Top 10 Teams that Didn't Make It to the Championship Series

We've all heard of teams that should've won a title, but didn't. However, there have been championship series played where the team that most everyone believed were the best team didn't even make it. It's like the two teams involved were good, not better than the team that was the best team. Here are 10 examples.

The Top Ten

1 1998 Minnesota Vikings

I'm a Vikings fan, and I will admit I bought into the hype and felt the Vikings would win the Super Bowl that year. But hindsight being what it is, I'm not sure the Vikings would have beaten the Broncos either. This was a great Broncos team that played an NFC type game centered around the running game, particularly the great Terrell Davis. The Broncos were the defending champs, and had broken the NFC's stranglehold on the the title, the NFC having won the previos 13 straight titles. It's true the '98 Vikings were the most explosive offensive team the NFL had ever seen, to that point. As I remember it, John Madden even chimed in and said he just didn't see anyone beating the Vinkings that year. I really like this list, you've got some really great teams listed here, and it brings back some great sports memories personally. Thanks - Ned964

They were 15-1 in 1998 when they set a then-record for most points scored in a season. Yet, they lost in the NFC Championship game in overtime to Atlanta, who then lost to Denver in Super Bowl XXXIII - BUETBU91

2 2014-15 Kentucky Wildcats Men's Basketball

At 38-0 entering the Final Four, Kentucky, who was being compared to some NBA teams, unexpectedly lost to Wisconsin, who played Duke for the National Championship. - BUETBU91

3 2001-02 Sacramento Kings

With a 61-21 mark, the Kings were the heavy favorites to win the NBA Finals. However, they would end up losing in a controversial series to the Los Angeles Lakers. - BUETBU91

4 2001 Seattle Mariners (Baseball)

With a major-league best regular season record 116 wins, the Mariners lost in the ALCS to the New York Yankees in five games. - BUETBU91

5 1990-1991 UNLV Runnin' Rebels Men's Basketball

Literally no one (Outside of Durham, N.C. maybe) expected UNLV to lose a game that year, and one glance at their roster would remove any doubts. Easily one of the best college basketball teams I have ever seen. Ironically, it was Duke who would become the truly great team, we just didn't know it yet. Duke would win the title again the following season, beating the Fab Five in Minneapolis. On their way to the title game in '91-'92, they beat Kentucky 104-103 in O.T. in the East Regional final, a game many consider the greatest basketball game ever played. - Ned964

After winning the national title last season, UNLV entered the final four undefeated at 34-0. But Duke, the team that lost to UNLV 103-73 in the 1990 title game, got their revenge with a 77-75 upset win. - BUETBU91

6 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings

With a record 62 wins, the Red Wings reached the Western Conference Finals before being stunned in six games by the Colorado Avalanche. - BUETBU91

7 2002 Oakland Athletics

Winning a then-record 20 straight games in a row for a 103-59 record, the Oakland A's fell in the ALDS to the Minnesota Twins in five games. - BUETBU91

8 1993-94 Seattle Supersonics

Seattle posted a 63-19 record in 1994 only to be the first #1 seed to lose to a #8 seed as Denver beat them in five games. - BUETBU91

9 2016-17 UCONN Women's Basketball Team

As expected, UConn continued to dominate the women's basketball landscape racking up 112 straight victories, an NCAA record. But they ended up losing to Mississippi State on an upset buzzer-beater in overtime. - BUETBU91

This may be the greatest upset in sports history. Unbelievable - Ned964

I probably wouldn't say the greatest upset in sports history. But it's a top 20 for sure. - BUETBU91

10 1993 Atlanta Braves

While they won 104 games in a thrilling pennant race against the Giants, the Braves would lose in six games to the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLCS. - BUETBU91

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