Biggest Sports Upsets

The Top Ten Biggest Sports Upsets

1 US def USSR Hockey 1980

Nothing comes close. This is not anything like an underdog pro team beating a heavily-favored pro team. Its more like North Carolina or other good college basketball team beating the NBA champion Golden State Warriors.

miracle on ice!!!! the 2nd biggest upset is Habs over Washington Capitals round 1 2010 stanley cup playoffs, wow ridiculous - bore5

I was a student at the University of Minnesota during the match
Herb Brooks was the coach and was also Minnesota's coach and half the team was from the U of M. The entire campus and Twin Cities were mesmerized by the team's performance. Every T.V. was tuned to the games and every conversation involved them at some point. Did they win was the question everyone asked when they got out of class. When they beat the Russians and then won the gold medal against Finland the campus and the Twin Cities went berserk. I can remember clearly to this day Mike Ramsey showing us his gold medal when the team returned home.

As of sept 11, 2015, the defeat of serena Williams in the us womens tennis open at odds of 3000-100, is now my choice for #1 all time sports upsets as serena ranked #1 in world lost to a #43 ranked opponent

2 Giants Defeat Patriots In Super Bowl XLII

This game was probably the biggest upset ever, nobody thought the Giants had a chance. When making their predictions for who would win the game, all of the announcers voted against the Giants for EVERY PLAYOFF GAME. They weren't supposed to beat the Buccaneers in the first round. Plus, this game had one of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history in which David Tyree a non factor in any other game that season managed to catch a crucial third and long throw (that Eli barely got the chance to throw) on his HEAD! Amazing game, and an amazing upset.

On one side, you have (arguably) the greatest team in football history. It has had an absolutely perfect season, and has easily brushed away much better teams. On the other, you have the 6th seed, the worst team in the playoffs, and a team that has already lost to the Patriots that year. And yet, the Giants pulled it off. The biggest upset ever, and a great game to boot! - Blueyays

No competition. The Patriots were on the verge of becoming the greatest NFL team of all time. Giants pulled together through skill and epic plays to take down what would have been the most historic team in NFL history

Nobody thought the Giants were gonna win more than 5 games in the season not 2 mention beat a previously undefeated Patriots team

3 Appalachian State def Michigan 2007

Just for clarification, I am a buckeyes fan.
If I say michigan sucks. To a michigan fan, and their gonna be like "No ThEy don't"
THen I'm like- "Take a trip back to 2007, and remember how SUCKY y'all really are."

The "no huddle" run to perfection. A well coached team caught a giant sleeping. Upsets in 2007 were common - it was one of the best seasons ever to watch games.

As a MICHIGAN FAN, I'm still in shock. This is the biggest upset of all, we will rebound. Hats of to Appalachian State. You humbled us.

oh god I knew this would be here... this is gonna follow me the rest of my life... THAT WAS THE DAY MY PHONE STOPPED WORKING - wolf10

4 Duke upsets UNLV 1991 Final Four

Nevada Las Vegas returned the same team that beat Duke for the National Championship 103-73 the largest margin ever.

May never get over it, Jerry Tarkanian was sheer genius and recruited the best talent in the country for several year. UNLV was the best show in Vegas at the time.

5 Buster Douglas def Mike Tyson 1990

Back in 1990 would of ranked No 2, but seeing Tyson after...

Nothing is more dramatic in sports than a heavyweight knockout; a mountain of muscle, superhuman, crumbling to the canvas. The fact that it was 'Iron' Mike Tyson at the hands of an underachieving journeyman made it, as veteran commentator Bob Sheridan repeated, 'unbelievable.'

Mike Tyson was the most terrifying boxer ever to step between the ropes, he demolished his opponents with pure fear along with his terrifying power. Buster Douglas had lost his mother two weeks beforehand, the grief of which meant he didn't care what Tyson would do to him. Coupled with chaos and incompetence in Tyson's camp, Buster pulled off the upset of the century.

