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The List: Clutch teams
Page 2 staff

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The 2001 New York Yankees didn't win another World Series, but they did get us thinking about coming up big in the clutch.

With that in mind, Page 2 offers up its list of the 10 most clutch teams in sports history. To be on our list, a team needs to have won a championship and earned some clutch victories along the way.

Ed Pinckney
Villanova pulled one of the biggest upsets in NCAA basketball history in 1985.
Check out our list, and then see how Page 2 readers ranked their clutch teams. And be sure to vote in the poll to crown the most clutch team in history.

1. 1984-85 Villanova men's basketball team
Rollie Massimino's Wildcats were close to perfection from the floor (22-for-28) and the free-throw line (22-for-27) to upset heavily-favored Georgetown in the NCAA title game.

2. 1986 New York Mets
The Mets staged great comebacks in Game 6 of the NLCS against Houston and Game 6 in the World Series against the Red Sox (the Buckner Game).

3. 1953-54 Milan High School
The "Hoosiers" team, the only small school ever to win the Indiana state prep title, upsetting Muncie Central in the finals on a last-second shot by Bobby Plump (Jimmy Chitwood in the movie).

4. 1993 Montreal Canadiens
Set an NHL record with 10 overtime wins en route to the Stanley Cup title, including an NHL-record six on the road and an NHL-record tying four at home. (They played 20 games in the playoff that year, 10 went into OT and they won all of them). Current Flyer John LeClair scored two of the OT winners in the finals for Montreal.

Kevin Dyson
The 1999-2000 Rams held off the Titans by one yard to win their first Super Bowl.
5. 1999 St. Louis Rams
Came out of nowhere behind unknown QB Kurt Warner to make the playoffs, nipped Tampa Bay in an NFC championship defensive struggle, and stopped the Titans on the 1-yard-line as time expired to win the Super Bowl after taking the lead on a 73-yard TD toss to Isaac Bruce with 1:54 remaining.

5. 1991 Minnesota Twins
Kirby Puckett's great catch and homer in Game 6 and Jack Morris' classic 10-inning, 1-0 masterpiece over John Smoltz and the Braves in Game 7 (plus Chuck Knoblauch's game-saving deke of Lonnie Smith in the eighth inning) led the small-market Twinkies to their second World Series title in five years.

6. 1997-98 Chicago Bulls
Running on fumes with Scottie Pippen injured in Finals, Michael Jordan stole the ball from Karl Malone and made the Finals-ending shot in Utah for the Bulls' third straight NBA title and sixth in eight years. (You knew we'd have an MJ team on the list.)

Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan saved the Bulls several times during the 1998 Finals.
7. 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates
Outscored overall by the Yankees by an overwhelming margin, the Bucs won four one-run games, including a classic Game 7 on Mazeroski's homer in the bottom of the ninth.

8. 1968-69 Boston Celtics
Boston beat the L.A. Lakers (with Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor) on the road in Game 7. The Celts also won an earlier game on a buzzer-beater by Sam Jones.

9. 1994-95 Houston Rockets
"Clutch City" was born in Houston in '95. The Rockets might have struggled in the regular season (finishing sixth in the West with a 47-35 record), but the defending champs were unbeatable in the playoffs. Houston became the first team to eliminate four 50-win teams (including rallying from a 3-1 deficit to defeat Phoenix in the West semis) as they swept Shaq's Magic out of the Finals.

10. 1958 Baltimore Colts
Led by Johnny Unitas, the Colts came back to tie the NFL title game late, then beat the New York Giants 23-17 in overtime in "The Greatest Game Ever Played."

Also receiving votes:
  • 1969-70 New York Knicks: Beat the Lakers (with Wilt and West) twice -- Game 5 and Game 7 -- after Knicks center Willis Reed was seriously injured, and was able to play only a few minutes in the title game.

  • 1979-80 L.A. Lakers: Rookie point guard Magic Johnson played center, scoring 42 points, in Game 6 after Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was injured.

  • 1991-92 Duke Blue Devils: Beat Kentucky in East Regional finals on Christian Laettner's miracle shot and went on to win second straight title.

  • 1988-89 San Francisco 49ers: In one of Joe Montana's most clutch moments, the Niners drove 92 yards for a TD with 34 seconds left to edge the Bengals in the Super Bowl

  • 1999-2000 New Jersey Devils: Set an NHL record with 10 road playoff wins and rebounded from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Flyers in the Eastern Conference finals.

  • 1983-84 Boston Celtics: Gerald Henderson steals the ball to save Game 2 of the Finals, then the C's win in OT on the road in L.A. in Game 4 and finish off the series in seven.

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