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BC-AP Sports Digest

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January 4, 2014 02:31 PM EST | AP

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The supervisor is Rachel Cohen, followed at 5 p.m. by John Nicholson and at 1 a.m. by Vin Cherwoo. The New York sports desk can be reached at 800 845-8450, ext. 1630; Sports Photos, ext. 1918; graphics, ext. 7636; agate, ext. 1635. AP stories, along with the photos that accompany them, also can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. Reruns are available from the Service Desk (800 838-4616) or your local AP bureau. All times EST.

TOP STORIES

FBN--SAINTS-EAGLES

PHILADELPHIA — The New Orleans Saints get a chance to chase away plenty of demons at Philadelphia — that they can't win road games, especially in the playoffs, and they can't handle cold weather. The Eagles hope to keep those trends going for the visitors in the NFC wild-card game. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 8:10 p.m.

FBN--CHIEFS-COLTS

INDIANAPOLIS — The Chiefs haven't won a playoff game in two decades. The Colts haven't won one in almost four years. One of those streaks will end when Indianapolis hosts Kansas City in a wild-card game. The AFC South champs come in with momentum after winning their last three. Kansas City, meanwhile, has lost five of seven and hasn't beaten a team with a winning record since Week 3. By Michael Marot. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 4:35 p.m.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

FBC--WORTH OF A DEGREE

The debate over paying college athletes has clouded the entire season, beginning with allegations that Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel received money for autographs. He was cleared, but the NCAA is still fighting a lawsuit by former players who believe they're owed compensation. But is a scholarship and a chance for a degree enough? The AP traced 90 players on 1988 teams to see if they earned degrees, and what role their educations have played in their lives. By Eddie Pells and Nancy Armour. SENT: 1,400 words, photos.

FBC--T25-BCS CHAMPIONSHIP

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — The Bowl Championship Series was never a destination for college football. More of a step in the evolution of the postseason. It had far more critics than supporters and was far from perfect. After No. 1 Florida State plays No. 2 Auburn in the Rose Bowl on Monday, the BCS goes away for good. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 700 words by 4 p.m.

FBC--T25-BCS-SEMINOLES MASCOT

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — A student riding a horse, wearing war paint and carrying a flaming spear will lead the cheering for the Florida State Seminoles on college football's biggest stage — the BCS title game. But in a football season shadowed by controversy over the Washington Redskins nickname, nary a word has been heard out of Tallahassee, Fla., where the local university's mascot is, in some minds, every bit as inappropriate. The reason: The Seminole Tribe of Florida counts itself among the very biggest fans of the Florida State mascot. By National Writer Eddie Pells. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.

With:

— NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — FBC--T25-BCS--Football Crazy In Alabama. By John Zenor. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 4 p.m.

— NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — FBC--T25-BCS-Winston-Craig. By Kareem Copeland. UPCOMING: 750 words by 6 p.m.

— FBC--T25-Pick 6-BCS Matchups. By Ralph D Russo. UPCOMING: 600 words by 5 p.m.

FBC--BBVA COMPASS BOWL

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Vanderbilt, which has made school history by playing in a bowl for the third straight season, faces Houston in a matchup of 8-4 teams in the BBVA Compass Bowl. Each school starts a freshman quarterback. By Charles Odum. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game started 1 p.m.

FBC--FCS CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

FRISCO, Texas — North Dakota State (14-0) goes for its third consecutive FCS championship, in coach Craig Bohl's final game before moving to Wyoming. The Bison play championship game first-timer Towson (13-2). By Stephen Hawkins. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game started 2 p.m.

Also:

— MOBILE, Ala. — FBC--GoDaddy Bowl. By David Brandt. SENT: 600 words, photos.

NFL

FBN--49ERS-SMITH'S RECOVERY

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Aldon Smith appreciates these playoffs a little more. After a five-game absence from the 49ers to undergo treatment for substance abuse earlier this season, Smith is encouraged by the big strides he has made to better himself off the football field. By Janie McCauley. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 6 p.m.

FBN--49ERS-PACKERS

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Josh Boyd isn't into making a fashion statement, and he doesn't think he needs to go sleeveless to show off his toughness. All the Packers defensive lineman wants is to stay warm in the sub-zero weather when Green Bay hosts the San Francisco 49ers in what could be one of the coldest playoff games in NFL history. By Genaro C. Armas. SENT: 700 words, photos.

Also:

— CINCINNATI — FBN--Chargers-Bengals Youth. By Joe Kay. SENT: 700 words, photos.

— ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — FBN--Miller's Stand-In. By Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 4 p.m.

NEW/DEVELOPING

GLF--TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS

KAPALUA, Hawaii — Jordan Spieth is part of a four-way tie for the lead going into the second round of the Tournament of Champions at Kapalua. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 8 p.m.

