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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NEW YORK — Jason Garrett is headed to the other side of the Giants-Cowboys rivalry. New York announced that the former Dallas coach will join new coach Joe Judge’s staff as the offensive coordinator. The team also announced the hiring of Patrick Graham as the defensive coordinator and assistant head coach. By Pro Football Writer Dennis Waszak Jr. SENT: 900 words, photos.
MELBOURNE, Australia — As messages on video boards cautioned Australian Open spectators to “be aware we are expecting a reduction in air quality” Saturday, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal seemed satisfied that all will be fine at the year’s first Grand Slam tournament despite smoke from wildfires burning 100 or so miles away. By Tennis Writer Howard Fendrich. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 4 a.m. ET.
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Cassius Winston threw a lob from the right wing over the middle of the lane and Xavier Tillman dunked the basketball, breaking a record that stood for two decades. Winston had six points, and his four assists gave him the Big Ten record for career assists as No. 15 Michigan State beat Wisconsin 67-55. By Larry Lage. SENT: 700 words, photos.
LOS ANGELES — Anytime Southern California beats UCLA it is special. The fact that the Trojans knocked off the nation’s only remaining unbeaten team in Division I women’s basketball made it that much sweeter. By Joe Reedy. SENT: 800 words, photos.
FBN--RODGERS VS SHERMAN
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Two of the best at their jobs meet again in the NFC championship game. Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers must decide Sunday how much to challenge San Francisco cornerback Richard Sherman. By Pro Football Writer Josh Dubow. SENT: 900 words, photos.
MMA--UFC 246 PREVIEW
LAS VEGAS — Conor McGregor claims he allowed the UFC to pick his comeback opponent. The Irish superstar on Saturday night takes on Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, a veteran whose skills could quickly end McGregor’s plan to return to dominance. By Greg Beacham. SENT: 820 words, photos. With sidebar UFC 246-Bout Canceled (sent).
BKN--ESPN-THE JUMP PRIMETIME
The Rachel Nichols-led “The Jump,” a daytime hit since debuting four years ago, is going prime time and will be the pregame show for ABC’s Saturday night NBA games. ESPN is sticking to something tried and true in a league where TNT’s “Inside the NBA” remains the standard. By Joe Reedy. SENT: 770 words, photos.
Make no mistake, Oakland pitcher Mike Fiers is a hero for exposing the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing system. Let’s hope players view him that way rather than scorn him for blowing the whistle on the secrets of the clubhouse. By Sports Columnist Paul Newberry. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans have found a way to fix the NFL’s worst field goal unit: score touchdowns. They enter Sunday’s AFC title game as the first team since 1980 to go six straight games in a season without a field goal. By Pro Football Writer Teresa M. Walker. SENT: 770 words, photos.
Previews, matchup capsules for Packers-49ers, Titans-Chiefs for weekend use (sent Jan. 16). Pro Picks (sent Jan. 17).
HOUSTON — Houston Astros owner Jim Crane expects to hire a new manager by Feb. 3. The Astros need a new manager and general manager after AJ Hinch and Jeff Luhnow were fired Monday, hours after both were suspended by Major League Baseball for a year for the team’s sign-stealing scandal. By Kristie Rieken. SENT: 650 words, photos.
BKN—NBA -SCHEDULE CHANGES
MIAMI — The NBA no longer expects the league’s board of governors to vote in April on whether to make significant changes to the league’s schedule in time for the 75th anniversary season in 2021-22. The changes remain a real possibility. The new twist, as detailed in a memo the NBA sent to teams, is that much of the feedback the league received on the ideas for change suggested that more time is necessary to implement them correctly. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 510 words, photos.
DENVER -- Michael Porter Jr. reminds himself to stay patient. The rookie missed all of last season following back surgery. The Nuggets are easing him into a deep lineup, and he could be their missing piece in a loaded Western Conference. By Pat Graham. SENT: 840 words, photos.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Buddy Boeheim is coming into his own at Syracuse in his second season. The son of longtime Orange coach Jim Boeheim is averaging 15.7 points and shooting 41.1% from behind the arc. With five freshmen on the roster, the father is counting on his son more than he anticipated. By John Kekis. SENT: 970 words, photos.
HKN—CANADA-PLAINS CREE BROADCASTS
WINNIPEG, Manitoba — The Canadian network APTN is kicking off the first of six NHL games that will be broadcast in the Plains Cree language. The first game will be Sunday night in Chicago, where the Blackhawks will host the Winnipeg Jets. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 3 a.m.
Saturday Time Schedule (EST)
L.A. Clippers at New Orleans, 3:30 p.m.
Milwaukee at Brooklyn, 6 p.m.
Phoenix at Boston, 7 p.m.
Detroit at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.
Philadelphia at New York, 7:30 p.m.
Cleveland at Chicago, 8 p.m.
Toronto at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
L.A. Lakers at Houston, 8:30 p.m.
Orlando at Golden State, 8:30 p.m.
Portland at Oklahoma City, 9 p.m.
Sacramento at Utah, 9 p.m.
Washington at N.Y. Islanders, 1 p.m.
St. Louis at Colorado, 3 p.m.
Arizona at Edmonton, 3 p.m.
Calgary at Ottawa, 4 p.m.
Chicago at Toronto, 7 p.m.
Vegas at Montreal, 7 p.m.
Florida at Detroit, 7 p.m.
Los Angeles at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
New Jersey at Columbus, 7 p.m.
Buffalo at Nashville, 8 p.m.
Dallas at Minnesota, 9 p.m.
San Jose at Vancouver, 10 p.m.
Men’s Top 25
No. 1 Gonzaga vs. BYU, 10 p.m.
No. 2 Baylor at Oklahoma State, Noon
No. 3 Duke vs. No. 11 Louisville, 6 p.m.
No. 4 Auburn at Florida, 1:30 p.m.
No. 5 Butler at DePaul, 1 p.m.
No. 6 Kansas at Texas, 2 p.m.
No. 7 San Diego State vs. Nevada, 8 p.m.
No. 8 Oregon at Washington, 3:45 p.m.
No. 9 Florida State at Miami, Noon
No. 10 Kentucky at Arkansas, 4 p.m.
No. 12 West Virginia at Kansas State, 2 p.m.
No. 14 Villanova vs. UConn at the Wells Fargo Center, Noon
No. 16 Wichita State vs. Houston, 4 p.m.
No. 17 Maryland vs. Purdue, 2 p.m.
No. 18 Seton Hall vs. St. John’s at Madison Square Garden, Noon
No. 20 Colorado at Arizona, 2:30 p.m.
No. 21 Ohio State at Penn State, Noon
No. 23 Texas Tech vs. Iowa State, 4 p.m.
No. 24 Illinois vs. Northwestern, 5 p.m.
No. 25 Creighton vs. Providence, 4:30 p.m.
Women’s Top 25
No. 2 Baylor vs. No. 17 West Virginia, 8 p.m.
No. 16 Gonzaga at San Francisco, 8 p.m.
No. 25 South Dakota vs. South Dakota State, 2 p.m.