^Wednesday's games<

(TNS)

Tribune News Service

Sports Budget for Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Updated at 10 p.m. EST (0300 UTC)

This budget is now available at http://www.TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.

^TOP STORIES<

^David Murphy: A story about Joel Embiid, Jimmy Rollins, Instagram, and a legacy still unwritten<

BBO-BKN-MURPHY-COLUMN-SPORTSPLUS:PH — Back in the olden days of sports writing, when our hearts were young and Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler did not have Instagram access, we used to rely on the airwaves to provide us the material for our manufactured controversies.

The world in general was a wild place back then. Chinese pandemics, Middle East wars, asset bubbles, the whole kit and caboodle. Crazy, crazy stuff. But things were especially funky in our legacy publishing media, which at the time still more or less served as the trough from which the general public consumed its gossipy gruel.

1400 by David Murphy in Philadelphia. MOVED

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^Ohio State football players accused of rape dismissed from team<

FBC-OHIOSTATE-PLAYERS-CHARGED-1ST-LEDE:OH — Ohio State head football coach Ryan Day on Wednesday dismissed two players accused of rape and kidnapping.

Amir Riep and Jahsen Wint are in Franklin County jail facing charges of rape and kidnapping. They were charged late Tuesday and will be arraigned in Franklin County Municipal Court on Thursday.

Both players have been suspended from the football team. If recent precedent is followed, they face long odds of returning to the team. An Ohio State spokesman said Tuesday night that the university is aware of the allegations and criminal charges.

600 by Jim Woods and Bill Rabinowitz in Columbus, Ohio. MOVED

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^Blues GM Armstrong says Bouwmeester still undergoing tests but doing 'very well'<

HKN-BLUES-BOUWMEESTER-1ST-LEDE:SL — Veteran Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester is doing "very well" following a cardiac episode Tuesday against the Anaheim Ducks, according to Blues general manager Doug Armstrong.

"Jay is currently undergoing a battery of testing to determine the how and why of what happened last night and things are looking very positive," Armstrong told reporters during a press conference at the Waldorf Astoria hotel Wednesday afternoon.

Armstrong thanked Blues athletic trainer Ray Barile and his staff, as well as the Ducks' medical staff, trainers and physicians for their quick response after Bouwmeester collapsed while sitting on the Blues' bench shortly after completing a shift in the first period at the Honda Center in Anaheim.

1000 by Jim Thomas in Las Vegas. MOVED

^Browns defensive end Myles Garrett reinstated by NFL<

^FBN-BROWNS-GARRETT:AK—<Browns fans who turned "free Myles Garrett" into a rallying cry on social media have had their wishes granted.

The NFL reinstated Garrett on Wednesday, lifting the indefinite suspension the star defensive end received in November for his actions in a brutal fight with Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph.

The decision had been looming since Monday, when Garrett met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in New York. The league had stipulated Garrett would be required to meet with the commissioner's office as one of the conditions of his reinstatement.

750 by Nate Ulrich. MOVED

^BASEBALL<

^Paul Sullivan: The Manfred Playoff Plan is ridiculous. But that won't stop MLB from implementing it.<

BBO-SULLIVAN-COLUMN:TB — In his never-ending attempt to make baseball unrecognizable to its core fans, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred reportedly is planning to expand the playoffs from 10 teams to 14 and let some of them choose their first-round opponents.

The obvious goal is to create more late-season interest in playoff races, generate more revenue from networks televising postseason games and show the world that outside-the-box ideas are the only way to grow the sport.

The reaction was near unanimous after the plan was leaked to the New York Post: Manfred is a complete idiot.

750 by Paul Sullivan in Mesa, Ariz. MOVED

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^Dodgers reportedly alerted Nationals to Astros' sign-stealing ahead of World Series<

BBO-DODGERS-NATIONALS-ASTROS:LA — The Dodgers may not have advanced to the World Series for a third consecutive year in 2019, but they reportedly played a role in the Washington Nationals' seven-game triumph over the Houston Astros.

