Estimated read time: 7-8 minutes
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AUGUSTA, Ga. — The Masters begins with Adam Scott trying to become only the fourth player to win back-to-back titles at Augusta National. Tiger Woods, out with a back injury, is missing the tournament for the first time in 20 years. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 7:30 p.m.
LOS ANGELES — Timothy Bradley believes former pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao has lost his competitive fire heading into Saturday's welterweight rematch. Even Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach sees some truth in that, but thinks Bradley's loud declarations have rekindled Pacman's spark. By Greg Beacham. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 7 p.m.
BELEK, Turkey — The IOC is sending a senior troubleshooter to Brazil next week as part of a series of urgent measures to deal with the construction delays and political paralysis threatening the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. By Stephen Wilson. SENT: 700 words, photos.
— RIO DE JANEIRO — OLY--Rio 2016-Strike. By Stephen Wade. SENT: 350 words, photos.
AUGUSTA, Ga. — The mystique of the Masters wasn't all that overwhelming for some of players at Augusta for the first time. Kevin Stadler opened with a 70. Jimmy Walker ran off four straight birdies to get in the mix. Others weren't so fortunate. By Sports Writer Tim Dahlberg. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Ga. — Commentary on the opening round of the Masters. By Sports Columnist Jim Litke. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 8 p.m.
— GLF--Masters Notebook. By Mark Long. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 8 p.m.
— GLF--Masters Watch. Updated throughout day.
— GLF--Masters-Leader Cards.
— GLF--Masters-Box Score.
— GLF--Masters-Key Hole.
PRETORIA, South Africa — A prosecutor attacks Oscar Pistorius' honesty, asserting the Olympian had a string of unlikely excuses for why he wasn't to blame in the three gun charges he faces on top of murder. The prosecution also contends Pistorius is also lying about killing his girlfriend by mistake. By Christopher Torchia and Gerald Imray. SENT: 900 words, photos, video.
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Former 100-meter world record holder Asafa Powell is banned until Dec. 20 for taking a banned stimulant. The backdated 18-month penalty by a Jamaican disciplinary panel begins from the date of his sample collection last June 21 during the national trials for the world championships. By David McFadden. SENT: 700 words, photos.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Don't rule out Niagara Falls, N.Y., as a potential home of the Buffalo Bills. Members of a new stadium task force tell the AP they're considering the site. The group initially was to have looked only in the county where Buffalo is located. By John Wawrow. SENT: 850 words, photos.
NEW YORK — The Red Sox and Yankees renew their rivalry, with both teams off to 4-5 starts. Clay Buchholz is on the mound for the World Series champions in the opener of a four-game series. Michael Pineda goes for New York, making his first Yankee Stadium start. By Ronald Blum. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 7:05 p.m.
DENVER — Justin Morneau is off to a solid start for the Rockies as he steps in for Todd Helton, who retired after 17 seasons. Morneau is hitting .387 and scooping up everything around first base. Morneau insists he's not trying to replace Helton, just do the things he's capable of doing. By Pat Graham. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 6 p.m.
BBN--REDS' ROCKY START
CINCINNATI — They've dropped their first three series. Their offense is in a funk. They're wasting a lot of good pitching. The Reds have opened the season the way they ended last season, losing a lot of games. By Joe Kay. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.
— ARLINGTON, Texas — BBA--Rangers-Ballpark Anniversary. By Stephen Hawkins. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 4 p.m.
— ST. LOUIS — BBN--Cardinals-Wacha. By R.B. Fallstrom. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 5 p.m.
— COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — BBO--Hall of Fame-La Russa. By John Kekis. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 7 p.m.
PHILADELPHIA — Boston College plays Union in the first game of the Frozen Four. Union, the small liberal arts college from Schenectady, N.Y., is ranked No. 1 but is the only team among the semifinalists that has yet to win a national title. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 5 p.m.
PHILADELPHIA — North Dakota and Minnesota renew their decades-old rivalry in the Frozen Four. North Dakota has won seven titles, the most among these team, but none since 2000. The Gophers won in 2002 and 2003. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 8:30 p.m.
SAO PAULO — Workers end a strike at the World Cup stadium in Curitiba after disrupting traffic for nearly two hours and forcing organizers to accept their demands. More than 100 employees return to work after organizers promised to begin paying the salaries owed them. By Tales Azzoni. SENT: 450 words.