6 Greece Football Team European Champions 2004

This Greece side had no star names in their team. They had only played in 2 major tournament before and never one a single match. Every game they played in the 2004 tournament knockout stages, you was expecting them to get beat heavily. But game after game their spirit grew and in the final against the host Portugal, which boast players such as Figo, Cristiano Ronaldo and Deco the Greek tactical out played them. Portugal's 2004 team was an attacking team but Greece soaked it up and scored from a corner in second half and hung on to claim a the trophy.

I think this is the biggest sporting shock ever because it is not just one game, it was a tournament! Great team performance!

150-1 odds. Beat Portugal (hosts and one of the favorites) twice. They tied Spain in the first round group play, they beat the defending champion France in the Quarters, the overall favorite Czech Republic in the Semis and Portugal again in the final. Did not give up a single goal in the elimination games! All this while 150-1 odds to win it all. Amazing!

I understand that many Americans don't even have an idea of how big this was, but it was HUGE in world sport, whether you're football fan or not. You could count their win against France as a complete shock but they won it all - against all odds, against much better players, coaches, traditions. Sheer willingness to succeed and an incredible devotion.

Nobody expected this. The others are mostly a two horse race as to who will win, where as if all the teams were identical in the Euros, there would be a 6.25% chance of winning. Also, they were boring! Watching them after that final game you wouldn't think it was a final. Aside from maybe Leicester winning the premier league, this is the biggest sporting shock ever.

7 #8 Golden State beats #1 Dallas in first round of 2007 NBA Playoffs

Dallas was favorite to win the whole thing that year.

8 #16 seed UMBC upsets #1 seed Virginia in 2018 Men's NCAA Tournament
9 Patriots def Rams Super Bowl 36

At the time the patriots were a joke. They never could put together a Superbowl-winning season. they had a Quarterback Tom Brady who was drafted in the sixth round. They barely made it through the postseason but when it counted they performed. Even with John Madden saying they should kneel the ball and play for overtime they tried. Which set up Adam Vinatieri to hit the game-winning field goal and set himself up as one of the best field goal kickers of all-time

Patriots were a wild card team I believe? They didn't destroy anyone that season. They just won when they had to.

Start of a dynasty for the Pats.

10 Broncos def Packers Super Bowl 32

It was my 33rd birthday that day and I told everyone at the party I would run down the street in my birthday suit if the Broncos won! OMG! It was a brisk 18 degrees out by that time of the night! bRRRRR! Go Giants!

How is broncos beating the packers an upset broncos r the best and the packers suck

The Broncos were the underdogs against the reigning champion Packers. So it's an upset. - JackMM

The Contenders

11 2004 Detroit Pistons def L.A. Lakers - NBA Finals

Supposed dream team of Gary Payton, Karl Malone, Shaq and Kobe. Nearly swept if not for game 2 buzzer tying shot by Kobe. End up losing 4 games to 1. - woodythegnome

Detroit basketball

12 Jets beat Colts in Super Bowl III

New AFL league champs stun established NFL champs. This was the game that started the mergers of the two leagues

How is this not top 3. At the very least, it’s the second greatest super bowl upset.

13 Red Sox come back from 0-3 to beat the Yankees

What makes this an even greater upset is that 1) Red Sox-Yankees was already a huge rivalry, 2) In Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS (which was also Red Sox-Yankees), the Yankees' Aaron Boone hit a home run that sent them to the World Series, so the Red Sox winning this ALCS was the perfect revenge, and 3) In the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 4 the Red Sox were just three outs away from getting swept.

The Red Sox always had that curse on them. Everyone thought they would lose. NO OTHER TEAM IN SPORTS HISTORY had comeback from a 0-3 deficit. They finally broke the curse and showed the world they could beat the Yankees. Also the performance by David Ortiz was astounding. He hit so many clutch home runs he deserves to be in the hall of fame just for that.

No team has ever come back in the ALCS after trailing by three games. The fact that this is considered the "greatest rivalry in all of sports" by many should only magnify the emotion that was felt after this comeback.

maybe not an upset but one of the best come backs (or worst chokes) in sports!

14 NC State def Houston 1983 Final 4

This one should be #3 or 4 easily. Nobody predicted it would be close much less a "pass" that was slammed home at the buzzer to win.

Valvano beats Phi Slamma Jamma. What a game.

