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BC-AP Sports Digest

January 22, 2019

The supervisor is Fred Lief, followed by Ben Nuckols 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.

AP Sports runs a weekly podcast looking at big moments and issues in sports. The podcast is sent every Tuesday, hosted by columnist Jim Litke. Guests include journalists, athletes and other newsmakers. Listen at podcastonesports.com, the podcastone app and apple podcasts.

https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast

Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray is considering a football career instead of baseball, but what kind of NFL prospect is the undersized quarterback? On the latest AP Top 25 College Football Podcast, ESPN’s Tom Luginbill joins AP’s Ralph Russo to discuss Murray’s choice.

https://www.podcastone.com/AP-Top-25-College-Football-Podcast

TOP STORIES

BBO--HALL OF FAME

NEW YORK _ Mariano Rivera could become the first player to be unanimously elected to the Hall of Fame, with Roy Halladay and Edgar Martinez in good shape to join him in Cooperstown. Mike Mussina also could make it in the vote by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. By Jake Seiner. SENT: 1,050 words, photos. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Announcement about 6:15 p.m.

TEN--AUSTRALIAN OPEN

MELBOURNE, Australia _ Stefanos Tsitsipas follows his upset of Roger Federer at the Australian Open by beating Roberto Bautista Agut to become the first Greek to reach a Grand Slam semifinal. The 20-year-old is the youngest semifinalist at a major since 2007. By Howard Fendrich. SENT: 900 words, photos.

OLY--RUSSIAN DOPING

The World Anti-Doping Agency straddles the wide gulf between vindication and capitulation, agreeing to keep Russia’s anti-doping operation in business after receiving much-sought data that could be used to prosecute cheaters. By National Writer Eddie Pells. SENT: 700 words, photos.

_ With:

_ OLY--RUSSIAN DOPING-THE LATEST _ Real-time developments throughout day.

_ OLY--RUSSIAN DOPING-ZUBKOV _ Alexander Zubkov, banned from Olympics for doping, leaves as Russian bobsled chief. By James Ellingworth. SENT: 250 words, photos.

FBN--SUPER BOWL-IN THE MIX

Build it and the Super Bowl will come. While that’s not exactly how the sites of the NFL’s championship extravaganza are determined, it sure doesn’t hurt to have a new, billion-dollar facility in your city. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

SPORTS SHOWCASE

FBN--RASHAN GARY’S AGENCY

ANN ARBOR, Mich. _ Former Michigan star Rashan Gary is the CEO of his own sports agency. The defensive end already has recruited one NFL prospect and hopes to land more players from MLB, the NBA and NHL. He’s promoting the agency as a place where athletes can make the most of their earning potential. By Larry Lage. SENT: 700 words, photos.

COMMENTARY

GLF--ON THE FRINGE-TIGER

SAN DIEGO _ Rarely in sports has such a big moment had such a short shelf life. Tiger Woods delivered the moment all of golf anticipated when he won the Tour Championship. Twelve hours later, it was on to the Ryder Cup. And then he was out of view for two months. He starts a new year with even more hype. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 7 p.m.

_ With:

_ GLF--GOLF NOTES _ By Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 1,100 words, photos by 8 p.m.

_ GLF--GOLF GLANCE _ SENT: 600 words.

BKN--ON BASKETBALL-GIANNIS AND LUKA

MILWAUKEE _ There will be plenty of moments between All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks and rising rookie Luka Doncic of the Mavericks before their NBA careers are done. But the first one on Monday _ a dunk over Doncic _ absolutely went Antetokounmpo’s way. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 800 words, photos.

AUSTRALIAN OPEN

TEN--AUSTRALIAN OPEN-KVITOVA’S COMEBACK

MELBOURNE, Australia _ Petra Kvitova watched the Australian Open from a distance two years ago, a month after her injury in a violent home invasion. Then she lost in the first round last year. Now she is in the semifinals and “seeing life a little bit differently.” By John Pye. SENT: 750 words, photos.