SAN DIEGO — The U.S. women's soccer team plays China again in its first game since coach Tom Sermanni was fired. Jill Ellis is the interim coach for the Americans, who beat China 2-0 in an exhibition game in Colorado on Sunday. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts 11 p.m.
SOC--FADING MAN UNITED
MANCHESTER, England — Manchester United waves goodbye to the Champions League for 18 months at least and a new reality confronts England's biggest club of the last 20 years: It has now sunk to second-tier status in European soccer. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 650 words, photos.
— SOC--MLS Salaries. SENT: 140 words.
FBC--PICK SIX-BIG TEN EAST
Maryland's Randy Edsall and Rutgers' Kyle Flood will bring teams into the Big Ten that are stocked with experienced players. By Eric Olson. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 4 p.m.
— BATON ROUGE, La. — FBC--LSU-Economic Study. By Brett Martel. UPCOMING: 500 words by 4 p.m.
— COLUMBUS, Ohio — FBC--Ohio St-Fresh Faces. By Rusty Miller. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.
— TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — FBC--Alabama-Henry & Howard. By John Zenor. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 4 p.m.
DARLINGTON, S.C. — Matt Kenseth enjoyed his first career Sprint Cup victory at Darlington Raceway last season. Kenseth hopes a second straight win on NASCAR's oldest superspeedway will lock him into the championship chase this weekend. By Pete Iacobelli. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 3 p.m.
— CAR---NASCAR-Darlington-Earnhardt Jr. By Pete Iacobelli. SENT: 650 words by 4 p.m.
SPORTS BUSINESS RADIO
PORTLAND, Ore. — Ten years ago, Sports Business Radio launched on an AM radio station in Portland. The idea for the weekly hourlong show was to look at the business of sports, somewhat of a niche subject then. That's no longer the case, and Sports Business Radio has become a popular podcast. By Anne M. Peterson. UPCOMING: 600 words by 5 p.m.
TRAVEL TRIP-5 FREE THINGS-LOUISVILLE
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Kentucky Derby is May 3, and there's more to this extravaganza than mint juleps, fancy hats and blooming dogwoods. A few suggestions for visitors that won't cost a dime. By Bruce Schreiner. SENT: 800 words, photos.
— HOUSTON — TEN--Houston. Play resumes at U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship. UPCOMING: 250 words, photos by 11 p.m.
— NEW — BKN--NBA-International Games. NBA to play preseason games in China, Brazil, Turkey, Germany. SENT: 130 words.
— LONG BEACH, Calif. — CAR--IndyCar-Lazier-Indy. Buddy Lazier to drive for family-owned team in Indianapolis 500. SENT: 130 words.
— EIBAR, Spain — CYC--Tour of Basque Country. Alberto Contador leads by 12 seconds with two stages left at Tour of Basque Country cycling race. UPCOMING: 130 words.
— NEW YORK — RAC--Obit-Aquilino. Joe Aquilino, longtime New York horse trainer, dies at 76. SENT: 150 words.
— BBO--Baseball Capsules.
— BKN--NBA Capsules.
— HKN--NHL Capsules.
Thursday's Time Schedule (EDT)
Oakland at Minnesota, 1:10 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Chicago Cubs, 2:20 p.m.
Miami at Washington, 4:05 p.m.
Boston at N.Y. Yankees, 7:05 p.m.
Milwaukee at Philadelphia, 7:05 p.m.
Houston at Toronto, 7:07 p.m.
N.Y. Mets at Atlanta, 7:10 p.m.
Cleveland at Chicago White Sox, 8:10 p.m.
Arizona at San Francisco, 10:15 p.m.
San Antonio at Dallas, 8 p.m.
Denver at Golden State, 10:30 p.m.
Buffalo at N.Y. Rangers, 7 p.m.
Washington at Carolina, 7 p.m.
N.Y. Islanders at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.
New Jersey at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.
Philadelphia at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.
Toronto at Florida, 7:30 p.m.
Phoenix at Nashville, 8 p.m.
St. Louis at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Boston at Winnipeg, 8 p.m.
Los Angeles at Edmonton, 9:30 p.m.
Colorado at Vancouver, 10 p.m.
Boston College vs. Union (N.Y.), 5 p.m.
North Dakota vs. Minnesota, 8:30 p.m.
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