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|The Angels beat the Giants in a thrilling seven-game World Series.|
3. New England Patriots
When the Pats beat the Raiders in the snow last January and then won the AFC crown, you just knew Vince Lombardi was up there somewhere, watching and smiling. Old school. Then they declined to be introduced as individuals before the Super Bowl, opting to take the field as a team. Old school. Then they beat the Rams in the big game with a field goal as time expired in the Super Bowl, winning 20-17. Old school. Tom Brady? Modest, great when it counted. Old school.
4. U.S. Men's World Cup soccer team
Whoda thunk it? All the way to the quarterfinals of the World Cup. After 30 years of premature predictions, the Americans are suddenly a force in International soccer.
5. UConn Huskies women's basketball
The Huskies, led by All-Americans Sue Bird, Swin Cash, and Diana Taurisi, went 33-0 during the regular season. Then, in the NCAA Tourney, they won their games by an average margin of victory of 27 points, capping it off with an 82-70 finals win over Oklahoma. End result: 39-0, national champs in increasingly competitive women's hoops play.
|The Year in Review: Listmania!|
SportsNation has compiled our rankings of the best and worst of 2002. Check out our top 10 lists and then voice your opinion by voting in the polls.
Most memorable moment
Athlete of the Year
Feuds of the year
Rookies of the year
Teams of the year
Flops of the year Fantasy player of the year
8. Minnesota Twins
Hey, maybe Bud's on to something with this contraction thing. Seemed to be a great motivator. The Twins did nothing less than blow out their division, improving their record by nine wins, winning the AL Central by 13 1/2 games over the White Sox and then upsetting Oakland in the playoffs. Meanwhile, attendance at the Metrodome came close to the 2 million mark, as high as it's been since 1993.
9. Los Angeles Lakers
Can Shaq, Kobe, and Phil get along? It didn't matter in the NBA playoffs, because once the clock started ticking, these guys came together and won their third title in a row. We're not big fans of overdogs in any sport, but it's pretty hard to argue with a three-peat.
10. Canada's Olympic hockey teams
Canada hadn't won gold in hockey since the 1952 Olympics, but the men's team beat the U.S. men, 5-2, leaving no doubt they were the best squad on the ice in Salt Lake. Canada's women also beat the U.S. in the final, 3-2, completing an undefeated Olympic run.