually expect: Instead of paying recruits to attend schools, coaches and top athletic officials at some of America’s finest universities were selling spots on their rosters to the highest bidder. By Sports Columnist Tim Dahlberg. UPCOMING: 870 words, photos by 4 a.m.

PRO FOOTBALL

FBN--JETS-BELL

NEW YORK _ Le’Veon Bell sat out a full season while considering where he’d make his next playmaking moves. Well-rested, motivated and armed with a new contract, the star running back is joining Sam Darnold and the New York Jets after agreeing to a deal early Wednesday morning, a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press. By Pro Football Writer Dennis Waszak Jr. SENT: 850 words, photos.

FBN--BROWNS-BECKHAM TRADE

CLEVELAND _ Odell Beckham Jr. is about to run a deep route out of New Jersey _ straight to Cleveland. The superstar wide receiver is bound for the Browns to be a target for quarterback Baker Mayfield as the centerpiece of a blockbuster trade, two people familiar with the deal told The Associated Press. By Tom Withers. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

BKC--T25-WCC-SAINT MARY’S-GONZAGA

LAS VEGAS _ Saint Mary’s ended the nation’s longest winning streak and top-ranked Gonzaga’s six-year reign as West Coast Conference Tournament champions, grinding out a 60-47 victory in the title game. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. SENT: 825 words, photos.

BKC--BUBBLE WATCH

The NCAA Tournament’s bubble got a little tighter after Saint Mary’s upset No. 1 Gonzaga to earn an automatic bid and make the WCC a two-bid league. The surprising win is bad news for teams like Belmont, UNC Greensboro, Alabama and Ohio State, who are fighting for the same shrinking pool of at-large bids in the 68-team field. By David Brandt. UPCOMING: 770 words, photos by 4 a.m.

BKC--T25-VILLANOVA REGROUPS

PHILADELPHIA _ After and up-and-down season, Villanova is trying to win its third straight Big East Tournament championship. The Wildcats won the regular-season title despite five losses. By Dan Gelston. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 4 a.m.

BKC--WATERS-NATIVE AMERICAN HOOPS

STILLWATER, Okla. _ Oklahoma State guard Lindy Waters plays to honor his Kiowa and Cherokee heritage while hoping to draw attention to Native American players. He has averaged 12 points and this season and believes plenty of other Native American players could also do well and tries to help by running camps at tribal nations. By Cliff Brunt. UPCOMING: 680 words, photos by 4 a.m.

NBA

BKN--NBA-UNRULY BEHAVIOR

NBA star Russell Westbrook will play in Utah again one day. When he does, a fan who allegedly made racial taunts against him will not be there to watch. A day after the Oklahoma City Thunder standout directed vulgar comments — which were captured on video and went viral — toward two fans, the Utah Jazz responded by banning a fan from their arena. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 1,130 words, photos.

BASEBALL

BBA--MARINERS-KIKUCHI

PEORIA, Ariz. _Yusei Kikuchi was determined from the time he was 15 years old to be the next great Japanese import to dazzle American fans and befuddle major league hitters. That dream is now the reality for the newest starting pitcher for the Seattle Mariners. In a twist, he’ll make his first major league start next week, but it will come in Tokyo when the Mariners face the Oakland Athletics. By Tim Booth. UPCOMING: 750 words by 4 a.m.

TENNIS

TEN--INDIAN WELLS

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. _ It was a tough day for seeded players at the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday, with Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka, the world’s top-ranked players, ushered out in the desert. SENT: 680 words, photos.

NHL

HKN--AROUND THE NHL

PITTSBURGH _ Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin is the newest member of the NHL’s 1,000-point club. While Malkin is downplaying the significance, teammates and opponents believe it’s a chance for the league to acknowledge the 32-year-old Russian’s remarkable talent. By Will Graves. UPCOMING: 1,200 words, photos by 4 a.m.

CAPSULES

_ BKN--NBA CAPSULES

_ HKN--NHL CAPSULES

_ BKC--T25-TOP 25 CAPSULES

Wednesday’s Time Schedule (EST)

NBA

Brooklyn at Oklahoma City, 7 p.m.

Orlando at Washington, 7 p.m.

Detroit at Miami, 7:30 p.m.

Memphis at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.

Golden State at Houston, 9:30 p.m.

Utah at Phoenix, 10 p.m.

NHL

Chicago at Toronto, 7 p.m.

New Jersey at Edmonton, 9:30 p.m.

N.Y. Rangers at Vancouver, 10 p.m.

TOP 25 BASKETBALL

Men

No. 16 Virginia Tech vs. Miami at the Spectrum Center, Charlotte, N.C., 2:30 p.m.

PRESEASON BASEBALL

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

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

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

Toronto vs. Baltimore at Sarasota, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

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

Chicago Cubs vs. Oakland at Mesa, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

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

Milwaukee vs. Cleveland (ss) at Goodyear, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

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

Philadelphia vs. N.Y. Yankees at Tampa, Fla., 6:35 p.m.

San Diego vs. L.A. Angels at Tempe, Ariz., 9:10 p.m.

San Francisco vs. Seattle at Peoria, Ariz., 9:40 p.m.

Chicago White Sox vs. L.A. Dodgers at Glendale, Ariz., 10:05 p.m.