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Geraghty’s Best Games of 2011

By Luke Geraghty

Watching sports is one of my favorite past times. Over the 2011 year, I have watched many nail-biting games that kept me on the edge of my seat. From basketball to soccer, I have watched great games in almost every major sport. However, I managed to cut the list of games to the three. Here’s the rundown:

#3: Notre Dame at Michigan Football (September)

This game comes in at number three because of the great rivalry the two teams have, the great uniforms that were worn, the fact it was the first night game ever at Michigan Stadium, and, of course, the fact that it was a killer game.

In this game, Notre Dame took control of the game after the first three quarters, 24-7. It looked like the Irish were going to bounce back after their disappointing week one loss to South Florida. However, Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson would take control of the game and would help lead the Wolverines to a 28-24 lead with 1:12 left in the game.

The Irish fans were left stunned until QB Theo Riddick fired a 29-yard TD pass to give the Irish a 31-28 lead. It looked all but over for the home team until Robinson through a long pass which put Michigan in scoring position with only seconds to play. Rather than trying to kick the game tying field goal, Michigan opted to throw the ball to the endzone and the end result was a 16 yard TD pass by Robinson to receiver Roy Roundtree with only two seconds left. The game left the 100,000+ fans into pure pandemonium and the viewers in shock as to what just happened.

Final Score: Michigan 35, Notre Dame 31

#2:FIFA Women’s World Cup Quarterfinal: USA vs Brazil (July)

The fact that I’m not a huge soccer fan shows just how great of a game this was. With all of the stars playing on both teams, it was hard to believe that these two teams were playing in just the quarterfinals. In the game, the U.S. scored in just the second minute of the game to take a 1-0 lead.

It appeared the game would be a shootout, but the defenses dominated the next 65 minutes and the score remained 1-0. Then, Brazil tied the game with a goal by their star, Marta. This wouldn’t be the last of her goals. The U.S. had some chances to score again late, but Brazil’s defense held them and the two teams would play in extra time.

In extra time Brazil stunned the U.S. after Marta scored her second goal in just the second minute of extra time. Brazil took a 2-1 lead. The U.S. team became desperate to try and get the game-tying goal, but Brazil’s defense wouldn’t budge. Finally, right before the extra time ran out, Abby Wambach fired a head shot from Megan Rapinoe and into the goal. U.S. fans went crazy while the Brazil fans were in shock.

The match was like a roller coaster ride and it would get only crazier once the penalty kicks started. The U.S. would eventually win in penalty kicks 5-3 in what has been described as maybe the greatest FIFA women’s soccer match ever.

Final Score: USA 2 (5) Brazil 2 (3)

#1: Marquette at Louisville Basketball (January)

It was all over. The hometown Cards were all but done. An 18-point deficit with under seven minutes to play looked out of reach. Everyone thought it was over, except for the U of L team.

Marquette had a 65-47 until Preston Knowles and of all players, Stephan Van Treese, helped cut Marquette’s lead down to 65-54. The fans at the Yum! Center started to have hope that their team could come back, but U of L still had a lot of work to do. After getting a big stop, Knowles came back down the floor and hit  a three to cut the lead down to 8. Knowles would hit two more three pointers which cut the lead down to 67-65.

Down the stretch, Louisville forward Terrence Jennings (who has always be known to struggle with his free throws) hit four out of four free throws and with not a lot of time left in the game, Louisville still trailed 70-69. Coming off a timeout, the Cardinals gave the ball to Knowles. Everyone at the Yum! Center thought the senior would take the final shot. However, Knowles fired a pass to a wide-open Kyle Kuric. Kuric made the shot right underneath the basket and the Cardinals would take the lead by 1. The sea of red in the stands went crazy, but still the Cardinals needed one last stop to pull of a miracle comeback.

Marquette drove the length of the floor but the shot by Jimmy Butler would be too short and U of L would get the win. This stunning comeback would soon be named “The Miracle on Main Street.”

Final Score: Louisville 71, Marquette 70

The year of 2011 has been a great year for sports. These three games certainly were not the only thrilling ones this year. If 2011 is only an appetizer for the games coming in 2012, then it should be another fun of year sports for all sports’ fans.