UConn Basketball

with Kevin Duffy

Timeline: UConn in 2012

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A look back at the past year in UConn athletics:

January 3 — In their second Big East game, the Huskies are dismantled, 75-63, at Seton Hall. The blowout — UConn trailed by as many as 17 — serves as a sign of things to come in a rocky season.

January 7 – A 57-game Big East winning streak is snapped in South Bend as Skylar Diggins and the Irish knock off the No. 2 Huskies, 74-67 in overtime. “We were plus two with a minute to play and we don’t finish the game,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma says. “It just shows that we are not ready to win those kind of games.”

February 1 — The nation’s top women’s basketball recruit, 6-foot-4 Breanna Stewart, commits to UConn.

February 3 -- Longtime coach Jim Calhoun takes an indefinite medical leave of absence with spinal stenosis. The Huskies, who entered January as the No. 8 team in the nation, are unranked and losers of four straight.

February 20 – Shabazz Napier does this.

March 3 — Calhoun returns to the sidelines four days after back surgery and guides the Huskies, desperate for a strong finish, to a 74-65 win over Pitt in the regular season finale.

The UConn women celebrate the Big East title (AP)

March 6 — A week after losing to Notre Dame for the second time, Bria Hartley and the Huskies handle the Irish, 63-54, staking claim to the Big East title.

March 7 -- Napier, the wild card in a completely unpredictable season, goes on a 9-0 run by himself in 1:29 to force overtime against West Virginia in the second round of the Big East tournament. The Huskies eventually pull away for a 71-67 victory, which essentially clinches a spot in the Big Dance.

March 16 — Anyone expecting UConn to play spoiler in the NCAA tournament is quickly disappointed. The Huskies fall behind Iowa State, 36-14, and never draw closer than six points. “More often than not,” Shabazz Napier says, “you end up sitting here talking about what you could have done and should have done.”

March 22 – Alex Oriakhi, the anchor down low during UConn’s 2011 championship run, decides to transfer. Four other Huskies — Jeremy Lamb, Andre Drummond, Roscoe Smith and Michael Bradley — would later leave.

April 1 – In their fourth meeting of the year, Diggins and the Irish best the Huskies, 83-75, in the Final Four. “We feel frustration,” says UConn junior guard Kelly Faris. “This was the same thing as last year.”

April 16 — UConn senior Tiffany Hayes is selected 14th overall in the WNBA Draft by the Atlanta Dream.

April 22 — Chandler Whitmer takes the early lead in the UConn quarterback race as he throws for 187 yards and two touchdowns in the annual Blue and White game.

June 12 — The New York Times reports that Geno Auriemma is being sued by former Olympic Games security guard Kelley Hardwick, who claims that Auriemma grabbed and attempted to kiss her in a hotel hallway in 2009.  “This claim is beyond false,” Auriemma says in a statement. “I will defend myself to the fullest, and I’m confident that the truth will ultimately prevail.”

June 21 – UConn accepts an invite to the Hockey East, the region’s top league in the sport. The Huskies become the 12th member of the conference starting in 2014-15.

June 28 – Andre Drummond is selected ninth overall in the 2012 NBA Draft, and Jeremy Lamb — plucked by the Houston Rockets — comes off the board three picks later.

August 4 – Hours before his 2012 charity game at Mohegan Sun, Jim Calhoun fractures his hip in a bike accident. “I’m pretty sure he isn’t thinking about retiring now,” Kemba Walker says. “He’s probably thinking about recovering.”

August 11 – Under Geno Auriemma’s leadership, Team USA hammers France, 86-50, to claim gold. Six of the 12 players on Auriemma’s roster played for UConn.

September 12 — News leaks around 6 p.m. that Calhoun, who spent 26 seasons constructing the UConn program, has decided to retire.

September 13 – Jim Calhoun gives his final remarks as UConn head coach, and Kevin Ollie, the former Husky point guard, is named his successor. His first victory: This press conference.

Randy Edsall and Paul Pasqualoni (AP)

September 15 – Facing its former coach, Randy Edsall, the UConn football team picks up a 24-21 victory at Maryland. The Huskies push their record to 2-1.

October 13 — UConn kicker Chad Christen misses three field goals, including a chip shot in overtime, as Temple shocks the Huskies, 17-14. Its the second loss in a row, and a blowout at Syracuse (40-10) and a disappointing 13-6 defeat at South Florida will follow.

November 4 – In the final minute of the Big East field hockey championship, sophomore Chole Hunnable blasts a shot halfway up the cage to send UConn to a 4-3 win over Syracuse. It marks the Huskies’ 12th Big East title.

November 9 – A furious start to Kevin Ollie’s first game propels UConn to a 66-62 upset over Michigan State in Germany. Afterwards, Ollie embraces Calhoun, who announced the season opener on WTIC 1080.

November 18 – Quinnipiac gives UConn all it can handle, but Shabazz Napier reels off 23 points in the final 7:30, lifting the Huskies to an overtime win in the Paradise Jam semifinal.

November 24 – For just the second time in program history, UConn football knocks off a ranked opponent. This one, a 23-20 win over Louisville, requires three overtimes.

November 25 – Nick Zuniga provides the game-winner — a shot to the lower-left corner — as the UConn men’s soccer team upends New Mexico, 2-1, in overtime of the NCAA third round. The Huskies would later lose to Creighton, 1-0, in the Elite Eight.

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