Sports can be defined in a number of ways, but one word can be used to describe certain teams that overcome adversity to win and that is excellence.
Excellence is a trait that is not built in teams, but is earned.
Underdogs achieve excellence through hard work and determination to upset unbeatable favorites.
Upsets truly make us appreciate sports and how magical it is when a long shot team or individual achieves greatness through unfathomable feats.
Relive 10 of the greatest upsets in American sports history.
In Man O' War's 21 starts, the Horse of the Year in 1920, only lost once in his storied career.
Ironically, it was to a horse named Upset.
In the 1919 Sanford Memorial, 100-1 underdog Upset defeated heavily favored Man O' War winning the day and the hearts of many fans.
The name Upset was given to the horse due to its meaning, which is to overcome extraordinary odds to defeat a more worthy opponent, and that is exactly what Upset accomplished.
Upset would not only shock the horse-racing world, but would help coin a term universally known to sports fans from that day forward.
In maybe the greatest upset in NBA history the eighth seeded Golden State Warriors defeated the top seeded Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the 2007 NBA Playoffs.
Golden State won the series 4-2 with an emphatic 111-86 victory in Game 6 to send the Mavericks and their team record 67 wins home early for the summer.
The Mavericks were considered by many as the favorites to win the 2007 NBA Championship, a title eventually won by the San Antonio Spurs.
The 1994 Nuggets and the 1999 Knicks were the only other No. 8 seeds to defeat a No. 1 seed in the playoffs.
But the Warriors are the only team to knock off a top seed in a best-of-seven series.
The 25-win disparity between the 42-40 Warriors and the 67-15 Mavericks truly showed how remarkable this upset was, and gave Warrior fans new hope for seasons to come.
No team in NFL history had ever finished a season with a 19-0 record and a Super Bowl.
The Patriots' pursuit of perfection was merely seconds away.
Eli Manning's 13-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds left helped the New York Giants deny the New England Patriots a 19-0 season and gave New York a 17-14 victory in Super Bowl XLII.
In Week 17, the Patriots narrowly defeated the Giants 38-35, but perhaps the close loss gave New York the confidence it needed when they found themselves playing New England in the Super Bowl.
Oddsmakers had New York as 12-point underdogs but the Giants never stopped fighting and never stopped believing.
The Patriots were the team chasing perfection, but on this night, it was the Giants who were perfect.
In 2006, George Mason shook not only the basketball world, but the entire foundation of sports.
They became the only first double-digit seed to advance to a Final Four since Louisiana State in 1986.
As an 11th seed, the Patriots defeated powerhouses Michigan State, North Carolina, fellow Cinderella Wichita State and Connecticut in the tournament, of which, UNC and UConn were the two previous national champions.
George Mason's improbable Cinderella ride would end in the Final Four where they would lose in the national semifinal 73-58 to eventual champion Florida.
But in the 2006 Final Four, George Mason of the Colonial Athletic Association, put everything they had on the court and showed the basketball world that dreams can be realized and anything is possible.
He had never been knocked to the canvas.
In his 37-0 career, 33 by way of knockout, Mike Tyson had the power and ferocity not seen in the sport of boxing in years.
Many had already billed Tyson as one of the greatest heavyweight fighters of all time.
Until he fought unknown James "Buster" Douglas on Feb. 11, 1990, in Tokyo.
With a relentless attack in the 10th round, Douglas knocked the 42-1 favorite Tyson down for good, forcing the referee to stop the fight.
The fight turned boxing upside down and even more than 20 years after, the fight is still talked about as a legendary upset.
Georgetown was the epitome of a college basketball powerhouse.
Led by one of the future NBA's 50 Greatest Players, Patrick Ewing, Georgetown looked to be a runaway candidate for the NCAA Championship in 1985, after winning it all in 1984.
Villanova, who lost twice to the Hoyas during the regular season, played near flawless basketball, shooting 78.6 percent from the field on the nation's best defense and winning 66-64 denying Georgetown of back-to-back NCAA Championships.
Villanova needed to play the perfect game to defeat Georgetown, and that is exactly what they did in order to win.
The Wildcats of Villanova showed, at least for one game, that they were the pinnacle of greatness.
Russian wrestler Alexander Karelin had not surrendered a single point during a 10-year span heading into the 2000 Summer Olympics.
He had never lost in 15 years of international competition, and had won three consecutive Olympic gold medals and seven consecutive world titles.
He dominated the world of wrestling until September 27, 2000 in the gold-medal Greco-Roman match in the super heavyweight division.
Karelin faced American Rulon Gardner who had never finished better than fifth in any international wrestling competition.
This was supposed to be another opponent crushed at the hands of Alexander the Great, but on this night it was Gardner who won gold in a stunning 1-0 defeat of Karelin.
Gardner crushed the one-man dynasty of Karelin in Sydney and claimed the gold, solidifying Gardner as one of the biggest underdogs in Olympic history.
Only seven years after coming into existence as a MLB franchise, the 1969 New York "Miracle" Mets, shocked the foundation of the baseball world.
After quickly becoming one of the worst teams in baseball history, the Mets won the NL pennant, reached the World Series, and defeated the Baltimore Orioles to win its first World Series Championship.
After losing 100 games in five of their first seven seasons, the Mets were determined to reverse their fortunes.
The Mets won their final 11 games of the '69 season, swept the Atlanta Braves to advance to the World Series, then defeated the Orioles 4-1 in the World Series.
The Mets, a definite longshot to win prior to the beginning of the season, proved that any team is capable of winning a championship.
Joe Namath guaranteed a win and made sure it happened.
On Jan. 12, 1969, quarterback Joe Namath delivered on his guarantee with his 206 passing yards while completing 17-28 passes, and his New York Jets to a 16-7 win over the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III, in the first game officially known as the "Super Bowl."
Three days before the game, Namath, while accepting an award, responded to a fan saying, “We're going to win, I guarantee it.”
The Colts went an astounding 13-1 during the regular season and were favored by nearly 20 points against the Jets.
But the Jets shocking upset over the Colts in Super Bowl III not only won over fans to the NFL, but helped build the Super Bowl into the ultimate sports spectacle it is today.
It is perhaps the biggest upset ever to occur in sports history.
The Miracle on Ice had every characteristic of what an upset should be.
In the semifinals of the 1980 Winter Olympics the United States went against the Soviet Union team who had routed the Americans earlier in the year 10-3.
The heavily favored Soviets had a team full of full-time hockey players while the United States boasted a group of college and amateur players in a culture not nearly as devoted to hockey as the Soviet Union.
The Soviet Union had won eight of the last nine gold medals in the sport, but the United States had other plans.
Winning by a score of 4-3, the USA shocked the world by not only upsetting the Soviets, but also by defeating Finland 4-2 to claim the gold medal in the 1980 Winter Olympics.