5. 1994-95 New Jersey Devils
> Regular season record: 22-18-8 (0.542 point pct.)
> Regular season scoring: 215 goals scored, 202 goals allowed
> Star player: Martin Brodeur
In the strike-shortened 1994-95 NHL season, teams had just 48 games instead of the standard 82 to hit their stride and get ready for the postseason. The New Jersey Devils limped into the postseason, going 2-4-1 in their final seven games to earn the fifth seed. But their stingy defense kicked into gear just in time. The Devils, led by goalie Martin Brodeur, lost just four games across their four postseason series, including a stunning sweep of the NHL’s top regular season team, the Detroit Red Wings, in the Finals.
4. 2011 New York Giants
> Regular season record: 9-7 (0.563 win pct.)
> Regular season scoring: 394 points scored, 400 points allowed
> Star player: Eli Manning
After the 2011 season, few expected the New York Giants to become champions. The G-Men capitalized on a weak NFC East, making the playoffs with a 9-7 record. Because of a few blowout losses, the Giants actually gave up more points than they scored that regular season — a rarity for playoff teams. But just like in 2007, the Giants got hot at the right time, knocking off the Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers, and eventually the New England Patriots to claim the Super Bowl title.
3. 2006 St. Louis Cardinals
> Regular season record: 83-78 (0.516 win pct.)
> Regular season scoring: 781 runs scored, 762 runs allowed
> Star player: Albert Pujols
No team in baseball history has won the World Series with a worse record than the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals. The team stumbled to the finish line, ending the season with a 3-8 record in their last 11 games, but held onto the NL Central. St. Louis seemingly turned into a different team once the playoffs started, knocking off the Padres, Mets, and Tigers to win the World Series.
2. 1987 Minnesota Twins
> Regular season record: 85-77 (0.525 win pct.)
> Regular season scoring: 786 runs scored, 806 runs allowed
> Star player: Frank Viola
The Minnesota Twins are the only team in MLB history to win the World Series after giving up more runs than they scored throughout the regular season — scoring 786 runs, while giving up 806. The Twins, however, profited from playing in the weak AL West. Minnesota won the division with just 85 wins — a lower total than four of the seven teams in the AL East. The Twins stunned the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS, then survived a 3-2 World Series deficit to the St. Louis Cardinals to win the championship.
1. 1977-78 Washington Bullets
> Regular season record: 44-38 (0.537 win pct.)
> Regular season scoring: 110.3 points per game scored, 109.4 points per game allowed
> Star player: Elvin Hayes
At just six games over .500, the Washington Bullets are the team with the worst record — by a wide margin — to win the NBA title. Their 0.537 win percentage was tied for just the seventh best in the NBA that season. But the Bullets, now the Wizards, relied on Hall of Famers like Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes to power them to the NBA Championship — the only one in franchise history.