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The 50 best teams of the 2010s

We all like certain athletes, but we really root for our teams. As the old Jerry Seinfeld bit says, we’re rooting for laundry. Sometimes, though, incredible players are wearing that laundry. Since 2010, we have seen some truly great teams. We have seen dynasties rise and fall. Here are the 50 best teams of the 2010s. We’re talking about individual seasons, by the way. That means a franchise can appear more than once. Yes, brace yourself for a lot of Patriots and Warriors. You can’t argue with results, or rings.

 
1 of 50

2010 San Francisco Giants

2010 San Francisco Giants
Jose Luis Villegas/Sacramento Bee/TNS/Sipa USA

The Giants roster, in hindsight, doesn’t look all that amazing on paper. Sure, there was Buster Posey, but the leading home run hitter for the 2010 Giants was Aubrey Huff. However, the Giants had quite the pitching staff. We’re talking Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and a promising young pitcher named Madison Bumgarner. They won 92 games during the regular season, second most in the National League, and then went on to win their first World Series since moving from New York to San Francisco.

 
2 of 50

2010 Auburn Tigers

2010 Auburn Tigers
Robin Trimarchi/Columbus Ledger-Enquirer/MCT/Sipa USA

It’s amazing what one transfer can do. Auburn got former Florida quarterback Cam Newton to join the team out of JUCO prior to the 2010 season, and that changed everything for the Tigers. Newton won the Heisman en route to leading the Tigers to an undefeated season. In the BCS title game, Auburn barely squeezed by the then-undefeated Oregon Ducks, but Newton and Co. pulled it off to win the title.

 
3 of 50

2010 Seattle Storm

2010 Seattle Storm
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The Storm trounced the competition during the 2010 campaign. Led by MVP Lauren Jackson, the Storm went 28-6, including a spotless 17-0 record at home. Perfection was the name of the game for Seattle, because the Storm proceeded to win every single one of their playoff games en route to the title.

 
4 of 50

2010-11 Vancouver Canucks

2010-11 Vancouver Canucks
Mark Van Manen/Postmedia News/MCT/Sipa USA

This is the first team we’ve listed that didn’t win the title, but you don’t need a ring to be a memorably great squad. The Canucks notched 117 points on the season, winning the Presidents Trophy by a wide margin. The dynamic duo of Henrik and Daniel Sedin both finished in the top four in points, with Daniel winning the Art Ross. Vancouver made it to the Stanley Cup Finals, where it and the Boston Bruins went to a seventh game. However, there the Bruins, the three seed out of the East, ended up hoisting the Cup.

 
5 of 50

2010-11 Chicago Bulls

2010-11 Chicago Bulls
Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/MCT/Sipa USA

The 2010-11 NBA season was overwhelmed by LeBron James taking his talent to South Beach in the offseason. However, the Bulls had the best regular season. Led by MVP Derrick Rose, the Bulls went 62-20. They ended up losing to the Heat, who had rounded into form, in the Eastern Conference Finals, but then the Heat proceeded to lose to the Mavericks in the NBA Finals. That’s why the Bulls are the team to remember from this season.

 
6 of 50

2010-11 Barcelona

2010-11 Barcelona
PA Images/Sipa USA

If you want to talk teams of the decade, Barcelona is definitely in the mix. The 2010-11 version of Barcelona may have been the best team they had in the 2010s. Led by Lionel Messi, who scored 31 goals in league play, Barcelona finished with a 30-6-2 record, posting a plus-74 goal differential in the process. That wasn’t all for Barca, who also won the Champions League with a 3-1 win over Manchester United in the finals. Sir Alex Ferguson called this team the toughest he faced in his storied career.

 
7 of 50

2011 New England Patriots

2011 New England Patriots
Jim McIsaac/Newsday/MCT/Sipa USA

The Patriots went 13-3 in this campaign. The Packers actually went 15-1, but they lost their first playoff game. New England went all the way to the Super Bowl. Of course, there they lost to the New York Giants. It was the second time the Pats were stunned by an underdog Giants squad but without the helmet catch fun this time.

 
8 of 50

2011-12 Kentucky Wildcats

2011-12 Kentucky Wildcats
Rich Sugg/Kansas City Star/MCT/Sipa USA

The only name I really need to say is Anthony Davis. In his one season in college he was stunningly good. However, this squad also had Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Davis and MKG ended up going first and second, respectively, in the 2012 NBA Draft. The Wildcats won the title after losing only two games all year, finishing with a 38-2 record. That set a record for the most wins in a single NCAA men’s basketball season.

