The Top 10 Games of 2010 Part One (10-6): Out with the Old and in with the New

Adrian FedkiwAnalyst IIIDecember 31, 2010

The Top 10 Games of 2010 Part One (10-6): Out with the Old and in with the New

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    INDIANAPOLIS - APRIL 05:  Confetti falls as the Duke Blue Devils celebrate after they won 61-59 against the Butler Bulldogs during the 2010 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 5, 2010 in Indianapolis,
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Back in the day, Sportscenter did a yearly countdown of the Top 10 games of the year.  Over the last couple of years, ESPN decided to get rid of that and stick with their annual Year in Review show.

    Well, I decided to construct my own list.  Feel free to make your own Top 10 lists if you'd like.

    Before I get into my installation, here are some games that didn't make the list.

    • NFC Wild Card- Green Bay at Arizona
    • NCAA Football- Boise State at Nevada
    • NCAA Basketball Tournament Second Rd- Kansas vs Northern Iowa
    • PGA Championship- Winner- Martin Kaymer
    • Breeder's Cup- Zenyatta loses
    • NCAA Women's Basketball- Connecticut at Stanford
    • ALCS Gm 1- NY Yankees at Texas
    • World Cup Group C- USA vs. Slovenia
    • World Cup Group C- USA vs. Algeria
    • NBA Finals Gm 7- Boston at LA Lakers
    • Super Bowl XLIV- New Orleans vs. Indianapolis

    Tune in tomorrow to see who will crack the Top Five!

10. NFC Championship- Minnesota at New Orleans (No- 31-28 OT)

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    NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 24:  Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings adjusts his helmeti against the New Orleans Saints during the NFC Championship Game at the Louisiana Superdome on January 24, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints won 31-28 in overti
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    In all honesty, this game wasn't exactly the best played game of all-time.  It was sloppy and brutal to watch at times.  But, you can't ignore the storylines...

    You had the great Brett Favre trying to guide the Vikings to the Super Bowl in possibly his last season. (Turns out he came back, AGAIN).  As for New Orleans, it was five years after Hurricane Katrina and the Saints were "America's Team" for the time being.

    In typical Favre fashion, the spotlight was on him in the closing minutes of regulation.  The score was tied at 28, and the Vikings were within field goal range with less than 30 seconds remaining.

    The critical play of the game came after a timeout as the Vikings were called for a 12 men in the huddle penalty.  Not only was it inexcusable for Minnesota to have that sort of penalty after a timeout, the penalty took the ball back to the Saint's 38-yard line.  Instead of a potential 50-yard field goal to win the game, Vikings kicker Ryan Longwell suddenly had the daunting task of hitting from 55 yards.

    On the 3rd-and-15, Favre took a chance and paid for it.  Saints cornerback Tracy Porter picked off Favre to send the game into overtime.

    In the extra session, the Saints won the toss, drove down the field and kicked the game-winning field goal to send them to the Super Bowl.

    Favre set three NFL career postseason records in the game—most pass attempts, passing yards and interceptions.

    As for New Orleans, the Saints dispatched the favorited Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl to win their first Lombardi Trophy.   

9. World Cup Quarterfinals- Ghana Vs Uruguay (Uru- 1-1 PK)

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    JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 02:  Asamoah Gyan of Ghana shoots a late penalty high during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Quarter Final match between Uruguay and Ghana at the Soccer City stadium on July 2, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa.  (P
    Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

    Has there ever been such an exciting finish to a World Cup Game?  Unbelievable!!!  Everything the last minute into extra-time was completely jaw-dropping.  By far, the best game of the tournament in my opinion.

    Uruguay’s Luis Suarez did the smartest thing I’ve ever seen on a soccer pitch.  If you haven’t seen it yet, Ghana had a sure goal.  Luis Suarez, to avoid elimination in the World Cup, batted the ball out and away from goal.  I realize people have stated that he cheated; I thought he became a hero that will live in the hearts of Uruguayan’s forever.

