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PRETORIA, South Africa — As the girlfriend he shot lay dead or dying in his home, a weeping, praying Oscar Pistorius knelt at her side and struggled in vain to help her breathe by holding two fingers in her clenched mouth, a witness testified Thursday in the first detailed, public description of the immediate aftermath of the shooting of Steenkamp by the Olympian last year. By Gerald Imray and Christopher Torchia. SENT: 770 words.
DORAL, Fla. — Tiger Woods, who withdrew last Sunday with a back injury, sets out to defend his title and his No. 1 ranking in the Cadillac Championship at new-look Doral. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. Upcoming: 750 words, photos, by 7 p.m.
— DORAL, Fla. — GLF--Cadillac-Woods. By Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.
— DUBLIN — GLF--Ryder Cup-Europe. Europe captain Paul McGinley selects Sam Torrance and Des Smyth as two of his vice captains. SENT: 330 words.
FBN--BRONCOS-BYE BYE BAILEY
DENVER — The Denver Broncos are expected to release 12-time Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey on Thursday in a move to save space under the salary cap. Bailey was scheduled to make around $10 million next season. Bailey has been a fan favorite ever since his arrival in 2004. He's also mentored many an upcoming cornerback, including Chris Harris, who said on his Twitter account that he was "blessed to be able lineup opposite Champ and learn from a Great." By Pat Graham. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.
FBN_NFL DRAFT-URSCHEL DIARY
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Penn State offensive lineman John Urschel returns home to Penn State after two months away to prepare for and participate in the NFL combine, trying to keep up with his workouts and his diet on his own as he prepares for his pro day in Happy Valley.
TEN--NOTRE DAME-GAY PLAYER
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame tennis player Matt Dooley told his teammates he was gay on the two-year anniversary of a suicide attempt he blamed on fears about how people would react when he came out. By Tom Coyne. UPCOMING: 600 words by 6 p.m.
REL--MARIANO RIVERA'S CHURCH
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — Being retired hasn't stopped Mariano Rivera from picking up one more save. The former New York Yankees closer has renovated a long-vacant suburban church that is the new home of his wife's ministry. For years, Rivera had been crediting God for his skills on the field, where he tallied a record 652 saves before retiring last season. Now his foundation has poured about $3 million into restoring the 107-year-old church for Refugio de Esperanza, or Refuge of Hope. By Jim Fitzgerald. SENT: 675 words, photos.
JUPITER, Fla. — When Miami Marlins executives Mike Hill and Dan Jennings started working together in 1995, their job was to create a scouting department for the expansion Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Nearly 20 years later, limited resources remain a challenge, with Hill and Jennings now running the Marlins for famously frugal owner Jeffrey Loria. By Steven Wine. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 3 p.m.
LAKELAND, Fla.The Detroit Tigers have won three straight AL Central titles — and now they look poised to dominate the division in viral photos. the most recent being Torii Hunter posing with an alligator. The Tigers are preparing for the season professionally, but they're also having a lot of fun under new manager Brad Ausmus. By Noah Trister. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 5 p.m.
WACO, Texas — Brady Heslip and Kenny Chery were like most Canadian boys who played hockey as kids. Both eventually preferred being on the basketball court instead of the ice, and they're now together way south of home, and known as the "Eh Team" at Baylor. By Basketball Writer Stephen Hawkins. UPCOMING. 600 words, photos by 4 p.m.
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Andrew Wiggins has never led anybody on. He said from the moment he arrived at Kansas that he was headed to the NBA next year. Still, that doesn't mean he didn't go through an emotional rollercoaster before his final game at Allen Fieldhouse. By Dave Skretta. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 3 p.m.
CINCINNATI — No. 15 Cincinnati (24-5, 13-1) tries to end a two-game losing streak and stay in contention for the American Athletic title when it hosts No. 20 Memphis (22-7, 11-5), which is coming off a win over co-leader Louisville. By Joe Kay. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts at 7 p.m.
BKW--T25-BIG 12 TOURNEY PREVIEW
OKLAHOMA CITY — No. 7 West Virginia, a surprise team, enters the Big 12 women's tournament as the highest-ranked squad. Baylor, a force in the conference for years, lost to the Mountaineers last Sunday. Tournament play starts Friday. By Cliff Brunt. UPCOMING: 500 words by 5 p.m.
KIEV, Ukraine — Ukraine's domestic soccer league will resume play on March 15, after a two-week postponement because of the turmoil in the country. The season was scheduled to restart on Feb. 28 following a two-month winter break.
