BC-AP Sports Preview Digest
Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Saturday. A full Sports Digest will be sent at about 3 p.m. All times EST:
– FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Top-seeded New England tries to advance to its fourth straight AFC championship game when it plays sixth-seeded Baltimore. The Patriots and Tom Brady are dominant at home, but the Ravens and Joe Flacco are unflappable on the road
– SEATTLE – The defending champion Seattle Seahawks host the Carolina Panthers in the NFC divisional playoff. Seattle is the No. 1 seed in the NFC and trying to become the first defending champ to win a playoff game the following year since January 2006.
– GREEN BAY, Wis. – An impressive streak will come to an end on Sunday at Lambeau Field. The Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers are trying to advance to the NFC championship game. The loser becomes a footnote in a first-of-its-kind postseason matchup.
– DENVER – When Colts owner Jim Irsay looks across the field Sunday, he’ll see in the Denver Broncos just the kind of team he admittedly failed to surround Peyton Manning with nearly enough during their 14 years together in Indianapolis.
– DALLAS – Oregon wide receiver Darren Carrington and running back Ayele Forde will not play in Monday’s national championship game after positive NCAA drug tests, coach Mark Helfrich says. Carrington did not travel with the team to Dallas after testing positive for marijuana. The results of Ford’s test were not immediately clear.
– Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota says the only thing he’d trade for his Heisman Trophy is a national championship. Although he hasn’t officially said it, it is expected that Monday’s national title game against Ohio State will be Mariota’s final game with the Ducks.
– KAPALUA, Hawaii – Russell Henley had a one-shot lead over Bae Sang-Moon going into the second round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
– FRISCO, Texas – North Dakota State goes for an unprecedented fourth consecutive FCS title. The Bison play Illinois State, pitting the co-Missouri Valley Football Conference co-champions who didn’t play during the regular season.
– SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The hoodie and stocking cap worn on a warm April day in 2012 were enough for police to look into who this man using an ATM was. Turns out, a cornerback for the University of South Dakota was there using preloaded debit cards issued for tax refunds that didn’t belong to him – part of a scheme that attempted to defraud the IRS of $1.1 million involving primarily student-athletes, two of whom will be penalized Monday after pleading guilty.
– SOUTH BEND, Ind. – No. 13 Notre Dame, beaten badly twice last season by Virginia, will be seeking to improve to 4-0 in league play when the Fighting Irish face the third-ranked Cavaliers. By Tom Coyne. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos. Game starts at 6 p.m. With hometown lead.