Vince Young almost single-handedly led Texas to its first national title in 35 years with a performance of legendary proportions. The electrifying quarterback was 30-of-40 passing for 267 yards and rushed for 200 yards and three touchdowns -- including the game-winning 8-yard scamper with 19 seconds left -- to lift the Longhorns to a thrilling 41-38 victory over No. 1 USC in the Rose Bowl.
2 of 32Brad Mangin/SI
Barry Bonds Hits No. 715
In the last game before an East Coast road swing, Bonds gave the Bay Area crowd what it hoped to see -- a mammoth 445-foot homer to center that pushed him past Babe Ruth's 714 into second place on the career home run list. After their 6-3 loss to the Rockies, Bonds' teammates toasted him with champagne. "Age ain't catching up with me," the 41-year-old slugger said.
3 of 32Noah Graham/Getty Images
Toronto Raptors vs. L.A. Lakers
In the second-biggest scoring binge in NBA history, Kobe Bryant poured in 81 points in 41 minutes, hitting 28-of-46 from the field, 7-of-13 from long range, and 18-of-20 from the free-throw line. The Raptors actually entered the second half with a 14-point lead, but Kobe outscored them 56-41 in the second half as the Lakers pulled out a 122-104 win.
4 of 32Al Tielemans/SI
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Indianapolis Colts
The Steelers dominated for almost four quarters but the final minutes were crazy. Troy Polamalu (left) picked off a Peyton Manning pass, started to run, fumbled and recovered the ball. Replay ruled the pass incomplete and Indy went on to score a TD that cut their deficit to 21-18. The Steelers got the ball deep in Colts territory with less than two minutes left, but Jerome Bettis fumbled. Indy's Nick Harper recovered and was racing for the winning TD. Miraculously, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger tripped Harper near midfield. The usually reliable Mike Vanderjagt then missed the tying 46-yard field goal in the final second.
5 of 32Harry How/Getty Images
Edmonton Oilers vs. San Jose Sharks
On the brink of falling into an 0-3 hole in the series, the gritty Oilers returned home and bombarded Sharks' netminder Vesa Toskala with 58 shots. Edmonton needed every one of them. Raffi Torres of the Oilers tied the game 2-2 with a wrister at 13:13 of the third period. Joe Thornton nearly won it for the Sharks, but his shot hit the post and the teams had to battle into a third OT period before Edmonton's Ryan Smyth backhanded a pass from behind the net to Shawn Horcoff (left), who poked the puck past the fallen Toskala at the 2:24 mark.
6 of 32David Bergman/SI
Louisville Cardinals vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights
A week after Louisville booted West Virginia from the ranks of the unbeaten, upstart Rutgers asserted itself as a Big East contender in front of a national TV audience and delirious home crowd. After erasing an 11-point halftime deficit, Rutgers got a crucial 26-yard catch by senior fullback Brian Leonard in Cardinals' territory, but junior kicker Jeremy Ito missed the ensuing game-winning 33-yard field goal attempt with 18 seconds left. Ito got a reprieve when Louisville was called offside and converted his second attempt.
7 of 32AP
Florida Marlins vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Less than three months removed from Class AA ball, in just his 13th big-league start, 22-year-old rookie right-hander Anibal Sanchez shut down the Diamondbacks with a 2-0 no-hitter in Miami. "This is the best moment of my life," the teary Venezuelan said afterward.
8 of 32Clive Brunskill/Getty Images, AP
Rafael Nadal vs. Roger Federer
This match had it all. No. 1 vs. No. 2. Breathtaking action. Squandered match points. A fifth set tie-breaker win by Nadal -- 6-7 (0-7), 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7-5). A dash of bad blood. Why can't they call be like this?
9 of 32Al Tielemans/SI
Phil Mickelson had won two consecutive majors, and 69 holes into the Open he looked as if he would join Ben Hogan and Tiger Woods as the only players to win three in a row. But Lefty double-bogeyed the 72nd hole, as did Colin Montgomerie, enabling Geoff Ogilvy to become the first Australian in 25 years to win the tournament.
10 of 32Bill Frakes/SI
Defying critics who doubted that he could win after a five-week layoff, the amazing colt Barbaro seized the roses by a commanding 6 1/2 lengths, the largest margin since 1946 and the fifth-largest ever.
11 of 32Marvin Gentry/US PRESSWIRE
Coming out of Turn 2 on the final lap at Talladega, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. headed down the backstretch with Jimmie Johnson and Brian Vickers not far behind. When Johnson pulled down to pass, Vickers made a mistake and tapped the rear of Johnson's car, sending it into Earnhardt's and clearing the way for the 23-year-old Vickers to steal his first Nextel Cup win. Taking the checkers under a chorus of boos, the youngster appeared to have fouled up his teammate's championship chances. Vickers and Junior nearly ended their friendship and didn't speak for a week after the incident.