TEN--AUSTRALIAN OPEN--NADAL

MELBOURNE, Australia _ Rafael Nadal is back to feeling healthy, and back in the Australian Open semifinals. Playing his familiar brand of court-covering, ball-bashing tennis, Nadal ends American Frances Tiafoe’s best Grand Slam run with a dominating victory. By Tennis Writer Howard Fendrich. SENT: 550 words, photos.

_ Also:

_ TEN--AUSTRALIAN OPEN-THE LATEST _ Real-time updates throughout day.

_ TEN--AUSTRALIAN OPEN-LI NA _ Trailblazer Li Na sees similarities with Naomi Osaka. By Bruce Matthews. SENT: 450 words, photos.

_ TEN--AUSTRALIAN OPEN GLANCE _ SENT: 450 words, photos.

SUPER BOWL

FBN--PATRIOTS-STILL GRONK

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. _ Rob Gronkowski considered retirement after last year’s Super Bowl loss. Now, with another Super Bowl, the question returns, his body battered after one more season. What is clear is that the big tight end poses a compelling presence in the Patriots’ passing game. By Kyle Hightower. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.

FBN--BEHIND THE CALL

The George Halas and Lamar Hunt trophies may be smudged amid the backlash over officiating gaffes, but they aren’t entirely tarnished. Strategy and execution had as much to do with the outcomes of these overtime thrillers as the flags that were or weren’t thrown. By Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton. SENT: 800 words, photos.

FBN--SUPER BOWL PREPARATIONS

ATLANTA _ Work already is underway to prepare Mercedes-Benz Stadium and downtown Atlanta for Super Bowl 53. The field is being prepared and area streets already have been closed, almost two weeks before the game. By Charles Odum. UPCOMING: 500 words by 6 p.m.

_ With:

_ SUPER BOWL-ATLANTA BILLBOARDS _ “NFL bleaux it” billboard in Atlanta speaks to officiating mess. SENT: 130 words, photos.

NBA

BKN--NUGGETS-THE GUMSLINGER

DENVER _ Struggling with his jumper, point guard Monte Morris went to work. Over the offseason he wedged a gum wrapper between his thumb and fingers on his guide hand. The Great Spearmint Experiment worked. He’s shooting 42 percent from 3-point range for the surging Nuggets. By Pat Graham. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.

_ Also:

_ BKN--MAVERICKS-SMITH’S STATUS _ Dennis Smith Jr., the subject of trade talk, expected to rejoin Mavericks following two-game road trip. By Schuyler Dixon. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 8 p.m.

NHL

HKN--ISLANDERS-TROTZ’S CHANGES

Barry Trotz sees his first season with the Islanders much like his first with the Capitals _ a work in progress. But Trotz has already changed the culture and the structure for the Islanders, who are in first place despite losing John Tavares. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. SENT: 950 words, photos, video.

_ With:

_ HKN--ISLANDERS-BLACKHAWKS _ By Jay Cohen. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 8:30 p.m.

HKN--PANTHERS-DEJA VU

SUNRISE, Fla. _ The Florida Panthers are hoping for deja vu. Sort of. A year ago, the Panthers shook off a disastrous start to the season and caught fire after the All-Star break. They need to do even better now. By Tim Reynolds. SENT: 500 words, photos.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Men:

BKC--T25-TENNESSEE-DEFENSIVE FOCUS

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. _ The Volunteers know they must improve on defense if they are to stay No. 1. The last time the Tennessee men led the rankings was in 2008, and the very next game they lost at Vanderbilt. Next up for Tennessee? Vanderbilt, on the road Wednesday night. By Steve Megargee. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.

BKC--T25-MISSISSIPPI STATE-KENTUCKY

LEXINGTON, Ky. _ No. 8 Kentucky plays No. 22 Mississippi State in a matchup of 14-3 SEC teams. The Wildcats are playing their second of three ranked schools in a week. By Gary B. Graves. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts 7 p.m.

_ Also:

_ COLLEGE CORRUPTION _ Ex-Arizona assistant coach pleads guilty to bribery charge. By Larry Neumeister. SENT: 300 words, photos.

