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Predicting the Winners of the 2014 ESPY Awards

Predicting the Winners of the 2014 ESPY Awards

Drake
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With the World Cup over and the MLB in its mid-season break, it's a pretty slow time in sports, even in a very slow month like July. Thankfully, the ESPY Awards, hosted by rapper Drake this year, can fill at least some of that sports void. Below are my predictions for who will win tomorrow's most significant honors like Best Play, Best NFL Player, and Best Moment, to name a few.

Best Breakthrough Athlete

Richard Sherman Seahawks
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Best Breakthrough Athlete

Richard Sherman Seahawks
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Winner: Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks (NFL)

Although Richard Sherman was good in 2012, he was even better in 2013. His eight interceptions led the NFL and his game-saving play against San Francisco put the Seahawks en route to a dominant victory in Super Bowl XLVIII.

Runner-up: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (NBA)

Best Championship Performance

David Ortiz Red Sox
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Best Championship Performance

David Ortiz Red Sox
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Winner: David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox (MLB)

David Ortiz wasn't just clutch in the World Series (.668 BA, .760 OBP, two home runs, six RBI), but his play helped get the Red Sox to the World Series while dealing with an immense tragedy.

Runner-up: Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs (NBA)

Best Coach

Gregg Popovich Spurs
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Best Coach

Gregg Popovich Spurs
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Winner: Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs (NBA)

The way that San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich guided his team back to the NBA Finals after losing a heartbreaking Game 7 last year was perhaps his best coaching job. Furthermore, the subsequent beat down that the Spurs gave the Miami Heat in this year's Finals makes him the obvious choice for best coach.

Runner-up: Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks (NFL)

Best Comeback Athlete

Russell Westbrook Thunder
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Best Comeback Athlete

Russell Westbrook Thunder
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Winner: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder (NBA)

After suffering a serious knee injury in last year's postseason and missing a significant amount of time this season, Oklahoma City Thunder PG Russell Westbrook regained the explosiveness that has made him a great player, and helped get the Thunder back to the Western Conference Finals.

Runner-up: Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL)

Best Female Athlete

Ronda Rousey UFC
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Best Female Athlete

Ronda Rousey UFC
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Winner: Ronda Rousey (UFC)

Since Ronda Rousey started in the UFC in 2011, she has been unbeaten at 10-0 with eight submission victories. In the past year, she had two TKO victories and three victories in the first round. She is one bad chick in the octagon.

Runner-up: Maya Moore, Minnesota Lynx (WNBA)

Best Female College Athlete

Breanna Stewart Connecticut
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Best Female College Athlete

Breanna Stewart Connecticut
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Winner: Breanna Stewart, Connecticut Huskies (Women's College Basketball)

The UConn women's team achieved yet another undefeated season at 40-0, mostly led by sophomore forward Breanna Stewart, who averaged a team-leading 19.4 ppg. Stewart was named Final Four Most Outstanding Player this year after scoring 21 points.

Runner-up: Micah Hancock, Penn State (Women's Volleyball)

Best Game

Chris Davis Auburn
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Best Game

Chris Davis Auburn
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Winner: Alabama vs. Auburn (2013 Iron Bowl)

With a chance to dethrone the two-time defending national champions in their home stadium, Auburn defeated Alabama on the final play of the game after returning a missed field-goal attempt for a touchdown. The victory helped get Auburn to the National Championship game.

Runner-up: Indianapolis Colts vs. Kansas City Chiefs (NFL Wild-Card game)

Best Male Athlete

Peyton Manning Broncos
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Best Male Athlete

Peyton Manning Broncos
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Winner: Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos (NFL)

Peyton Manning's performance this past season should give him a landslide victory in the best male athlete category. Manning registered the most passing yards and touchdowns in a single season by a quarterback - no easy feat.

