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:
– PHOENIX – Domestic violence, concussions, Deflategate. This imperfect storm has turned the Super Bowl into a time for damage control, not celebration.
– PHOENIX – The AP presents its eight NFL individual awards, including MVP, Coach of the Year and Comeback Player at the NFL’s honors show. Show starts 8 p.m.
– MELBOURNE, Australia – Serena Williams overcomes a hacking cough to beat Maria Sharapova 6-3, 7-6 (5) for her sixth Australian Open crown. With her 19th Grand Slam title, Williams trails only Steffi Graf (22).
– MELBOURNE, Australia – Novak Djokovic meets Andy Murray for the Australian Open title. Murray has lost all three of his finals in this tournament. Final starts 3:30 a.m. Sunday.
– PHOENIX – Junior Seau, Kurt Warner, Orlando Pace are eligible for the first time when the Pro Football Hall of Fame elects its newest class.
– PHOENIX – Unlike past years, Super Bowl tickets are becoming more expensive as the game nears because of a shortage. It can cost nearly $10,000 just to get in the door Sunday.
– SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – With Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson out of the tournament, Martin Laird has a two-shot lead entering the third round of the Phoenix Open.
– SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Tiger Woods is not ranked in the top 50 for the first time in three years. He is coming off an 82 – his worst round as a pro – and failing to make the Phoenix Open cut.
– OCALA, Fla. – Lydia Ko leads by a stroke entering the final round of the Coates Golf Championship. A victory could make the 17-year-old New Zealander the youngest golfer ranked No. 1.
– ATLANTA – The Hawks try to extend their franchise-record 18-game winning streak when they play the Philadelphia 76ers. With one more win, Atlanta will complete January without a loss. Game starts 7:30 p.m.
– CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – No. 2 Virginia, one of two remaining unbeaten teams in the country, faces No. 4 Duke in a rematch of last year’s ACC championship game won by the Cavaliers. Game starts 7 p.m.
– LOUISVILLE, Ky. – No. 10 Louisville hosts No. 13 North Carolina, with the Cardinals looking to avenge this month’s loss in which the Tar Heels won after erasing a double-digit lead. Game starts 4 p.m.
– Two-time Olympic champion Ted Ligety defends his giant slalom, super-combined and super-G titles at next week’s world championships in Beaver Creek, Colorado.
– CHICAGO – A memorial service is held for Ernie Banks, the Hall of Fame slugger and Mr. Cub who died last week at 83.