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. All times EDT:

– The NCAA Tournament begins in earnest with 16 games. Defending champion Duke opens against UNC Wilmington while three tops seeds are in action – Kansas, Virginia and North Carolina.

– The opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament allow star players from smaller schools a rare chance to shine on the big stage. Ten players worth watching this week.

– ORLANDO, Fla. – Adam Scott goes after his third straight PGA Tour victory in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, a field that includes Rory McIlroy and Jason Day.

– PHOENIX – Streaking Ha Na Jang and top-ranked Lydia Ko open play at Desert Ridge in the JTBC Founders Cup.

– SAN ANTONIO – LaMarcus Aldridge faces his former team again when the Spurs host the Portland Trail Blazers. San Antonio is going for its 43rd consecutive regular-season win at home. Game starts 8:30 p.m.

– CINCINNATI – Cornerback Adam ''Pacman'' Jones agreed to a 3-year deal to stay with the Bengals. He was part of their playoff meltdown, drawing a personal foul that set up Pittsburgh's winning field goal.

– SARASOTA, Fla. – After 33 seasons in the majors, umpire Time Welke stops the game. He retires at 58, saying his body ''couldn't go any farther'' in what is a ''young person's job.''

– PORTLAND, Ore. – With the Russians absent, the world indoor championships offer a glimpse of what the Rio Olympics might be like without one of track's top powers.

– INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – Marin Cilic, Milos Raonic, Gael Monfils and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga play quarterfinal matches at the BNP Paribas Open. Victoria Azarenka plays on the women's side.

– DALLAS – Brenden Morrow is expected to retire after a 15-year career that started and ended with trips to the Stanley Cup Finals, but without a title.

– ST. MORITZ, Switzerland – Lara Gut of Switzerland wins the season-long super-G title, finishing second to Tina Weirather at the World Cup finals.

– ST. MORITZ, Switzerland – Aleksander Aamodt Kilde of Norway captures the super-G title after two rivals fail to finish in the last race of the season at the World Cup finals.

– MOSCOW – Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova faces a possible life ban after she was suspended for a second doping violation. The breaststroke specialist has won four world titles and an Olympic bronze medal.

– NOME, Alaska – Iditarod musher Aliy Zirkle says she felt like a hostage in the Alaska wilderness after an hours-long attack last weekend by a man on a snowmobile.