9 Legendary Teams That Wouldn't Be Legendary If All Playoffs Were Like March Madness
Single-elimination changes the game up.
Aside from NCAA basketball, the only major American sport that utilizes an all-or-nothing single-elimination playoff is the NFL — in which higher-ranked teams gain advantages, like byes and home games, that don't exist in the NCAA tourney. What would happen if other sports determined their champions in the style of March Madness? For one, the following historically great championship teams — which lost the first games of playoff series against opponents they eventually vanquished — would have gone home single-elimination losers.
The 1996 New York Yankees
The 1990-1991 Chicago Bulls
The 1993-1994 New York Rangers
The 2000-2001 Los Angeles Lakers
The 2004 Boston Red Sox
The 1975 Cincinnati Reds
The 1986-1987 Edmonton Oilers
The 1968-1969 Boston Celtics
The 1861-1865 Union Army
CORRECTION: Bill Russell won 11 NBA titles. An earlier version of this story listed the wrong number. (3/28/13)