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Reuters U.S. Sports Schedule at 2 PM EDT on Friday, Jan. 31

Reuters

Jan. 31 (Reuters) - Reuters U.S. sports schedule at 2 PM ET on Friday:

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The duty editor is Steve Ginsburg, 202-898-8427

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NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Advisory: New Jersey State Police are investigating a "suspicious letter and substance" sent to several sites near MetLife Stadium. No injuries have been reported. The story is just breaking and we will provide multiple updates.

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Super Bowl XLVIII: Carroll, Fox lay eyes on Lombardi prize

NEW YORK - Two days before Super Bowl XLVIII, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and Denver Broncos head coach John Fox makes their final public appearances in a joint news conference Friday morning at the Rose Theater. (FBN-BRONCOS-NEWS/, moved, The Sports Xchange, by Jeff Reynolds, 650 words)

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Coaches say the unexpected may decide Super Bowl

NEW YORK - Look for the unexpected to determine the Super Bowl battle pitting the NFL's top-scoring Denver Broncos against the league-leading Seattle Seahawks defenders, the head coaches suggest. (NFL-SUPERBOWL/COACHES (PIX), moved, by Larry Fine, 450 words)

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The week that was ... and wasn't

NEW YORK - Calm beat calamity in the weeklong buildup to Super Bowl XLVIII, where weather and other peripheral worries were never real factors. (FBN-BRONCOS-SEAHAWKS-COLUMN/, expect by 0015 GMT/7:15 PM ET, The Sports Xchange, by Art Spander, 825 words)

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Game Scout: Seahawks vs. Broncos

Peyton Manning will test Seattle's No. 1 defense as the Seahawks grasp for takeaways, their best hope for a Super Bowl victory. (FBN-BRONCOS-SEAHAWKS-NEWS/, moved, The Sports Xchange, by Jeff Reynolds, 550 words)

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Goodell talks state of NFL

NEW YORK - Commissioner Roger Goodell does not travel far from his NFL office to the Rose Theater to deliver the State of the NFL. (FBN-NEWS/ (PIX), expect by 2100 GM/4 PM ET, The Sports Xchange, by Howard Balzer, 800 words)

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Denver coach John Fox back at Super Bowl after decade

Broncos head coach John Fox is headed to his second Super Bowl after previously taking the Carolina Panthers to the NFL championship title a decade ago. The one lesson he learned from his previous trip was that he does not want to lose again. (NFL-SUPERBOWL/BRONCOS-FOX, expect by 2200 GMT/5 PM ET, by Julian Linden, 700 words)

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Carroll eyes first Super Bowl win as Seattle coach

Pete Carroll, after two previous failed stabs at NFL coaching, is winning big time with his ultra-enthusiastic, rah-rah style with the Seattle Seahawks. (NFL-SUPERBOWL/SEAHAWKS-CARROLL/, expect by 2200 GMT/5 PM ET, by Larry Fine, 800 words)

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NFL, players see progress in tackling concussions

NEW YORK - Fans watching Sunday's Super Bowl can count on seeing long passes, big tackles and dramatic running plays. They should not see a player lying prone on the field after the sickening crack of a helmet-to-helmet hit, thanks to an NFL effort to reduce player concussions. (NFL-SUPERBOWL/CONCUSSIONS, moved, by Scott Malone, 950 words)

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Obama sees game going down to the wire

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is not saying who he thinks will win the Super Bowl on Sunday, only that it's probably going to come down to the last play. (USA-OBAMA/SUPERBOWL, moved, 250 words)

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Facebook looks to nab Twitter's 'second screen' crown

SAN FRANCISCO - More than 100 million people will be glued to their TV screens when Denver takes on Seattle in the Super Bowl. But two rivals, Facebook and Twitter, will also be clashing head-to-head on a "second screen" that TV viewers will tune in for the game. (NFL-SUPERBOWL/SOCIAL, moved, 600 words)

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NFL notebook

The latest news and notes from around the league. (FBN-NOTEBOOK/, expect by 0000 GMT/7 PM ET, The Sports Xchange, 500 words)

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THE SOCHI OLYMPICS

Utah native Holcomb out to thwart Germans again

Steve Holcomb broke Germany's stranglehold on men's bobsleigh when he piloted the American four-man team to Olympic gold four years ago, the first for the U.S. since 1948, but faces a tough battle to defend his title. (OLY-BOBS-PREVIEW/, moved, by Justin Palmer, 650 words)

See also: Bobsleigh at the Sochi Winter Games (OLY-BOBS-FACTBOX/)

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Brothers should end Latvia's wait for gold

Latvia has not won a gold medal at a Winter Olympic Games but Martins Dukurs and his older brother Tomass could end the Baltic nation's wait and stand side-by-side on the podium in Sochi. (OLY-SKEL-PREVIEW/, moved, by Justin Palmer, 400 words)

See also: Skeleton at the Sochi Winter Games (OLY-SKEL-PREVIEW/)

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Germany primed for more luge dominance

Having dominated the sport for decades it would be a major surprise if luge powerhouse Germany fails to take at least two of the four golds on offer in Sochi. (OLY-LUGE-PREVIEW/, moved, by Justin Palmer, 425 words)

See also: Luge at the Sochi Winter Games (OLY-LUGE-FACTBOX/)

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Obama Says He Believes Sochi Is Safe, Americans Should Go If They Wish

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama says he believes the Russian city of Sochi is safe and that Americans who want to go to the Olympics should go. (OLYMPICS-USA/OBAMA (UPDATE 1), moved, 300 words)

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NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

