Super Bowl upholds streak of history-making championships

By ANDREW HOLTAN Sports Editor

Super Bowl LI was arguably the greatest Super Bowl of all time. The New England Patriots came back from 25 points down to defeat the Atlanta Falcons, 34-28, in overtime.

This comeback continued the trend of great championship games and series seen in 2016.

It all started with the NCAA Division I basketball championship between the University of North Carolina and Villanova Monday, April 5, 2016.

The game was tied at 74 when Villanova’s Kris Jenkins hit a three as the final buzzer sounded, giving Villanova their first national title since 1985. It was the second time in NCAA history a championship game ended on a buzzer beater.

Then the NBA Finals series between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers happened. The finals consist of seven games and the Warriors were up 3-1. The Cavaliers would win the next two games, forcing an all-or-nothing game seven.

The first game seven in the NBA Finals since 2013 was played Sunday, June 19, 2016.  It was tied at 89 with 53 seconds left. That’s when Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving hit a three, giving the Cavaliers the victory.

For the city of Cleveland, it was their first major sports championship since 1964. It was also the first time a team ever came back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals.

The World Series between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians was next. Like the NBA Finals, the World Series consists of seven games. Cleveland was up 3-1 and Chicago came back to even up and force a game seven for Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016.

The Cubs had a 6-3 lead going into the eighth inning, but the Indians cut it to 6-4. Then, Cleveland’s Rajai Davis came to the plate with a man on second and two outs. He hit the ball to left field and just barely cleared the wall, tying the game at 6.

The game then went into extra innings after neither team scored in the ninth inning. After a rain delay, the Cubs came out and scored two runs, giving them an 8-6 lead. In the bottom of the 10th the Indians scored one run but would leave a man at second base as the Cubs won, 8-7.

This was the Cubs first World Series win since 1908 and it was the fifth time ever a World Series game seven went into extra innings.

Finally, the Division I College football championship between Alabama and Clemson Monday, Jan. 9, 2017. Alabama jumped out to an early 14-0 lead and led 14-7 at halftime.  

Clemson came all the way back to take a 28-24 lead, with 4:38 left in the game.

Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts pulling off a 30-yard touchdown run with 2:07 seconds left; giving them a 31-28 lead. Clemson would then drive the ball all the way down to the two-yard line. With one second left on the clock, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson threw a touchdown pass to Hunter Renfrow winning the game, 35-31.

I’ve been alive for 21 years and this is the best string of championship games and series I can remember. It’s not very often a championship game goes down to the wire, but there’s been five games that have since April 2016.

Hopefully, this doesn’t mean there won’t be any good championship games in 2017. The next one is the 2017 NCAA Division I basketball championship game Monday, April 3.