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AP Sports Digest

The Associated Press

The highlights of Tuesday's AP Sports report. An up-to-the minute listing of all stories planned, including games and events, is available in Coverage Plan on AP Newsroom, . You can also find a link to Coverage Plan on the left navigation of the Newsroom home page,

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All times EST

The supervisor is Rebecca Miller, followed by Ben Nuckols at 5 p.m. and Bob Lentz at 1 a.m. The New York sports desk can be reached at 800-845-8450, ext. 1630. Sports photos, ext. 1918; graphics, ext. 7636; agate, ext. 1635.



NEW ORLEANS — LSU coach Ed Orgeron knows how special his national champion Tigers are. He knows how difficult it will be to move forward without so many players who were essential to their 15-0 season. He says the goal remains to compete for championships each season. Top-ranked LSU completed a perfect season with a 42-25 victory over No. 3 Clemson. Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow threw five touchdowns in the rout. The senior star is among several players who won't be back next season. By Pete Iacobelli. SENT: 600 words, photos. With BC-FBC--Pick Six-2020 Lookahead (sent).


HOUSTON — The Houston Astros look to move on and figure out what's next after manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended by Major League Baseball and subsequently fired by team owner Jim Crane for the team's sign-stealing in 2017. By Kristie Rieken. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m.


SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Few franchises have been as intertwined over the last quarter-century as the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers, with seven previous playoff meetings heading into this year's NFC championship game. By Pro Football Writer Josh Dubow. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 6 p.m.


MELBOURNE, Australia — The air was considered hazardous for outdoor workers and described as among the worst in the world. For professional tennis players, though, it was deemed to be OK for business. A thick haze enveloped Melbourne as smoke from devastating wildfires drifted over Australia’s southeast. While public health warnings were regularly being broadcast, some players preparing for the Australian Open were outdoors trying to qualify for the first Grand Slam event of the decade. By John Pye. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.



AJ Hinch won’t be managing in the big leagues any time soon, if at all. Alex Cora will soon join him in the unemployment line, and it’s hard to believe anyone will ever give him another job that involves being a leader of men. The punishments — technically Cora’s is still to come — fit the crime, and for that baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred deserves a pat on the back. Give another one to Astros owner Dayton Crane, who did his part to clean up an increasingly smelly mess in Houston by immediately firing both his manager and general manager. By Sports Columnist Tim Dahlberg. SENT: 800 words, photos.


Alastair Johnston took 30 books that been collecting dust and turned that into the largest golf library in the world. For years, Johnston has kept his collection on the second floor of his home in the Cleveland suburbs. Johnston is vice chairman at IMG who was Arnold Palmer's longtime business manager. The library is so large it takes two volumes and 944 pages of a bibliography to catalog each book. Johnston has decided to gift the library to the R&A to display near headquarters at St. Andrews. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 810 words, photos. With Golf Glance and Golf Notes (both sent).



The top of the final AP college football poll of the 2019 season looked a good deal like the first AP college football poll of the 2019 season. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 1,400 words, photos by 4 p.m.


The midpoint of the NBA season arrives this week and it's time to look at some stat trends around the league. The 3-point record is going to fall yet again, but a look at the numbers suggests that the skyrocketing growth rate of dependency on the long ball may be finally slowing down. James Harden's scoring numbers will have him in the MVP race, though he'll have to buck some history. And LeBron James might be in line to become the oldest first-time NBA assist champion. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.


AUBURN, Ala. — The Auburn Tigers have skipped the growing pains and gone straight to an extended hot streak. The fourth-ranked Tigers remain unbeaten after replacing the three stars of their first Final Four team. By John Zenor. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m. With BKC—T25-Top 25 This Week (sent).


WACO, Texas — Baylor coach Kim Mulkey points out that the No. 2 Lady Bears' only loss — to now-No. 1 South Carolina — came in a mid-November game they played without standout post Lauren Cox. The preseason AP All-American is healthy now, and so are the defending national champions with another graduate transfer point guard. The focus now is on 10th consecutive Big 12 title. By Stephen Hawkins. UPCOMING. 700 words, photos by 7 p.m.


NEW YORK -- The WNBA and its players reach a tentative deal on a collective bargaining agreement. The eight-year contract begins this season and runs through 2027. The league says it will pay players an average of $130,000 and increase marketing opportunities and revenue sharing. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. SENT: 940 words, photos.


Tuesday Time Schedule (EST)


Phoenix at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.

Utah at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.

Houston at Memphis, 8 p.m.

New York at Milwaukee, 8 p.m.

Cleveland at L.A. Clippers, 10:30 p.m.

Dallas at Golden State, 10:30 p.m.


Vegas at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

Boston at Columbus, 7 p.m.

Detroit at N.Y. Islanders, 7 p.m.

Minnesota at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.

Los Angeles at Tampa Bay, 7 p.m.

New Jersey at Toronto, 7 p.m.

Chicago at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.

Vancouver at Winnipeg, 8 p.m.

San Jose at Arizona, 9 p.m.

Dallas at Colorado, 9 p.m.

Nashville at Edmonton, 9 p.m.



No. 3 Duke at Clemson, 7 p.m.

No. 6 Kansas at Oklahoma, 9 p.m.

No. 7 San Diego State at Fresno State, 11 p.m.

No. 11 Louisville at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.

No. 12 West Virginia vs. TCU, 9 p.m.

No. 13 Dayton vs. VCU, 8 p.m.

No. 14 Villanova vs. DePaul, 8:30 p.m.

No. 17 Maryland at Wisconsin, 9 p.m.

No. 21 Ohio State vs. Nebraska, 6:30 p.m.

No. 23 Texas Tech at Kansas State, 8 p.m.


No. 4 UConn at Memphis, 8 p.m.