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Knicks beat Raptors, who get No. 3 seed anyway

Knicks end disappointing season by beating Raptors, who get No. 3 seed anyway
The Associated Press

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The Raptors ended their regular season by blowing a 21-point lead in a 95-92 loss to the New York Knicks Wednesday. But with playoffs on the horizon, Toronto is looking toward its next game.

With a Chicago Bulls loss to the Charlotte Bobcats in overtime, the Raptors still landed the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. They'll open up their first post-season series since 2008 by hosting the sixth-seeded Brooklyn Nets on Saturday.

Kennedy outmuscles Bisping in TUF Nations finale

Tim Kennedy outmuscles England's Michael Bisping in UFC's TUF Nations finale
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

QUEBEC CITY, Que. - Former Green Beret Tim Kennedy outmuscled English middleweight Michael Bisping en route to a unanimous decision win in the main event of the UFC's "Ultimate Fighter Nations" finale card Wednesday night.

The judges scored it 49-46, 49-46, 50-45 for Kennedy.

Wrestling proved to be the difference with Kennedy taking Bisping down in the first, third and fifth rounds and keeping him there. The crowd at the Colisee Pepsi didn't like it and neither did Bisping, whose game is built on movement and technical striking.

Penguins nip Blue Jackets 4-3 in series opener

Penguins rally after slow start, slip past Blue Jackets 4-3 in series opener
Will Graves, The Associated Press

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Columbus coach Todd Richards insists his upstart team isn't in the playoffs "just to go to school."

Maybe, but the Pittsburgh Penguins provided a pretty valuable lesson in perseverance during a 4-3 victory in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Wednesday night.

Weise the hero as Habs beat Lightning in OT

Weise scores in overtime as Habs beat Lightning to take 1-0 series lead
Stephen Whyno, The Canadian Press

TAMPA, Fla. - After the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning combined for 11 goals in four regular-season meetings, Dale Weise didn't expect them to score eight in the first 60 minutes of Game 1 Wednesday night.

"But that's playoffs, anything can happen," he said.

Anything, including Weise scoring his first career Stanley Cup playoff goal and first NHL overtime winner to give the Habs a 5-4 victory at Tampa Bay Times Forum and a 1-0 lead in the Atlantic Division semifinal series.

Atlanta lands MLS expansion team for 2017

MLS growing again, announces Atlanta expansion team for 2017 owned by Falcons' Arthur Blank
Paul Newberry, The Associated Press

ATLANTA - Arthur Blank donned traditional soccer garb to mark his newest venture — an MLS team for Atlanta.

"I love this one," Blank said, looking down at the red, black and gold scarf draped over his dark suit. "I haven't taken it off since it was given to me. I may not sleep in it tonight, but I may. I haven't decided yet."

Major League Soccer announced its latest team Wednesday, an expansion team for Atlanta that will begin play in 2017 at the city's new retractable roof stadium.

Laprise named first Canadian Ultimate Fighter'

Chad Laprise named first Canadian winner of 'The Ultimate Fighter'
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

QUEBEC CITY, Que. - Welterweight Chad (The Disciple) Laprise won a split decision over Olivier Aubin-Mercier on Wednesday to become the first Canadian winner of the UFC's "Ultimate Fighter" reality TV show.

The judges scored it 28-29, 29-28, 30-27 for Laprise, who finished strongly in what was a very close fight.

Wintry weather postpones Jays-Twins; twinbill set

Spring snowstorm postpones Twins-Blue Jays game; day-night doubleheader set
Dave Campbell, The Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS - The Toronto Blue Jays and the Minnesota Twins were given an unexpected day off because of the weather.

They sure needed the extra time to warm back up from the night before.

The Blue Jays-Twins game Wednesday was postponed more than seven hours before it was scheduled to begin, due to the unseasonable cold causing a spring storm to produce blowing snow all afternoon with some accumulation predicted at night.

Dyakowski being careful with knee injury

Ticats offensive lineman Dyakowski being careful coming back from knee injury
Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press

Canada's smartest person knows better than to rush back from injury.

Peter Dyakowski is easily handling stairs and weighted squats five months after suffering a serious knee injury in the 2013 Grey Cup. Despite his progress following surgery for a torn patellar tendon, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats offensive lineman doesn't expect to be ready for the start of training camp June 1.

Flyers confident after season turnaround

Flyers have reasons to be confident after turning around their season
Stephen Whyno, The Canadian Press

While the Colorado Avalanche are using "Why not us?" as their motto, the Philadelphia Flyers might want to adopt "Why wouldn't we?" going into the playoffs.

That was winger Jakub Voracek's response to a question last week in Pittsburgh about whether the Flyers could still win if starting goaltender Steve Mason can't play. Voracek didn't take too kindly to that, propping up backup Ray Emery in the process.

Raptors launch rebrand with new campaign

Raptor Rebrand: Canada's lone NBA club to launch new campaign: "We The North"
Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - Over the years, the Toronto Raptors have heard all about the perceived disadvantages of NBA life north of the border.

The complaints have run the gamut — from the long, snowy winters, to concerns about taxes to the lack of ESPN on cable TV. Instead of playing defence when it comes to perception, the franchise is going on the offensive.

The Great White North is embraced and the Ontario capital takes centre stage in the team's new "We The North" campaign, which features a 60-second video that kicks off a massive franchise rebrand over the next two years.

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