BC-AP Sports Digest
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Broadcaster Ernie Johnson gives a behind-the-scenes look at “Inside the NBA” colleague Charles Barkley in the latest episode of PodcastOne Sports Now co-hosted by the AP’s Jim Litke and Tim Dahlberg. Listen at podcastonesports.com, the podcastone app and apple podcasts. https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast
CARSON, Calif. — The Chargers (11-3) play the Ravens (8-6) with much on the line in the AFC playoff race. Los Angeles is trying to keep its hopes alive for an AFC West title and top seeding. Baltimore is trying to hold on to the final wild-card spot. By Joe Reedy. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 8:20 p.m.
CHICAGO — No. 9 North Carolina and No. 19 Kentucky play in the second game of the CBS Classic — the first matchup between these basketball heavyweights since Luke Maye scored with 0.3 seconds left to send the Tar Heels to the 2017 Final Four. By Andrew Seligman. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 5:15 p.m.
HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLER-DREADLOCKS CUT
BUENA, N.J. — An Olympic champion reaches out to a New Jersey high school wrestler whose dreadlocks were cut off minutes before his match. A referee told him to lose the dreadlocks or forfeit. Jordan Burroughs, a 2012 gold medalist, calls this “a combination of an abuse of power, racism and just plain negligence.” SENT: 400 words, photos.
FBN--ON FOOTBALL-THURSDAY NIGHTS
Thursday night football is here to stay, even if it’s gone for the rest of 2018. In past years, some — make that many — would have said “good riddance.” That would be misguided this year. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 1,100 words, photos. First send Dec. 21 for weekend use.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Titans take a three-game winning streak into their matchup with the Redskins. Tennessee (8-6) and Washington (7-7) both need to win their last two games to stand a chance of making the playoffs. The Titans beat the Giants last week for their first shutout in 18 years. By Pro Football Writer Teresa M. Walker. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 4:30 p.m.
FBN--NFL THIS WEEK
For interconference matchups in the season’s next-to-last week, the NFL couldn’t have done much better: Pittsburgh at New Orleans, Houston at Philadelphia, Kansas City at Seattle, and Washington at Tennessee all with significant playoff implications. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 1,800 words, photos. First sent Dec. 20 for weekend use. To be updated after each of Saturday’s two games.
FBC--T25-ARMED FORCES BOWL
FORT WORTH, Texas — No. 22 Army, winners of eight straight and featuring a strong running game, can finish with its first 11-win season by beating Houston in the Armed Forces Bowl. Houston will be without injured quarterback D’Eriq King and NFL draft-prepping defensive tackle Ed Oliver. By Stephen Hawkins. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 3:30 p.m.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Memphis faces Wake Forest in the Birmingham Bowl without All-America running back Darrell Henderson and its offensive coordinator. The Demon Deacons will be without injured star receiver Greg Dortch. By John Zenor. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game started noon.
— FBC--DOLLAR GENERAL BOWL — Troy vs. Buffalo in Mobile, Ala. — By David Brandt. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts 7 p.m.
— FBC--HAWAII BOWL — Hawaii vs. Louisiana Tech in Honolulu. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts 10:30 p.m.
FBC--CFP-NOTRE DAME-STOPPING CLEMSON
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The Notre Dame defense will face a stern test in next weekend’s playoff game against Clemson. The Tigers average 530 yards and 45 points a game, both fifth best in the country. SENT: 700 words, photos.
TEMPE, Ariz. — Top-ranked Kansas faces a stiff test against a No. 18 Arizona State team that is looking to reassert itself after dropping two of its last three. The undefeated Jayhawks will be without big man Udoka Azubuike, who has a sprained ankle. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 7 p.m.
CHICAGO — No. 15 Ohio State goes for its fifth consecutive win when it faces UCLA in the CBS Classic at the United Center. The Bruins are trying to bounce back from consecutive losses to Belmont and Cincinnati. By Jay Cohen. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 3 p.m.
BERKELEY, Calif. — No. 1 UConn plays No. 14 California in a matchup of undefeated teams. The Huskies, led by Katie Lou Samuelson and Napheesa Collier, are coming off an unaccustomed tough game — a 72-63 victory over Oklahoma. By Janie McCauley. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 3 p.m.
COURCHEVEL, France — Mikaela Shiffrin wins a slalom to match a women’s record with her 35th career victory in the discipline. She ties the mark of childhood idol Marlies Schild of Austria. It is Shiffrin’s 50th win overall. SENT: 450 words, photos.
