Whether it’s due to luck playing a role in who wins sports events or teams “choking” in the playoffs, none of the best teams in MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL history as judged by regular-season winning percentage won their respective league’s postseason competition, commonly known as the only championship that most sports fans care about.
In 1906, the Chicago Cubs cruised to the National League pennant with a 116-36 record (.763 winning percentage). If a team had won at that rate with today’s 162-game schedule, it would complete its season with an incredible 124-38 mark. But the Cubs stumbled in the World Series, falling to their cross-town rivals, the Chicago White Sox, 4-2. The Cubs did rebound to win World Series titles in 1907 and 1908 before taking a long hiatus from doing so before their famous victory in 2016.
Although the 1972 Miami Dolphins did follow up on a 14-0 regular season with a run to a Super Bowl title, the 2007 New England Patriots went two better in the regular season by finishing their campaign with a 16-0 mark (1.000). However, they fell to the New York Giants, 17-14, in the Super Bowl. The Patriots would next lift the Lombardi Trophy following the 2014 campaign.
The Golden State Warriors had the best regular-season mark in NBA history during the 2015-16 season, posting an incredible 73-9 record (.890). However, the run to an NBA title fell just short when the team lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers, 4-3, in the NBA Finals. But the Warriors still have a lot to be proud of, having sandwiched this season with NBA titles in 2015 and 2017.
Lastly, the 1929-30 Boston Bruins completed their campaign with a 38-5-1 record (.875). The team dominated the American Division standings, finishing 30 points ahead of second-place Chicago. However, the Montreal Canadiens were too much for Boston in the 1930 Stanley Cup Finals, sweeping the Bruins, 2-0. Those setbacks marked Boston’s first time losing consecutive games all season. But the Bruins had won the Stanley Cup the previous year. Their next title would come in 1939.