Most Dramatic Moments of the Week

Garrett BakerSenior Analyst IApril 11, 2014

Most Dramatic Moments of the Week

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    Another week, another bunch of exciting and dramatic plays in the world of sports.

    With the NCAA tournament wrapping up, baseball season getting underway and the NHL and NBA seasons rolling toward the playoffs, there's no shortage of action to choose from.

    Here are the 12 most dramatic moments from the past week in sports.

Derek Jeter's Final Opening Day at Yankee Stadium

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    Kathy Willens

    After a storied career with the New York Yankees, Derek Jeter will retire following this season. On Monday, he took part in his last Opening Day in New York.

    The three other members of the Yankees' old "Core Four," Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada, were all on hand for pregame festivities and threw out first pitches.

    The 39-year-old ended up going 1-for-4 on the day while also scoring a run to help the Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles.

Aaron Harrison Wins Another One for Kentucky

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    Just last week, we were talking about Aaron Harrison and his incredible game-winning three-pointer against Michigan to send Kentucky to the Final Four.

    Well, the Wildcats needed heroics in that Final Four matchup with Wisconsin, and Harrison delivered yet again. The freshman guard really seems to have ice in his veins.

    With Kentucky down by two, Harrison got the ball deep behind the line and put up a shot with about seven seconds left to play that stroked through the rim and sent the fans wearing blue into a frenzy.

Indiana Pacers Continue Their Skid

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    Ron Hoskins/Getty Images

    What's going on with Paul George and the Indiana Pacers? Earlier this season, they looked like a team that could possibly unseat LeBron James and the Miami Heat from the top of the Eastern Conference. But an awful loss to the Atlanta Hawks Sunday night showed the Pacers' shortcomings, with their brutal offense causing the whole team to suffer.

    Deadspin called it Indiana's "rock bottom," and it has a real case there. After the loss to Atlanta, the Pacers fell to 3-8 in their last 11 games and 7-12 in their previous 19, with losing streaks of four and three games and a few blowouts along the way.

    The Pacers need to fix what's ailing them quickly or else an early round playoff exit is inevitable. And putting in their backups isn't exactly a long-term solution.

Minnesota Wins in Frozen Four at the Buzzer

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    It's extremely rare for a hockey game to end in a buzzer-beater, and it's even more special when it happens in such a big game. With a trip to the national championship game on the line, perennial powers Minnesota and North Dakota were locked in a fierce battle that went down to the wire.

    North Dakota had a power play and an offensive zone faceoff with 9.6 seconds left, but Minnesota got the puck and raced up the ice for one last chance. 

    With the clock winding down, Justin Holl got off a quick wrister that beat the goalie as the clock ticked to zero, giving the Golden Gophers an amazing victory.

Real Madrid Almost Blow It

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    Martin Meissner

    "This is ridiculous. Bonkers. Bizarre."

    This gulp by The Guardian's John Ashdown during his live coverage of the match was the most poignant description of Tuesday night's Champions League matchup between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund.

    After Madrid won the first leg 3-0, Dortmund would have needed to win the game by at least four goals to advance, which seemed incredibly unlikely against such a formidable opponent. But Dortmund scored twice in the first half on two bad plays from Madrid, who looked unorganized all night.

    Dortmund pressed harder and harder in the second frame, but they could not finish, despite a number of quality chances.

    It doesn't get much more dramatic than that for world football.

LeBron Gets Stuffed at the Buzzer

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    In a heated game in Miami Tuesday night, the Brooklyn Nets looked sharp and gave the Miami Heat all they could handle.

    But an errant shot with 10 seconds left gave the Heat the ball while down just one point, and it looked like they could come away with a win. LeBron got the ball in the paint and launched up for what would have been a game-winning slam.

    Instead, Mason Plumlee rose up to meet James and absolutely stuffed him in front of the rim for a spectacular finish. If you look at the second video on the Deadspin website, which shows the play in extreme slow motion, it looks like a clean block as well.

