The highlights of Friday’s 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, You can also find a link to Coverage Plan on the left navigation of the Newsroom home page,

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All times EDT

The supervisor is Fred Lief, followed by John Nicholson at 5 p.m. and Vin Cherwoo 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, 877-836-9477.



INDIANAPOLIS -- If looking for a real ACC power, turn from Tobacco Road to the Florida panhandle, or right to Indy. Florida State is in the Sweet 16 for the third straight time. Its coach says the Seminoles will never be considered blue bloods, so he’s come up with a new name: New bloods. By National Writer Eddie Pells. SENT: 700 words, photos.


Michigan’s Hailey Brown almost opted out of this season, in part because of concerns that she could not go back and forth to her home in Canada. Foreign players in the women’s NCAA Tournament have been relying all season on teammates to substitute for family amid travel bans. By Pat Eaton-Robb. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 6 p.m.


Following a lost season because of the pandemic, thousands of minor leaguers finally return to work. Their spring training opens next week after the big leaguers vacate camps in Florida and Arizona. Many haven’t played in a game since 2019, and players found creative ways to stay sharp. By Baseball Writer Jake Seiner. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos by 5 p.m.


Oregon State is suing to block disclosure of details about an investigation of abuse allegations in its volleyball program. The lawsuit comes even as school leaders tout a renewed mission for transparency after their president resigned over the handling of sexual-misconduct cases at another school. By National Writer Eddie Pells. SENT: 800 words, photos.


Kathryn Nesbitt, a 32-year-old soccer referee from Philadelphia, had a breakthrough moment when she became the first woman to work as an on-field official for a World Cup qualifier in the regional group of North and Central America and the Caribbean. By Ronald Blum: SENT: 1,100 words, photos.



All around the country, state lawmakers are pushing solutions to a problem that doesn’t exist. Please, can anyone point to a case where a transgender athlete stole a college scholarship or gained an unfair competitive advantage? Anyone? By Sports Columnist Paul Newberry. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 6 p.m.


The NBA called this season’s trade deadline the busiest in the last 35 years, with 46 players from 23 teams involved in 16 different deals. What’s unclear is how many of those moves will have an impact on this season. Face it: Some will not register much of a blip. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 900 words, photos.



INDIANAPOLIS -- Eric Musselman went from NBA head coach to college assistant. He’s now the head man at Arkansas, which is making its first trip to the Sweet 16 since 1995. The Razorbacks on Saturday play Oral Roberts, with Baylor facing Villanova in the other game in the South Region. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. SENT: 750 words, photos.


INDIANAPOLIS -- Maybe the four bracket-busting teams left in the Midwest shouldn’t be surprising: Loyola Chicago, Houston and Syracuse have coaches with Final Four pedigree; Oregon State has lost just once in more than a month. On Saturday, it’s Ramblers vs. Beavers and Cougars vs. Orange. By Basketball Writer Dave Skretta. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 4 p.m. With sidebars on Oregon State’s Ethan Thompson (sent), Syracuse’s Marek Dolezaj (sent).


Southern California and UCLA are in the Sweet 16, the first time both schools have made it the same year since 2007. The success of the Trojans and Bruins is part of a strong six-month stretch for Los Angeles sports after the Lakers and Dodgers won championships. By Joe Reedy. SENT: 850 words, photos.


Post players are having a big impact on the women’s NCAA Tournament. Teams that have reached the Sweet 16 teams are getting major contributions from their “bigs.” By Pete Iacobelli. SENT: 800 words, photos.

— With two regional previews of Saturday’s four games: River Walk (UConn-Iowa, Michigan-Baylor; sent) Mercado (N.C. State-Indiana, Arizona-Texas A&M).


MIAMI -- Don Mattingly know his limitations -- he has been dealing with them for years as the Marlins’ manager. Their perennially small payroll makes it tough to win, but they’re starting to do so as Mattingly heads into his sixth season in Miami. By Steven Wine. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 4 p.m. With Spring Training Rdp.


