BC-AP Sports Preview Digest

Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Thursday. A full Sports Digest will be sent at about 3 p.m. All times EDT.

– ARLINGTON, Texas – For all the buzz of March Madness, storm clouds lurk for college sports – the possible unionization of players and a lawsuit challenging the NCAA ban on paying players.

– ARLINGTON, Texas – The Associated Press announces its player and coach of the year in men’s college basketball.

– ARLINGTON, Texas – Stories on the Final Four teams: Florida, Connecticut, Kentucky and Wisconsin.

– OKLAHOMA CITY – The Spurs, winners of 19 in a row, play the Thunder in a showdown between teams with the two best records in the Western Conference. Game starts 8 p.m.

– STORRS, Conn. – The unbeaten UConn women, two wins from another title, set a record this season for blocks. Coach Geno Auriemma says much of this has to do with positioning and talent.

– COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Years from now, Alyssa Thomas will no doubt cherish her personal accomplishments at Maryland. For now, it’s all about reaching the Final Four for the first time.

– NEW YORK – Larry Brown, the only head coach to win NCAA and NBA titles, tries to add an NIT crown to his resume when he leads SMU against Minnesota. Game starts 7 p.m.

– HOUSTON – Kelvin Sampson, who many believed would never coach in college again after repeated NCAA violations, is introduced as Houston’s basketball coach. News conference 4 p.m.

– HUMBLE, Texas – Phil Mickelson returns to play at the Houston Open. A pulled muscle forced him to withdraw from last week’s Texas Open. Five of the world’s top 10 players are competing.

– RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Top-ranked Inbee Park opens her title defense in the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first major tournament of the season.

– CHICAGO – The celebration of Wrigley Field’s 100th anniversary begins Friday with a visit from an old friend. Ryne Sandberg, the Cubs’ Hall of Fame second baseman, brings his Phillies to Chicago.

– CHARLESTON, S.C. – Venus Williams tries for a spot in the Family Circle Cup quarterfinals, two days after defending champion and younger sister Serena was eliminated in her opening match.

– LONDON – The opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July will have a unique feature – the live demolition of five high-rise towers that dominate the city’s skyline.