 
9 of 50

2012 Alabama Crimson Tide

2012 Alabama Crimson Tide
Shane Keyser/Kansas City Star/MCT/Sipa USA

Unsurprisingly, this Alabama team was loaded with talent. The offensive line was quite good, and the defense was loaded with future NFL talent. The Tide did lose one game — you may recall Johnny Manziel’s magical performance that season — but they still made it back to the title game. There, they destroyed Notre Dame by a score of 42-14 to repeat as champions.

 
10 of 50

2012-13 Oklahoma City Thunder

2012-13 Oklahoma City Thunder
Xinhua/Sipa USA

Led by the dynamic duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the Thunder posted a 60-22 record. This is a story of what could have been though. Westbrook went down with a season-ending injury in the first round of the playoffs, which kept the Thunder from making a trip to the NBA Finals. We have to wonder what a healthy team might have done.

 
11 of 50

2012-13 Miami Heat

2012-13 Miami Heat
Pedro Portal/EL Nuevo Herald/MCT/Sipa USA

This was the best team of the era of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. The Heat posted a 66-16 record, with LeBron emerging as the MVP. You surely remember the NBA Finals matchup between the Heat and the Spurs. You know, that famous, iconic Game 6 where Ray Allen hit that three to keep Miami’s hopes alive? They would win the series in seven and cap one of the best NBA seasons ever.

 
12 of 50

2012-13 Bayern Munich

2012-13 Bayern Munich
PAUL DANOUN/SIPA

The Bundesliga doesn’t get the love of the English or Spanish leagues, so a team has to really dominate to stick out in Germany. That’s exactly what Bayern Munich did in this campaign. This team was absolutely loaded with talent, including the likes of Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm and Thomas Muller. Bayern went 29-4-1 with a plus-80 goal differential. They finished with 91 points, and no other team had more than 66. The Munich squad also won the Champions League for good measure.

 
13 of 50

2013 Denver Broncos

2013 Denver Broncos
Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group/MCT/Sipa USA

Did the 2013 Broncos have the greatest offense in NFL history? You can make the argument. They scored 606 points, the most ever by an NFL team. They owed a lot of that to the fact Peyton Manning threw a stunning 55 touchdown passes, which also broke a record. The Broncos made it all the way to the Super Bowl, where, well, things could have gone better. 

 
14 of 50

2013 Seattle Seahawks

2013 Seattle Seahawks
Lui Kit Wong/Tacoma News Tribune/MCT/Sipa USA

Who beat those 2013 Broncos in the Super Bowl? That would be the Seahawks. Like the Broncos, the Seahawks went 13-3. However, they were powered by a tremendous defense. That defense came out to play in the Super Bowl. The Seahawks jumped on the Broncos, winning the title with a stunning 43-8 victory.

 
15 of 50

2013 Boston Red Sox

2013 Boston Red Sox
David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT/Sipa USA

Laden with talent like David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia, the Red Sox finished with the best record in the American League in 2013. With 97 wins, they tied the Cardinals for the most wins in the majors. Those two teams matched off in the World Series, where the Red Sox won it all in six games. Remember when the Red Sox went forever without winning a World Series? By 2013 it had become business as usual.

 
16 of 50

2013 Florida State Seminoles

2013 Florida State Seminoles
Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer/MCT/Sipa USA

A whopping 25 players from this Seminoles team ended up playing in the NFL. That includes a redshirt freshman quarterback named Jameis Winston who ended up having a great year. It’s the secondary that was really incredible though. We’re talking Lamarcus Joyner, Ronald Darby and true freshman Jalen Ramsey. The Seminoles went undefeated, including winning the national championship.

 
17 of 50

2013-14 San Antonio Spurs

2013-14 San Antonio Spurs
Michael Laughlin/Sun Sentinel/MCT/Sipa USA

The Spurs got their revenge on the Heat in this season. Powered by the big three of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, they finished with a 62-20 record. They matched up with the Heat again in the NBA Finals, but this time the Spurs got the jump on them. San Antonio cruised to a five-game series victory. The MVP? An up-and-coming player named Kawhi Leonard.

 
18 of 50

2014 Phoenix Mercury

2014 Phoenix Mercury
Chuck Myers/MCT/Sipa USA

The 2014 WNBA season was a battle between two Western Conference teams, the Mercury and the Minnesota Lynx. Phoenix, led by Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner, came out on top. The Mercury had a 29-5 record, best in the league, and beat the Lynx to make it to the WNBA Finals. There, they swept the Chicago Sky to win the title.

