AP Sports Digest
The highlights of the AP Sports report. An up-to-the minute listing of all stories planned, including games and events, is available in Coverage Plan on AP Newsroom, http://newsroom.ap.org/coverageplan You can also find a link to Coverage Plan on the left navigation of the Newsroom home page, http://newsroom.ap.org
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DALLAS -- LeBron James drove for easy layups or quick passes to open shooters at the 3-point line early in another meeting with Dallas phenom Luka Doncic. The 20-year-old Mavericks star played the last few minutes of the first half with a jersey he ripped into a V-neck look on a frustrating night against the player he admired growing up. By Schuyler Dixon. SENT: 850 words, photos.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — For the Titans, playing the Ravens in Baltimore in the divisional round is a chance for payback for playoff losses in Music City in 2000 and 2008 when Tennessee had the NFL’s best record. By Pro Football Writer Teresa M. Walker. SENT: 750 words, photos.
Tom Brady tried it. Nick Foles perfected it. Catching passes isn’t just for wide receivers, tight ends and running backs anymore. Coaches are drawing up trick plays that let quarterbacks use their hands for more than throwing. By Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi. SENT: 840 words, photos.
LAROSE, La. — Cajun pride is surging in the south Louisiana communities where LSU coach Ed Orgeron grew up along the bayou Lafourche. Top-ranked LSU is looking to close out arguably the greatest season in program history with a victory over No. 3 Clemson on Monday night in the College Football Playoff championship in New Orleans. By Brett Martel. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
NEW YORK -- Outfielder Mookie Betts agreed to a $27 million contract with the Boston Red Sox, the largest one-year salary for an arbitration-eligible player, while Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant got an $18.6 million, one-year deal. Among 155 players eligible for arbitration at the start of the day, just 20 remained headed for hearings next month after exchanging proposed arbitration salaries with teams. By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum. SENT: 800 words, photos.
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Jim Calhoun’s 900th win looked like so many others during a Hall of Fame coaching career. He stomped. He screamed. He slammed objects. The only real difference is the sideline he now controls. The longtime Connecticut coach added another milestone when the University of Saint Joseph beat Pratt Institute 105-61. By Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney. SENT: 840 words, photos.
FBC--PAUL NEWBERRY-GLOOMY CHAMPIONSHIP
NEW ORLEANS -- Clouds settle over New Orleans as LSU and Clemson arrive for the national title game -- a fitting metaphor for a game that took too long to arrive and features a matchup that must be wearisome to anyone outside the Deep South. By Sports Columnist Paul Newberry. SENT: 1,000 words, photos. With sidebar on arrivals.
The best of college football will be on display Saturday night. Huh? Well, consider that five Heisman Trophy winners will be featured when the Titans visit the Ravens. And one of those Heisman recipients might just his send his team to the AFC championship game. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 800 words, graphic.
Previews, capsules on this weekend’s four NFL games were sent Jan. 9.
HONOLULU — Different island, similar result. Justin Thomas and Patrick Reed finished the tournament with the same score. Only this was was Friday at the Sony Open. There was no playoff, only a plane back to the mainland. In wind that was vexing no matter how strong and soft greens so rare for this tournament, Thomas and Reed both missed the cut at Waialae and missed out on what could be a weekend where anything goes. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 900 words, photos.
HONOLULU — Being in Hawaii for two weeks reminds Corey Conners of Canada how far he has come. A year ago, he had to Monday qualify to get into the tournament. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 750 words, photo by 3 a.m
HONOLULU -- Michelle Wie always thought if she had children that would be the end of her golf. With a baby girl on the way, she says it motivates her to play as an example of strength. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 710 words, photos.
BKC--STRUGGLING NORTH CAROLINA
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The losses grow, as does Roy Williams’ frustration. North Carolina has its worst record through 15 games in 17 seasons under the Hall of Fame coach. The Tar Heels (8-7) limp into Saturday’s game against Clemson, which is 0-59 in Chapel Hill. By Aaron Beard. SENT: 710 words, photos.
STANFORD, Calif. — How fitting that so many of Tara VanDerveer’s former players were in the stands for another of the Hall of Fame coach’s many milestones. By Janie McCauley. SENT: 890 words, photos.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields remained undefeated and won the 154-pound championship with a unanimous decision over overmatched Ivana Habazin at Ovation Hall in Atlantic City. By Dan Gelston. SENT: 850 words, photos.
Saturday Time Schedule (EST)
NFC: Minnesota at San Francisco, 4:35 p.m.
AFC: Tennessee at Baltimore, 8:15 p.m.
Minnesota at Houston, 5 p.m.
New Orleans at Boston, 7 p.m.
Chicago at Detroit, 7 p.m.
L.A. Lakers at Oklahoma City, 8 p.m.
Philadelphia at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
Cleveland at Denver, 9 p.m.
Milwaukee at Portland, 10 p.m.
Vancouver at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Montreal at Ottawa, 7 p.m.
Boston at N.Y. Islanders, 7 p.m.
Los Angeles at Carolina, 7 p.m.
New Jersey at Washington, 7 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
N.Y. Rangers at St. Louis, 8 p.m.
Anaheim at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.
Columbus at Vegas, 10 p.m.
Edmonton at Calgary, 10 p.m.
Dallas at San Jose, 10 p.m.
Men’s Top 25
No. 1 Gonzaga at Loyola Marymount, 4 p.m.
No. 2 Duke vs. Wake Forest, 8 p.m.
No. 3 Kansas vs. No. 4 Baylor, 1 p.m.
No. 5 Auburn vs. Georgia, 6 p.m.
No. 7 San Diego State vs. Boise State, 10 p.m.
No. 9 Oregon vs. Arizona State, 10:30 p.m.
No. 11 Ohio State at Indiana, Noon
No. 13 Louisville at Notre Dame, 2 p.m.
No. 14 Kentucky vs. Alabama, Noon
No. 15 Dayton vs. UMass, 12:30 p.m.
No. 16 Villanova vs. Georgetown at Wells Fargo Center, Noon
No. 17 West Virginia vs. No. 22 Texas Tech, 6 p.m.
No. 18 Virginia vs. Syracuse, 4 p.m.
No. 20 Penn State vs. Wisconsin, 2:15 p.m.
Women’s Top 25
No. 1 UConn vs. Houston at the XL Center, Hartford, Conn., 1 p.m.
No. 16 Gonzaga vs. Pacific, 5 p.m.
No. 22 South Dakota vs. Omaha, 2 p.m.
No. 25 Princeton at Pennsylvania, 1 p.m.