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Niners Nation After Dark: Loving The Underdogs

NN After Dark 2
NN After Dark 2

Welcome back to Niners Nation After Dark (or Club Niners Nation if you will), where the party never stops and drinks are free-flowing (as long as you're doing the pouring). Don't forget to tip your bartenders and make sure to head over to the Golden Nuggets at 3:00am pacific.

I've started to settle into a bit of a format for these posts. Aside from any chance to take a shot at LondonNiner (he's a big boy, he can take it), this is sort of the final round-up area for random sports-related topics. Whether it be your favorite athlete personalities or random locations you've watched games, it's a sort of catch-all post. Sometimes we'll have 49ers-specific conversation, but I like the idea of making this a bit more broad in reach. With our folks living abroad, and particularly our foreign readers, I'm curious about your sports experiences and interests given some folks often unique situations.

Today, I was thinking a bit about underdogs. I attended American University for my undergraduate schooling. I was tracking their basketball game today with Bucknell as part of Patriot League basketball. AU and Bucknell are the top two teams in the conference and will likely be battling it out for conference supremacy in early March. In 2008 and 2009 AU won the Patriot League title, which earned them the first two NCAA basketball berths in school history.

The first year they were a #15 seed and played #2 seeded Tennessee. After AU hung close through the first half, the Volunteers took control in the second half and pulled away late. Tennessee's lead was as low as 53-51 with 5:45 to go, but they ended up winning 72-57. In 2009 AU was a #14 seed and played #3 seeded Villanova up in Philadelphia. AU actually led at the half 41-31 and seemed ready to spring a monster upset. I was at Green's Sports Bar in San Francisco (on Polk and Green) going absolutely crazy. There were a few Villanova fans and of course I was the only AU fan. Unfortunately, Villanova clamped down big time in the second half and won 80-67. Tough, tough loss for me and my Eagles.

The point of all that is that with the NCAA tournament approaching, underdogs are the big story. One could even look to the San Francisco Giants who shocked the world in making their run to their 2010 World Series title.

Who have been your favorite underdog teams to root for over the years? You can point to some of the more obvious choices (Butler in last year's national title game, or George Mason a few years before). However, try and roll out some of the less obvious choices. And for our international readers, are there teams in sports outside America's Big 4 (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL) where an underdog shocked the world?