According to a Washington Post report, several Dodgers reached out to Nationals second baseman and former Dodger Brian Dozier with information about the Astros' sign-stealing scheme that might have cost Los Angeles the 2017 World Series, which they lost to Houston in seven games.

400 by Steve Henson in Los Angeles. MOVED

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^The Mariners are signing pitcher Taijuan Walker, completing a reunion months in the making<

BBA-MARINERS-WALKER:SE — The last time Taijuan Walker had set foot in the Mariners' spring training clubhouse was April 2016. But on Wednesday morning, as Mariners pitchers and catchers reported for their physicals, Walker was back in the place where he appeared in his first major league camp.

While the signing hasn't been made official by the organization, multiple sources confirmed that Walker is coming back to the team that drafted, developed and gave him his first opportunity in the big leagues by signing a one-year contract and filling out the final spot in Seattle's starting rotation. ESPN's Jeff Passan reported that Walker will earn $2 million in salary with performance bonuses that could push it to $3 million.

700 by Ryan Divish in Peoria, Ariz. MOVED

^Sweet words: Twins pitchers and catchers report to spring training<

BBA-TWINS-SPRING-TRAINING:MS — Spring training officially started Wednesday morning in 80 degree weather as Twins pitchers and catchers reported to camp at the CenturyLink Complex.

The only absences were pitcher Fernando Romero and Kenta Maeda.

250 by La Velle E. Neal III in Fort Myers, Fla. MOVED

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^Cubs' Rizzo proud of Bryant's grievance attempt: 'For someone like Kris to stand up like that is good for everyone'<

BBN-CUBS-RIZZO-BRYANT:TB — Anthony Rizzo fell short of a full year of service time by four days in 2013, but gained security in the form of a multi-year contract with the Cubs.

So Rizzo took special interest and appreciation for Kris Bryant, who unsuccessfully fought to earn credit for a full year of service time in his rookie season in 2015 that would have made him eligible for free agency after the 2020 season.

"In this game, everyone has been manipulated somewhere, some form," Rizzo said before the Cubs first workout for pitchers and catchers.

450 by Mark Gonzales in Mesa, Ariz. MOVED

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^Royals star Salvador Perez on his return from surgery: I prepare to catch 162 games<

BBA-ROYALS-PEREZ:KC — The last time the Kansas City Royals' highly decorated catcher Salvador Perez held court in this setting, addressed reporters and looked into the cameras, a somber tone hung in the air. He'd undergone season-ending elbow surgery and a contraption purposely limited the movement of his renowned right arm.

Following Wednesday's first workout of spring training for pitchers and catchers, Perez took his place in front of that same locker on that same end of the Royals clubhouse and addressed his health, the idea that he might have something to prove and potentially spending time at a position other than catcher.

650 by Lynn Worthy in Surprise, Ariz. MOVED

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^Yankees manager Aaron Boone struggles to make sense of Astros cheating scandal<

BBA-YANKEES-BOONE-ASTROS:NY — For Aaron Boone, the confirmation of the Astros cheating scandal leaves a lot more questions. The report on how they illegally stole opposing catchers signs and relayed them to the hitters in real-time did not quell the suspicion that the Astros had graduated from simply banging a garbage can in their dugout to eventually using a buzzer under their jerseys in 2019, when they beat the Yankees in the American League Championship Series.

Boone said he doesn't know if they cheated last October.

850 by Kristie Ackert in Tampa, Fla. MOVED

^Ex-Astro Gerrit Cole throws bullpen session at Yankees camp, is welcomed to spring despite buzz around former team's cheating scandal<

BBA-YANKEES-NOTES:NY — Gerrit Cole threw a 25-pitch bullpen in a pinstriped, No. 45 uniform at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Wednesday. After signing a record nine-year, $324 million deal with the Yankees this winter, Cole completed his first official bullpen session the day pitchers and catchers were required to report to spring training. Manager Aaron Boone, third-base coach Phil Nevin, pitching coach Matt Blake and others were in the bullpen to get a look at their new ace.

