BC-AP Sports Preview Digest
Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Thursday. A full Sports Digest will be sent by about 3 p.m. A full Olympic Digest has been sent. All times EDT:
– RIO DE JANEIRO – Michael Phelps has his sights on a 22nd gold medal, but he'll have to hold off a familiar nemesis. Ryan Lochte is set to challenge Phelps in the 200-meter individual medley, which will likely be the final chapter in one of the sport's greatest rivalries. Finals start 9 p.m.
– RIO DE JANEIRO – American Simone Biles heads into the women's individual all around gymnastics competition with a none-too shabby record: She has already won three world championships and a team Olympic gold. Aly Raisman, another American who won gold with Biles in the team competition, is also in the mix. Event starts 4 p.m.
– RIO DE JANEIRO – The group stage of the Olympic beach volleyball tournament was six days and 72 matches. All that to eliminate just six of 24 teams. Eliminations and draws at 9 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.
– RIO DE JANEIRO – After rain wipes out a full day of play in the Olympic tennis competition, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray are scheduled to be in action, with Nadal set to play three matches.
– RIO DE JANEIRO – The men's sprint gold medal is on the line during the first day of competition at the Rio Olympics velodrome. Also in action are the men's and women's pursuit teams as the track cycling program gets going. Team sprint finals begin 6:20 p.m.
– RIO DE JANEIRO – American Kayla Harrison defends the Olympic judo title she won four years ago, after making history in winning the country's first-ever judo gold at the London Games. She will likely face off against her biggest rival, Brazilian Mayra Aguiar.
– Coverage of six NFL preseason games: Washington at Atlanta (7 p.m.); Tampa Bay at Philadelphia (7 p.m.); Carolina at Baltimore (7:30 p.m.); New Orleans at New England (7:30 p.m.); Jacksonville at New York Jets (7:30 p.m.); Denver at Chicago (8 p.m.).
– BOSTON – Alex Rodriguez will make his final start at Fenway Park as a Yankee when New York faces the Red Sox in the rubber match of their three-game series. Rodriguez, who announced earlier this week that he would play his final game in pinstripes in New York on Friday, made his major league debut in Boston in 1994. Game starts 7:10 p.m.
– CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs look to extend their season-high win streak to 10 when they send Jon Lester to the mound to start a four-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Carlos Martinez starts for the second-place Cardinals, who trail the Cubs by 12 games in the NL Central. Game starts 8:05 p.m.
– Oklahoma already has a record nine Big 12 championships, and last season took the league into the College Football Playoff for the first time. While the smallest Power Five conference could be expanding, the Sooners seem to have everything in place to push for another playoff chance and again top the current group of 10 teams.
– Last year proved the Mountain West can be more than just Boise State and everyone else when it comes to the conference title race, as evidenced by San Diego State winning its first outright conference crown. On the national scene, it's still the Broncos and everyone else as the 2016 season begins.
– COLUMBUS, Ohio – Opening round of the U.S. Senior Open at Scioto Country Club in Columbus.