Top 10 sports moments of 2021

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March Madness made its triumphant return in 2021 and it didn’t disappoint. One of the best Cinderella stories of the tournament came from the 11-suit UCLA who somehow made their way to the Final Four with wins over Michigan St., UConn, Maryland, Alabama and Michigan. Gonzaga was undefeated early in the match and thought they would have an easy path to the finals against UCLA. It was not like this.

Tournament star Johnny Juzang lost 29 points while the 22-9 Bruins nearly ruined the Bulldogs’ hopes for a perfect season. Those hopes would be dashed a few days later against Baylor, but thanks to the heroism of one Jalen Suggs, the Bulldogs have kept their dream alive a little longer. Scoring 90 in extra time and only three seconds left in the match, Suggs took the pass in, crossed half the pitch and launched a prayer just before the siren. He cashed in. The Final Four is known for bringing throbbing moments, and this was incredible to watch live.

The women’s Final Four was just as extraordinary. Stanford’s perennial might was ready for a match with fellow 1-seed South Carolina, and the game remained incredibly competitive the entire time. The biggest advantage for both teams at the end of a quarter was six, and the fourth quarter was absolutely crazy.

After finishing the third quarter up by three, the Cardinal took a short run to start the fourth and move up six with six minutes to go. After that, the Lady Gamecocks slowly made their way to Stanford, but never got the lead.

With a minute and a half to go, South Carolina was down by five, but refused to give up. After a three-point play by guard Destanni Henderson, the Lady Gamecocks were less than two. South Carolina had the opportunity to equalize after a steal led to a 3-on-2 counterattack, but a big block from Stanford’s Haley Jones kept their team ahead. Then, with 40 seconds left, Henderson scored a triple to take the lead, was South Carolina’s first lead of the fourth. Stanford responded quickly with a deep baseline jumper from Jones. South Carolina had one last chance to take the lead. Henderson tried to make a play, but when he tried to kick the ball to the perimeter, he was intercepted by Stanford’s Ashten Prechtel. The Cardinal would go on to win the game and face Arizona in the league. Another incredibly close match ensued, but the cardinal emerged victorious, securing his third national title ever. Let’s hope the 2022 March Madness tournaments are just as thrilling.

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