Recap of Major champions across sports

Recap of Major champions across sports

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For some, it was a first. For others, it was familiar territory. 

The sports world saw a host of teams and programs defend their titles, while others made franchise history with their claims to victory. 

Here are some of the teams crowned champions in 2023. 

College football: Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia celebrates TD

Ladd McConkey (84) of the Georgia Bulldogs celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the third quarter against the TCU Horned Frogs in the College Football Playoff national championship game at SoFi Stadium Jan. 9, 2023, in Inglewood, Calif. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The kicked off 2023 the same way they did the year prior — as national champions. 

After going undefeated in the regular season (15-0), Georgia defeated LSU 50-30 to win its first SEC title since 2017. The Bulldogs advanced to a where they pulled out a narrow victory over Ohio State, giving themselves the opportunity to defend their title. 

On Jan. 9, Georgia, led by quarterback Stetson Bennett, 65-7 to win the College Football Playoff national championship for the second consecutive season.

“We wanted our kids to play without fear,” head coach Kirby Smart said of the victory. “All year, I told them, I said, ‘We ain’t getting hunted guys, we’re doing the hunting, and hunting season’s almost over. We’ve only got one more chance to hunt,’ and we hunted tonight.”

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs

Harrison Butker

Harrison Butker (7) of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after kicking the go-ahead field goal during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium Feb. 12, 2023, in Glendale, Ariz.  (Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

The claimed their second Super Bowl title in four seasons when an injured Patrick Mahomes led them to victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII Feb. 12. 

Led by Jalen Hurts, the Eagles took an early lead in the first quarter, playing on an injured ankle, responded with a touchdown just minutes later to even the score. 

This was the pattern of the game throughout the first three quarters until the fourth quarter, when the Chiefs took their first lead with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Kadarius Toney. Kansas City kept the momentum going until Hurts tied the game 35-35 with a 2-yard touchdown run followed by a successful two-point conversion. 

The game ended with a 26-yard scramble by Mahomes to get the Chiefs within field goal range just in time for Harrison Butker to hit a 27-yard game-winner with eight seconds left.

Women’s college basketball: LSU Tigers

Flau'jae Johnson

Flau’jae Johnson of the LSU Lady Tigers reacts while holding the championship trophy after defeating the Iowa Hawkeyes 102-85 in the 2023 national championship game at American Airlines Center April 2, 2023, in Dallas, Texas. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

the red-hot Iowa Hawkeyes April 2, to capture the university’s first NCAA women’s basketball national championship with a 102-85 win. 

Despite Caitlin Clark dropping 30 in the championship game after back-to-back 40-point performances in the Elite Eight and the Final Four, wasn’t enough.

Kim Mulkey, who joined the program in 2021 after winning three national championships as head coach at Baylor, became the first women’s coach to win national titles at two different schools. 

“Coaches coach a lifetime, and this is the fourth time I’ve been blessed,” Mulkey said. “Never in the history of LSU basketball, men or women, has (anybody) ever played for a championship.”

Men’s college basketball: UConn Huskies

Adama Sanogo

Adama Sanogo of the Connecticut Huskies cuts down a piece of the net after defeating the San Diego State Aztecs 76-59 in the NCAA national championship at NRG Stadium April 3, 2023, in Houston. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The men’s basketball team defeated San Diego State 76-59 to bring home the program’s fifth national title April 3. 

UConn dominated the men’s tournament every step of the way, winning all six games by double-digits and by an average of 20 points. 

“We knew we were the best team in the tournament going in, and we just had to play to our level,” head coach Dan Hurley said. 

NBA: Denver Nuggets

Denver celebrates

Denver Nuggets players, coaches and owners hold up the Larry O’Brien NBA championship trophy after their victory over the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the NBA Finals June 12, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The became NBA champions for the first time in franchise history when, on June 12, they defeated the Miami Heat, 94-89, in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. 

The Nuggets won three straight after in Game 2. Nikola Jokic finished with 28 points and 16 rebounds and became the first player in history to lead the league in points (600), rebounds (269) and assists (190) in a single postseason. He was named NBA Finals MVP. 

“We’re not satisfied with just one,” Denver coach Michael Malone said. “We want more.”

NHL: Vegas Golden Knights

Reilly Smith

The Vegas Golden Knights’ Reilly Smith (19) poses with his family and the Stanley Cup after the Knights eliminated the Florida Panthers in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final at T-Mobile Arena June 13, 2023, in Las Vegas.  (Ellen Schmidt/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

In just six seasons since their debut as the 31st team in the NHL, the have made five playoff and two Stanley Cup Final appearances. On June 13, the Golden Knights won their first championship with a dominating 9-3 victory over the Florida Panthers in Game 5. 

Vegas took a two-game lead over but in Game 3 forward Carter Verhaeghe scored in overtime to give Florida some breathing room heading into Game 4. Vegas won two straight to have its players’ names etched in NHL history. 

The nine goals also tied the record for the most in a Cup Final.

WNBA: Las Vegas Aces

Mark Davis holds the WNBA championship trophy

Las Vegas Aces owner Mark Davis celebrates with the team after defeating the New York Liberty in Game 4 of the 2023 WNBA Finals at Barclays Center Oct. 18, 2023, in New York City. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

A’ja Wilson dropped 24 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in the 70-69 victory over New York Liberty to win back-to-back titles, becoming the first repeat champions in 21 years. 

“It’s not easy, as you know. This is what it’s all about,” Wilson said. “Not a lot of people get to do it. To be short-handed and win is amazing. It makes the win that much better. It’s hard to get back to the finals to win again.”

The Aces won two straight, and New York stayed alive in Game 3 behind Kelsey Plum’s 29 points. 

In a tight Game 4, Vegas took a six-point lead with 1:26 remaining. Despite coming within reach, Courtney Vandersloot’s badly missed shot from the corner with seconds remaining handed the title to the Aces. 

MLB: Texas Rangers

Rangers win World Series

The Texas Rangers celebrate after beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-0 in Game 5 to win the World Series at Chase Field Nov. 1, 2023, in Phoenix, Ariz.  (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

The won their first World Series with a 5-0 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 5 of the World Series Nov. 2. 

The Rangers routed to make franchise history just two seasons removed from losing 102 games.

Texas led the AL West for most of the year. On Aug. 15, the Rangers were at a season-high 24 games over .500 and up 3½ games in the AL West. Then, they lost eight straight. They recovered, leading the division by 2½ with four games remaining. But they lost three of four, and the Houston Astros won four straight, winning the division again. So, Texas settled for the fifth seed at 90-72.


Just a year removed from a last-place finish, Gotham FC was crowned 2023 NWSL champion after a 2-1 victory over OL Reign Nov. 11.  World Cup winner Esther González’s goal on a header in stoppage time after the first half gave Gotham FC the club’s first title.  

MLS: Columbus Crew

Facing the defending MLS Cup champions, the Columbus Crew defeated Los Angeles FC 2-1 Dec. 9 to win the club’s third title. Cucho Hernandez, who was voted MVP of the match, scored in the 33rd minute and Yaw Yeboah added a goal in the 37th.

Fox News’ Scott Thompson and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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