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They were No. 8 seeds. They barely got into the playoffs after up-and-down regular seasons. They had to face the No. 1 overall seeds in Round 1 of the postseason. They had to win Game 7s in Boston just to keep their seasons alive. They are Eastern Conference champions. They are four wins from a championship. This is the story of the Miami Heat and Florida Panthers. And it could have an ending like none other.

Wednesday marked the deadline for players who were early entrants to the NBA draft to withdraw and return to college basketball. The list of returnees includes Purdue's 7-foot-4 center Zach Edey after being named Associated Press national player of the year. There's also national champion Connecticut getting back guard Tristen Newton. But Kentucky big man Oscar Tshiebwe is staying in the draft as a former AP national player of the year. UCLA returned Pac-12 freshman of the year Adem Bona. Michigan State retained guards Jaden Akins and A.J. Hoggard. Other returnees included Tennessee's Josiah-Jordan James and Illinois' Terrence Shannon Jr.


Tom Brady is done. Really, he is. No more playing in the NFL for that guy. How many times does ol’ TB12 have to say it? “I’m certain I’m not playing again,” the seven-time Super Bowl champion told Sports Illustrated on Thursday. “So I’ve tried to make that clear and I hate to continue to profess that, cause I’ve already told people that lots of times.” Brady is right — he has said that a ...

PITTSBURGH — Thanks to their epic tank job (besides the one they've pulled this month), the Pirates have the No. 1 pick in the rapidly approaching MLB draft. This would be a bigger deal if it were football or hockey. It should be a big deal in this case, too, because the options are enticing and potentially franchise-altering. Many drafts do not offer a generational choice at the top. This one ...

The Memorial has another loaded field. That included the pro-am with a cast of athletes and celebrities. The tournament Jack Nicklaus built already was among the best on the PGA Tour. Now it's an elevated event with a $20 million purse. It's part of a crowded PGA Tour schedule that's going to get more compact next year. Tour officials are developing a schedule with $20 million events and majors all bunched together. That's to give space to the other tournaments. As for the Memorial, Jon Rahm and Scottie Scheffler resume their battle for No. 1 in the world.

Peyton Stearns is playing in the French Open for the first time and now the 21-year-old American is into the third round after knocking off 2017 champion Jelena Ostapenko. A 2022 NCAA champion for the University of Texas, Stearns used her big forehand to put together the 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 victory on Wednesday. That leaves just one past Roland Garros champion in the women's field. 

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