With:

— GLF--Maui Musings. By Doug Ferguson. SENT: 800 words.

BKN--CLIPPERS-SPURS

SAN ANTONIO — The Los Angeles Clippers play their first game without point guard Chris Paul, who separated his shoulder Friday, against the defending Western Conference champion Spurs. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 8:30 p.m.

TEN--AUSTRALIAN OPEN SERIES-ROUNDUP

BRISBANE, Australia — Top-ranked Serena Williams carries her winning momentum from 2013 into the new season, beating No. 2-ranked Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 7-5 to defend her title at the Brisbane International and set the tone for the Australian Open. By John Pye. SENT: 800 words.

OLYMPICS

OLY--SOCHI-PUTIN'S GAMES

These Olympics are being dubbed "Putin's Games." For Russia's top man, eager to impress the world and show he can pull off a major multinational event and the intricate security that goes with it, that moniker could turn out to be a compliment or a curse. By Rob Harris. SENT: 1,200 words, photos.

With:

— MOSCOW — OLY--Putin-Demonstrations. By Jim Heintz. SENT: 500 words.

OLY--SPD-US SHORT TRACK TRIALS

KEARNS, Utah — Newly minted Olympians J.R. Celski and Jessica Smith try to add another event to their schedule in Sochi when they compete in the 500 meters at the U.S. Olympic short track trials. By Beth Harris. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Started 12:30 p.m.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

BKC--T25-WASHINGTON-ARIZONA

TUCSON, Ariz. — Coming off a record-setting win over Washington State, top-ranked Arizona faces a much stiffer challenge against Washington. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. UPCOMING: 750 words. Game started 2 p.m.

BKC--T25-DUKE-NOTRE DAME

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame will be looking to overcome the loss of leading scorer Jerian Grant and seeking to get off to a strong start in its first game as an Atlantic Coast Conference member when it faces No. 7 Duke. By Tom Coyne. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 4 p.m.

BKC--T25-MICHIGAN ST-INDIANA

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — No. 5 Michigan State takes on Indiana. The Spartans (12-1, 1-0 Big Ten) have won five in a row after losing to North Carolina and opened conference play on New Year's Eve by breezing past Penn State. The Hoosiers (10-4, 0-1) hope to recover from a tough overtime loss in their Big Ten opener at Illinois. By David Mercer. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game started 2 p.m.

CAPSULES

— BKN--NBA Capsules.

— HKN--NHL Capsules.

— BKC--Top 25 Capsules.

— BKW--Top 25 Capsules.

Saturday's Time Schedule (EST)

NFL

Wild-card Playoffs

Kansas City at Indianapolis, 4:35 p.m.

New Orleans at Philadelphia, 8:10 p.m.

BOWL GAME

BBVA Compass Bowl, Vanderbilt vs. Houston, at Birmingham, Ala., 1 p.m.

TOP 25 BASKETBALL

Men

No. 1 Arizona vs. Washington, 2 p.m.

No. 2 Syracuse vs. Miami, 2 p.m.

No. 3 Ohio State vs. Nebraska, Noon

No. 5 Michigan State at Indiana, 2 p.m.

No. 6 Oklahoma State at Kansas State, 4 p.m.

No. 7 Duke at Notre Dame, 4 p.m.

No. 12 Florida vs. Richmond, 3 p.m.

No. 13 Iowa State at Texas Tech, 1:30 p.m.

No. 14 Louisville at Rutgers, 6 p.m.

No. 17 UConn at SMU, 2 p.m.

No. 18 Memphis vs. Cincinnati, Noon

No. 23 UMass vs. Miami (Ohio), 7 p.m.

No. 24 Gonzaga vs. Pacific, 8 p.m.

No. 25 Missouri vs. Long Beach State, 5 p.m.

Women

No. 1 UConn at Memphis, 3 p.m.

No. 7 Louisville vs. Cincinnati, 2 p.m.

No. 11 Oklahoma State vs. West Virginia, 7 p.m.

NBA

New Orleans at Indiana, 7 p.m.

Miami at Orlando, 7 p.m.

Cleveland at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.

Atlanta at Chicago, 8 p.m.

Oklahoma City at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

L.A. Clippers at San Antonio, 8:30 p.m.

Milwaukee at Phoenix, 9 p.m.

Philadelphia at Portland, 10 p.m.

Charlotte at Sacramento, 10 p.m.

NHL

Winnipeg at Boston, 1 p.m.

San Jose at Colorado, 3 p.m.

New Jersey at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

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

Ottawa at Montreal, 7 p.m.

Nashville at Florida, 7 p.m.

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

Columbus at St. Louis, 8 p.m.

Detroit at Dallas, 8 p.m.

Washington at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Philadelphia at Phoenix, 8 p.m.

Vancouver at Los Angeles, 10 p.m.