The Sports Xchange covers all NBA games. Key matchups highlighted below

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Thunder at Nets

BROOKLYN - Oklahoma City lost to Brooklyn on Jan. 2, before Kevin Durant caught fire on a streak of 12 consecutive games with at least 30 points. The Nets did not cool down, and can finish January with the NBA's best record. (BKN-NETS-THUNDER-FIRSTLEDE/WRITETHRU (PIX), expect ASAP after the 0100 GMT/8 PM ET game, The Sports Xchange, 400-word first lede, 700-writethru)

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Kings at Mavericks

DALLAS - DeMarcus Cousins is expected to play for the first time in five games as the Sacramento Kings aim to end a run of 18 consecutive losses in Dallas. (BKN-MAVERICKS-KINGS-FIRSTLEDE/WRITETHRU, expect ASAP after the 0130 GMT/8:30 PM ET game, The Sports Xchange, by Art Garcia, 400-word first lede, 700-writethru)

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NBA Wrap: Thunder try to make it 10 in a row

The red-hot Oklahoma City Thunder, who have surged to a comfortable Western Conference lead, go for their 10th consecutive victory when they call on the Brooklyn Nets in one of eight games on the NBA schedule. (NBA-HIGHLIGHTS/ (PIX), expect by 0430 GMT/11:30 PM ET, by The Sports Xchange, 600 words)

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DENNIS RODMAN

Rodman says he'd trade places with American held in N.Korea

WASHINGTON - NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman says he's willing to trade places with Kenneth Bae, an American missionary imprisoned in North Korea, the next time he visits his friend, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. (KOREA-NORTH/RODMAN, moved, 325 words)

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GOLF

PGA Tour: Phoenix Open, Scottsdale, Ariz. (to Feb. 2)

Yang and Bubba in joint command in Phoenix

South Korean Yang Yong-eun and 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson take a joint one-shot lead into the second round at the TPC Scottsdale after opening with matching seven-under-par 64s on Thursday. Defending champion Phil Mickelson trails by seven strokes. (GOLF-PGA/, expect by 0200 GMT/9 PM ET, 400 words)

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McIlroy retains Dubai lead, Woods toils

DUBAI - Rory McIlroy remains on track to end a 14-month European Tour title drought after shooting a second round 70 to lead the $2.5 million Dubai Desert Classic, while world No. 1 Tiger Woods toils on the Majlis course. (GOLF-EUROPEAN/DUBAI, moved, by Matt Smith, 625 words)

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Early riser Willett avoids wandering mind in Dubai

DUBAI - An early start is pivotal as Britain's Danny Willett scorches his way to a seven-under-par 65 in the second round of the $2.5 million Dubai Desert Classic. (GOLF-EUROPEAN/WILLETT (INTERVIEW), moved, by Matt Smith, 525 words)

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BASEBALL IN CUBA

HAVANA - Cuba returns to the Caribbean Series of baseball for the first time in 54 years this weekend at a time of time of high interest in Cuban talent after some of its best players defected in recent years in search of multimillion-dollar contracts. (CUBA-BASEBALL/, moved, by Daniel Trotta, 550 words)

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NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

The Sports Xchange covers all NHL games. Key matchup highlighted below

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Islanders at Rangers

NEW YORK - City rivals are back on the ice for the second time in three nights. The Rangers beat the Islanders 2-1 at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday. (HKN-ISLANDERS-RANGERS-FIRSTLEDE/WRITETHRU (PIX), expect ASAP after the 0000 GMT/7 PM ET game, The Sports Xchange, by Mike Shalin, 400-word first lede, 700-word writethru)

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NHL Wrap: Blues go for a share of Central lead

The St. Louis Blues try to move into a tie with the Chicago Blackhawks for the Central Division lead when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes and the New York Islanders and New York Rangers move inside to Madison Square Garden just two days after the Rangers won before 50,000 fans in frigid Yankee Stadium in two of five games on the schedule. (NHL-HIGHLIGHTS/ (PIX), expect by 0430 GMT/11:30 PM ET, by The Sports Xchange, 400 words)

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Alabama's McCarron: Younger players felt entitled

Former Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron says some of the younger players on the team did not "buy into" the Crimson Tide's championship mission. (FBC-ALABAMA-NEWS/, moved, The Sports Xchange, 375 words)

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SOCCER

U.S. investor KKR buys 10 percent share in Hertha

BERLIN - American buyout group KKR agrees to take a 10 percent stake in Hertha Berlin in a deal worth about $81 million that will boost the capital club's finances and brand in the Bundesliga. (SOCCER-HERTHA/KKR (UPDATE 2), moved, by Matthias Sobolewski, 450 words)

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AUTO RACING

Emphasis on winning hallmark of new Chase format

The sweeping changes to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup underscore a system that makes winning paramount in a way no simple addition of points for victories could have accomplished. (CAR-NEWS/, moved, by NASCAR Wire Service, 1,100 words)

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TENNIS

Davis Cup, first-round tie, U.S. vs. Britain, San Diego

A tall order for Atlanta's Donald Young

Wimbledon champion Andy Murray faces Donald Young, who has replaced the injured John Isner for the United States, in the opening match at Petco Park in San Diego before James Ward takes on Sam Querrey as Britain aims for a first victory over the Americans in the team competition since 1935. (TENNIS-DAVIS/US (PIX), expect by 0030 GMT/7:30 PM ET, 350 words)

See also: Federer, Wawrinka put Swiss ahead vs. Serbia in Davis Cup (TENNIS-DAVIS/)

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NORTH AMERICAN SPORTS

Roundups of off-field developments in the major North American professional sports leagues. (Expect by 0100 GMT/8 PM ET, by The Sports Xchange, 400 words)

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