15 Boise State def. Oklahoma 2007 Fiesta Bowl

Boise state had an undefeated season and yet was not even considered for the national championship game. And then despite being underdogs against 2 loss Oklahoma, and despite being seconds away from defeat TWICE, they pulled off two incredible plays and won the game.

the trick play that defeated a powerhouse

Trick plays!
The hook and lateral.
Halfback pass to the tight end
Statue of Liberty

Outstanding game!

16 Villanova def Georgetown 1985 Final 4

The U.S. win over the Soviet's in Olympic Ice Hockey in 1980 was big but the Soviet's were showing signs they were vulnerable BEFORE the U.S. defeated them. VILLANOVA defeated Georgetown with a 78.6 Percent Shooting Percentage which is STILL a record for Best Shooting Percentage in a NCAA Championship Game and they achieved that as Double Digit Underdogs!

This was a game that redefinied the term "cinderella."

17 Stanford def. USC 2007

This was a much bigger upset than the App St / Michigan game! Stanford was ranked over 100 at the time they played! App St is a perennial powerhouse in football.

This is definitely a top ten nominee. Not even Stanford believed it after it was already over.

41 point underdog Stanford upsets USC and shocks the nation

18 Twins beat Braves in 1991 World Series
19 Denmark Football Team European Champions 1992

Because when the that final whistle from that game got blown, almost the entire nation went out their doors and started partying and celebrating, no other sport upset can ever match this! EVER!

A wild-carded team without their best player Michael Laudrup which made history by defeating great teams as Holland (previous champions) and Germany

20 Dodgers def A's 88 World Series

Kurt Gibson walk off HR and A's were never the same.

21 Leicester City win 2016 English Premier League (5000-1)

Yes, that's 5000-1, odds widely given by bookmakers at the start of the season in August, 2015. The Premier League boasts many of the world's richest and most successful clubs and players, but for the past 25-30 years had been only won by a small group of elite, wealthy clubs like Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.

With just a few games to go at the end of the 2015 season, Leicester City (who had only been promoted to the division that year) were facing almost certain relegation to a lower league, but managed to somehow cling on and win enough points to stay up for another season by the skin of their teeth. When the next season began, no one gave them a chance of even staying in the league, with bookies offering 5,000-1 on them winning the title. With no star players in their ranks, the team worked relentlessly match after match, combining great teamwork with a tireless work ethic, plus a fortunate lack of injuries, and breakout seasons from 2 relatively unknown players ...more

Biggest upset ever. - Josh_Drake

How is this so low everything above have better odds

I wish Manchester United won the league that year

22 Australia beats Argentina - 2006 World Cup Germany

This never happened, where is your information from?

23 #16 seed Harvard def #1 seed Stanford in 1998 Women's NCAA Tournament

Only time a 16 seed has beat a 1 seed, and Stanford had home court advantage!

24 Holy Cross 55 def. Boston College 12 and then the Cocoanut Grove fire

stunning upset followed by real tragedy

25 USSR controversially defeats USA for Gold Medal in 1972 Olympics Basketball

True final score: USA 50, USSR 49 -- Political final score: USA 50, USSR 51 - DRIVEIN101

Oh please drivein101. The Soviet Union beat the US and you know it. 51-50 was the true final score.

26 Germany beats Brazil 7-1 in the 2014 World Cup

By far the greatest soccer game ever, it's not even close!

It was in rio to start. Sure Neymar was out but they would have lost even if he was playing. The Brazilians seemed out of it today and the Germans took advantage - Biggyepicness

27 Texas Western def Kentucky 1966 Final Four Championship

A lot of lists don't list this game at all, this changed sports forever. #1 All-time greatest upset...not even a close #2.

Are you kidding me, best basketball upset of all time, like the Emancipation Proclamation of basketball! Definitely put Rupp in his place! - crimson_stampede

No other small college basketball team will win the National Championship!

amazing upset. They made a movie. It's really good. - ziggy22

28 Japan defeats South Africa Rugby World Cup 2015

Number 34?
Take off the American glasses. This was simply huge in the rest of the World.

29 UConn def Duke 1999 Final 4

I hate Duke SO much. This is without a doubt one of my favorite upsets ever.

