BC-AP Sports Digest

March 24, 2018 - 2:27 am

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OAKLAND, Calif. — Stephen Curry returned from a six-game absence nursing an injured right ankle only to go down again. This time, it's his left knee. Curry came back and scored 29 points before spraining his knee in the second half, and the banged-up, undermanned Golden State Warriors held off the Atlanta Hawks 106-94 on Friday night. Curry sprained his medial collateral ligament and was scheduled for an MRI on Saturday, the Warriors said. By Janie McCauley. SENT: 830 words, photos.


OMAHA, Neb. — All that talk about busted brackets and the maddest March ever — not happening in the Midwest. What started as a chess match turned into a free-throw-shooting contest. When it was over, Duke won. Grayson Allen and Gary Trent Jr., made four clutch free throws down the stretch to help Duke hold off Syracuse 69-65 and land the Blue Devils in a 1 vs. 2 regional final against Kansas. By Eric Olson. SENT: 740 words, photos.


— BKC--NCAA-CLEMSON-KANSAS. By Luke Meredith. SENT: 780 words, photos.


In an NCAA Tournament dominated by upsets, Friday belonged to the favorites. Top seeds Kansas and Villanova, along with second-seeded Duke all moved on to the Elite Eight after holding on for close wins. All three teams are on the right side of the tourney bracket. Joined by Texas Tech, the foursome alone would make for intriguing Final Four. That makes any team that emerges from Sunday a likely top contender for the national title. By Genaro C. Armas. UPCOMING: 670 words, photos by 3 a.m.


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner is hurt for the second straight year, breaking a bone in his pitching hand when it was hit by a line drive off the bat of Kansas City's Whit Merrifield during a spring training game on Friday. The Giants said X-rays showed the 28-year-old fractured the fifth metacarpal on the outside of his left hand. Bumgarner said the timeline for recovery is four to six weeks and he will have a pin inserted into his pinkie Saturday. SENT: 350 words, photos.


HOUSTON — Authorities issued a warrant Friday for the arrest of three-time Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett, who is accused of injuring a paraplegic woman as he tried get onto the field at last year's Super Bowl to celebrate with his brother. The Harris County district attorney's office said a grand jury indicted the 32-year-old Bennett, acquired earlier this month by the Philadelphia Eagles, on a felony count of injury to the elderly. By Juan A. Lozano. SENT: 500 words, photo.



RALEIGH, N.C. — Michigan, Florida State, Kansas State and Loyola-Chicago will get their chance to earn a trip to the Final Four on Saturday. In an upset-filled NCAA Tournament, the ninth-seeded Wildcats and 11th-seeded Ramblers will play the first regional final for the South Region's ticket to San Antonio. The second Elite Eight game will feature the third-seeded Wolverines against the ninth-seeded Seminoles in the West final. By Basketball Writer Aaron Beard. UPCOMING: 925 words, photos by 2 a.m.


ATLANTA — College basketball has some big-time problems. Rampant corruption. One-and-dones. Yet, as this thoroughly maddening March has shown, the game always comes through in the end. By Sports Columnist Paul Newberry. SENT: 750 words, photos.


BOSTON — Villanova's 3-point party rolled past the intense pressure of West Virginia to bring the Wildcats to the doorstep of another Final Four two seasons after winning a national championship. The top-seeded Wildcats continued their outside feast in the NCAA Tournament, downing the fifth-seeded Mountaineers 90-78 on Friday night to earn their second trip to the regional finals in three seasons. By Kyle Hightower. SENT: 810 words, photos.


— BKC--NCAA-TEXAS TECH-PURDUE. By Jimmy Golen. SENT: 620 words, photos.

— Also:

— BKC--NCAA-LOYOLA-KANSAS STATE. By Charles Odum. SENT: 700 words, photos.

— BKC--NCAA-FLORIDA ST-MICHIGAN. By Greg Beacham. SENT: 700 words, photos.

— BKC--KENTUCKY WRAPUP. By Gary B. Graves. SENT: 600 words, photos.