 
19 of 50

2014 New England Patriots

2014 New England Patriots
John Woike/Hartford Courant/TNS

Apparently going 12-4 was en vogue in 2014. Five teams, including the Patriots, finished the year with a 12-4 record. Two of those teams, the Patriots and the Seahawks, made it to the Super Bowl. The Seahawks couldn’t repeat, though, because the Patriots emerged victorious, getting Tom Brady and Bill Belichick yet another ring.

 
20 of 50

2014-15 Kentucky Wildcats

2014-15 Kentucky Wildcats
Charles Bertram/Lexington Herald-Leader/TNS

How does a team that lost in the Final Four end up on this list? When that was the team’s first loss of the season. The Wildcats, led by Karl-Anthony Towns, were 38-0 when they faced the Wisconsin Badgers in the Final Four. John Calipari’s team lost, but until then they were an unstoppable juggernaut.

 
21 of 50

2014-15 Duke Blue Devils

2014-15 Duke Blue Devils
Sam Riche/TNS

The team that ended up winning it all in 2015? That would be Duke. Coach K’s squad was a one seed thanks to having a 29-4 record when the tournament began. Let by the freshman trio of Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow, the Blue Devils would go on to win it all, the fifth title in school history.

 
22 of 50

2014-15 UConn Huskies

2014-15 UConn Huskies
Brad Horrigan/Hartford Courant/TNS

In its first year as a member of the AAC, the Huskies lost their second game of the season to Stanford. That would be their only loss of the campaign. Connecticut cruised to a 38-1 record to win yet another women’s college basketball title. Breanna Stewart won about every individual award available. Too bad she couldn't get that win over Stanford, huh?

 
23 of 50

2014-15 Golden State Warriors

2014-15 Golden State Warriors
Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports

And lo, a dynasty was born. The Warriors jettisoned Mark Jackson as head coach, replacing him with Steve Kerr. That helped, but the emergence of Steph Curry as one of the best players in the league was the real boost. Curry won the MVP, the Warriors went 67-15 and then they proceeded to beat the Cavaliers for their first title during this run.

 
24 of 50

2015 Alabama Crimson Tide

2015 Alabama Crimson Tide
Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports

We had ended the era of the BCS by this time. Derrick Henry won one of the more unassuming Heismans for a juggernaut Crimson Tide team. Alabama did lose a game during the regular season and actually entered the playoffs as the two seed behind Clemson. They obliterated Michigan State, 38-0, in the semifinals and then took down Clemson, 45-40, in an all-time classic for yet another title for Nick Saban and Co.

 
25 of 50

2015 Carolina Panthers

2015 Carolina Panthers
Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports

Cam Newton does it again. Much as how he won a Heisman at Auburn to lead the Tigers to glory, Newton won the MVP in 2015, leading the Panthers to a 15-1 record. The only difference this time? Carolina didn’t win the title. The Panthers made it to the Super Bowl, but there they were defeated.

 
26 of 50

2015 Denver Broncos

2015 Denver Broncos
Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports

Yes, Peyton Manning was still the quarterback of the Broncos in 2015, but he was not the same guy. In fact, during the regular season he threw more picks than touchdowns. So how did the Broncos win the Super Bowl? They had a truly amazing defense. Led by Von Miller and coordinator Wade Phillips, the Denver D shut down everybody in the playoffs, including the Panthers, who only managed 10 points in the Super Bowl loss.

 
27 of 50

2015 Kansas City Royals

2015 Kansas City Royals
Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports

When the decade began, the Royals were mired in a stretch of mediocrity. Then, suddenly, they emerged as one of the best teams in the majors. Prospects and an elite bullpen powered the Royals to the best record in the American League. A team that had been a joke for many years took down the Mets to win their first World Series since the ‘80s. It was a magical run by a great team.

 
28 of 50

2015-16 UConn Huskies

2015-16 UConn Huskies
David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports

There is no question what program was the dominant force in women’s basketball in the 2010s. The 2015-16 season was the pinnacle of that run though. This wasn’t just the school’s fourth straight title. The Huskies went undefeated! That’s right, they went 38-0. Nobody could beat Connecticut. Until the next year’s Final Four, that is.