600 by Kristie Ackert in Tampa, Fla. MOVED

^Benjamin Hochman: Cardinals' Tyler O'Neill lost some bulk, in hopes his overall hitting will improve<

BBN-HOCHMAN-COLUMN:SL — It's not like the Cardinals suddenly have Bruce Banner in left field. Tyler O'Neill still has his "Incredible Hulk" features, notably the biceps as big as Festus.

But the Cardinals slugger has slimmed down some, from "205-210" pounds to "just under 200," he shared Wednesday on a walk to his car after a workout. He's making changes to his body he hopes will make changes to his body of work.

650 by Benjamin Hochman in Jupiter, Fla. MOVED

^Tatis would play center field but Padres say he won't<

BBN-PADRES-TATIS:SD — Fernando Tatis Jr. is open to playing center field, should the Padres ever ask.

Tatis confirmed Wednesday what multiple people in the organization had said — that the subject had not been broached with the young shortstop.

"Not ever," he said. "If they need me out there, I would go out there."

Tatis added that he considered center field the shortstop of the outfield.

"They're the two main positions," he said.

Not five minutes later, Tatis took to the field during batting practice and shagged fly balls in right field.

500 by Kevin Acee in Peoria, Ariz. MOVED

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^Dave Hyde: Finally, in Step 7 (or 8?), we start to get answers about Marlins rebuild<

BBN-HYDE-COLUMN:FL — I'll save the pithy purple prose about the Miami Marlins' pitchers and catchers reporting Wednesday and skip right to the headline of this season:

We start to find out now.

Finally, answers will start trickling in about the prospects in this latest, longest rebuild.

You probably knew, this, though. The Third Year of the rebuild is when the answers begin. That's because there's a syndrome the Marlins have been under like an umbrella the past couple of years, just as they have to too much of their nearly three-decade history.

750 by Dave Hyde in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. MOVED

PHOTOS

^Could phenom Wander Franco play for Rays this season? Maybe so.<

BBA-RAYS-FRANCO:PT — Wander Franco has done some amazing things on the baseball field in just two seasons in the low minors to be knighted the game's top overall top prospect.

But his repeatedly stated goal of getting to the majors as a teenager, which would mean by the end of this season, still seemed hard to believe.

Maybe not.

450 by Marc Topkin in Port Charlotte, Fla. MOVED

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^Mookie Betts and David Price smile their way through hellos at Dodger Stadium<

^BBN-DODGERS-BETTS-PRICE:LA—<It took until the final day of the offseason, after a long pursuit capped off by a strange weeklong saga, but the two splashy acquisitions the Los Angeles Dodgers believe will help end their World Series title drought strolled into Dodger Stadium on Wednesday for their formal introduction.

"They look good in Dodger blue, don't they?" Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said as he helped Mookie Betts put on his No. 50 jersey over a black hoodie on a pleasantly sunny afternoon. A few feet away Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers' president of baseball operations, aided David Price, No. 33.

800 by Jorge Castillo in Los Angeles. MOVED

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^Braves love their new spring digs, but does that help them win?<

BBN-BRAVES-SPRING-TRAINING:AT — Wednesday's reporting of the pitchers and catchers had a texture markedly different to those before it.

Mostly this was due to the new spring training setting, an invigorating change of venue that had one Braves clubhouse attendant of 50-plus years chirping like a rookie. "I may want to work another 20 years now," he said while patrolling new dressing quarters that had an almost antiseptic sparkle to them. He had seen West Palm Beach. And he had seen Orlando. But North Port is a whole different ballgame.

Those who had been reporting to the Disney complex the last 22 years immediately took note of some major differences.

900 by Steve Hummer in North Port, Fla. MOVED

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^MLB announces rules changes for 2020 season<

^BBO-MLB-RULES:LA—<Major League Baseball announced rules changes Wednesday for the 2020 season, including a three-batter minimum for relief pitchers and active roster limits increasing from 25 to 26 through Aug. 31.