30 John Daly wins the PGA

It should be #3 after ASU vs. Michigan. Daly was the last alternate added. He never played a practice round. He just "gripped it and ripped it" for four great rounds, shocking the golf world along the way.

31 Houston Rockets def Orlando Magic in 1994
32 Pirates def Yankees 1960

No one seems to remember this one often enough, but when baseball was king, this was the king of all upsets.

The were in the middle of their dynasty and set all the offensive records but one they only got three wins. They were the better team (and I am a life long Buc fan) but not on the day that mattered. That is why they call them upsets!

My favorite baseball upset I grew up in Pittsburgh and always loved the pirates Go bucs

33 Pitt beats West Virginia 2007

Best upset of 2007 after app state Michigan. Pitt won 13-9 over the no2 team West Virginia Go pitt

pitt keeps wv out of title game

34 Cassius Clay knocks out Sonny Liston

In hind sight it shocks no one. In 63 Clay was about the only one who knew how immensely superior a boxer he was compared to Liston.

How does this shock anyone? - Nick_10

35 BYU def SMU 1980 Holiday Bowl

jim mcmahon throwing the last hail mary to win it with 3 seconds left!

36 St Kilda vs Collingwood 1966 AFL Grand Final

Barry breen kicked the winning point what a heartbreak - browney115

37 UCLA def USC 2006

UCLA kept USC out of BCS title game

Go Bruins

38 Uruguay beats Brazil in the Maracanà to win 1950 World Cup Final

To beat a Brazilian soccer team in a world cup final in front of 200,000 fans.

1950, Brazil host nation, Maracanà stadium built for the ocasion (capacity: 200.000), Uruguay won 2-1. "Never 200.000 people made a silence so big" - Uruguayan Journalist - torneca

39 Steelers Win Superbowl XL from the 6th Seed

come on who can't see this as a upset that can never been broken just tied.

40 Wisconsin beats Kentucky in 2015 Final Four

I picked them to win and play duke so not an upset to me.

3rd upset of the tournament(#14Georgia St. Definitely #3Baylor, and #14 UAB definitely #3Iowa St.)1 Kentucky was unbeaten coming in, most thought they were going to win it all. It was a HUGE upset.

41 Holly Holm KO's Ronda Rousey

This is not an upset. It's about the fact that Holly Holm was not intimidated by Ronda. This confidence helped her do it. Plus, once Holly took Ronda beyond 1 minute, Ronda's plan was shattered. It was all over right there.

This was the biggest upset in ufc history - Sabbath

42 Giants def Packers 2007 NFC Championship Game

What a field goal! 47 yards, very disappointing for every Packer fan and every Packer player. But hopefully Favre won't retire!

43 1969 Mets def Orioles in World Series

they don't call them the "miracle mets" for nothing!

44 Matt Serra beats George St. Pierre for The UFC Welterweight Championship
45 New Zealand Draws With Italy 2010 FIFA World Cup

New Zealand only just made it into the WC, they have only one professional football team, and they drew with the defending champions, becoming the only undefeated team in the 2010 FWC

46 Kansas Jayhawks upsets Oklahoma for NCAA Championship in 1988
47 Chaminade defeats No. 1 Virginia - Dec. 23, 1982

Really? 45?

Chaminade is the equivalent of a community collage and they beat the #1 overall team in the nation, Virginia, who had just manhandled the China national team.

NCAA Men's Basketball - Virginia had the best player in the country, 7'4" Ralph Sampson and the #1 ranking, and were beat by a Div. 2 (then NAIA) Chaminade.

The number 1 team in the nation, a basketball powerhouse led by college and pro hall of famer Ralph Sampson is defeated by Chaminade from the NAIA. A school with 8000 students, and no real athletic program.

48 India def. Sri Lanka In the 2011 Cricket World Cup
49 #15 Seed Hampton U def #2 Seed Iowa 2001 NCAAs

#15 Hampton University MEAC champions, defeats #2 seed Iowa in the first round of the 2001 NCAA championship. Had not happen before and has not happen since.

Iowa State not Iowa

50 Florida Def Ohio State 2006 BCS Title Game

Gators surprise the Nation by defeating the heavily favored Buckeyes for the National title 41-14

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