Some were dramatic endings, others were dominant performances.
But all of these teams were crowned champions in 2022.
It was a close game in the first half on Jan. 10, but Stetson Bennett and the Georgia Bulldogs got to work against Nick Saban’s group in the second half. They outscored Alabama 27-9 to win the national championship, 33-18.
Bennett threw for two touchdowns, one to Brock Bowers and the other to Adonai Mitchell, while Zamir White rushed for 84 yards with a score. Bryce Young threw for 369 yards for Alabama, but he gave up two interceptions and notched just one passing touchdown.
In just his first season as starting quarterback, Matthew Stafford got his first Super Bowl ring, defeating the Cincinnati Bengals, 23-20, at the Los Angeles Rams’ home SoFi Stadium on Feb. 13.
Stafford threw three touchdowns in the game, as well as two interceptions, on 26 of 40 for 283 yards. Odell Beckham Jr. caught the first touchdown of the game, but tore his ACL later in the first half. That’s when Stafford began relying on star wideout Cooper Kupp even more, as he hauled in the other two touchdowns.
Aaron Donald sacked Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow on fourth down to seal the win for Los Angeles, as head coach Sean McVay got a Super Bowl ring on his second trip to the big game.
The championship didn’t disappoint, as the Kansas Jayhawks fought all the way back from a 40-25 deficit at halftime to defeat the North Carolina Tar Heels, 72-69, to win the title.
While it was all UNC in the first half, Kansas scored 47 to their 29 points. With the game tied 65-65 late, Kansas guard Remy Martin buried a step-back three-pointer to take the lead.
UNC couldn’t do the same, air balling on their last inbound pass, which sent Kanas into a frenzy of celebration.
The South Carolina Gamecocks took down the UConn Huskies, 64-49, to win their second national title in six seasons. And this one was all South Carolina, despite the pedigree that Geno Auriemma’s UConn team brings to the floor.
The tone was set early with a 22-8 first-quarter finish for South Carolina. UConn would bounce back with a 19-13 second quarter, but they wouldn’t win one after that. Destanni Henderson was the star of the title game, scoring 26 points for the Gamecocks.
The Tampa Bay Lightning were looking to win their third straight Stanley Cup and officially cement themselves as a dynasty in these early 2020s. The Colorado Avalanche had another thing in mind.
At the end of six games, the Avalanche were the ones skating around with the Cup after defeating the Lightning, 4-2, in the series. Cale Makar hoisted the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Stanley Cup Playoffs MVP, scoring eight goals and 21 assists in 20 games.
Game 6 began with a Lightning goal from Steven Stamkos, but the Avalanche’s Nathan MacKinnon tied it up in the second period, followed by Artturi Lehkonen’s goal to give them a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
For the fourth time since 2015, the Golden State Warriors lifted the Larry O’Brien Trophy after beating the Boston Celtics in six games earlier this year.
Led by Steph Curry, who won the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP Award after averaging 31 points, five assists and six rebounds in the series, the Warriors’ offense was too much for the Celtics to handle after prevailing over the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals in seven games.
Boston initially took the lead in the opening game of the series, but Games 4, 5 and 6 went to Golden State, who figured out what they needed to do to stop the C’s.
While there was much debate about their 2017 World Series title after MLB’s investigation discovered cheating from the Houston Astros, this championship had nothing of the sort. Houston was just the better team in the end.
Defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in six games, including a Game 4 that saw a combined no-hitter thrown by Houston, the Astros brought home their second franchise championship.
Rookie shortstop Jeremy Pena was once again the star in this series, winning the World Series MVP after taking home the American League Championship MVP in a clean sweep of the New York Yankees.
The Phillies were up 2-1 in the series, but they couldn’t get a win past Game 3, as Houston’s pitching staff held them to three combined runs over the next three contests.
This best-of-five championship needed just four games, as the Las Vegas Aces and MVP Chelsea Gray defeated the Connecticut Sun to win their first-ever WNBA title.
It was the third time the team has made the finals (second since moving to Las Vegas), and they were finally able to call the trophy their own at the end of it, knocking off the Sun, who most recently made the finals in 2019.
In Game 4, Gray finished with 20 points for a game-high, while A’ja Wilson had 14 rebounds to defeat the Sun, 78-71.
They were the first-ever winners of the National Women’s Soccer League in 2013, and the Portland Thorns were once again crowned champions this season after defeating the Kansas City Current in the final match, 2-0.
The Thorns were the No. 2 seed heading into the 2022 playoffs, finishing behind the OL Reign for the top seed. However, the Current, as the No. 5 seed, upset the Reign in the semifinal, 2-0, to move to the championship game.
But the Current's Cinderella story was crushed by the Thorns. Portland now has the most championships in NWSL history with three.
A penalty shootout determined the winner of a hard-fought MLS playoff, and in front of a sold-out crowd in their home building, Los Angeles FC were victorious.
Going up against the Philadelphia Union, it was a wild back-and-forth match that needed extra time to determine a champion. Philadelphia’s Jack Elliott buried a goal for the Union in the 124th minute, but LAFC’s Gareth Bale scored in the 128th minute to force penalties.
Philadelphia never made one, while LAFC scored all three of theirs and the crowd roared in excitement for their champions.