— BKC--UCONN-HURLEY. By Pat Eaton-Robb. SENT: 600 words, photos.


ALBANY, N.Y. — It was a stellar day for the Pac-12 with Oregon State and UCLA both pulling off upsets to advance to the Elite Eight. The sixth-seeded Beavers beat second-seeded Baylor while the third-seeded Bruins knocked off No. 2 seed Texas. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. UPCOMING: 710 words, photos by 3 a.m.


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — North Carolina State tried to push Teaira McCowan off the block, then tried double-teaming the Mississippi State star, before ultimately trying to deny her the ball altogether. None of it worked. McCowan still scored 24 points on perfect shooting, pulled down 15 rebounds and generally made life miserable for the Wolfpack, and helped the top-seeded Bulldogs breeze to a 71-57 win Friday night and a spot in the Elite Eight of the women's NCAA Tournament. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 720 words, photos.


— BKW--NCAA-UCLA-TEXAS. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 700 words, photos.


LEXINGTON, Ky. — Louisville quelled concerns about handling Stanford's tough defense with a fast tempo and athleticism that consistently converted opportunities. The top-seeded Cardinals also imposed their will defensively on Stanford, resulting in yet another decisive victory to move within a win of reaching the Final Four. Asia Durr had 24 points, Myisha Hines-Allen added 17 and Louisville rolled past No. 4 seed Stanford 86-59 on Friday night in the women's NCAA Tournament Lexington Region semifinal. By Gary B. Graves. SENT: 610 words, photos.


— BKW--NCAA-OREGON ST-BAYLOR. By Gary B. Graves. SENT: 700 words, photos.

— Also:

— BKW--NCAA-ALBANY. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. SENT: 600 words, photos.

— BKW--NCAA-SPOKANE. By Tim Booth. SENT: 600 words, photos.



PORTLAND, Ore. — The Celtics say All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving is set to have surgery Saturday to alleviate pain in his left knee.

Irving has been out since March 11, missing the last four games. There is no timetable for his return from the "minimally invasive" procedure. By Anne M. Peterson. SENT: 410 words, photo.


INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — LeBron James can almost see from his backyard the latest billboard enticing him to sign as a free agent. A realtor in his hometown of Akron paid for a billboard with a message reminding the NBA star that he doesn't have to go anywhere. By Tom Withers. SENT: 450 words, photos.

— Also:




AUSTIN, Texas — In a showdown that turned sloppy, Patrick Reed nearly holed a wedge to seize control and finished off Jordan Spieth with a 40-foot birdie putt from behind the 17th green to advance to the weekend of the Dell Technologies Match Play. The 2-and-1 victory sent Spieth home in search of his game with the Masters just two weeks away. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 850 words, photos.


CARLSBAD, Calif. — Cristie Kerr shot an 8-under 64 on Friday in the Kia Classic to take a five-stroke lead into the weekend. The 40-year-old Kerr had eight birdies in her second straight bogey-free round to reach 13-under 131 at rain-softened Aviara. SENT: 450 words.


PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic — Tony Romo figured his weakness would be exposed in his PGA Tour debut. They were — and then some. The former Dallas Cowboys quarterback finished last Friday in the 132-man field in the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship, bogeying the first six holes in a 10-under 82. SENT: 425 words.

— Also:

— GLF--PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS — Two-time defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez opens play in seniors tournament in Biloxi, Miss. SENT: 300 words by 8 p.m.



NFL owners will be presented 10 rules proposals at their meetings next week, including changes to the catch rule and to the length of defensive pass interference penalties, and allowing personal fouls to be reviewed by instant replay. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 600 words. SENT: 800 words, photos.

— Also:

— ALDON SMITH-ARREST. SENT:145 words, photo.

— NFL PLAYERS-HARVARD. By Alanna Durkin Richer. SENT: 600 words, photos.





— FBN--COWBOYS-HURNS. SENT: 220 words.

— FBN--DOLPHINS MOVES. By Steven Wine. SENT: 250 words.

— FBN--JETS-ROBERTS. By Dennis Waszak Jr. SENT: 150 words.

