BC-AP Sports Preview Digest

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

– AUGUSTA, Ga. – There’s all those precocious 20-somethings, winning tournament after tournament. But the Masters is something different, a place where experience matters. So, with Tiger Woods on the sideline, keep an eye on the guys who know their way around Augusta National. Like Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and defending champion Adam Scott.

– AMHERST, Mass. – UMass guard Derrick Gordon becomes the first openly gay player in Division I men’s basketball.

– BALTIMORE – They were labeled cheaters and punished accordingly. After serving lengthy suspensions for their part in the Biogenesis case, Ryan Braun, Nelson Cruz and Jhonny Peralta have been welcomed back with cheers by the hometown fans – if not on the road.

– STORRS, Conn. – The partying started Monday night on the UConn campus and spilled into Tuesday. And rightly so. It was in honor of the women’s basketball team, which beat Notre Dame on Tuesday, capturing a record ninth national title, and the men’s team, which beat Kentucky about 23 hours earlier, capturing its fourth NCAA title.

– James Hellwig, better known as former pro wrestler The Ultimate Warrior, dies. He was 54.

– DETROIT – Lacey Holsworth, the 8-year-old girl with cancer who befriended Michigan State basketball star Adreian Payne and inspired the team to make her happy by playing well, dies.

– LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas center Joel Embiid announces whether he will return for his sophomore season or depart for the NBA, where he is projected to be a top-five pick.

– DALLAS – The Dallas Stars and Columbus Blue Jackets, two teams clinging to playoff spots, meet in the makeup of the March 10 game when Stars forward Rick Peverley collapsed on the bench in the first period because of an irregular heartbeat. The game will start from the beginning, but Columbus will have a 1-0 lead, the score when the original matchup was halted.

– There’s a new, albeit slight, twist on the NHL playoffs this year: two wild-card spots in each conference following the top three finishers in each division. The Minnesota Wild snagged the first one in the West. The Detroit Red Wings have to wrap theirs up in the East to keep their postseason streak alive.

– LOS ANGELES – Blake Griffin and the third-place Los Angeles Clippers play Kevin Durant and the second-place Oklahoma City Thunder with four games remaining before the playoffs. Game starts 10:30 p.m.