The three-batter minimum for relievers, which is aimed to speed up games, will be in place for spring training.

Other pitching changes include clubs carrying a maximum of 13 pitchers during the regular season through Aug. 31 and again in the postseason.

250. MOVED

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^NFL<

^Mike Preston: One way or another, the Ravens need to keep Matthew Judon<

FBN-PRESTON-COLUMN:BZ — Ravens outside linebacker Matthew Judon downplayed becoming a free agent all season, but he knew that if he produced in 2019, he would become one of the NFL's highest-paid pass rushers in 2020.

Judon, 27, responded with the best season of his career, recording a team-leading 9 1/2 sacks and making the Pro Bowl for the first time, and the payday is closing in. One way or another, the team's fifth-round draft pick out of Grand Valley State in 2016 is about to get paid.

If the Ravens are smart, they'll give Judon the franchise tag.

650 by Mike Preston in Baltimore. MOVED

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^Dave Birkett: Lions are 'two good pieces away' from contending: Here's why that's not crazy.<

FBN-BIRKETT-COLUMN:DE — Dan Orlovsky has always been one of Matthew Stafford's staunchest supporters, so it's no surprise that the former Detroit Lions quarterback turned ESPN analyst doesn't see the logic in his old team taking Tua Tagovailoa in the first round.

But Orlovsky's reasoning, which has as much to do with the Lions' proximity to contention as it does his friendship with Stafford, got me thinking about the offseason ahead.

1200 by Dave Birkett in Detroit. MOVED

^John Reid: Jaguars owner Shad Khan still pushing merits of second London game<

FBN-REID-COLUMN:JK — Until last week's announcement of moving a second home game to London this season, Jaguars owner Shad Khan had mostly been off-limits.

He preferred issuing statements rather than grant interviews, other than speaking annually at the state-of-the-franchise address.

When Khan fired top football executive Tom Coughlin in December, Khan issued a statement.

When announcing coach Doug Marrone and GM Dave Caldwell were returning for 2020, Khan issued a statement.

950 by John Reid in Jacksonville, Fla. MOVED

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^Tim Cowlishaw: No, the Cowboys wouldn't be totally nuts to consider Dak Prescott vs. Tom Brady<

FBN-COWLISHAW-COLUMN:DA — The NFL's long offseason allows time for a lot of crazy discussions. There's only so much the XFL can do to satisfy our needs (although I really DO like those Vipers helmets and I believe Bob Stoops' Renegades will put at least one touchdown on the board in LA on Sunday).

Debating whether Tom Brady or Dak Prescott should play for Dallas next season is far from the craziest way to spend one's time. Normally, these types of questions are insane. Quality quarterbacks simply aren't allowed to change teams on their own terms. League rules provide the means for the Packers to keep Aaron Rodgers in green and gold for life, and the same is true for so many others.

850 by Tim Cowlishaw in Dallas. MOVED

^Antonio Brown apologizes to Ben Roethlisberger — again<

^FBN-STEELERS-BROWN-APOLOGY:PG—<As the Post-Gazette's Joe Starkey pointed out last week, Antonio Brown apologies tend not to have the longest shelf life.

It's noteworthy, then, that almost a week after his high-profile interview with 93.7 The Fan's "Fan Morning Show," in which he apologized for at least some of the acrimony he caused during his exit from Pittsburgh a year ago, he's sticking with his remorseful tone. The former Steelers receiver posted a mea culpa to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

200 by Adam Bittner. MOVED

^'We got the city turnt.' Chiefs basking in fame as fans line up overnight to see them.<

^FBN-CHIEFS-FANS:KC—<He brought a sleeping bag and a sock hat, his security for a 21-degree night. The windchill fell to 17, but not cold enough to even considering leaving his spot.

For more than 10 hours, he reserved his place just outside the front door of a Dick's Sporting Goods store in Lenexa. Same as he'd done the night before. Same as he'd do the next night.

The reward? A couple of autographs.

