Reuters U.S. Sports Schedule at 2 PM EDT on Monday, March 10

Reuters

March 10 (Reuters) - Reuters U.S. sports schedule at 2 PM ET on Monday:

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

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NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Busy Vikings break bank to keep Griffen; Jared Allen gone

Everson Griffen didn't start a game in 2013, but the Minnesota Vikings made him one of the highest-paid defensive ends in the NFL with a $42 million, five-year contract. In addition, QB Matt Cassel and LB Jasper Brinkley are set to return, while veteran defensive end Jared Allen will move on. (FBN-VIKINGS-NEWS/, moved, The Sports Xchange, 425 words)

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Mendenhall retires at 26, uncomfortable as entertainer

Former first-round pick Rashard Mendenhall is retiring from the NFL at the age of 26. (FBN-STEELERS-NEWS/, moved, The Sports Xchange, 425 words)

See also: Steelers to cut LB Woodley as June 1 designation (FBN-STEELERS-NEWS/)

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Titans shop RB Johnson

Running back Chris Johnson, owed $8 million for 2014, could be traded if the Tennessee Titans find a taker for the well-used six-year veteran. (FBN-TITANS-NEWS/, moved, The Sports Xchange, 425 words)

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Bears in it for Bennett?

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett is a coveted free agent, but the Chicago Bears might possess the wildcard other suitors cannot offer - the opportunity to play on the same team as his brother, tight end Martellus Bennett. (FBN-SEAHAWKS-BEARS-NEWS/, expect by 2300 GMT/7 PM ET, The Sports Xchange, 400 words)

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Death of impactful owner transfers control of Lions

Martha Ford, the widow of William Clay Ford Sr., will assume controlling interest of the Detroit Lions with William Ford Jr. remaining as vice chairman, the franchise says while mourning the loss of the late owner, who died Sunday after 50 years of NFL ownership. (FBN-LIONS-NEWS/, expect by 2100 GMT/5 PM ET, The Sports Xchange, 300 words)

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Tracking last-minute movement on free agency eve

With the clock ticking toward the start of free agency Tuesday afternoon, teams are scrambling to keep their own players and preparing to pounce on available unrestricted free agents when signings are permitted beginning at 2000 GMT/4 PM ET. (FBN-NEWS/, moved; updates as necessary, The Sports Xchange, 300 words)

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TENNIS

Top Guns back in action at Indian Wells

Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal, Andy Murray, Maria Sharapova and Li Na are among the players in action in the third round of the $6.2 million BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California. (TENNIS-INDIAN/ (PIX), expect first story by 2100 GMT/5 PM ET, 500 words)

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NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

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

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Wizards at Heat

MIAMI - Washington whacked the Miami Heat 114-97 in the last meeting and the Wizards have won eight of their last nine games. Do John Wall and Trevor Ariza - a high school nemesis of LeBron James - have enough to deal the Heat a fourth straight loss? (BKN-HEAT-WIZARDS-FIRSTLEDE/WRITETHRU (PIX), expect ASAP after the 2330 GMT/7:30 PM ET game, The Sports Xchange, by Walter Villa, 400-word first lede, 700-word writethru)

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Suns at Clippers

LOS ANGELES - Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe could return from injury to face his former team after a two-month layoff with Phoenix fighting to stay even with Memphis for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. (BKN-CLIPPERS-SUNS-FIRSTLEDE/WRITETHRU (PIX), expect ASAP after the 0230 GMT/10:30 PM ET game, The Sports Xchange, by Forrest Lee, 400-word first lede, 800-word writethru)

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Raptors at Nets

BROOKLYN - Toronto is 2-1 against the Brooklyn Nets this season and 8-1 in the division on the road. The Nets likely need a victory to maintain much hope of overtaking the Raptors for the Atlantic Division title. (BKN-ROCKETS-BLAZERS-FIRSTLEDE/WRITETHRU (PIX), expect ASAP after the 2300 GMT/7 PM ET game, The Sports Xchange, 400-word first lede, 800-word writethru)

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NBA Wrap: Heat face Wizards while Clippers host Suns

The NBA champion Miami Heat return home to face another tricky opponent in the Washington Wizards while the high-flying Los Angeles Clippers chase their eighth straight win when they host the Phoenix Suns at the Staples Center. They're two of seven games on the NBA hardwood. (NBA-HIGHLIGHTS/ (PIX), expect by 0330 GMT/11:30 PM ET, by The Sports Xchange, 500 words)

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COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Kansas center Embiid (back) gets second opinion