 
29 of 50

2015-16 San Antonio Spurs

2015-16 San Antonio Spurs
Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports

There are three NBA teams from the 2015-16 season on this list. What a season that was! The Spurs bowed out of the playoffs in the Western Conference Semifinals, but they still deserve a spot here. San Antonio went 67-15 during the regular season, with a 40-1 record at home. You can’t deny a regular season of that caliber.

 
30 of 50

2015-16 Golden State Warriors

2015-16 Golden State Warriors
Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports

However, the Spurs weren’t even the best regular season team this year. You remember this Warriors team. It’s the one that set a new record with a 73-9 record. Then Golden State went up three games to one in the NBA Finals. Of course, you know what happened after that.

 
31 of 50

2015-16 Cleveland Cavaliers

2015-16 Cleveland Cavaliers
Cary Edmondson/USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James returned to Cleveland to get his hometown team its first NBA title. With the help of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, he finally did it. During the regular season, the Cavs went 57-25. Of course, all that really matters is that seven-game series win in the NBA Finals. LeBron brought the title home. He made up for The Decision. It was an amazing run.

 
32 of 50

2016 New England Patriots

2016 New England Patriots
David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports

Oh, just another ho-hum Super Bowl season for the Patriots. New England went 14-2 in the regular season. In the Super Bowl, the Pats faced MVP Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons. You remember that amazing Super Bowl. New England came from behind to win in overtime, the first-ever overtime Super Bowl game.

 
33 of 50

2016 Chicago Cubs

2016 Chicago Cubs
David Richard/USA TODAY Sports

It happened. After over 100 years, the Cubs won the World Series. That alone would get them on this list. However, Joe Maddon’s crew also won 103 games. Their World Series against the Cleveland Indians, which they won in seven games, was a classic.

 
34 of 50

2016-17 Denver Pioneers

2016-17 Denver Pioneers
Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY Sports

Hey, why not include a college hockey team in the mix. We decided the Pioneers were the top team of the decade. Denver finished the regular season ranked No. 1, posting a 33-7-4 record. The Pioneers scored 152 goals and allowed only 80. A lot of times the top-ranked team in men’s hockey doesn’t end up winning it all though. That wasn’t the case with Denver, which cruised through the first three games of the tourney, winning by at least three goals each time before beating Minnesota-Duluth in the finals.

 
35 of 50

2016-17 Real Madrid

2016-17 Real Madrid
Mike Dinovo/USA TODAY Sports

Barcelona appeared on the list earlier, so naturally their greatest rivals, Real Madrid, have to be included too. It was a close battle between the two, as Real Madrid, powered by Cristiano Ronaldo, won La Liga by only three points. In fact, Barca had a better goal differential. Madrid won the league title, though, and then trounced Juventus, 4-1, to win the Champions League as well.

 
36 of 50

2016-17 Pittsburgh Penguins

2016-17 Pittsburgh Penguins
James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports

The ’97 and ’98 Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup. It was the last time that a team won back-to-back Cups…until the Penguins pulled it off. After winning the Cup in 2016, the Penguins followed it up with another victory in 2017. Sidney Crosby got his third ring as captain, and we were given one of the best hockey teams of the decade.

 
37 of 50

2016-17 Golden State Warriors

2016-17 Golden State Warriors
Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports

Once more, here are the Warriors. This time around, they had Kevin Durant in tow, as he followed the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” philosophy. It paid off big time for KD and for the Warriors. Not only did Durant win the NBA Finals MVP, but Golden State also went 16-1 in the playoffs, coming oh-so-close to the first 16-0 run in NBA playoffs history.

 
38 of 50

2017 Philadelphia Eagles

2017 Philadelphia Eagles
Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports

It was business as usual for the 2017 New England Patriots. They went 13-3 and made it to the Super Bowl. You know who else went 13-3 and made the Super Bowl? That would be the Eagles. Of course, during the year they lost Carson Wentz, replacing him with former starter Nick Foles. Foles went on a magical run, and the Eagles won their first-ever Super Bowl, making Philly sports fans act even crazier than usual.

 
39 of 50

2017 UCF Golden Knights

2017 UCF Golden Knights
Matt Stamey/USA TODAY Sports

In 2015, the Golden Knights of Central Florida went winless. How quickly things can change. Scott Frost took over as head coach and in two years turned the Knights into a force to be reckoned with. Central Florida went undefeated. This includes a Peach Bowl win over Auburn. Despite this the Golden Knights finished ranked sixth in the AP poll. What could have happened had UCF gotten a chance to play in the playoffs? We’ll never know.

