The 15 Biggest Upsets To Ever Rock the Sports World

By Brian Kalchik

The 15 Biggest Upsets To Ever Rock the Sports World

Buster Douglas
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Every sporting event we watch has the potential to create an awe-inspiring moment or series of big plays. Even when the odds are stacked against one team, the potential for an all-time upset is always within reach. Here are the 15 biggest upsets to ever rock the sports world.

15. 2007 Fiesta Bowl: Boise State vs. Oklahoma

Ian Johnson Boise State
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15. 2007 Fiesta Bowl: Boise State vs. Oklahoma

Ian Johnson Boise State
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Prior to 2007, the chances of a team from the WAC making the Fiesta Bowl was as remote as the New Orleans Saints winning the Super Bowl. In 2007, it actually happened as Boise State took on mighty Oklahoma and star RB Adrian Peterson. The Sooners took a seven-point lead with less than two minutes on the clock, but Boise sent the game into overtime. In OT, the Broncos went for two after scoring a touchdown and converted, winning 43-42.

14. 1994 NBA Playoffs: (8) Denver vs. (1) Seattle

Denver Nuggets Seattle SuperSonics
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14. 1994 NBA Playoffs: (8) Denver vs. (1) Seattle

Denver Nuggets Seattle SuperSonics
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Starting out the series down 2-0, the No. 8 seed Denver Nuggets were expected to roll over against the No. 1 seed Seattle SuperSonics. Instead, Denver roared back and sent the series to a decisive Game 5. In Game 5, the Nuggets took the SuperSonics to overtime and won 98-94, becoming the first No. 8 seed to beat a No. 1 seed in playoff history.

13. Super Bowl XXXVI: St. Louis vs. New England

Superbowl XXXVI
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13. Super Bowl XXXVI: St. Louis vs. New England

Superbowl XXXVI
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The St. Louis Rams were about ready to be crowned as a dynasty heading into Super Bowl XXVI, but the New England Patriots stood in their way. The Pats stymied the "Greatest Show On Turf" all day long and led 17-3 going into the fourth quarter. St. Louis responded with two touchdowns, but Adam Vinatieri's kick with no time remaining gave New England the improbable win.

12. 1966 Men's National Basketball Championship: Texas Western vs. Kentucky

Don Haskins
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12. 1966 Men's National Basketball Championship: Texas Western vs. Kentucky

Don Haskins
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Texas Western, coached by Don Haskins, won the national title with a 72–65 victory in the championship over Kentucky, coached by Adolph Rupp. Coach Haskins started five black players for the first time in NCAA basketball history against Rupp's all-white starting five. Their story is chronicled in the movie 'Glory Road'.

11. 1960 World Series: Pittsburgh vs. New York Yankees

Bill Mazeroski Pirates
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11. 1960 World Series: Pittsburgh vs. New York Yankees

Bill Mazeroski Pirates
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In the 1960 World Series, the Pittsburgh Pirates lost three games by 10 or more runs, but took the mighty New York Yankees to seven games. In the seventh game, Pittsburgh's Bill Mazeroski hit a walk-off home run that gave the Pirates a 10-9 win. They won the series despite being outscored 55-27.

10. 1969 World Series: New York Mets vs. Baltimore

1969 World Series
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10. 1969 World Series: New York Mets vs. Baltimore

1969 World Series
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In 1969, the underdog New York Mets faced the dominant Baltimore Orioles in the World Series. Instead of an easy Orioles win, the "Miracle Mets" capped off an improbable season with a 4-1 series win.

9. 1991 Final Four: Duke vs. UNLV

Christian Laettner Duke
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9. 1991 Final Four: Duke vs. UNLV

Christian Laettner Duke
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After losing by 30 to UNLV in the 1990 Men's National Championship, Duke faced the Runnin' Rebels again in the 1991 Men's Final Four. With a 45-game winning streak and undefeated season intact, UNLV was supposed to annihilate Duke again. Instead, the trio of Grant Hill, Christian Laettner and Bobby Hurley upset the Rebels 79-77 on the way to their first national championship under Coach K.