12 of 32Greg Nelson/SI
Dallas Mavericks vs. San Antonio Spurs
The Mavs ran out to an early 20-point lead before Tim Duncan (41 points, 15 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks) and the Spurs clawed back, going up by three on Manu Ginobili's trey with 32 seconds left. Ginobili went from hero to zero by fouling Dirk Nowitzki (37 points, 15 rebounds) as the Dallas star made a lay-up. Nowitzki added the free throw to tie the game. Ginobili then missed the potential go-ahead shot in the closing seconds of regulation. Dallas won, 119-111, in OT.
13 of 32Bob Rosato/SI
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Seattle Seahawks
In what would be the final game of Jerome Bettis' career, the Steelers beat the Seahawks 21-10 for the franchise's fifth NFL championship. Hines Ward caught five passes for 123 yards and one TD (thrown by fellow WR Antwaan Randle El) to earn Super Bowl MVP honors. Pittsburgh running back Willie Parker broke off a Super Bowl-record 75-yard TD.
14 of 32Erick W. Rasco/SI
New York Mets vs. St. Louis Cardinals
In the sixth inning, with the score 1-1, Endy Chavez of the Mets leapt high over the eight-foot high fence in left field to rob the Cardinals' Scott Rolen of a sure home run, pulling off one of the most memorable postseason catches ever. But the Mets lost, 3-1.
15 of 32John Biever/SI
George Mason vs. UCONN
George Mason, a suburban commuter school located in Fairfax, Va., became the ultimate Cinderella story in 2006. After upsetting perennial powers Michigan State and North Carolina on their way to the Elite Eight, the Patriots stunned No. 1 seed Connecticut 86-84 in overtime to complete an unbelievable run to the Final Four. Mason became only the first team from the tiny Colonial Athletic Association to advance to the national semifinals, where it would lose to eventual champion Florida.
16 of 32David E. Klutho/SI
Carolina Hurricanes vs. Edmonton Oilers
The two scrappy, unlikely finalists faced-off for the Cup in Carolina's tumultuous RBC Center with the 'Canes taking a 2-0 lead after two periods on unlikely goals from low-scoring defensemen Frantisek Kaberle and Aaron Ward. Rookie goaltender Cam Ward justified his Conn Smythe Trophy with a brilliant 22-save performance spoiled only by Fernando Pisani's tally in the third period. Justin Williams iced the Cup by scoring with 1:01 left as Edmonton's Chris Pronger made a futile dive to stop the puck before it entered the empty net.
17 of 32Al Tielemans/SI
Michigan Wolverines vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
The first No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in the rivalry's 103-game series ended with the Buckeyes outlasting the Wolverines, 42-39, at Ohio Stadium. Playing spiritedly for the memory of former head coach Bo Schembechler, who passed away the day before the big game, Michigan rallied from a 28-14 halftime deficit to within three points by game's end. Eventual Heisman Trophy-winner Troy Smith was 29 of 41 for 316 yards and four TDs. Junior wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. hauled in eight receptions for 108 yards.
18 of 32Bob Martin/SI
Amelie Mauresmo vs. Justine Henin-Hardenne
No histrionics. No dubious injuries. No eardrum-splitting grunts. No flagrant coaching. (OK, maybe a little.) Just a fine, well-fought 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory by Mauresmo (left) in a match between the most complete players in the women's game.
19 of 32Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox
The longest nine-inning game in major-league history -- a numbing 4 hours 45 minutes -- ended in a 14-11 win by the Yankees, who began a five-game sweep of the Red Sox in the day-night doubleheader at Fenway Park that began at 1:10 p.m. and ended at 12:52 a.m. "I don't even remember half of it," Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter said.
20 of 32John W. McDonough/SI
Phoenix Suns vs. L.A. Lakers
The upstart Lakers seemed ready to put away the Pacific champion Suns, but Tim Thomas tied it with a three-pointer with 6.3 seconds left in regulation. The Suns stormed back to win 126-118 in OT even though Kobe Bryant scored 50 (including 12 of the Lakers' 13 points in OT). Steve Nash had 32 points and 13 assists as the Suns forced Game 7, which they won by 31.
21 of 32AP
Chicago Bears vs. Arizona Cardinals
Coach Denny Green's infamous Monday night postgame meltdown ("The Bears were who we thought they were!") was the icing on a bitter cake for the Cardinals, who squandered leads of 20-0 at halftime and 23-3 in the second half and lost 24-23. The Bears scored only three points on offense, but returned two Arizona fumbles for TDs and got the game-winner on an 83-yard punt return by Devin Hester with 2:58 left to play.
