Thursday, January 31, 2008

Top Ten Greatest Upsets in Sports

1. The Miracle on Ice
"Do you believe in miracles?" asked Al Michaels, and everyone did after
the U.S beat the Soviet Union 4-3 in the medal round of the 1980 Winter Olympics. The Soviets, who had won eight of the previous nine Olympic gold medals, had blown away the American college kids 10-3 in a pre-tournament exhibition just days before.

2. Super Bowl III
Joe Namath guaranteed victory at poolside, and the Jets shocked the Colts 16-7, striking a blow for AFL equality and laying the groundwork for the NFL merger.

3. Villanova stuns Georgetown
The eighth-seeded Wildcats shot 78.6 percent (making 22 of 28 field-goal attempts) -- including 90 percent (9-for-10) in the second half -- to stun defending NCAA champion Georgetown and Patrick Ewing 66-64 in the 1985 NCAA finals.

4. Buster Douglas KOs Mike Tyson
The weight-challenged journeyman was a 42-to-1 underdog against the undefeated Tyson. But when the smoke had cleared on Feb. 10, 1990, in Tokyo Japan, the "baddest man on the planet" was lying on his back, and his heavyweight championship belt was missing.

5. Upset hands Man O' War his only loss
Man O' War is generally considered (with Secretariat) one of the two best racehorses ever. But when 100-to-1 shot Upset handed Man O' War the only loss of his career in the Sanford Memorial in 1919, he coined a sports expression for an underdog beating a vastly superior foe.

6. Nuggets embarrass Sonics in 1994 NBA playoffs
Who can forget the image of Dikembe Mutombo lying on his back, kicking his feet in pure joy, after Denver knocked off Seattle in the first round of the playoffs, the first No. 8 seed ever to beat a No. 1 seed? Denver had been blown out in the first two games of the five-game series, but rallied to win the last three, including Game 5 in overtime.

7. Jack Fleck wins the 1955 U.S. Open
A total unknown, Fleck beat Ben Hogan in an 18-hole playoff to win the 1955 U.S. Open, still the most shocking upset in golf history.

8. The Miracle Mets
Only seven years after they came into existence as one of the worst teams in baseball history, the Mets stunned the Orioles in the 1969 World Series. The perennially awful Mets trailed the Cubs by 9½ games on Aug. 13 before rallying to win the pennant and reach their first World Series.

9. Rulon Gardner beats the unbeatable
Three-time Olympic champion Alexander Karelin of Russia was unbeaten in international competition and had lost only once -- as a 19-year-old in the 1987 Soviet championships. Karelin was expected to wrestle his way through an unbeaten, unscored-upon tournament when the unknown American shocked him -- and the world -- to win Olympic gold in the Greco-Roman heavyweight division last September.

10. N.C. State over Phi Slamma Jamma
Lorenzo Charles' putback of Dereck Whittenburg's short 30-foot desperation shot at the buzzer in the 1983 NCAA finals left N.C. State coach Jim Valvano running around like a maniac, looking for someone -- anyone -- to love.

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