650 by Sam McDowell in Kansas City, Mo. MOVED

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^Jaguars hire former Giants head coach Ben McAdoo as QBs coach<

^FBN-JAGUARS-MCADOO:JK—<The Jaguars announced Wednesday that former New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo will join coach Doug Marrone's staff as quarterbacks coach.

McAdoo becomes the second former NFL head coach on a staff that includes former Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden, who was hired as the offensive coordinator last month.

McAdoo, 42, interviewed for the Jaguars offensive coordinator's job before Gruden was hired.

650 by John Reid. MOVED

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^Jon Becker: Antonio Brown open to Raiders return after talking with Jon Gruden<

^FBN-BECKER-COLUMN:SJ—<Antonio Brown is talking about a possible return to the Raiders? Somebody say it ain't so. Anybody.

But sure enough, our favorite dysfunctional wide receiver said he spoke with Raiders coach Jon Gruden on Wednesday.

"I just talked to Jon Gruden today, might I say," Brown said on Complex's "Load Management" podcast. "I don't know how it's going to go, but who knows? If they want to bring it back, we'll think about."

Or maybe the Raiders will think better of it and just keep running off to Vegas?

400 by Jon Becker. MOVED

^NBA<

^Dieter Kurtenbach: What the Warriors mean when they say Andrew Wiggins 'fits'<

BKN-KURTENBACH-COLUMN:SJ — Since the Warriors acquired Andrew Wiggins, the team has pushed a narrative that the forward will be a better "fit" for the Dubs.

Indeed, "fit" has become a buzzword of sorts around Golden State. And if you've heard it and thought it sounded coded, well, you were right.

What are the Warriors really trying to say?

1000 by Dieter Kurtenbach in San Francisco. MOVED

^David Murphy: Sixers looked better with Horford coming off the bench. What does that mean for down the road?<

BKN-MURPHY-COLUMN:PH — Even in the best of times, Al Horford is not a guy who gives a lot away. Everything you've heard about him throughout his career is accurate. He is pleasant, polite, consistently positive, reluctant to come within even an arm's length of controversy. He is a consummate pro.

Yet that polish enables him to deftly avoid any question that asks him to offer more of himself than is already on display. He'll give you what you are looking for, but he'll do it without giving you much of anything at all.

950 by David Murphy in Philadelphia. MOVED

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^Justise Winslow trade from Heat to Grizzlies leaves injury question unanswered<

BKN-GRIZZLIES-WINSLOW-HEAT:FL — Justise Winslow' arrival to the Memphis Grizzlies added further intrigue — but little additional clarity — to the differences he had with the Miami Heat over the back issue that has had him sidelined for all but one game since Dec. 4.

"The coaching staff thought I was able to play," Winslow said at the Grizzlies' practice facility less than a week after being dealt to Memphis in the trade that delivered Andre Iguodala, Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill to the Heat.

600 by Ira Winderman in Salt Lake City. MOVED

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^Mike Miller reacts to Steve Stoute comments about Knicks coaching changes<

BKN-KNICKS-MILLER:HK — A day after the New York Knicks' new "branding consultant" went on ESPN and said that change for the organization will include bringing in a new coaching staff, the coach already in place on an interim basis, Mike Miller, said he had no reaction to Steve Stoute's comments.

"I found out about it from someone else after the fact and didn't really have a reaction to it. I'm locked in to doing what we do here," Miller said before the Knicks played the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. "We're getting ready for Washington. My job right now is to get this team ready to play, my focus is on these players."

550 by Chris Iseman in New York. MOVED

Wednesday's games

TNS expects coverage from the following games:

Atlanta at Cleveland, 7 p.m. EST

Detroit at Orlando, 7 p.m.

Washington at New York, 7:30 p.m.

Toronto at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.

Charlotte at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Sacramento at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

Miami at Utah, 9 p.m.

Golden State at Phoenix, 9 p.m.

LA Lakers at Denver, 10 p.m.