— FBN--JETS-PIERRE LOUIS. By Dennis Waszak Jr. SENT: 150 words.

— FBN--BROWNS-GAINES. By Tom Withers. SENT: 170 words.

— FBN--PACKERS MOVES. SENT: 300 words.



Just the thought of Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge in the same lineup sent fans into a frenzy. Come opening day, all of baseball will see which teams really have the muscle. A season of haves and have-nots begins March 29 with Derek Jeter's pared-down Marlins playing the pumped-up Cubs. By Baseball Writer Ben Walker. SENT: 900 words, photos.


NEW YORK — Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sano will not be suspended by Major League Baseball after being accused of assault. The commissioner's office said in a statement on Friday "there was insufficient evidence to support a disciplinary determination against Sano, due to conflicting and inconsistent witness accounts and the absence of contemporaneous substantiation." SENT: 350 words, photo.


CLEARWATER, Florida — New Phillies manager Gabe Kapler's progressive approach looks like strategy straight from a slow-pitch softball league. He plans to flip-flop outfielders mid-inning to put the better defensive guy in position where analytics say the batter is most likely to hit the ball. By Rob Maaddi. SENT: 800 words, photos.

— Also:

— BBO--SPRING TRAINING RDP. SENT: 900 words, photos.

— BBA--RED SOX-WRIGHT. SENT: 330 words, photo.

— BBO--MINOR LEAGUERS-NO MINIMUM WAGE. By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum. SENT: 800 words, photo.


— BBA--YANKEES-JUDGE. SENT: 500 words, photos.

— BBN--ROCKIES-GONZALEZ. By Jose M. Romero. SENT: 530 words, photo.

— BBN--METS-CONFORTO. By Bill Whitehead. SENT: 570 words.

— BBN--NATIONALS-MURPHY. By Chuck King. SENT: 365 words.

— BBO--JACK CLARK-BANKRUPTCY. SENT: 130 words, photo.

AP Sports Extra: MLB Season Preview: A paginated preview of the MLB season, which starts Thursday, is available in AP Newsroom by searching for "Sports Extra" under the Graphics tab. The pages look at some of the season's main storylines, including the top prospects and key dates. For any questions, contact Barry Bedlan at bbedlan@ap.org



Former England women's soccer team coach Mark Sampson was being investigated for intimidating a female UEFA official with a metal pole at the 2017 European Championship before he was fired. A review by The Associated Press of UEFA disciplinary cases uncovered details of the investigation that led to Sampson being banned for three games for "insulting, aggressive and insistent actions," including profane abuse. By Graham Dunbar and Rob Harris. SENT: 630 words, photo.


DORTMUND, Germany — He not only can run, he can score. Usain Bolt trains again with the German club Borussia Dortmund, this time delivering goals on a header and penalty kick before nearly 1,500 spectators and 140 journalists. The retired 31-year-old sprint great says he had "fun with the guys." SENT: 350 words, photos, video.


— SOC--MLS-GALAXY-ZLATAN'S MOVE. By Greg Beacham. SENT: 700 words, photos.

— SOC--NWSL PREVIEW. By Anne M. Peterson. SENT: 600 words, photos.




MIAMI — H. Wayne Huizenga, the founding owner of baseball's Florida Marlins and the NHL's Florida Panthers and one-time owner of the Miami Dolphins, dies at 80. He said his "one disappointment" was the Dolphins' failure to win a Super Bowl while he owned the team. By Steven Wine and Terry Spencer. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.


— OBIT-WAYNE HUIZENGA-A LIFE. By Steven Wine and Terry Spencer. SENT: 1,200 words, photos.



KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. — Novak Djokovic's 16-match Key Biscayne winning streak ended, and his struggle to come back from an elbow injury continued. Djokovic lasted barely an hour at a tournament he has won six times, losing his opening match Friday in the Miami Open to Benoit Paire, 6-3, 6-4. By Steven Wine. SENT: 510 words, photos.

— Also:

— TEN--FRENCH OPEN-TRYING NEW RULES — French Open tweaking rules to speed play. SENT: 200 words.



