Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Best Games/Events of the Year

This may have been the game that finally convinced the world that the Giants were capable of winning their first World Series title in 56 years and that Buster Posey, who went 4-for-5, was a special player. The Giants had already beaten two of the Phillies' vaunted H2O in Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels, and in Game 4 they beat Roy Oswalt, making a rare relief appearance, in the ninth inning, rallying for victory on Juan Uribe's sacrifice fly. Earlier, the Phillies had overcome a 3-0 deficit to score four in the fifth but the Giants got two in the sixth to take the lead before the Phillies drew even in the eighth.

Kansas got Farokhmanesh'd, plain and simple. After the top-seeded Jayhawks, who entered the NCAA tournament as the favorite, stormed back with full-court pressure to reduce a 12-point second-half deficit to one, Ali Farokhmanesh delivered the game's signature play. The Northern Iowa guard got the ball in the open court with 38 seconds left in the game and 30 seconds on the shot clock. But instead of pulling it out and burning some clock, Farokhmanesh stroked a back-breaking three, all but sealing the tournament's biggest upset.

Khan was the skilled technician with the dodgy chin. Maidana was the crude slugger with the slightly less dodgy chin. Khan sprinted out to an early lead on the scorecards when they met for his WBA junior welterweight title in Las Vegas, but Maidana roared back down the stretch -- nearly knocking out Khan in the 10th round. In the end, Khan survived and won a slim unanimous decision.

The highest-scoring game of the 2009-2010 season ended in dramatic and controversial fashion. First, Deron Williams' jumper with 1.1 seconds left in overtime gave host Utah a one-point lead; then, the Jazz's C.J. Miles blocked Kevin Durant's three-pointer on a play on which the Thunder pleaded for a foul call, to no avail. (The next day, the NBA said Miles should've been called for a foul, which would've sent Durant, a 90 percent free-throw shooter, to the line for three shots.) Williams finished with 42 points, 10 assists and one turnover, teammate Carlos Boozer collected 28 points and 15 rebounds and Durant had 45 points in a game Boozer described

"We always name our trick plays after movies," Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio explained to a stunned viewing public after the game. This one was called "Little Giants." With Dan Conroy lined up for a 46-yard field goal to tie the game in overtime, holder Aaron Bates took the snap. Then Bates stood up. Scanning the field, he found Charlie Gantt open downfield and connected for a 29-yard game-winning touchdown. The play would have lived in Spartans lore regardless, but it became even more infamous in light of two postgame developments: video evidence that Michigan State had failed to snap the ball before the play clock expired and Dantonio's heart attack mere hours later.
In Stockholm, Gay (9.84) beat Bolt (9.97) for the first time and handed the world's fastest man his first 100-meter loss since July 2008.

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