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Memorable sports moments and stories of the 2010s

The Chicago Cubs celebrate after defeating the Cleveland

The Chicago Cubs celebrate after defeating the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cubs win their first World Series in 108 years.  Credit: Getty Images/Gregory Shamus

The 2010s had their share of memorable sports moments, but never had so many been squeezed into one year as 2016-17.

Over a 10-month span the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, NBA Finals, World Series, College Football Playoff championship and Super Bowl all featured dramatic finishes.

It will be difficult for any year in the 2020s to top that one, but here’s hoping. In the meantime, here are our top 10 national on-the-field sports stories, moments and games from the decade past:

No. 1: Cubs Win 2016 World Series

After a 108-year wait, why not a rain-delayed, extra-inning Game 7 after the Cubs had come back from a 3-1 series deficit? The Indians tied it with three runs in the eighth, then Chicago scored twice in the 10th and won, 8-7.

No. 2: Tiger Woods Wins 2019 Masters

Eleven years — and many setbacks — after winning the 2008 U.S. Open, Woods beat three pursuers by one stroke to win his fifth green jacket and 15th major championship, moving him to within three of Jack Nicklaus’ record.

No. 3: Cavaliers Win 2016 NBA Finals

LeBron James returned to Cleveland in search of its first pro championship since 1964. He delivered with a Finals shocker over the Warriors in which the Cavaliers erased a 3-1 series deficit, winning Games 5 and 7 on the road.

No. 4: Patriots Dynasty Continues

In the 2000s, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady led the Patriots to three Super Bowls victories. In the 2010s, they did it again, including a comeback against the Falcons in a season that began with Brady on “Deflate-gate” suspension.

No. 5: U.S. Women Win Two World Cups

The U.S. had not won a women’s soccer World Cup since 1999 when the 2015 team ended the drought behind six goals from Carli Lloyd. The Americans repeated in ’19, with Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan each scoring six.

No. 6: Warriors Assemble a Dream Team

The Warriors were coming off two NBA Finals berths, and a 73-win regular season in 2015-16, when they added Kevin Durant. They won the next two Finals, both with Durant as MVP, and made the Finals five years in a row.

No. 7: Jason Collins Plays for Nets

On Feb. 23, 2014, Jason Collins signed a 10-day contract with the Nets and played 11 minutes against the Lakers at Staples Center, becoming the first openly gay male to play in any of North America’s four major pro team sports.

No. 8: Serena Slam

By winning at Wimbledon in 2015, Serena Williams completed her second career “Serena Slam,” holding all four Grand Slam titles simultaneously. She fell short of a calendar-year Slam in the U.S. Open, losing in the semifinals.

No. 9: Mayweather vs. Pacquiao

Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao would be higher here had they met in 2010, but it was not until May 2, 2015, that they fought. The bout, a Mayweather win, was a letdown. The record 4.6 million PPV buys was not.

No. 10: Donovan Beats Algeria

It was one of the biggest goals in American soccer history: Tied 0-0 with Algeria and facing elimination in the group stage of the 2010 World Cup, Landon Donovan scored off a rebound in stoppage time to advance the U.S.

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