Trophies are held up high and proud after winning a sport’s championship. Over the past ten months, the teams that ended up raising the trophies left the world in sadness, confusion, and disbelief.
The most recent sporting event that resulted in an upset was Super Bowl 51 with the New England Patriots versus the Atlanta Falcons. The Patriots came back from a 24-point deficit and ended up winning in overtime 34-28. Other upsets in these past ten months include the March Madness championship, the NBA Finals, and the World Series.
The upsets kicked off with number two-ranked Villanova beating number one-ranked UNC in the March Madness championship game on April 4th, 2016 at the NRG Stadium in Houston. The game was close the whole time, and UNC hit a three pointer to tie the game up with only a few seconds left. Their high hopes of winning this game were shattered after Kris Jenkins hit a buzzer-beater three to give Villanova the victory.
“‘I just think it was so exciting to watch, both teams making great plays,’ Jay Wright said, still trying to process Villanova’s 77-74 victory on Kris Jenkins’ three at the buzzer. ‘In a national championship game, to hit a shot at the buzzer, I mean, I haven’t seen many better than that,’” Nancy Armour of USA Today Sports wrote.
“This was the craziest sports game I have ever watched on live television,” junior Tucker Booth said. No one expected that Villanova was going to beat UNC in such a crazy way that they did.
“I refused to believe what had just happened. I was in denial because all year I had been saying UNC is going to win it all to all my friends who didn’t think they would and they were one shot away from achieving this,” senior Jack Williams said.
The next upset happened on June 19th, 2016 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California in the NBA Finals. The Golden State Warriors were coming off of winning the NBA Finals the year before and having the most historic season in NBA history. With the expectations of back-to-back championships, the Warriors blew a 3-1 series lead to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
No team in NBA Finals history has ever come back from being down 3-1 in the series. This didn’t faze the Cavaliers, fighting back to force a game seven. This huge momentum swing continued through game seven, leading to Lebron James’ iconic block and Kyrie Irving’s game-winning three.
“James and his relentless, never-count-them-out Cavs pulled off an improbable NBA Finals comeback, and Cleveland is title town again at long last,” Janie McCauley of NBA.com wrote. This championship win ended a 52-year drought for Cleveland sports.
“I was surprised because the Warriors were the best team by far, but Lebron and Kyrie carried the team on their backs,” junior Max Mygatt said.
“I knew the Cavs were going to win because they weren’t letting Curry and the Warriors beat them again,” junior Jaylin Andrews said. This series was an entertaining and intense rematch for the NBA Finals.
“I was shocked because the Warriors had the most successful season in NBA history, but they got ahead of themselves. It was such a historic comeback for such a historic team,” senior JP Woodward said.
The final upset happened on November 2nd, 2016 at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio in the World Series. The Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs were both looking for a World Series title after not achieving one in decades. The Indians were so close to winning a second championship for Cleveland that year but ended up losing after being up 3-1 in the series.
“The Chicago Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in a mind-blowing, nerve-jangling, heart-stopping mess of a game, a 10-inning acid trip that tested the limits of your sanity, made baseball history and ended 108 years of anxiety,” Jonah Keri of CBS Sports wrote. The Cubs managed to win the remaining three games in the series, making it one of the greatest comebacks in MLB history.
“I’m not a baseball fan, but it was still cool to watch them come back,” freshman Cole Berger said.
“The Cubs’ pitching was what allowed them to make such an inspiring comeback,” junior Max Franklin said. The Cubs never gave up, allowing them to raise the trophy at the end of the series.