The greatest year in sports history, 2008 had something for everyone.
The Detroit Red Wings earned their rightful place as "Hockeytown," beating the Penguins in six games. Henrik Zetterberg, who had also won a gold medal at the Olympics and the World Championships, earned the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoffs MVP.
Tiger Woods won his most recent major to date, overcoming a bad knee to force a playoff with Rocco Mediate at the U.S. Open that came down to the 18th hole. There, he birdied to take the title.
Fresno State shocked the baseball world by winning the College World Series over the Georgia Bulldogs, becoming the lowest-ranked team (fourth in its region) to win the prize in Omaha.
The Tampa Bay Rays enjoyed their first winning season in franchise history and then won a thrilling seven-game ALCS by beating the defending champion Boston Red Sox 3-1 in the final game. The Chicago White Sox earned their playoff ticket with a 1-0 win against the Minnesota Twins in a regular-season tiebreaker.
Even the All-Star Game was a classic, going to 15 innings before the American League won, 4-3. However, it was the Philadelphia Phillies who won baseball's crown, as pitcher Cole Hamels won both NLCS and World Series MVP honors.
For the first time in 21 years, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers met in the NBA Finals. After an epic 24-point comeback in the second half won Game 4 for the Celtics, Boston clinched the series in Game 6 to give the franchise its first Finals win in 22 years. Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce finally earned their own long-awaited rings.
The Davidson Wildcats, led by sharpshooter (and future Golden State Warrior Stephen Curry) thrilled the nation by advancing to the Elite Eight, where they lost by one point to the Kansas Jayhawks.
The Jayhawks eventually made it to the title game, where they trailed Memphis 75-68 in the final minute. After a furious comeback and some missed free throws by the Tigers, future NBA champion Mario Chalmers hit a three-pointer to tie the game in regulation. Kansas eventually won in overtime for its first title in 20 years.
You want college or pro? We got both.
Texas Tech shocked Texas 39-33 on a last-play Michael Crabtree touchdown. This came after Oregon State upset No. 1 USC 27-21 in Corvallis and Ole Miss beat No. 4 Florida 31-30, in a loss that the Gators overcame to eventually win the title.
In the NFL, the New York Giants ended the Patriots' attempt at the first-ever 19-0 season by beating them 17-14 in the Super Bowl on a last-minute drive keyed by a 32-yard pass play from Eli Manning to David Tyree, which Tyree caught by pinning the ball against his helmet as he fell to the ground.
Plaxico Burress caught the winning pass with 35 seconds left to give the Giants the lead and eventually the win. This went down as one of the biggest sports upsets of all time.
In the pool, Michael Phelps won a borderline-unreal eight gold medals. Two of them were earned in a couple of the greatest, most heart-stopping swim races in history. Trailing in the 100m butterfly to Serbia's Milorad Cavic, Phelps took one last big stroke to win the race by literally a fingernail (50.58 to Cavic's 50.59).
Days later, in the men's 4x100 freestyle relay, U.S. anchor leg Jason Lezak came from behind against France's Alain Bernard (who was brash and outspoken prior to the Games regarding his team's chances against the Americans) to win by 0.08 seconds, keeping Phelps' record chase alive. Lezak's split time of 46.06 in the race was the fastest split ever recorded in the event.
On the track, Jamaica's Usain Bolt took the world by storm, winning both the 100-meter (9.69 seconds) and 200-meter (19.30) races, setting world records in both events. Bolt and his teammates (Nesta Carter, Michael Frater and Asafa Powell) also broke the world record in the 4x100 meter relay, finishing in 37.1 seconds.
Rafael Nadal beat Roger Federer 6-4, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-7(8), 9-7 in the Wimbledon final, a match that has since gone down as one of the greatest in the sport's history.
For all of these various reasons, 2008 is the greatest single year in sports history.