^NHL<

^Jeremy Roenick 'very disappointed and angry' after being let go by NBC Sports for making sexual comments about his co-workers<

^HKN-ROENICK-NBCSPORTS:TB—<Jeremy Roenick is out as a hockey analyst for NBC Sports.

The former Blackhawks star on Wednesday tweeted a video captioned "What a Joke!!" in which he said he is "very disappointed and angry today."

Roenick, 50, was suspended indefinitely without pay in December for making inappropriate comments about some of his NBC co-workers on Barstool Sports' "Spittin' Chiclets" podcast.

250 by Jeremy Mikula. MOVED

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Wednesday's games

TNS expects coverage from the following games:

Calgary at Los Angeles, 10 p.m. EST

Chicago at Vancouver, 10:30 p.m.

^COLLEGE FOOTBALL<

^The 'busy eight days' that united Michigan State football and Mel Tucker<

FBC-MSU-TUCKER:DE — Eight days ago, Mark Dantonio was Michigan State's football coach.

Things changed in a hurry. And the search for his replacement moved nearly as quickly.

On Wednesday afternoon, Mel Tucker was named the Spartans' 25th head coach by the university's board of trustees. Seven of the eight trustees were present for the vote, with the only absence being Renee Knake.

750 by Chris Solari in East Lansing, Mich. MOVED

^John Niyo: Michigan State pays the price to find its football coach<

^FBC-NYO-COLUMN:DTN—<Money talks, even after opportunity walks.

So if there's a surprise in Michigan State's head-spinning search for Mark Dantonio's replacement this past week, it's not that it circled back to land Colorado's Mel Tucker late Tuesday, a few days after the 48-year-old Ohio native said he wasn't on board.

No, it's that anyone would argue that turnabout isn't fair play. This sort of deal-making is commonplace in big business, and business doesn't get much bigger than college athletics these days.

850 by John Niyo. MOVED

^Michigan hasn't beaten Ohio State in 3,000 days: When will the streak ever end?<

^FBC-MICHIGAN-OHIOSTATE-STREAK:DE—<The date was Nov. 26, 2011.

It was the first season for Brady Hoke as head coach at Michigan. The Wolverines had lost seven straight to rival Ohio State, including a 30-point loss the year before.

But this season was different.

Michigan (9-2) was ranked 16th in the nation. Ohio State was reeling after the resignation of Jim Tressel. They had an interim coach leading the program (whatever happened to Luke Fickell, anyway?) and entered the game on a two-game skid.

300 by Kirkland Crawford. MOVED

^COLLEGE BASKETBALL<

^Illinois says Ayo Dosunmu did not suffer structural damage to his leg in final-play fall<

^BKC-ILLINOIS-DOSUNMU:TB—<Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu has no structural damage to his left leg, the school announced Wednesday, after falling on the final play of Tuesday night's 70-69 loss to Michigan State at the State Farm Center.

Dosunmu underwent an MRI on Wednesday, a day after he slipped and fell awkwardly while attempting to drive for a potential winning basket. He was helped off the court without putting pressure on his left leg.

250 by Shannon Ryan. MOVED

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^John Clay: Quick, who is Kentucky basketball's most consistent player?<

^BKC-CLAY-COLUMN:LX—<Nick Richards is the main man in the middle, the 7-footer in the midst of a breakout junior season. Tyrese Maxey is the happy-go-lucky boy wonder, coming up big in the big games. Ashton Hagans is the facilitator on offense, the ball-hawk on defense.

And yet I can't help thinking that through 24 games of this Kentucky basketball season, Immanuel Quickley may be the player most responsible for this team's success.

Quickley is Kentucky basketball's Mr. Consistency.

650 by John Clay. MOVED

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^Kansas rallies from nine points down, beats West Virginia 58-49 on the road<

BKC-KANSAS-WVIRGINIA:KC — Kansas' road success continued on Wednesday night at WVU Coliseum, a place that had been a house of horrors for the Jayhawks in past seasons.