    Try telling that to LeBron, though.

Ryan Johansen Keeps CBJ in Position for Playoffs

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    The Columbus Blue Jackets had only made the playoffs once in their 13-year existence, but they were in prime position to qualify this season.

    On Tuesday, they held the final playoff spot by four points over the Washington Capitals, who won that night and temporarily closed the gap to two points.

    But the Jackets went into overtime, and 21-year-old Ryan Johansen scored a beautiful goal on the break to set off mayhem in Nationwide Arena, giving Columbus a little cushion with just three games remaining on the schedule.

    They have since qualified for the playoffs for just the second time in franchise history.

Wild Finish in Cali

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    USA TODAY Sports

    It looked like there would be another slide this week with some form of the headline "Steph Curry Does It Yet Again," but this time, he was upstaged by Kenneth Faried.

    Curry hit a floater to put the Golden State Warriors up 99-98 with just a few seconds left on the clock, but the Denver Nuggets got back up the floor and called a timeout.

    Then, Faried took the inbounds pass, backed down toward the basket and put up a tough turnaround shot that went in with just 0.5 seconds left on the clock to give Denver a big win.

UConn Topples Kentucky in National Championship

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    David J. Phillip

    The national championship game didn't have any buzzer-beaters or spectacular finishes, but it was an entertaining, albeit sloppily played, game. No. 7 UConn outlasted No. 8 Kentucky to win its second championship of the decade.

    The Huskies have had a particularly interesting storyline over the past year or so, having legendary coach John Calhoun leave, getting booted from the Big East Conference and receiving some heavy sanctions that included a banning from last year's tournament.

    But just like he did all tournament, Shabazz Napier (who won Final Four MOP) led the charge with 22 points and helped UConn get back to the promised land. 

Shabazz Napier Calls out NCAA on National Stage

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    After UConn took down Kentucky and went out on stage to celebrate, surrounded by confetti, the whole sports world was focused on CBS' Jim Nantz as he took the microphone up on stage.

    Shabazz Napier asked for everyone's attention and then said that "this is what happens when you (the NCAA) ban us," referring to the sanctions that UConn was hit with last year that banned it from the tournament. Nantz visibly stumbled before quickly wrapping up the interview and moving on.

    After the game, Napier told the media that he goes to bed starving some nights, which shows where he stands on the whole "pay-for-play" debate that the nation is waging right now. 

Just How Fast Is Billy Hamilton?

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    Jeff Roberson

    It is legitimately a dramatic series of events every time Cincinnati Reds rookie Billy Hamilton gets on base. Blink and you might miss him entirely.

    When you watch the video of Hamilton stretching a routine single into a double, you begin to realize that you're watching something special. Then watch him score from third (after stealing second) while tagging up on a pop fly that just barely reaches the outfield, and you'll know for sure that you are watching something special.

    Hamilton's speed has been the stuff of legend for over a year now, and it really began while he was tearing up the minor leagues.

    In the minors, Hamilton stole bases at will and was timed at 14 seconds on an inside-the-park home run. Last year, he stole four bases in his MLB start, and this spring, he was timed at 3.3 from home to first, which is up there for the fastest ever, per CBS Sports' Jon Heyman.

    The point? We may have never seen a player this fast in baseball history. In a league obsessed with numbers, Hamilton will threaten to shake things up with his unbelievable speed. This is just the beginning.

Red Wings Qualify for Playoffs with Late Heroics

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    The Detroit Red Wings had qualified for the playoffs 22 straight years before this one, an incredible record that was prolonged Wednesday night.

    The Wings needed just one point from a heated game with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and they got it in an enthralling way when Riley Sheahan scored a goal off a weird slap shot with just over a minute to play in the third period.

    After an equally exciting overtime period, the two teams went into overtime and Marc-Andre Fleury put in his bit for save of the year, which eventually led to a Penguins victory.