BEST SPORTS TEAM -- COLLEGE (2006)
University of Denver Pioneers Hockey
Going into last year's NCAA playoffs, the Denver Pioneers (of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association) were underdogs -- even in the eyes of their archrivals from Colorado College. Little matter that the Pis had won the 2004 NCAA championship in a 1-0 nail-biter over favored Maine; this wasn't the same team -- not without star goalie Adam Berkhoel, now lost to graduation. But when the ice cleared at the 2005 Frozen Four, DU had secured its second straight NCAA title with a 4-1 win over North Dakota. Last week, the Pioneers failed to earn a bid for the 2006 NCAA tournament, but their two straight titles earn them top honors.