Devon Dotson scored 15 ponits, Isaiah Moss 13, Marcus Garrett nine (with seven rebounds) and Devon Ochai Agbaji nine as the No. 3-ranked Jayhawks rallied from a nine-point second-half deficit to upend No. 14 West Virginia 58-49 for their sixth Big 12 road win this season against no losses.

It was a crucial victory, keeping KU (21-3, 10-1) one game behind first-place Baylor with seven to play. KU had managed just two wins in seven previous games in Morgantown.

450 by Gary Bedore in Morgantown, W.Va. MOVED

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Wednesday's games

TNS expects coverage from the following games featuring teams in the AP top 25:

No. 5 Louisville at Georgia Tech, 8 p.m.

No. 18 Marquette at No. 15 Villanova, 8:30 p.m.

No. 20 Houston at South Florida, 9 p.m.

^WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL<

^The UConn women's basketball team has lost to the top three teams in the country. What now?<

BKW-UCONN:HC — Geno Auriemma warned fans at the beginning of the season that the 2019-2020 UConn team wouldn't quite look like ones of the recent past.

Monday's game against South Carolina was a reminder of that.

The Huskies couldn't recover from an 11-2 first-quarter deficit before falling to No. 1 South Carolina by 18 at Colonial Life Arena. Though the Huskies' defense and a put-the-team-on-her back effort from Crystal Dangerfield helped cut a 21-point deficit to 11 early in the fourth, UConn couldn't get any closer.

1100 by Alex Philippou in Columbia, S.C. MOVED

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^GOLF<

^BMW Championship heading to Caves Valley Golf Club in 2021, Baltimore area's first PGA Tour event in nearly 60 years<

GLF-BALTIMORE-PGATOUR:BZ — For the first time in nearly 60 years, the PGA Tour is making a stop in the Baltimore area.

Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills will host next year's BMW Championship, the second of three FedEx Cup playoff events, marking the first PGA Tour event in the area since the Eastern Open Invitational at Mount Pleasant Municipal Golf Club in 1962.

Steve Fader, chairman of the exclusive Caves Valley Golf Club, said in a phone interview Wednesday that he was "off the charts" excited.

1100 by Nathan Ruiz in Baltimore. MOVED

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^TENNIS<

^Roger Federer, Serena Williams headline star-studded 2020 Miami Open field<

TEN-MIAMIOPEN-FIELD:FL — Roger Federer and Serena Williams are returning to the Miami Open.

For the second year at Hard Rock Stadium, fans will get a chance to see another star-studded lineup with the field featuring 19 players who have a combined 100 career Grand Slam singles titles.

The Miami Open, which was previously held at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne, will run from March 23-April 25.

Federer, the 2019 Miami Open champion, leads the men's field followed by reigning Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic, 19-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal and World No. 4 Daniil Medvedev.

250 by Brett Shweky in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. MOVED

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^AUTO RACING<

^The secret to beating Joe Gibbs Racing at the Daytona 500? Good luck figuring it out.<

CAR-NASCAR-JOEGIBBSRACING:CH — Denny Hamlin sat in the middle of a swarm of microphones and a tangle of reporters' arms at NASCAR's Media Day on Wednesday. Everyone wanted to hear what the reigning Daytona 500 champion had to say five days before this year's season opener.

"We've been a factor to win every Daytona 500 it seems like for the last decade," Hamlin said. "So I come here thinking there's no reason that should be any different."

Some drivers are unsure about even finishing the race, but not Hamlin.

500 by Alex Andrejev in Daytona Beach, Fla. MOVED

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^Trump expected to attend Daytona 500, airport says<

CAR-NASCAR-DAYTONA500-TRUMP:OS — President Donald Trump could be attending the Daytona 500 on Sunday, the DeLand Municipal Airport announced.

A notice to airmen, or NOTAM, released by the DeLand airport stated that the Federal Aviation Administration's Daytona Beach Tower "has advised us that there is a strong possibility that President Trump will attend the Daytona 500 Sunday arriving about 13:30 (1:30 p.m.) and sticking around for a couple of hours."

