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'06 made the downtrodden downright delightful

Updated: December 29, 2006, 12:49 PM ET
By Pat Forde | ESPN.com

My vote for Sportsman of the Year goes to St. Jude.

I know he's been dead for centuries. I know he has no historical record of any sporting pursuits beyond fishing. But name me someone who had a better 2006 than the patron saint of lost causes.

This was the year when the lost cause became winnable.

Have-nots had lots. No fewer than a dozen terminal underdogs had their day in '06. The countdown:

12. Butler wins the NIT Season Tip-Off Cinderellas do their most memorable work ...

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