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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 November, 2003, 17:07 GMT
US Sport: Bucs spring shock
By Mark Barden

NFL

Joe Jurevicus and the Bucs silenced Oakland's fans

Tampa Bay upset the odds in Super Bowl XXXVII with a 48-21 win over pre-game favourites Oakland in San Diego.

In retrospect, their surprise victory was perhaps less of a shock given Buccaneers team boss Jon Gruden knew the Raiders inside out.

The 39-year-old - who became the youngest ever Super Bowl-winning coach - left Oakland in a big-money move to Florida in 2002.

The Bucs' first run to the NFL's showpiece came courtesy of some awesome defence, with Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp to the fore.


NBA

Tim Duncan and David Robinson celebrate the Spurs' triumph over New Jersey

San Antonio maintained the Western Conference's domination of the NBA Finals, beating New Jersey in six games.

Led by Jason Kidd, the Nets, also beaten finalists in 2002, pushed the Spurs hard and came close to forcing a seventh-game decider.

But San Antonio clinched their second NBA championship, with Tim Duncan named Most Valuable Player of the series.

Making even more headlines than the Spurs, however, was number one draft pick LeBron James, selected by perennial strugglers Cleveland.

A high school hoops phenomenon, 'King James' bypassed college and is seen by many as the heir apparent to Michael Jordan's crown.

His first few months in the NBA, learning his trade in the glare of relentless scrutiny, have justified the hype.


Baseball

Josh Beckett was World Series MVP in his first post-season campaign

Fishing yarns are famously tall, but the Florida Marlins hooked themselves the unlikeliest of wins in the 2003 World Series.

Having enjoyed very little success since winning baseball's biggest prize in 1997, the Marlins pitched their way to this year's finale.

Few pundits gave them a prayer against the all-powerful New York Yankees, but Florida foiled Jeter, Pettitte, Matsui and Co.

In fact, the Yanks' roster of stars was outshone by the unheralded Josh Beckett, 23, who pitched two complete game shut-outs.

Marlins fans are now hoping their heroes stays together, unlike the '97 team - which was rapidly dismantled.


NHL

Jean-Sebastien Giguere won the Conn-Smyth Trophy as play-offs MVP

Ice hockey nearly had its own 'Cinderella' story when Anaheim reached their first-ever Stanley Cup Finals.

The Mighty Ducks had previously been a real 'Mickey Mouse' outfit - owned by Disney and based near its Magic Kingdom in suburban LA.

But stand-out seasons from, among others, goalie Jean-Sébastien Giguere helped Anaheim to the Western title and a showdown against New Jersey.

The Ducks took the Devils to seven games but lost the decider 3-0, with Giguere's opposite number Martin Brodeur claiming a record seventh post-season shut-out.





Links to more US Sport stories


 

SPORTS REVIEW 2003

SPORT BY SPORT
 

FUNNY OLD YEAR

FAREWELL TO...

SPORTS QUIZ 2003
 

Video highlights


SEE ALSO
Gridiron's greatest defences
27 Jan 03  |  US Sport
Let the LeBron era begin
06 Jun 03  |  US Sport
Beckett blossoms for Marlins
26 Oct 03  |  US Sport
Anaheim lives the fairytale
10 Jun 03  |  US Sport


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