BC-AP Sports Preview Digest

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

– The NCAA’s round of 16 begins with four games: Dayton vs. Stanford (7:15 p.m.); Florida vs. UCLA (9:45 p.m.); Wisconsin vs. Baylor (7:45 p.m.); San Diego State vs. Arizona (10:30 p.m.).

– CHICAGO – The decision to allow Northwestern football players to unionize raises an array of questions. Among them: state schools vs. public schools, powerhouses vs. smaller colleges.

– HOUSTON – The Philadelphia 76ers are one defeat from tying the NBA record of 26 straight losses. They play a Houston Rockets team that has won four in a row. Game starts 8 p.m.

– Stories on Friday’s round of 16 games in the men’s NCAA tournament: Connecticut vs. Iowa State; Michigan State vs. Virginia; Michigan vs. Tennessee; Kentucky vs. Louisville.

– STORRS, Conn. – UConn women’s coach Geno Auriemma understands that wins are founded on defense. His undefeated team is limiting opponents to 47 points and 30 percent shooting.

– KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. – Serena Williams tries to beat Maria Sharapova for the 15th time in a row when they meet in the semifinals at the Sony Open. Match starts 1 p.m.

– CARMEL, Ind. – Police say Colts owner Jim Irsay had $29,000 in cash with him when he was arrested last week on suspicion of intoxicated driving.

– SAN ANTONIO – Phil Mickelson highlights the start of play at the fog-delayed Texas Open. His only other appearance in this tournament was in 1992.

– CARLSBAD, Calif. – Top-ranked Inbee Park and resurgent Karrie Webb open play in the LPGA Tour’s Kia Classic. Webb won last week in Phoenix for the second time in four years.

– SAITAMA, Japan – Mao Asada of Japan sets a world record in finishing first in the short program at the world figure skating championships.

– ASTANA, Kazakhstan – Michel Platini, the head of European soccer’s governing body is ”fed up” with politicians urging a boycott of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.