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Best Teams Of 2011: Green Bay Packers, Barcelona, And Dallas Mavericks Make The List

First Posted: 12/31/11 07:27 PM ET   Updated: 12/31/11 07:27 PM ET

What is it that makes a team great?

Is it a consistent dominance from start to finish that simply suffocates opponents? The Green Bay Packers have certainly pulled off that feat since the calendar turned to 2011, winning 18 games in a row including a Super Bowl before being upset by the Kansas City Chiefs just a few weeks before we reached 2012. Perhaps the only team on the earth to play football at a level higher than Aaron Rodgers and the Pack this year may have been Lionel Messi and Barcelona, who played with an artfulness that even Steve Young would have been impressed by.

Of course, St. Anthony's Prep in New Jersey knows a thing or two about being dominant as well. The winningest high school basketball team in New Jersey history capped off its undefeated season by beating St. Patrick's High School, who was also considered a top 10 squad nationally, by double digits.

But perhaps great teams are defined by their ability to come together when it matters most. In that case, the UConn Men's basketball team and St. Louis Cardinals are the best teams of the year. Both of these teams were considered only darkhorse contenders during their regular seasons but would raise their games when it mattered most.

Or maybe in order to be a great team, you need to prove your mettle against a team considered better. The Dallas Mavericks defeated the defending NBA champion Lakers as well as the juggernaut Miami Heat on the way to their first championship. And Japan's Women's National Soccer team beat a physically imposing USA squad to win the World Cup.

Here are more than a dozen of the greatest teams from 2011. Help us decide which was the BEST TEAM OF 2011. We know these top clubs are just the tip of the ice berg. So let us know the other great teams that took place this year by clicking 'Add A Slide' and submitting a YouTube highlight of your favorite game.

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UConn Huskies Men's Basketball
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The Huskies appeared down and out at the conclusion of regular season play, holding a 21-9 record with a slew of losses in conference play. But Jim Calhoun's squad got hot when it counted, winning five games in five days to win the Big East tournament and then winning an upset-laden NCAA tournament in which they only had to defeat one team with a better seed than them (San Diego State in the Sweet Sixteen).
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Filed by Dan Treadway  |