BC-AP Sports Preview Digest
Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Friday. A full Sports Digest will be sent by about 3 p.m. All times EST:
– The college basketball season begins Friday night, highlighted by four ranked teams in a Honolulu doubleheader: No. 10 Arizona vs. No. 12 Michigan State (7 p.m.) and No. 3 Kansas vs. No. 11 Indiana (9 p.m.).
– College basketball teams set a high last season by taking 35 percent of their shots from beyond the 3-point line, a number that could rise this season.
– With TV ratings down for the NFL this season, it's been popular to point to a supposedly decreased quality of product. The AP talks to current and former players about what changes they'd like to see.
– College football features only one game this weekend matching ranked teams – No. 25 Baylor at No. 9 Oklahoma. But possible upsets abound.
– TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In Friday night's lone Top 25 game, No. 20 Florida State plays at home on a Friday night for the first time since 1957. The Seminoles face Boston College and running back Dalvin Cook. Game starts 7:30 p.m.
– COLUMBUS, Ohio – The United States plays Mexico in a World Cup qualifier with political overtones days after the presidential election. This is an opener of the final round of qualifying from CONCACAF. Game starts 8 p.m.
– The oldest rivalry in soccer resumes when England plays Scotland in a World Cup qualifier. Other notable matches on a busy night across Europe include France vs. Sweden and World Cup champion Germany vs. San Marino.
– NEW YORK – UFC 205 boasts Conor McGregor on a Madison Square Garden card Saturday night that brings one of the biggest mixed-martial arts events to New York.
– AVONDALE, Ariz. – Joe Gibbs Racing lays it all on the line this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, where three of its drivers are vying for two spots in the championship race.
– OKLAHOMA CITY – The Los Angeles Clippers, with an NBA-best 7-1 record, play Russell Westbrook and the Thunder. Oklahoma City is 6-2 and the only team to beat the Clippers this season. Game starts 8 p.m.
– There was a time when the NBA Development League was viewed as an outpost to be avoided at all costs. The D-League opens its 16th season Friday and has grown dramatically.
– CHICAGO – Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals visit Jonathan Toews and the Chicago Blackhawks for a marquee matchup. The Capitals and Blackhawks split two games last season. Game starts 8:30 p.m.
– PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico – Chris Kirk leads by a stroke entering the second round of the OHL Classic. The former University of Georgia player has two top-10 finishes in three starts in the new PGA Tour season.