The notice said such a visit would make flying over the Volusia County area difficult for a period of time on Sunday.

350 by Steven Lemongello and Skyler Swisher in Orlando, Fla. MOVED

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^OLYMPICS<

^USRowing blocks report on former Cal coach, abuse watchdog group says<

^OLY-ROW-REPORT-BLOCK:SJ—<A letter sent to lawmakers this week charges American rowing officials with failing to cooperate with a U.S. Center for SafeSport investigation that involves Olympic coach Mike Teti, who runs the national team program on the Oakland Estuary.

The letter was sent by Denver employment lawyer Beth Doherty Quinn and addressed to House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Frank Pallone (D-New Jersey), ranking member Greg Walden (R-Oregon) and Diana DeGette (D-Colorado), who chairs the Oversight and Investigations Panel. This news organization obtained a copy of the letter, which does not list any allegations against Teti, who coached rowing at the Cal from 2008-2018.

1000 by Elliott Almond. MOVED

^HIGH SCHOOLS<

^Families of 3 Connecticut students sue to block transgender athletes from girls sports<

CONN-TRANSGENDER-ATHLETES-1ST-LEDE:HC — The families of three female high school runners have taken another step toward trying to prevent transgender athletes from participating in girls sports in Connecticut. Months after filing a federal Title IX discrimination complaint, the families filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday.

The lawsuit seeks to reverse a Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference rule that allows high school athletes to compete in sports corresponding with their gender identity. If successful, the lawsuit would require athletes to compete based on their birth sex and could result in changes to state record books.

1050 by Dan Brechlin and Shawn McFarland in Hartford, Conn. (Moved as a national story.) MOVED

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^OUTDOORS<

^Sturgeon fishing season lasts just hours on Black Lake in Northern Michigan<

^OTD-STURGEON-FISHING:DE—<Sturgeon fishing season came and went for fishers on Black Lake — in about six hours.

Sturgeon season on Black Lake in Cheboygan County opened at 8 a.m. and closed at 1:40 p.m. Feb. 1. The season, open to hook-and-line fishing and spearing, was set to run from Feb. 1-5, or until the quota was hit. The original quota for sturgeon this year was seven but was reduced to six to avoid overfishing, according to a news release from the Department of Natural Resources.

350 Meredith Spelbring. MOVED

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^California man killed a trophy deer on his rural property. Now he's facing a huge penalty.<

OTD-CALIF-DEER-FINE:SA — A 70-year-old Sacramento County man will pay a $20,000 fine after pleading no contest to shooting a trophy buck out of season on property he owns in rural El Dorado County.

The hefty fine is one of the first under a law passed in 2017 that allowed judges to slap poachers with bigger penalties if they're convicted of illegally killing deer, elk, pronghorn, bighorn sheep and wild turkey with certain characteristics such as big antlers that classify them as trophy animals.

550 by Ryan Sabalow in Sacramento, Calif. MOVED

^Dennis Anderson: Duluth is a prime tourism destination, but does copper-nickel mining pose a threat?<

^OTD-ANDERSON-COLUMN:MS—<Over the past four decades, Duluth has in many ways transitioned from an industrial town whose lakeshore was littered with junk cars and scrap metal to a recreation and vacation destination that Outside magazine once dubbed "America's best outdoors town."

1050 by Dennis Anderson in Duluth, Minn. MOVED

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^Brad Dokken: Readers share thoughts on high Lake of the Woods fishing pressure<

OTD-DOKKEN-COLUMN:GF — I wasn't sure how my Sunday, Feb. 2, column about the extensive fishing pressure occurring this winter — and indeed most winters — on Lake of the Woods would be received, but the response was almost unanimously positive.

Obviously, I'm not the only one wondering how much pressure the big lake can withstand without the quality of fishing being affected.

750 by Brad Dokken in Grand Forks, N.D. MOVED

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^Best times for anglers<

^OTD-LUNAR:MCT—<100. MOVED

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