Reuters U.S. Sports Schedule at 2 PM EDT on Thursday, April 3

Reuters

April 3 (Reuters) - Reuters U.S. sports schedule at 2 PM ET on Thursday:

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

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NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Big Board: Clowney cements No. 1 status

South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney headlines NFLDraftScout.com's top draft prospects. (FBN-DRAFT/, expect by 1900 GMT/3 PM ET, The Sports Xchange, 1,400 words)

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Deion Sanders: Manziel has 'ghetto tendencies'

Deion Sanders says Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has 'ghetto tendencies' but is endorsing him as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 draft. (FBN-DRAFT/, moved, The Sports Xchange, 275 words)

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Redskins sign QB McCoy

Colt McCoy signs with the Washington Redskins, giving the team three quarterbacks - for now - with backup Kirk Cousins still on the trading block. (FBN-REDSKINS-NEWS/, moved, The Sports Xchange, 200 words)

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Packers FB Kuhn to return

Popular Packers fullback John Kuhn signs a one-year deal to return to Green Bay for the 2014 season. (FBN-PACKERS-NEWS/, moved, The Sports Xchange, 150 words)

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Dolphins host WR Burleson

Veteran wide receiver Nate Burleson is visiting the Miami Dolphins. (FBN-DOLPHINS-NEWS/, moved, The Sports Xchange, 200 words)

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NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

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

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Timberwolves' Cunningham arrested

Dante Cunningham is arrested on suspicion of domestic assault and will not travel with the Minnesota Timberwolves. (BKN-TIMBERWOLVES-NEWS/, moved, The Sports Xchange, 175 words)

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Spurs at Thunder

OKLAHOMA CITY - Streaking San Antonio looks to book a 19th consecutive victory and inch closer to wrapping up the NBA's best record and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs against high-scoring Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder. (BKN-THUNDER-SPURS-FIRSTLEDE/WRITETHRU (PIX), expect ASAP after the 0000 GMT/8 PM ET game, The Sports Xchange, 400-word first lede, 700-word writethru)

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Mavericks at Clippers

LOS ANGELES - Blake Griffin could return to the Los Angeles Clippers' lineup for Thursday's tussle with Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks. (BKN-CLIPPERS-MAVERICKS-FIRSTLEDE/WRITETHRU (PIX), expect ASAP after the 0230 GMT/10:30 PM ET game, The Sports Xchange, by Forrest Lee, 400-word first lede, 700-word writethru)

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NBA Wrap: Spurs and Thunder in heavyweight clash

The San Antonio Spurs face Oklahoma City Thunder in a clash between the top two ranked teams in the Western Conference while the playoff-bound Los Angeles Clippers host Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks at the Staples Center. (NBA-HIGHLIGHTS/ (PIX), expect by 0530 GMT/130 PM ET, by The Sports Xchange, 400 words)

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The NBA schedule at a glance:

San Antonio at Oklahoma City, 8 PM ET

Dallas at L.A. Clippers, 10:30 PM ET

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COLLEGE BASKETBALL

NIT title game: SMU vs. Minnesota

NEW YORK - After toppling Florida State in overtime to reach the NIT championship game, Minnesota takes on SMU at Madison Square Garden. (BKC-SMU-MINNESOTA-FIRSTLEDE/WRITETHRU (pix), expect first lede ASAP after 2300 GMT/7 PM ET game, The Sports Xchange, by Everett Merrill, 400-word first lede, 700-word writethru)

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Final Four teams touch down in Dallas

Florida, Wisconsin, Connecticut and Kentucky converge on the Final Four site in North Texas. (BKC-NOTEBOOK/, expect by 2330 GMT/7:30 PM ET game, The Sports Xchange, 450 words)

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GOLF

2014 Masters preview package

We look ahead to next week's Masters with an eight-part package consisting of an overall preview, features on the defending champion Adam Scott, the 2012 winner Bubba Watson and former world number one Rory McIlroy, as well as a hole-by-hole look at the Augusta national course, a factbox on the tournament, a list of former champions and statistical records from the tournament. (GOLF-MASTERS/ (PREVIEW), expect by 1930 GMT/3:30 PM ET, by Mark Lamport-Stokes, 900 words)

See also:

(GOLF-MASTERS/SCOTT/, expect by 1930 GMT/3:30 PM ET, by Julian Linden, 600 words)

(GOLF-MASTERS/WATSON, expect by 1930 GMT/3:30 PM ET, by Larry Fine, 600 words)

(GOLF-MATSERS/MCILROY/, expect by 1930 GMT/3:30 PM ET, by Tony Jimenez, 600 words)