 
40 of 50

2017 Los Angeles Dodgers

2017 Los Angeles Dodgers
Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports

The 2017 Dodgers were totally stacked. They finished with a 104-58 record, tops in the majors. Cody Bellinger won Rookie of the Year, Clayton Kershaw had an incredible season, and Kenley Jansen was a lockdown closer. The Dodgers made it to the World Series but fell in seven games to the Astros.

 
41 of 50

2017 Houston Astros

2017 Houston Astros
Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports

The Astros tore themselves down but were able to quickly build themselves back up. In addition to guys like Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa, the Astros had added Justin Verlander in a trade that changed the franchise. Only a couple of seasons removed from yet another 100-loss year, the Astros won 101 games and went on to win their first-ever World Series.

 
42 of 50

2017-18 Villanova Wildcats

2017-18 Villanova Wildcats
Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports

Weirdly, Villanova finished second in the Big East during the regular season. It had a better record than Xavier, but all four of its losses happened to be in-conference. Those were the only losses the Wildcats would have. They won the Big East tourney to get a one seed and then proceeded to win their second championship in three years. This time, they didn’t need a buzzer-beater either.

 
43 of 50

2017-18 Manchester City

2017-18 Manchester City
Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports

The Premier League is the top league in Europe, and no team has ever had a better season than the 2016-17 Manchester City squad. That’s just math. Man City finished with 100 points, the most ever in the history of the Premier League. They also set records for wins, goals and goal differential. Nobody finished within 19 points of City. The team may have gone out of the Champions League in the quarterfinals, but history must be recognized.

 
44 of 50

2017-18 Vegas Golden Knights

2017-18 Vegas Golden Knights
Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports

The Golden Knights are here based on the difficulty of their learning curve. Vegas was an expansion team. People assumed the Knights would be bad; expansion teams normally are. Instead, Vegas made the playoffs. Not only that. The Knights made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals. It was a magical, improbable run. Though they eventually lost to the Capitals, this was maybe the most incredible season of the 2010s.

 
45 of 50

2018 Boston Red Sox

2018 Boston Red Sox
Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox won 108 games in 2018, the most a team had won since the Seattle Mariners in 2001. That team famously didn’t make it to the World Series. Boston, led by MVP Mookie Betts didn’t suffer the same fate. The Red Sox cruised to a World Series victory, beating the Dodgers in five games.

 
46 of 50

2018 Clemson Tigers

2018 Clemson Tigers
Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports

Clemson and Alabama were dueling to be the team of the decade, but this Clemson team may have been the best of the bunch. The Tigers, led by freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence and a great defense, went undefeated during the regular season. To be fair, the ACC schedule was pretty easy. If you had quibbles, the Playoffs answered them. Clemson beat Notre Dame, 30-3, in the semifinals and then crushed Alabama, 44-16, in the title game.

 
47 of 50

2018-19 Toronto Raptors

2018-19 Toronto Raptors
Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports

For years the Raptors just couldn’t get over the hump. Apparently what it took was getting one of the five best players in the NBA on their team. With the addition of Kawhi Leonard, the Raptors took on a whole new level of potential. Granted, Toronto was helped by Golden State suffering injuries in the playoffs, but the Raptors still got their first-ever NBA title.

 
48 of 50

2018-19 Liverpool

2018-19 Liverpool
Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports

Liverpool put up 97 points on the season. That was the third most in Premier League history. The only problem for Liverpool? Manchester City finished with the second-most points in Premier League history. At least Jurgen Klopp’s squad could take solace in winning the Champions League, something Man City has never done.

 
49 of 50

2018-19 Manchester City

2018-19 Manchester City
Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports

Nevertheless, we have to honor Manchester City’s second of back-to-back titles. Like we just said, Man City had 98 points, the second-most ever for a Premier League season. They also had a plus-72 goal differential, better than Liverpool’s plus-67. Liverpool lost one game all season? Whom did they lose to? That would be Manchester City.

 
50 of 50

2019 Houston Astros

2019 Houston Astros
Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports

We end with the most recent team on the list. Powered by the dynamic duo of Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole on the mound, the Astros won 107 games during the regular season, tops in the majors. Many expected a rematch between them and the Dodgers in the World Series, but instead the Astros met up with the upstart Washington Nationals. There, they ended up falling in seven games, but Houston still makes this list. It had one of the best offenses ever during the regular season. Somehow, it just disappeared in the World Series.

Chris Morgan is a sports and pop culture writer and the author of the books The Comic Galaxy of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and The Ash Heap of History. You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisXMorgan.


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