First off, this article might've been one of the hardest to write because there were so many tremendous games in this decade that it was extremely difficult to parse this list down to 5. Therefore, I tried to look at the 5 "GREATEST" games played in the decade...not the 5 games that were real close but full of mistakes and not an elite set of teams, players, and situations. Therefore, I couldn't put Memphis vs. Kansas on this list because D-Rose and CDR-uh missed a combined 16 free throws. I couldn't put Syracuse vs. UConn because that games was EXTREMELY sloppy. I couldn't pick Kings vs. Lakers because if I looked back at the officiating then I might shoot myself in the head.
The games I have selected were elite, high-level games where both teams (players) performed exceptionally well. You still will disagree with my list regardless of what I choose. Comes with the job. Here...we...go!
#5. 2007 Fiesta Bowl: Boise State 43, Oklahoma 42 (OT) - This is by far the most painful game I might've ever watched in my entire life. Creed vs. Balboa, David vs. Goliath, George Mason vs. UConn...wait, we'll get to that one in a minute. Oklahoma vs. Boise State definitely fit the bill of big vs. little. From Oklahoma playing arguably one of the guttiest games I've ever seen them play (Having a QB in Paul Thompson, who converted to WR then go back and play QB in the middle of the season play very well, playing without their #1 WR and 1st-round draft pick in Malcolm Kelly, and having the sensational RB Adrian Peterson recovering from a broken collarbone play in his first game back.) Oklahoma was in a damned if they do, damned if they don't situation, and Boise State played like they literally only had a slingshot. The defense played lights out, and Boise threw every trick play and misdirection play they could find in the book. Great job by two teams playing to the (bitter) end.
#4. 2008 Wimbledon final: Nadal over Federer 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-7 (8), 9-7 - Quite possibly the greatest tennis match I have ever seen, you've got the slightly older still hanging onto his peak performance in Roger Federer and the slightly younger just reaching his apex of peak performance in Rafael Nadal. A nearly 5-hour match that saw Nadal breakout into a 2-set lead, then Federer fight with two tiebreaker set wins, then Nadal sweating out a phenomenal 5th set and winning it 9-7. Hell, it made me LOVE tennis for a short period of time. Remarkable.
#3. 2003 ALCS, Game 7: Yankees 6, Red Sox 5 (11 innings) - We all know the Red Sox finally got over the hump in 2004, but I'd argue that their 2003 team was better. With that being said, the tortured Red Sox franchise still had the ultimate in gut-wrenching defeats to face before they could taste their eternal glory. That gut-wrenching feeling came from Aaron Boone of the Yankees, who literally told himself that he was going to swing for the fences on the first pitch he got that was hittable. That pitch he hit was a 64-mph knuckler from Tim Wakefield, and within 5 seconds sent the Yankees into another World Series birth.
#2. 2006 NCAA tournament, regional final: George Mason 86, Connecticut 84 (OT) - I don't know a person alive (unless you were from the Northeast) who was going for UConn in this game. George Mason had been continually "Shocking The World" in the '06 NCAA Tournament. Now the ultimate test, shock the world against one of the originators of shocking the world (remember Khalid El-Amin saying "WE SHOCKED THE WORLD" after they beat that legendary Duke team) What transpired was one of the most awe-inspiring games in my lifetime. Quick fact, this particular UConn team was renowned for 4 members of the team being drafted in the 1st-round of the 2006 NBA Draft. (Rudy Gay, Hilton Armstrong, Marcus Williams, Josh Boone)
#1. The BCS National Championship - 2006 Rose Bowl: Texas 41, USC 38 - I will only publicly admit this one time in my life because I am an Oklahoma Sooner fan and it is PURE blasphemy for me to admit this statement...I rooted for Vince Young and the Texas Longhorns to beat USC like I was dipped in Burnt Orange and was born in Austin. There I said it. You are talking about the definitive dynasty of the decade in USC vs. the whom some would say definitive player of the decade in Vince Young. (blah blah blah I know about my guy Tebow, we ain't talking about him right now) You had legends in this game, big plays, moments of drama, and the ultimate ending. I would hope and pray that any national championship game would have the ebb and flow that the '06 Rose Bowl possessed, and for that I'm truly grateful.
5 awesome games, I'm already waiting on the 2010's to outdo the 2000's. I know there are 100's of games that we didn't bring up here, but what's your favorite game of the decade? What was the one moment when you were watching that you got goosebumps and you immediately knew that you were watching something magical and historic. Let us know your thoughts!