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BC-AP Sports Digest

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March 31, 2014 02:55 PM EST | AP

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The supervisor is Fred Lief, followed by Jay Cohen at 5 p.m. and Pat Horne at 1 a.m. 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 Reruns are available from the Service Desk (800 838-4616) or your local AP bureau. All times EDT.



Welcome to opening day, sort of. The season that started in Australia more than a week ago and in North America on Sunday night now begins in full with 13 games: The champion Red Sox are in Baltimore; Justin Verlander pitches in Detroit; Ryan Braun plays again for Milwaukee; Robinson Cano wears a Seattle uniform. By Baseball Writer Ben Walker. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 7 p.m.

— With:

— BBO--Opening Day-Replay. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 8 p.m.


Doug McDermott becomes the first three-time AP All-American in nearly 30 years. The Creighton star is joined on this year's team by freshman Jabari Parker of Duke, Russ Smith of Louisville, Shabazz Napier of Connecticut and Sean Kilpatrick of Cincinnati. By Basketball Writer Jim O'Connell. SENT: 800 words, photos, graphic.


One team is loaded with seniors, another almost all freshmen. There's a team with a 7-footer who shoots 3-pointers, another with a muscular force in the middle. Two coaches have been to the Final Four multiple times, two will be there for the first time. This should be one intriguing Final Four. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 5 p.m.



BALTIMORE — The Red Sox begin defense of their World Series championship against Baltimore. The Orioles, who start 16-game winner Chris Tillman, were the only AL East team last year with a winning record against Boston. Jon Lester goes for the Red Sox. By David Ginsburg. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. With hometown lead. Game starts 3:05 p.m.


MILWAUKEE — Ryan Braun plays his first game with the Brewers since his doping suspension when Milwaukee opens against the Atlanta Braves. Milwaukee's Yovani Gallardo opposes Atlanta's Julio Teheran. By Genaro C. Armas. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. With hometown lead. Game started 2:10 p.m.


DETROIT — Justin Verlander gets the opening start again for the Tigers. Detroit, which had a rough spring training with injuries, is now managed by Brad Asmus and is eyeing a fourth straight AL Central title. James Shields pitches for the Royals, who want to build on last year's 86 wins. By Noah Trister. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. With hometown lead. Game started 1 p.m.


ANAHEIM, Calif. — Jered Weaver faces Felix Hernandez when the Los Angeles Angels take the field at the Big A for opening day against the new-look Seattle Mariners and Robinson Cano, their $240 million second baseman. By Greg Beacham. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. With hometown lead. Game starts 10 p.m.



Its freshmen maturing with each game, Kentucky is now headed to its third Final Four in four years. Mistakes and miscommunication have been replaced by execution and cohesion. Now, this heralded freshmen class is two wins from the NCAA title many expected at the start of the season. By Gary B. Graves. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 4 p.m.


MADISON, Wis. — It's back to business at Wisconsin. The Badgers return to practice, awaiting Kentucky in the national semifinals. The Final Four is new territory for coach Bo Ryan, who will be relying on his steady guard trio of Ben Brust, Traevon Jackson and Josh Gasser. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 8 p.m.


GAINESVILLE, Fla. — For Florida, it might as well be the Familiar Four. Its only losses this season came at Wisconsin (Nov. 12) and at UConn (Dec. 2), and the Gators beat Kentucky three times in the same season for the first time. All that familiarity could work for and against the top overall seed. By Mark Long. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 6 p.m.


HARTFORD, Conn. — Kevin Ollie has taken Connecticut to the Final Four in just his second year as a head coach, but with a unique support system that includes Hall of Famers Jim Calhoun and Geno Auriemma on speed dial. By Pat Eaton-Robb. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 5 p.m.


Monday's Regional Finals:


LINCOLN, Neb. — UConn goes for its 44th win in a row and a seventh straight trip to the NCAA women's Final Four when it meets Texas A&M. By Eric Olson. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 9:30 p.m.


SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Muffet McGraw and Notre Dame try to remain unbeaten and get back to the Final Four for a fourth straight season. They face a plucky Baylor team the Irish have yet to beat. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 7:30 p.m.

— Tuesday's Regional Finals:

— STANFORD, Calif. — BKW--NCAA-N Carolina-Stanford. By Janie McCauley. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.

— LOUISVILLE, Ky. — BKW-NCAA-Maryland-Louisville. By Teresa M. Walker. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 5 p.m.



LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas forward Andrew Wiggins is expected to announce he's headed to the NBA, a decision the freshman made the moment he arrived on campus. By Dave Skretta. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5:30 p.m.