Kansas freshman center Joel Embiid travels to Los Angeles see a back specialist, but coach Bill Self expects him to be ready for the postseason. (BKN-KANSAS-NEWS/, moved, The Sports Xchange, 250 words)

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MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Shortstop competition continues for Mariners

Brad Miller and Nick Franklin aren't household names, but the competition between the Seattle Mariners' shortstop hopefuls remains tight. (BBO-MARINERS-NEWS/, expect by 2330 GMT/7:30 PM ET, The Sports Xchange, 400 words)

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Giants 2B Scutaro still down with back injury

San Francisco Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro's chronic back issues aren't getting any better. Manager Bruce Bochy is considering Plan B, but Scutaro wants more time. (BBO-GIANTS-NEWS/, moved, The Sports Xchange, 625 words)

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Angels team report

The latest from Los Angeles Angels spring training. (BBO-ANGELS-NEWS/, expect by 0030 GMT/8:30 PM ET, The Sports Xchange, 400 words)

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Athletics team report

The latest from Oakland Athletics spring training. (BBO-ATHLETICS-NEWS/ (PIX), expect by 0030 GMT/8:30 PM ET, The Sports Xchange, 400 words)

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NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

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

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Penguins at Capitals

WASHINGTON - Pittsburgh can pocket a third win in as many games in the season series against the Washington Capitals as stars Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby face off. (HKN-CAPITALS-PENGUINS-FIRSTLEDE/WRITETHRU (PIX), expect ASAP after the 2300 GMT/7 PM ET game, The Sports Xchange, 400-word first lede, 700-word writethru)

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Maple Leafs at Ducks

ANAHEIM - Toronto opens a five-game road trip with a loose grip on a guaranteed playoff spot in the Atlantic Division. The Leafs won the first meeting between the teams this season, but Anaheim is five points ahead of the pack for the Presidents' Trophy. (HKN-DUCKS-MAPLELEAFS-FIRSTLEDE/WRITETHRU (PIX), expect ASAP after the 0230 GMT/10:30 PM ET game, The Sports Xchange, 400-word first lede, 700-word writethru)

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NHL Wrap: Penguins on the road to face the Capitals

The Pittsburgh Penguins, sitting atop the Metropolitan Division, travel to Washington to take on Alex Ovechkin and the Washington the Capitals while the Western Conference-leading Anaheim Ducks host the Toronto Maple Leafs in two of eight games on the NHL schedule. (NHL-HIGHLIGHTS/ (PIX), expect by 0330 GMT/11:30 PM ET, by The Sports Xchange, 600 words)

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SOCCER

Adidas, Nike battle for soccer supremacy in World Cup year

LONDON/BERLIN - With the soccer World Cup only three months away, Adidas and Oregon-based Nike are squaring up for a marketing battle to match the fierce on-field rivalry of nations like Brazil and Argentina. (SOCCER-WORLD CUP/KIT (PIX), moved, by Keith Weir, 850 words)

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Much-criticized World Cup venue stages first game

SAO PAULO - Nine of the 12 arenas are now ready for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil after 20,000 fans watch the inaugural game in the Manaus stadium that will host some of the first round's most compelling matches. (SOCCER-WORLD/MANAUS, moved, by 400 words)

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AUTO RACING

NASCAR Sprint Cup

LAS VEGAS - From Vegas to Bristol, NASCAR shifts gears in the aftermath of a memorable finish. (CAR-SPRINT-NEWS/, expect by 2130 GMT/5:30 PM ET, NASCAR wire service special to The Sports Xchange, 450 words)

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OSCAR PISTORIUS

Pistorius vomits in court at Steenkamp autopsy details

PRETORIA - Track star Oscar Pistorius, on trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, weeps and vomits into a bucket in a South African courtroom after hearing graphic details from her autopsy. (SAFRICA-PISTORIUS/ (PIX), moved, by Vanessa Romeo, 475 words)

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BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING

Attorneys for accused Boston bomber's friends seeking more records

Attorneys for three college friends of the accused Boston Marathon bomber who are charged with helping cover up evidence of the crime are asking for more records related to their arrests. (USA-EXPLOSIONS/BOSTON, moved, by Scott Malone, 625 words)

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FITNESS

From couch potato to triathlete, trainer began with small steps

NEW YORK - Florida-based trainer and health coach Lee Jordan likes to say his personal journey from 450-pound couch potato to trim triathlete began with a 30-second walk down his hallway. (FITNESS-TRAINER/ (PIX), moved, by Dorene Internicola, 750 words)

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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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