22 of 32AP
New York Yankees vs. Texas Rangers
Down 9-0 to the Rangers after an inning and a half, the Yankees fought back, capping off an historical rally with a two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth off the bat of Jorge Posada that gave them a 14-13 win. The comeback matched the biggest in the New Yorkers' storied history.
23 of 32John W. McDonough/SI
UCLA vs. Gonzaga
All of the 2006 NCAA tournament's greatest moments occurred <i>before</i> the Final Four -- and the Bruins' amazing comeback over the Zags was the best of them all. Trailing by 17 in the first half, and nine late in the second, UCLA scored the final 11 points to stun All-American Adam Morrison and the Zags. Morrison lay on the floor crying after the gun -- an image that fans will no doubt remember for years -- while Bruins freshman Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (who hit the game-winner) and his teammates celebrated their 73-71 victory.
24 of 32AP
USC Trojans vs. UCLA Bruins
Seemingly set for a third consecutive trip to the BCS National Championship Game, the Trojans saw their title hopes killed by bitter cross-city rival UCLA at the Rose Bowl. With 1:10 remaining in the game and the Bruins up 13-9, USC quarterback John David Booty's pass was tipped and intercepted by senior linebacker Eric McNeal, effectively ending USC's dreams.
25 of 32AP
L.A. Clippers vs. Phoenix Suns
With the series tied 2-2, the Suns blew a 19-point third-quarter lead and needed Raja Bell's corner three-pointer with 1.1 seconds left in the first overtime to force a second extra period. Shawn Marion (36 points, 20 rebounds in 54 minutes) took over from there as the Suns overcame Elton Brand's 33-point, 15-rebound, five-block performance to win 125-118 in 2 OT.
26 of 32AP
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Diego Padres
In one of the most improbable comebacks of this or any other season, the Dodgers got four consecutive solo home runs in the bottom of the ninth -- from Jeff Kent, J.D. Drew, Russell Martin and Marlon Anderson -- to tie the score at 9-9, then watched as a hobbled Nomar Garciaparra complete yet another comeback with a two-run shot in the 10th that beat the Padres, 11-10.
27 of 32AP
New York Giants vs. Tennessee Titans
Evoking memories of his national championship game in January, Vince Young led Tennessee back from a 21-point second-half deficit to a stunning 24-21 win. Young ran for a TD and threw for two more in the fourth quarter, his signature play coming when the Giants' Mathias Kiwanuka wrapped him up on a potentially game-sealing fourth-and-10 sack, but surprisingly let Young go before the whistle. The QB scrambled 19 yards for a first down. Rob Baronas's 49-yard field goal won it.
28 of 32Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images
Phoenix Suns vs. New Jersey Nets
Of the three NBA games on the schedule that evening, this was the only one that wasn't nationally televised. Pity, because this double-OT thriller should be required viewing for just about any sports fan -- and the NBA's control-freak head coaches. Jason Kidd (38 points, 14 assists, 14 rebounds) and Steve Nash (42 points, 13 assists, 6 rebounds) engaged in a point guard duel for the ages, and 13 of the 19 players who saw action scored at least 10 points. Final score: Suns 161, Nets 157
29 of 32Aris Messinis/Getty Images
Italy vs. Germany
The stakes didn't get any higher than this. Host nation Germany had never lost at Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park, and a raucous crowd of 65,000 was on hand to cheer <i>die Mannschaft</i> into the final. But it wasn't to be. After 90 minutes of thrilling, fast-paced soccer, Italy finally broke the epic deadlock in extra time. Andrea Pirlo set up Fabio Grosso beautifully for the go-ahead, then Alessandro del Piero (left) sealed the deal a minute later to break Germany's hearts. Italy won 2-0.
30 of 32Bill Frakes/SI
Maryland vs. North Carolina
The Tar Heels were 33-0 against the rest of the nation, but 0-2 against the eventual national champion Terps. After upsetting the Tar Heels earlier in the season, Maryland upstaged that upset by knocking off the top-seeded Heels, 81-70, in the semifinals to advance to their first title game in school history.
31 of 32AP
Diamondbacks vs. Rockies, Cubs vs. Astros
Games in Denver and Houston dragged on for 18 innings, the first time in history that two contests on the same day have lasted that long. In Colorado, 15 pitchers threw 514 pitches in a 2-1 win by the Diamondbacks. Down in Texas, the Cubs beat the Astros, 8-6, in a game that lasted 5 hours, 36 minutes and 542 pitches.
32 of 32Greg Nelson/SI
Kansas vs. Florida
This was one of the most eagerly anticipated regular-season games in years -- with the defending-champ Gators returning all five starters and the Jayhawks SI's pick to win the 2007 title -- and it did not disappoint. Sophomore Julian Wright scored 21 points and assisted on Brandon Rush's game-winning basket in overtime, as KU ended Florida's 17-game winning streak with an 82-80 final in a neutral-court clash in Las Vegas.
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