Runner-up: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder (NBA)

Best Male College Athlete

Jameis Winston Florida State
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Best Male College Athlete

Jameis Winston Florida State
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Winner: Jameis Winston, Florida State (College Football)

Jameis Winston not only won the Heisman Trophy this past season as a freshman, he helped the Florida State Seminoles win their first National Championship since the 1999 season, led the game-winning drive against Auburn, and kept the SEC from their eight consecutive National Champion.

Runner-up: Doug McDermott, Creighton (Men's College Basketball)

Best MLB Player

Mike Trout Angels
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Best MLB Player

Mike Trout Angels
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Winner: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

One of the most exciting young players in an otherwise dying sport, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim OF Mike Trout possesses all five tools and can do everything on the field. Last season, Trout led the league in runs, walks, and was second in AL MVP voting. This year, Trout leads the AL in total bases with 209.

Runner-up: Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

Best Moment

John Brooks USA
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Best Moment

John Brooks USA
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Winner: USA defeats Ghana (2014 World Cup)

In the most anticipated World Cup in years, the United States began group play with a bang, as Clint Dempsey scored with just barely a minute gone by. After conceding a goal in the 82nd minute, John Brooks, a substitute for the Americans, scored on a header in the 86th minute, giving the U.S. a 2-1 victory. The Americans would go on to play in the Round of 16.

Runner-up: Mariano Rivera's final game

Best NBA Player

Kevin Durant Thunder
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Best NBA Player

Kevin Durant Thunder
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Winner: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

LeBron James usually wins the most significant NBA awards, but this season, Kevin Durant took another step and earned the NBA MVP award. Playing without Russell Westbrook for a significant stretch of the season, Durant single-handedly carried the Thunder to the second-best record in the West, averaging 32 ppg.

Runner-up: LeBron James, Miami Heat

Best NFL Player

Peyton Manning Broncos
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Best NFL Player

Peyton Manning Broncos
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Winner: Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

At 37 years old, Peyton Manning had the most prolific passing season in NFL history. He set all-time records for most yards (5,477) and touchdowns (55). Under Manning's guidance, the Broncos scored the most points in NFL history (606) and made an appearance in Super Bowl 48.

Runner-up: LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles

Best NHL Player

Henrik Lundqvist Rangers
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Best NHL Player

Henrik Lundqvist Rangers
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Winner: Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers

The 2013-14 NHL season will be remembered as Henrik Lundqvist's year. The New York Rangers' goaltender went 33-24-5 in 63 regular season games, won three postseason Game 7's, and helped get the Rangers back to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since their 1994 Stanley Cup Championship team.

Runner-up: Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks

Best Play

Chris Davis Auburn
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Best Play

Chris Davis Auburn
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Winner: Chris Davis' 108-Yard Field Goal Return

Known simply as "The Kick Six," Auburn's Chris Davis returned a missed 57-yard field goal attempt 109 yards to the end zone, giving the Tigers a 34-28 victory. That play dethroned the Crimson Tide from an opportunity to play in their third consecutive BCS National Championship game.

Runner-up: Damian Lillard buzzer-beater vs. Houston (NBA Playoffs)

Best Team

Tony Parker Spurs
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Best Team

Tony Parker Spurs
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Winner: San Antonio Spurs (NBA)

This is perhaps the closest race to call, as both the Seattle Seahawks and the San Antonio Spurs are worthy of being the best team, but given the domination that the Spurs gave to the team that stole a championship away from them a season ago, and the nation's hatred of the Miami Heat, I think the Spurs will win this award, but it wouldn't surprise me if Seattle won.

Runner-up: Seattle Seahawks (NFL)

Biggest Upset

Mercer Bears
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Biggest Upset

Mercer Bears
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Winner: Mercer vs. Duke (NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament)

In the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the Mercer Bears were heavy underdogs against national power Duke and their terrific tandem of Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood. Instead of wilting under pressure, the Bears took it to the Blue Devils, defeating them 78-71.

Runner-up: Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva (UFC 162)