BC-AP Sports Preview Digest
Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Saturday. A full Sports Digest will be sent by about 3 p.m. All times EST:
– No. 9 Oklahoma plays No. 25 Baylor, with the Sooners having won six in a row and holding an outside shot at returning to the College Football Playoff (noon). Also, No. 4 Washington could be tested by surging USC (10:30 p.m.)
– The last time the Seahawks and Patriots were on the same field, Malcolm Butler was making a Super Bowl-saving play. Seattle plays at New England on Sunday night, with both in solid position to chase another championship.
– NEW YORK – UFC finally makes its New York City debut, offering one of its strongest cards. Conor McGregor fights lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez in the main event of UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Main card starts 10 p.m.
– AVONDALE, Ariz. – Kevin Harvick's rivals simply assume he'll win in Phoenix. After all, he's won six of the last eight races there. But Harvick says it's silly to think he has Sunday's race in the bag.
– LEVI, Finland – Mikaela Shiffrin wins the first women's World Cup slalom of the season. The Olympic and world champion from the United States is followed by Switzerland's Wendy Holdener and Slovakia's Petra Vlhova.
– SHANGHAI – Stanford, led by Reid Travis' 24 points and 17 rebounds, defeats Harvard 80-70 in a college basketball opener aimed at heightening the brand of both elite universities in China.
– STRASBOURG, France – France plays the Czech Republic in the two-day Fed Cup final, with the Czechs bidding for a fifth title in six years in the top team event in women's tennis.
– COMPTON, Calif. – Serena and Venus Williams return to their hometown for the first time in years to have public courts dedicated in their names. A resource center is to be named for their sister who was killed in Compton in 2003.
– PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico – Gary Woodland is up by a stroke entering the third round of OHL Classic on the PGA Tour. Webb Simpson is second after his second straight 65.
– European World Cup qualifying resumes, highlighted by three games: Spain vs. Macedonia, Liechtenstein vs. Italy and Wales vs. Serbia.
– MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin is not amused by the national team's play leading to the 2018 World Cup. He spoke critically two days after Russia lost to Qatar 2-1 in an exhibition game between the next two World Cup hosts.