STOCKHOLM -- Russia’s dominance at figure skating’s world championships stretches to ice dancing, with Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov wining the rhythm dance. Another Russian, Anna Shcherbakova, takes a lead the women’s free skate. SENT: 400 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.


AUSTIN, Texas — Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and defending champion Kevin Kisner are among those trying to advance out of group play in the Dell Technologies Match Play. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 9 p.m. With Latest (sent).


NASCAR hits the dirt for the first time since 1970 with a pair of Friday practices at Bristol Motor Speedway. It also marks the start of the first traditional three-day race weekend since the start of the pandemic. By Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. 600 words. Practice starts 6:30 p.m.


PHILADELPHIA -- The Flyers entered the season as one of the favorites to come out of the East. That was before they allowed 15 straight goals over two games to the Rangers and every part of Philadelphia’s game unraveled. The Flyers are in rough shape. By Dan Gelston. UPCOMING. 700 words, photos by 4 p.m.


Shug McGaughey is cautious about taking horses to the Kentucky Derby. The trainer has a real shot this year with Greatest Honour, the favorite for Saturday’s Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park. By Tim Reynolds. SENT: 400 words, photos.


Dick Stockton is retiring after a 55-year career that spanned three networks. Stockton called more than 1,500 games, but his most memorable was Carlton Fisk’s home run in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series to give the Boston Red Sox a 12th-inning win over the Cincinnati Reds. By Joe Reedy. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 6 p.m.


Stipe Miocic hasn’t fought anybody except Daniel Cormier in three years, and the UFC’s heavyweight champion is ready for a new challenge. Instead, he gets a rematch at UFC 260 with Francis Ngannou, who believes he can take the title he couldn’t take from the king of the division in 2018. By Greg Beacham. UPCOMING: 600 words by 9 p.m.


MLB PREVIEW SPORTS EXTRA: A paginated preview of the season is in AP Newsroom by searching for “Sports Extra” or “SE” under the Graphics tab. Three versions -- full broadsheet, half broadsheet, tabloid -- are available. The mainbar on all pages is new. But note that the sidebars -- Key Dates and Familiar Face at New Places on the full page, and the Key Dates on the half and tab pages -- previously moved on the wire. For questions, contact Barry Bedlan at


Friday Time Schedule (EDT)


Brooklyn at Detroit, 7 p.m.

Boston at Milwaukee, 7:30 p.m.

Phoenix at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.

Denver at New Orleans, 8 p.m.

Houston at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Miami at Charlotte, 8 p.m.

Portland at Orlando, 8 p.m.

Indiana at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

Memphis at Utah, 9 p.m.

Atlanta at Golden State, 10 p.m.

Cleveland at L.A. Lakers, 10:30 p.m.


New Jersey at Washington, 7 p.m.

Anaheim at St. Louis, 8 p.m.

San Jose at Arizona, 10 p.m.

Winnipeg at Calgary, 10 p.m.

Exhibition Baseball

Detroit vs. Pittsburgh at Bradenton, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Boston vs. Tampa Bay at Port Charlotte, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Colorado vs. Cleveland at Goodyear, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

San Francisco vs. Chicago Cubs at Mesa, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

Cincinnati vs. Arizona at Scottsdale, Ariz., 4:10 p.m.

Chicago White Sox vs. Milwaukee at Phoenix, 4:10 p.m.

Atlanta vs. Minnesota at Fort Myers, Fla., 6:05 p.m.

Miami vs. Houston at West Palm Beach, Fla., 6:05 p.m.

Washington vs. N.Y. Mets at Port St. Lucie, Fla., 6:10 p.m.

Baltimore vs. N.Y. Yankees at Tampa, Fla., 6:35 p.m.

Philadelphia vs. Toronto at Dunedin, Fla., 6:37 p.m.

Kansas City vs. Texas at Surprise, Ariz., 9:05 p.m.

Oakland vs. L.A. Dodgers at Glendale, Ariz., 9:05 p.m.

Seattle vs. San Diego at Peoria, Ariz., 9:40 p.m.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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