8. 2007: Appalachian State vs.Michigan

Armanti Edwards Appalachian State
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8. 2007: Appalachian State vs.Michigan

Armanti Edwards Appalachian State
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Michigan football has had plenty of great moments over the years, but their worst came in 2007 against FCS-foe Appalachian State. Led by Armanti Edwards, the Mountaineers held a late 34-32 lead. Michigan had a chance to win the game, but a last-second field goal was blocked, securing the monumental upset.

7. 1985 Men's Basketball National Championship: Villanova vs. Georgetown

Patrick Ewing Georgetown
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7. 1985 Men's Basketball National Championship: Villanova vs. Georgetown

Patrick Ewing Georgetown
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Led by Patrick Ewing, the Georgetown Hoyas were favorites to defeat Villanova in the 1985 men's basketball final. Even after defeating Villanova twice in the regular season, the third time was not the charm. Villanova shot 78.6 percent from the floor and outlasted the Hoyas 66-64.

6. 1983 Men's Basketball National Championship: North Carolina State vs. Houston

Jim Valvano North Carolina State
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6. 1983 Men's Basketball National Championship: North Carolina State vs. Houston

North Carolina State
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In 1983, the North Carolina State Wolfpack needed every break to even reach the men's basketball final, and they got it. Against a Houston team that had future Hall-of-Famers in Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler, the underdog Wolfpack got a last-second tip-in by Lorenzo Charles to shock the Cougars, 54-52.

5. 2000 Summer Olympics: Rulon Gardner Upsets Russia's Alexander Karelin

Rulon Gardner Alexander Karelin
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5. 2000 Summer Olympics: Rulon Gardner Upsets Russia's Alexander Karelin

Rulon Gardner Alexandre Karelin
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Before the 2000 Summer Olympics, Russia's Alexander Karelin did not lose a single match for 13 years and never lost an international competition. All of that changed when a kid from Wyoming named Rulon Gardner had the match of his life, upsetting the dominant Russian. During his illustrious career, Karelin lost only two matches.

4. Super Bowl III: New York Jets vs. Baltimore Colts

Joe Namath
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4. Super Bowl III: New York Jets vs. Baltimore Colts

Joe Namath
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Heading into Super Bowl III, the AFL lost both of the previous Super Bowls in convincing fashion. Nothing was expected to be different as the New York Jets faced the powerful Baltimore Colts. This time, Joe Namath guaranteed and came through with a 16-7 upset. The game was a major reason why the AFL and NFL merged.

3. Super Bowl XLII: New York Giants vs. New England

Super Bowl XLII
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3. Super Bowl XLII: New York Giants vs. New England

Super Bowl XLII
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After narrowly losing to the New England Patriots in Week 17 of the 2007 season, the New York Giants had a chance for revenge in Super Bowl XLII. Against the 18-0 Patriots, New York trailed 14-3 with less than two minutes remaining. After David Tyree's miracle catch and Plaxico Burress' go-ahead touchdown, the Giants held on to upset the perfect Pats, 17-14.

2. Buster Douglas vs. Mike Tyson

James (Buster) Douglas
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2. Buster Douglas vs. Mike Tyson

James (Buster) Douglas
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A 42-to-1underdog, Buster Douglas faced Mike Tyson, who at that time was one of the most dominant boxers of all time. Instead of wilting under the pressure, Douglas punched Tyson in the mouth and scored a 10th-round TKO. Douglas would then become fat and lazy while Tyson would turn into one of the biggest trainwrecks in sports history.

1. Miracle On Ice

Miracle On Ice
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1. Miracle On Ice

Miracle On Ice
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After getting blown out in an exhibition game, the amateur USA Hockey team faced the powerful Soviet Union in the medal round of the 1980 Winter Olympics. Behind Mike Eruzione's goal, the U.S. led 4-3, then held off the Soviets' onslaught to shock the world. A couple days later, Team USA defeated Finland to win gold.

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