MLS-SPORTING KC PREVIEW
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The task facing Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes is daunting. Not only will he have to defend the MLS Cup title, he also has to juggle his roster for the Champions League and U.S. Open Cup competitions, along with the potential loss of several players during the World Cup. By Dave Skretta. UPCOMING: 700 words by 4 p.m.
NEWARK, N.J. — Goaltender Martin Brodeur talks about the New Jersey Devils' decision not to trade him while newcomer Tuomo Ruutu discusses his acquisition from Carolina for the playoff run. By TOM CANAVAN. UPCOMING: 750 words by 5 p.m.
HKN--RED WINGS-LIDSTROM'S JERSEY
DETROIT — Nicklas Lidstrom's No. 5 will rise to the rafters at Joe Louis Arena, where former Detroit Red Wings greats such as Gordie Howe and Steve Yzerman have their jerseys retired. By Hockey Writer Larry Lage. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 8:30 p.m.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose Sharks look to bounce back from an overtime loss to Carolina when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins. By Josh Dubow. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts at 10:30 p.m.
SAN ANTONIO — LeBron James and the Heat finish a two-game Texas swing against the Spurs in the second rematch from the NBA Finals. James scored 22 points in a loss to Houston after getting a career-high 61 against Charlotte. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 8 p.m.
LOS ANGELES — The Clippers will try to set a new season best for consecutive victories Thursday night when they face the Staples Center rival Los Angeles Lakers. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts at 10:30 p.m.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Reigning national champion Florida State wrapped up its winter conditioning program Thursday with two weeks to go before spring practices begin. Coach Jimbo Fisher addresses the media for the first time since Signing Day. The Seminoles did some shuffling of the defensive coaching staff and the spring will be the first extended taste of the system under defensive coordinator Charles Kelly. By Kareem Copeland. UPCOMING: 500 words by 8 p.m.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — With leading tackler Ryan Shazier gone, a problem area becomes even more magnified for Ohio State as the Buckeyes go through their second day of spring practices. By Rusty Miller. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 8 p.m.
Thursday's Time Schedule
TOP 25 BASKETBALL
No. 6 Villanova at Xavier, 7 p.m.
No. 15 Cincinnati vs. No. 20 Memphis, 7 p.m.
No. 22 Michigan State vs. No. 24 Iowa, 9 p.m.
No. 13 North Carolina vs. Wake Forest at Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum, 8:30 p.m.
No. 23 Iowa vs. Illinois at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, 2:25 p.m.
Miami at San Antonio, 8 p.m.
Oklahoma City at Phoenix, 9 p.m.
L.A. Clippers at L.A. Lakers, 10:30 p.m.
Washington at Boston, 7 p.m.
Los Angeles at Winnipeg, 7 p.m.
Buffalo at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.
Colorado at Detroit, 8 p.m.
Columbus at Chicago, 8 p.m.
St. Louis at Nashville, 8 p.m.
Vancouver at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
Montreal at Phoenix, 9 p.m.
N.Y. Islanders at Edmonton, 9:30 p.m.
Pittsburgh at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.
N.Y. Yankees vs. Philadelphia (ss) at Clearwater, Fla., 1:05 p.m.
Tampa Bay vs. Baltimore at Sarasota, ccd., rain
Toronto vs. Pittsburgh at Bradenton, ccd., rain
N.Y. Mets vs. Houston at Kissimmee, Fla., ccd., rain
Philadelphia (ss) vs. Detroit at Lakeland, Fla., ccd., rain
St. Louis vs. Minnesota at Fort Myers, Fla., ccd., rain.
Boston vs. Miami at Jupiter, Fla., 1:05 p.m.
Chicago Cubs vs. Cleveland at Goodyear, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.
Texas vs. San Diego at Peoria, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.
Seattle vs. Chicago White Sox (ss) at Glendale, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.
Cincinnati vs. San Francisco at Scottsdale, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.
Chicago White Sox (ss) vs. Kansas City at Surprise, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.
L.A. Dodgers vs. L.A. Angels at Tempe, Ariz., 3:05 p.m.
Colorado vs. Milwaukee at Phoenix, 3:05 p.m.
Oakland vs. Arizona at Scottsdale, Ariz., 3:10 p.m.
Washington vs. Atlanta at Kissimmee, Fla., 6:05 p.m.
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