INDIANAPOLIS — The Pacers and Spurs — with two of the three best records in the NBA — close out March going in opposite directions. San Antonio is chasing a franchise-record 18th straight win. Indiana is trying to hang on to the top seed in the East after losing four of five. By Michael Marot. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 7 p.m.


ANAHEIM, Calif. — Teemu Selanne faces the Winnipeg Jets for likely the last time when the Anaheim Ducks return home with a chance to build their Pacific Division lead. The 43-year-old Selanne began his NHL career in Winnipeg in 1992 and is retiring after the season. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 10 p.m.



ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — It took a long losing streak for Will Power to find the happiness that eluded him during so many winning seasons. Once he learned to loosen up and enjoy racing again, the wins started piling up. Power grabbed another in the IndyCar Series season-opener. By Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.



NEW YORK — SMU coach Larry Brown gets to come home when his Mustangs face Clemson in the opening game of the NIT semifinals Tuesday. Florida State and Minnesota meet in the other game at Madison Square Garden, which is fresh off hosting the NCAA East Regional. By Basketball Writer Jim O'Connell. SENT: 650 words, photos.

— With:

— TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — BKC--NIT-Florida St-Turnaround. By Kareem Copeland. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 4 p.m.

— Also:

— FRESNO, Calif. — BKC--CBI-Siena-Fresno State. UPCOMING: 450 words. Game starts 7 p.m.



OAKLAND, Calif. — The Warriors suddenly look like a tired, banged-up bunch. Andrew Bogut and David Lee are injured, and the playoff spot that once seemed secure is no longer a sure thing. Golden State is sixth in the Western Conference, but just two games from being out of the playoff picture. By Antonio Gonzalez. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 6 p.m.


CLEVELAND — Left for dead weeks ago, the Cavaliers are making a late playoff push. Now 14-12 since general manager Chris Grant was fired last month, the Cavs begin the week within 2 1-2 games of Atlanta for the final playoff spot. With a favorable schedule, the Cavs still have a shot at the postseason. By Tom Withers. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 4 p.m.


BARCELONA, Spain — In his first season at Barcelona, there has been no escaping Neymar's public profile through his selfies, tweets and big-money advertising campaigns. The message on the field hasn't been quite so sustained. By Paul Logothetis. SENT: 450 words, photos.


LONDON — As Liverpool closes in on its first English league title in 24 years, fans are returning to the club's darkest day. After years of campaigning to expose wrongdoing by the authorities, new inquests into Britain's worst sports disaster begin this week. By Rob Harris. SENT: 600 words, photos.


— LAKE FOREST, Ill. — FBN--Bears-Allen. Bears introduce star defensive end Jared Allen. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.

— BUFFALO, N.Y. — HKN--Sabres-Nolan. Sabres coach Ted Nolan has interim tag removed, signs contract extension. By John Wawrow. SENT: 500 words, photos.

— TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — BBC--Florida St-Winston Watch. Heisman winner Jameis Winston practices with football team, skips four baseball games last week. By Kareem Copeland. SENT: 350 words, photos.


— BBO--Baseball Capsules.

— BKN--NBA Capsules.

— HKN--NHL Capsules.

— BKW--NCAA Capsules.

Monday's Time Schedule (EDT)


Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh, 1:05 p.m.

Kansas City at Detroit, 1:08 p.m.

Washington at N.Y. Mets, 1:10 p.m.

Philadelphia at Texas, 2:05 p.m.

Atlanta at Milwaukee, 2:10 p.m.

Boston at Baltimore, 3:05 p.m.

Minnesota at Chicago White Sox, 4:10 p.m.

St. Louis at Cincinnati, 4:10 p.m.

Toronto at Tampa Bay, 4:10 p.m.

Colorado at Miami, 7:10 p.m.

San Francisco at Arizona, 9:40 p.m.

Cleveland at Oakland, 10:05 p.m.

Seattle at L.A. Angels, 10:05 p.m.


San Antonio at Indiana, 7 p.m.

Washington at Charlotte, 7 p.m.

Toronto at Miami, 7:30 p.m.

Milwaukee at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.

Philadelphia at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.

Boston at Chicago, 8 p.m.

L.A. Clippers at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Sacramento at New Orleans, 8 p.m.

Memphis at Denver, 9 p.m.

New York at Utah, 9 p.m.


Carolina at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.

Florida at New Jersey, 7:30 p.m.

Winnipeg at Anaheim, 10 p.m.

Minnesota at Los Angeles, 10 p.m.

Women's NCAA Tournament

Regional Finals

At Lincoln, Neb.: Connecticut vs. Texas A&M, 9:30 p.m.

At South Bend, Ind.: Baylor vs. Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m.



Rutgers (25-9) at Bowling Green (30-4), 7 p.m.

Washington (20-13) at UTEP (27-7), 9p.m.