Women:

BKW--NOTRE DAME-DYNAMIC DUO

SOUTH BEND, Ind. _ Forwards Jessica Shepard and Brianna Turner rule the boards, a big reason why Notre Dame is No. 1 and has won 11 in a row. They have 11 double-doubles between them this season entering Thursday night’s game against struggling Tennessee. SENT: 700 words, photos.

LAW

SOC--RONALDO-TAXES

MADRID _ Cristiano Ronaldo pleads guilty to tax fraud, avoiding prison and drawing a two-year suspended sentence and a fine of $21.6 million. The charges against the Juventus star stemmed from his days at Real Madrid. By Tales Azzoni. SENT: 500 words, photos.

_ Also:

_ SUPREME COURT-COACH-POSTGAME PRAYER _ Supreme Court rejects appeal, for now, from Seattle-area high school football coach who lost job over prayer on field. SENT: 130 words.

_ FBN--MCFADDEN-DWI CHARGE _ Ex-NFL player Darren McFadden arrested on a drunken-driving charge outside Dallas. SENT: 140 words.

BASEBALL

BBN--REDS-GRAY

CINCINNATI _ Sonny Gray has a Cincinnati connection. His father once tried out for the Reds, and Gray attended his first major league game at Great American Ball Park. He agreed to a trade from the Yankees and will now pitch in a park more akin to Yankee Stadium, where he struggled mightily last season. By Joe Kay. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

FBC--SENIOR BOWL

MOBILE, Ala. _ Gardner Minshew’s odyssey took him from junior college to East Carolina to Washington State and nearly to Alabama. Now, the nation’s leading passer is at the Senior Bowl auditioning for his next landing spot, he hopes, in the NFL. By John Zenor. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 7 p.m.

SOCCER

SOC--US-SPAIN

The U.S. women resume their brief European tour leading to the World Cup when they play Spain in Alicante. The top-ranked Americans are coming off a loss to France that ended a 28-game unbeaten streak. UPCOMING: 400 words. Game starts 5:30 p.m.

_ Also:

_ SOC--MISSING PLANE-SALA _ Argentine player Emiliano Sala aboard small plane that disappears over English Channel. By Angela Charlton and Rob Harris. SENT: 500 words, photos.

_ SOC--MLS-SOUNDERS BEGIN _ Seattle Sounders, without Clint Dempsey or Osvaldo Alonso, open preseason camp. By Tim Booth. UPCOMING: 550 words by 6 p.m.

FIGURE SKATING

FIG--US CHAMPIONSHIPS

The whirlwind rise of Bradie Tennell began at last year’s U.S. Figure Skating Championships, where she startled a veteran field to win her first national title and an Olympic spot. The 20-year-old defends her title this week in Detroit, this time as the favorite. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 850 words, photos.

HORSE RACING

RAC--PEGASUS WORLD CUP

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. _ Horse of the Year finalist Accelerate will be the likely favorite when odds are announced for this weekend’s Pegasus World Cup. By Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 500 words by 3 p.m.

CAPSULES

_ BKN--NBA CAPSULES

_ HKN--NHL CAPSULES

_ BKC--TOP 25 CAPSULES

___

Tuesday Time Schedule (EST)

NBA

Sacramento at Toronto, 7 p.m.

Portland at Oklahoma City, 8 p.m.

L.A. Clippers at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

Minnesota at Phoenix, 9 p.m.

NHL

San Jose at Washington, 7 p.m.

Arizona at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.

N.Y. Islanders at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.

Detroit at Edmonton, 9 p.m.

Carolina at Calgary, 9 p.m.

College Basketball (Top 25)

Men

No. 2 Duke at Pittsburgh, 9 p.m.

No. 3 Virginia vs. Wake Forest, 9 p.m.

No. 5 Michigan vs. Minnesota, 7 p.m.

No. 8 Kentucky vs. No. 22 Mississippi State, 7 p.m.

No. 14 Buffalo at Northern Illinois, 8 p.m.

No. 14 Texas Tech at Kansas State, 7 p.m.

No. 16 Auburn at South Carolina, 6:30 p.m.

No. 18 Villanova at Butler, 7 p.m.

No. 20 Mississippi at Alabama, 9 p.m.

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