(GOLF-MASTERS/COURSE/, expect by 1930 GMT/3:30 PM ET, 1200 words)

(GOLF-MASTERS/FACTBOX/, expect by 1930 GMT/3:30 PM ET, 350 words)

(GOLF-MASTERS/CHAMPIONS/, expect by 1930 GMT/3:30 PM ET, 250 words)

(GOLF-MASTERS/STATISTICS/, expect by 1930 GMT/3:30 PM ET, 350 words)

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Houston Open (to March 6)

The Houston Open, the last PGA Tour event before the Masters, gets underway in Texas. The tournament has attracted a stellar field, including British Open champion Phil Mickelson and two-time major winner Rory McIlroy, as well as plenty of players needing to win the event to earn a trip to Augusta National. (GOLF-PGA/HOUSTON, expect first copy by 1900 GMT/3 PM ET, 500 words)

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Kraft Nabisco Championship (to March 6)

South Korea's Park In-bee will defend her Kraft Nabisco Championship title at Rancho Mirage in California when the first women's major of 2014 begins in the Californian desert. (GOLF-LPGA/ (PIX), expect first copy by 2200 GMT, 6 PM ET, 400 words)

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MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

*The Sports Xchange covers all MLB games. Key matchups highlighted below. All times Eastern.

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Tanaka in Toronto for Friday debut

HOUSTON - The New York Yankees' high-priced Japanese import, RHP Mashiro Tanaka, flies to Toronto in preparation for his major league debut Friday against the Blue Jays. (BBO-YANKEES-NEWS/, moved, The Sports Xchange, by Moise Kapenda Bower, 300 words)

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Mets OF Young to DL

NEW YORK - Left-fielder Chris Young becomes the second New York Mets player to head to the disabled list in as many days after he leaves Wednesday's game in the first inning due to an aggravation of the right quad strain. (BBO-METS-NEWS/, moved, The Sports Xchange, by Jerry Beach, 350 words)

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Rays' Archer pleased with 'first fortune'

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Right-hander Chris Archer is thrilled about his "first fortune" after signing a long-term deal that guarantees him at least $25.5 million. (BBO-RAYS-NEWS/, moved, The Sports Xchange, 300 words)

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Red Sox expect next step from Doubront

BALTIMORE - Manager John Farrell expects southpaw Felix Doubront, who starts tonight, to take another step forward in 2014. (BBO-REDSOX-NEWS/, moved, The Sports Xchange, by Todd Karpovich, 300 words)

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Pirates LHP Rodriguez returns

PITTSBURGH - Lefty Wandy Rodriguez will make his for first start since June when he faces the Cubs. He missed the second half of last season due to forearm and elbow problems. (BBO-PIRATES-NEWS/, moved, The Sports Xchange, by John Perrotto, 300 words)

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Astros committed to power position platoons

HOUSTON - Manager Bo Porter is committed to platoons at first base and right field. He changed starters at both spots for the second game even though the Opening Day starters both homered. (BBO-ASTROS-NEWS/, moved, The Sports Xchange, by Moise Kapenda Bower, 300 words)

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Blue Jays likely to lose a catcher

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Toronto is currently employing a trio of catchers, but one is likely to be taken off the roster as injured players return in the next few weeks. (BBO-BLUEJAYS-NEWS/, moved, The Sports Xchange, 300 words)

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Cruz off to hot start with Orioles

BALTIMORE - Back from a PED suspension that prematurely ended his 2013, DH Nelson Cruz is off to a hot start with his new team. (BBO-ORIOLES-NEWS/, moved, The Sports Xchange, By Todd Karpovich, 300 words)

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Nationals at Mets

NEW YORK - Washington Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann (flu) is scratched for the series finale on the same day the New York Mets place another player on the disabled list. (BBO-METS-NATIONALS-FIRSTLEDE/WRITETHRU (PIX), expect first lede ASAP after the 1636 GMT/12:35 PM ET game, The Sports Xchange, By Jerry Beach, 400-word first lede, 700-word writethru)

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Twins at White Sox

CHICAGO - Minnesota Twins right-hander Phil Hughes makes his debut against the Chicago White Sox, who took the first two games of the series from their AL Central rivals. (BBO-WHITESOX-TWINS-FIRSTLEDE/WRITETHRU (PIX), expect first lede ASAP after the 1810 GMT/2:10 p.m. ET game, The Sports Xchange, By Meghan Montemurro, 400-word first lede, 700-word writethru)