MELBOURNE, Australia — Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen went one-two in the final practice session ahead of qualifying at the water-logged Australian Grand Prix on Saturday. Vettel set a best-lap time of 1 minute, 26.067 seconds, more than 2.4 seconds faster than his teammate in second. By Justin Bergman. SENT: 350 words, photos.


— CAR--F1-START LIGHTS-HALO. SENT: 340 words, photos.

— Also:

— CAR--NASCAR-HENDRICK-AXALTA. By Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. SENT: 330 words.



ASSAGO, Italy — Olympic bronze medalist Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada won the figure skating world title Friday with a nearly perfect performance as Olympic champion Alina Zagitova fell a jaw-dropping three times and crowd favorite Carolina Kostner turned in a lackluster skate -- both tumbling completely off the podium. By Colleen Barry. SENT: 800 words, photos.



LONDON — Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker meet in a heavyweight unification title fight in Wales next week. Parker, the unbeaten WBO champ from New Zealand, says he hasn't been himself for more than two years, but that has now changed following two operations on his elbows. By Foster Niumata. SENT: 700 words, photos.


— TOM BENSON FUNERAL. SENT: 490 words, photos.

— HKN--OBIT-GAMBLE. SENT: 150 words, photos.


Saturday's Time Schedule (EDT)


Men (Regional Finals)

Loyola of Chicago vs. Kansas State (at Atlanta), 6:09 p.m.

Michigan vs. Florida State (at Los Angeles), 8:49 p.m.

Women (Regional Semifinals)

South Carolina vs. Buffalo (at Albany), 11:30 a.m.

UConn vs. Duke (at Albany), 2 p.m.

Notre Dame vs. Texas A&M (at Spokane, Washington), 4 p.m.

Oregon vs. Central Michigan (at Spokane, Washington), 6:30 p.m.


Minnesota at Philadelphia, 6 p.m.

Chicago at Detroit, 7 p.m.

Phoenix at Orlando, 7 p.m.

New Orleans at Houston, 8 p.m.

L.A. Lakers at Memphis, 8 p.m.

Charlotte at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.


Vegas at Colorado, 3 p.m.

Calgary at San Jose, 4 p.m.

Detroit at Toronto, 7 p.m.

Washington at Montreal, 7 p.m.

Carolina at Ottawa, 7 p.m.

Arizona at Florida, 7 p.m.

Tampa Bay at New Jersey, 7 p.m.

Chicago at N.Y. Islanders, 7 p.m.

Buffalo at N.Y. Rangers, 7 p.m.

St. Louis at Columbus, 7 p.m.

Nashville at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Los Angeles at Edmonton, 10 p.m.


Grapefruit League

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

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

NY Yankees (ss) vs. Atlanta at North Port, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Philadelphia vs. Detroit at Lakeland, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Toronto vs. NY Yankees (ss) at Tampa, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Tampa Bay vs. Pittsburgh at Bradenton, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

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

Milwaukee vs. Oakland at Mesa, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.

Cleveland vs. Texas at Surprise, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.

Chicago White Sox vs. LA Dodgers at Glendale, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.

San Diego vs. Cincinnati at Goodyear, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

Kansas City vs. Arizona (ss) at Scottsdale, Ariz., 4:10 p.m.

Arizona vs. LA Angels at Tempe, Ariz., 4:10 p.m.

Minnesota vs. Baltimore at Sarasota, Fla., 6:05 p.m.

San Francisco at Sacramento (PCL) at Tempe, Ariz., 9:05 p.m.

Chicago Cubs (ss) vs. Seattle at Peoria, Ariz., 9:40 p.m.

Colorado vs. Chicago Cubs (ss) at Mesa, Ariz., 10:05 p.m.


New York City FC at New England, 1:30 p.m.

Portland at FC Dallas, 3:30 p.m.

D.C. United at Columbus, 6 p.m.

Minnesota United at New York, 7 p.m.

Sporting Kansas City at Colorado, 9 p.m.

LA Galaxy at Vancouver, 10 p.m.

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