BC-AP Sports Preview Digest
Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Tuesday. A full Sports Digest will be sent by about 3 p.m. All times EDT:
– DAYTON, Ohio – Mount St. Mary’s opens the First Four against New Orleans, which is in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1996. Game starts 6:40 p.m.
– DAYTON, Ohio – Danny Manning has Wake Forest back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in seven years, facing Kansas State in the First Four. Game starts 9:10 p.m. or later.
– The NCAA Tournament gives little-known players from smaller programs the opportunity to develop into household names, at least for one week. Here’s a list of 10 players from one-bid conferences whose credentials suggest they have a chance to make a major impact at this year’s NCAA Tournament.
– GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Still smarting from a nickname controversy and reeling from budget cuts that have cost jobs and put athletic programs on the chopping block, the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks are flying high thanks to their men’s basketball team. The school known primarily for hockey is making its first trip to the NCAA basketball tournament.
– MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Middle Tennessee is looking to build a powerhouse basketball program, rising from the ranks of mid-majors to join the Gonzagas and Wichita States on the NCAA landscape. The Blue Raiders are back in the tournament for second straight year with wins over two SEC teams this season and an upset of Michigan State in last year’s tournament.
– COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Ranked fourth in the country after going 30-2 and winning the Big Ten, Maryland was stunned and disappointed to receive a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Women’s Tournament.
– OAKLAND, Calif. – The Golden State Warriors look to avoid their first four-game losing streak in more than four years when they host the Philadelphia 76ers. Game starts 10:30 p.m.
– INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic play third-round matches at the BNP Paribas Open. Venus Williams plays a fourth-round match on the women’s side.
– ASPEN, Colo. – The drama at the World Cup Finals has been somewhat muted with Marcel Hirscher of Austria already wrapping up the men’s overall title and American Mikaela Shiffrin holding a seemingly insurmountable lead on the women’s side. Time to put more of a point value on finals – just to spice things up? The athletes don’t think so.
– NEW YORK – Danny Jacobs has already won a bout with cancer. So facing even as formidable an opponent as middleweight powerhouse Gennady Golovkin isn’t frightening. The WBA champion is a decided underdog for Saturday night’s unification fight at Madison Square Garden.
– MIAMI – Six weeks after testimony began, closing arguments are scheduled in the trial of a Florida sports agent and a baseball trainer on charges of smuggling Cuban players into the U.S.