    Then, on the penalty kick, Gyan boinked it off the bar.  Like Dick Enberg always says, “OH MY!”

    This seems like the perfect time to state that a draw would’ve been the fair result in this one.  Over the course of the contest, neither side really stood out stronger than the other.

    For Ghana, this is obviously completely heartbreaking.  They were the only African team left in an African World Cup.  No African team has ever reached the semifinals of the World Cup.  To come so close, in Africa too, your hearts have to go out to the lads.   

    Uruguay became the first South American team since 1970, not Argentina or Brazil, that reached the semifinals of the World Cup.

8. MLB Divisional Playoffs- Cincinnati at Philadelphia Game 1 (Phi- 4-0)

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    PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 06:  Roy Halladay #34 and Carlos Ruiz #51 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrate Halladay's no-hitter and the win in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Cincinnati Reds at Citizens Bank Park on October 6, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvan
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    For 12 years, Roy Halladay waited for an occasion like this—an opportunity to finally pitch in the playoffs.  Way to make a debut!

    Grant it, it wasn't a no-hitter in the World Series (1956- Don Larsen's perfect game), but it was a heck of a pitching performance.  What made it even more incredible was that he pitched a perfect game against the Florida Marlins in May.

    On the day Halladay threw 104 pitches, striking out eight and walking just one.  He fired 25-of-28 first pitch strikes.  Against the No. 1 ranked offense statistically in the National League, the Doc was simply in control.

    Some baseball experts have proclaimed that the San Francisco Giant's Tim Lincecum's pitching performance just a day later against the Atlanta Braves was more dominant.  Lincecum threw a two-hitter, striking out 14.

7. NCAA Football- Auburn at Alabama (Aub- 28-27)

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    TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 26:  Quarterback Cam Newton #2 of the Auburn Tigers looks to pass against C.J. Mosley #32 of the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 26, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Coming into the game, some felt that Auburn didn't belong in the BCS Championship Game.  Those opinions changed after a game in which the Tigers came back from a 24-point second quarter deficit against the defending BCS Champs in the Iron Bowl.

    Auburn quarterback Cam Newton was the clear-cut Heisman favorite coming into the game, but when the contest was over, Newton had his Heisman moment.

    On the day Newton threw for 216 yards and three touchdowns on 13-of-20 passing.  His 7-yard touchdown flip to Philip Lutzenkirchen with three minutes left put Auburn ahead for good. 

    Auburn's comeback was the largest in school history, and Alabama's 20-game home winning streak was snapped.

6. NCAA Basketball Tournament Sweet 16- Kansas State vs Xavier (KSU- 101-96 2OT)

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    SALT LAKE CITY - MARCH 25:  Jordan Crawford #55 of the Xavier Musketeers hits a three point shot over Curtis Kelly #24 of the Kansas State Wildcats to force double overtime during the west regional semifinal of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    I thought Gus Johnson was going to have a heart attack. 

    Contested three-point shots just kept falling for both teams.  Whether is was Xavier's Jordan Crawford or Kansas State's Jacob Pullen.  Crawford had 32 while Pullen put in 28. 

    The game should've ended in regulation if K-State could've just held onto a 15-point lead.  Xavier just kept clawing and grinding back into it until they finally tied it up with five-seconds remaining.  The Musketeers Terrell Holloway knocked down three free throws to tie it after being inexplicably fouled beyond the three-point line.

    In overtime, Xavier's Jordan Crawford drilled an astonishing 32-footer to tie the game up with 19-seconds to force a second overtime.

    The Wildcats Jacob Pullen took over in the second overtime.  He nailed a three to give Kansas State a three point advantage with 33 seconds to go. 

    When Xavier's Dante Jackson misfired on a three with 12 seconds left, the marathon was finally over.

    Kansas State lost two days later in the Elite Eight to Butler.