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Red Sox at Orioles

BALTIMORE - The pivotal third game of the season-opening series between the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox. (BBO-ORIOLES-REDSOX-FIRSTLEDE/WRITETHRU (PIX), expect first lede ASAP after the 2310 GMT/7:10 PM ET game, The Sports Xchange, By Jeff Seidel, 400-word first lede, 700-word writethru)

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MLB Wrap: Red Sox and Orioles square off in Baltimore

The reigning World Series champion Boston Red Sox face the Baltimore Orioles in the finale of their three-game set at Camden Yards, while last season's National League champions, the St. Louis Cardinals, are on the road at Cincinnati. (BASEBALL-HIGHLIGHTS/ (PIX), expect by 0330 GMT/11:30 PM ET, by The Sports Xchange, 1,000 words)

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The full MLB schedule:

American League

Kansas City (Ventura 0-0) at Detroit (Sanchez 0-0), 1:08 PM ET

Minnesota (Hughes 0-0) at Chicago White Sox (Quintana 0-0), 2:10 PM ET

Boston (Doubront 0-0) at Baltimore (Chen 0-0), 7:05 PM ET

Toronto (Morrow 0-0) at Tampa Bay (Archer 0-0), 7:10 PM ET

N.Y. Yankees (Nova 0-0) at Houston (Oberholtzer 0-0), 8:10 PM ET

Seattle (Elias 0-0) at Oakland (Straily 0-0), 10:05 PM ET

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National League

Chicago Cubs (Hammel 0-0) at Pittsburgh (Rodriguez 0-0), 12:35 PM ET

St. Louis (Lynn 0-0) at Cincinnati (Bailey 0-0), 12:35 PM ET

Colorado (Nicasio 0-0) at Miami (Turner 0-0), 12:40 PM ET

Washington (Roark 0-0) at N.Y. Mets (Wheeler 0-0), 1:10 PM ET

San Francisco (Lincecum 0-0) at Arizona (Delgado 0-0), 3:40 PM ET

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NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

*The Sports Xchange covers all NHL games. Key matchups highlighted below.

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Rangers at Avalanche

DENVER - Colorado is secure in its playoff spot, though the Avalanche and New York Rangers are still sparring for home-ice advantage for their respective postseason matchups. (HKN-AVALANCHE-RANGERS-FIRSTLEDE/WRITETHRU (PIX), expect ASAP after the 0100 GMT/9 PM ET game, The Sports Xchange, 400-word first lede, 700-word writethru)

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Bruins at Maple Leafs

TORONTO - After finally snapping their eight-game losing streak, the Toronto Maple Leafs face a tough task making it two wins in a row when they host the Boston Bruins, who have the best record of any team in the NHL this season. (NHL-LEAFS/ (PIX), expect by 0330 GMT/10:30 PM ET, by Steve Keating, 500 words)

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NHL Wrap: Rangers look to close in on playoffs

The New York Rangers, among more than dozen teams battling to secure one of the remaining playoff spots, travel to Colorado while the reigning Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks host Minnesota on a busy night in the NHL. (NHL-HIGHLIGHTS/ (PIX), expect by 0330 GMT/11:30 PM ET, by The Sports Xchange, 475 words)

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The full NHL schedule:

Columbus at Philadelphia, 7 PM ET

Dallas at Carolina, 7 PM ET

Boston at Toronto, 7:30 PM ET

Calgary at Tampa Bay, 7:30 PM ET

Minnesota at Chicago, 8 PM ET

Buffalo at St. Louis, 8 PM ET

Pittsburgh at Winnipeg, 8 PM ET

NY Rangers at Colorado, 9 PM ET

Los Angeles at San Jose, 10:30 PM ET

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AUTO RACING

Weekend preview

The Final Four isn't the only show in town this weekend, with the Duck Commander 500 Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. (CAR-SPRINT/, NASCAR Wire Service special to The Sports Xchange, 400 words)

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TENNIS

WTA: Family Circle Cup (to March 6)

Venus faces Canada's Bouchard at Family Circle Cup

Former world No. 1 Venus Williams faces rising Canadian Eugenie Bouchard while Slovakia's Jana Cepelova, who upset Serena Williams in the second round, meets Russian Elena Vesnina at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina. (TENNIS-WTA/, expect by 0130 GMT/9:30 PM ET, 350 words)

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OLYMPICS

There will be photos from the 2014 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams at the White House.

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NORTH AMERICAN SPORTS

Roundups of off-field developments in the major North American professional sports leagues. (Expect by 0000 GMT/8 PM ET, by The Sports Xchange, 400 words)

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