The highlights of Monday’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, http://newsroom.ap.org/coverageplan You can also find a link to Coverage Plan on the left navigation of the Newsroom home page, http://newsroom.ap.org
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All times EST
The supervisor is Fred Lief, followed by Ben Nuckols at 5 p.m. and Doug Feinberg 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.
The AP’s Ralph Russo hosts the latest AP Top 25 College Football Podcast. https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/idhttps-podcasts-apple-com-us-podcast-ap-top-25-college/id1138957862
NEW ORLEANS -- Clemson goes for its third title in four seasons when it plays top-ranked LSU for the national championship. The defending champs, with Trevor Lawrence at quarterback, have won 29 in a row. LSU, led by Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow, eyes its first title since 2007. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos. Game starts 8 p.m. With The Latest. With sidebar on Trump. Postgame sidebars on merit.
Astros manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow are suspended for the entire season and the team is fined $5 million for sign-stealing in 2017 and 2018. Commissioner Rob Manfred strongly hints that current Boston manager Alex Cora -- the Houston bench coach in 2017 -- will face discipline. By Ronald Blum and Krisite Rieken. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 800 words, phots by 4 p.m.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The NFL's most frequent playoff matchup of the last quarter century will have its eighth edition when San Francisco hosts Green Bay in the NFC championship game. The 49ers beat the Packers 37-8 in November. By Pro Football Writer Josh Dubow. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 7 p.m.
PARIS -- The corruption trial involving the former president of track and field's governing body is suspended shortly after it begins. The prosecution says it has new evidence in a trial expected to detail evidence that Russian athletes paid millions of dollars to cover up suspected doping. By John Leicester. SENT: 750 words, photos.
HKN--MULTIPLE ROLE PLAYERS
The Rangers’ Brendan Smith played defense his entire NHL career. The Panthers’ Mark Pysyk hadn’t played anything but defense since he was a kid. Each now splits time between forward and defense, showing it's possible to succeed at different positions. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
FBC--T25-COLLEGE FOOTBALL POLL
NEW ORLEANS -- The AP’s final college football poll of the season. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 400 words, photos. To be sent a few hours after game.
BKC--T25-COLLEGE BKB POLL
Baylor climbs to No. 2 in the AP‘s men's college basketball poll after resounding road wins over Texas Tech and Kansas. Gonzaga stays at No. 1 while Duke drops to third and unbeaten Auburn rises to fourth. Butler rounds out the first five. By Basketball Writer Dave Skretta. SENT: 750 words, photos.
BKW--T25-WOMEN’S BKB POLL
NEW YORK -- South Carolina leads the women's poll after a week in which 11 ranked teams lost. Baylor, Stanford, UConn and Louisville complete the top five. Eight Top 25 teams fell to unranked schools, underlining greater parity in the game. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. SENT: 650 words, photos.
FBC--PAUL NEWBERRY-CFP CHAMPIONSHIP
NEW ORLEANS -- Commentary on LSU-Clemson national title game. By Sports Columnist Paul Newberry. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 2 a.m.
FBN--ON FOOTBALL-TITLE GAMES
Derrick Henry and the Kansas City Chiefs lead a wild weekend of historic offensive performances. It was also a weekend spiced by timely defense from all the winners. While the NFL's Final Four is set, plenty of questions remain. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 800 words, photos.
HKN--NHL ALL-STAR GAME-WOMEN
Women's national team players representing the U.S. and Canada will compete in a 3-on-3 event at the NHL All-Star game in St. Louis in two weeks, the AP is told. By Hockey Writer John Wawrow. SENT: 400 words, photos.
LOS ANGELES -- Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury are ready to do it again. The charismatic heavyweights begin promoting their Feb. 22 rematch across the street from the site of their riveting draw in December 2018. By Greg Beacham. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 9 p.m.
HONOLULU -- Two weeks in the rain and wind of Hawaii bring two surprise winners in a playoff -- Cameron Smith and Brendan Steele. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 800 words, photos.
Monday Time Schedule (EST)
College Football Championship
LSU vs. Clemson at New Orleans, 8 p.m.
New Orleans at Detroit, 7 p.m.
Philadelphia at Indiana, 7 p.m.
Chicago at Boston, 7:30 p.m.
Oklahoma City at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Charlotte at Portland, 10 p.m.
Orlando at Sacramento, 10 p.m.
Cleveland at L.A. Lakers, 10:30 p.m.
Calgary at Montreal, 7 p.m.
N.Y. Islanders at N.Y. Rangers, 7 p.m.
Boston at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Carolina at Washington, 7 p.m.
Anaheim at St. Louis, 8 p.m.