MADONNA DI CAMPIGLIO, Italy — Switzerland’s Daniel Yule claims his first World Cup victory, winning a night slalom after first-run leaders Marcel Hirscher and Henrik Kristoffersen straddle gates in the second leg. Hirscher won the season’s opening two slaloms and remains the slalom and overall World Cup leader. SENT: 150 words, photos. UPCOMING: 400 words, photos by 4 p.m.
NEW YORK — Twins Jermall and Jermell Charlo fight in separate bouts at Barclays Center. Jermall takes on Matt Korobov, a replacement for Willie Monroe Jr., in one feature. The other has Jermell against Tony Harrison. By Barry Wilner. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. First co-feature starts about 10 p.m.
PHILADELPHIA — The Raptors, leading the NBA with a 25-9 record, play a Philadelphia 76ers team that has won eight of nine and trails Toronto in the Atlantic Division by 3 1/2 games. The Raptors lost to Denver in their last game. UPCOMING: 650 words. Game starts 7:30 p.m.
SOC--CLUB WORLD CUP
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Real Madrid captures its third straight Club World Cup title and fourth in five years. Real wins 4-1 against an Al Ain FC team playing before a home crowd. Al Ain, a big underdog, rocked Piver Plate of Argentina in the semifinals. SENT: 400 words, photos.
— SOC--ENGLISH ROUNDUP — Crystal Palace upsets Manchester City 3-2 in Premier League; Man United, in first match under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, plays at Cardiff. By Tony Jimenez. SENT: 250 words, photos. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 4 p.m. With separates on eight EPL games.
— FBN--NFL CAPSULES
— BKN--NBA CAPSULES
— HKN--NHL CAPSULES
— FBC--T25-TOP 25 CAPSULES
— BKC--BOWL CAPSULES
— BKW--T25-TOP 25 CAPSULES
Saturday Time Schedule (EST)
Washington at Tennessee, 4:30 p.m.
Baltimore at L.A. Chargers, 8:20 p.m.
Denver at L.A. Clippers, 5 p.m.
Phoenix at Washington, 7 p.m.
Toronto at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.
Milwaukee at Miami, 8 p.m.
San Antonio at Houston, 8 p.m.
Dallas at Golden State, 8:30 p.m.
Oklahoma City at Utah, 9 p.m.
Nashville at Boston, 1 p.m.
Columbus at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.
Florida at Detroit, 2 p.m.
Montreal at Vegas, 4 p.m.
Los Angeles at San Jose, 4 p.m.
St. Louis at Calgary, 4 p.m.
Colorado at Arizona, 7 p.m.
Anaheim at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
N.Y. Rangers at Toronto, 7 p.m.
Washington at Ottawa, 7 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Carolina, 7 p.m.
Dallas at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Winnipeg at Vancouver, 10 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Edmonton, 10 p.m.
Birmingham (Ala.) Bowl: Memphis vs. Wake Forest, noon
Armed Forces Bowl at Fort Worth, Texas: Houston vs. Army, 3:30 p.m.
Dollar General Bowl at Mobile, Ala.: Buffalo vs. Troy, 7 p.m.
Hawaii Bowl at Honolulu: Louisiana Tech vs. Hawaii, 10:30 p.m.
College Basketball (Top 25)
No. 1 Kansas at No. 18 Arizona State, 9 p.m.
No. 3 Tennessee vs. Wake Forest, noon
No. 4 Michigan vs. Air Force, 4 p.m.
No. 5 Virginia vs. William & Mary, 2 p.m.
No. 6 Nevada vs. Akron, 7 p.m.
No. 7 Auburn vs. Murray State, 4:30 p.m.
No. 9 North Carolina vs. No. 19 Kentucky at Chicago, 5:15 p.m.
No. 11 Florida State vs. Saint Louis at Sunrise, Fla., 2:30 p.m.
No. 15 Ohio State vs. UCLA at Chicago, 3 p.m.
No. 16 Wisconsin vs. Grambling State, noon
No. 17 Mississippi State vs. Wright State at Jackson, Miss., 7 p.m.
No. 22 Indiana vs. Jacksonville, 6 p.m.
No. 23 Iowa vs. Savannah State, 1 p.m.
No. 25 Nebraska vs. Cal State Fullerton, 2 p.m.
No. 1 UConn at No. 14 California, 3 p.m.
No. 2 Notre Dame at No. 19 Marquette, 1:30 p.m.
No. 13 Minnesota vs. Wisconsin, 4 p.m.
No. 15 Syracuse vs. UCF at St. Petersburg, Fla., 7:30 p.m.