It has been a year of division championships, playoff races and rookies making a name for themselves. But 2018 is coming to an end, so lets take a look back at the best Chicago sports moments in 2018.
Loyola Rambles on to Final Four
Making it to the Final Four is not easy. But fueled by Sister Jean’s magic the Ramblers made a Final Four appearance by stringing together upset after upset. Loyola marched through the University of Miami, Tennessee, Nevada and Kansas before losing to Michigan. Loyola’s first three victories in the tournament were by a combined four points.
For a city stuck with the Bulls, the Ramblers made basketball interesting again, even if it was only for a month.
Bears clinch NFC North
Even after the Khalil Mack trade analyst across the country pegged the Bears as a fringe playoff team. The Bears had a new coach, almost an entirely new receiving core and a whole new offensive to learn, so how good could the team be?
It took less than one game for Mack to dominate on the field defensively, and the new offensive weapons to shine. By week 16 the Bears’ clinched the NFC North, and Matt Nagy got the most wins for a Bears coach in their first season.
After years of struggling through the John Fox and Marc Trestman era, the Bears have returned to form.
Michael Kopech makes MLB debut
Chicago sports are full of young stars such as Kris Bryant, Lauri Markkanen and Yoan Moncada. But few debuts were as exciting as Michael Kopech’s debut. The Cubs were in the midst of a playoff run, but Kopech debut turned the city’s attention to the South Side.
Kopech may have finished the year with a 5.02 ERA, and may not pitch again until 2020, but the Sox had one of their top prospects in the major leagues.
Hawks in high places
The Blackhawks have not been playing very well on the ice during 2018, but there have still been memorable moments from this year. Patrick Kane cracked top 5 in Blackhawks history in points and goals scored.
Brent Seabrook also moved into second for most games played in Hawks history. He sits behind Blackhawks legend and Hall of Famer Stan Mikita.
Lauri Markkanen gets NBA All-Rookie Team honors
Jimmy Butler was becoming a fan favorite, then he got traded. With #Bullsnegatve spreading GarPax needed to Jimmy Butler trade to have successful returns, and it did. Lauri Markkanen finished his rookie season averaging 15.2 points per game, and a spot on the NBA All-Rookie team—along with Ben Simmons, Kyle Kuzma, Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum.
David Bote hits walk-off grand slam
The Cubs played poorly in their August matchup against the Nationals. Heading into the 9th inning they were shutout, and a loss meant the Brewers would gain more ground in the NL Central race.
Then, for the 25th time in MLB history, David Bote hits a walk-off ultimate grand slam.
LaVine becomes like Mike in first week of season
Zach LaVine was a major part of the Butler trade, and Bulls fans are anxious to see how he played in his first full season as a Bull. LaVine shined and put up 30, 33, 34 and 32 and become the first Bulls player since Michael Jordan to score at least 30 point in his first four game of a season.
Trubisky passes his way into Bears’ record book...again
Mitch Trubisky eclipsed the 3,000 yards mark against the 49ers and became the sixth Bears’ quarterback to throw for 3,000 yards in a single season. Trubisky joins Jay Cutler, John Harbaugh, Billy Wade, Rex Grossman and Erik Kramer as the only other players to do so.
This is the second time Trubisky has put his name in Bears’ passing records books. Last season Trubisky set the Bears’ rookie passing record with 2,193 yards.