Another school year is behind us, so let’s take a look back at the biggest story in sports from each month we spent in Storrs this academic year.
August: In perhaps the most important sporting event of the entire year, Hawaii beat South Korea in the Little League World Series! The team from Honolulu dominated, shutting out South Korea 3-0 while allowing only two hits. It was the fourth time in the last 10 years that a team from the United States won the tournament in a time period that has largely been dominated by the squad from Tokyo, Japan, who has won five of the last 10.
September: The Seattle Storm won the WNBA Championship, sweeping the Washington Mystics. Three former UConn standouts were on the team. Breanna Stewart was named the series MVP, legend Sue Bird won her third title and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis won her first.
October: The Red Sox defeated the Dodgers in the World Series, only needing five games to give Boston their fourth championship since 2000 and Los Angeles their second consecutive World Series loss. Steve Pearce took home Series MVP honors and Hook C alum Matt Barnes won his very first ring, picking up the win in Game 1 and going a total of 2.1 innings while allowing no hits and striking out four.
November: This month was when perhaps one of the most exciting NFL games of all time took place: Chiefs vs. Rams. This game was simply an incredible offensive display, ultimately ending in Los Angeles defeating Kansas City 54-51. It was the first time in NFL history that both teams scored over 50 points and was the third highest scoring game ever. After seeing this game, most people marked down February 3 on their calendars for a rematch, only this time it would be for the Lombardi Trophy. However, thanks to Dee Ford and a coin flip, we all missed out on seeing the rematch that the world wanted.
December: It was a big month for college football, with the majority of the bowl games taking place towards the end of the month. However, before that, future No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray won the Heisman Trophy, and it was the second straight year that an Oklahoma Sooner quarterback won the award. Back then, Kyler was still a member of the Oakland Athletics and intending to play professional baseball, proving that a lot can change in just a couple of months.
January: The Clemson Tigers absolutely destroyed the Alabama Crimson Tide, 44-16, in the College Football Playoff National Championship game, if you can even call it a game. It really wasn’t much of a competition, as the Tigers were up 31-16 at the half and held Alabama scoreless for the rest of the game. In doing so, they completed their undefeated season and won their second title in the last three years.
February: The New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 in Super Bowl LIII, and Tom Brady won his sixth ring. The game itself was dreadful, one of the worst Super Bowls in recent memory. The 13 points that New England scored were the least by a winner in the Super Bowl era, and it was overall the lowest scoring Super Bowl in history. Personally, I enjoyed Zion ripping through his shoe more.
March: Baseball legend Ichiro Suzuki played the last game of his professional career when the Seattle Mariners opened the season in Japan against the Oakland Athletics. Ichiro finished his career a 10-time All-Star, 10-time Gold Glove recipient, three-time Silver Slugger, two-time Batting Title champ, 2001 Rookie of the Year and 2001 MVP award winner. He’s a member of the exclusive 3,000 hit club, recording 3,089 hits through his 19-year MLB career. However, he came to the MLB at age 27, as he also recorded another 1,278 hits in the Nippon Professional Baseball league in Japan, putting him well above 4,000 in his professional career.
April: Although it’s tempting to pick the historically good Tampa Bay Lightning getting swept out of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the two NCAA basketball championships edge it out. The University of Virginia Cavaliers beat the Texas Tech Red Raiders 85-77 in the men’s tournament for their first in school history, and the Baylor University Lady Bears beat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 82-81 for their third title in school history.
May: Though we’re just about a week and a half into May, this month has already seen some sports history. This year’s Kentucky Derby saw the famous race’s first ever first-place disqualification, as the horse that crossed the finish line first, named Maximum Security, did not end up the winner. Instead, the second-place horse Country House won the race, and at 65-1 odds, only Donerail in 1913 at 91-1 odds was a bigger upset.
Jorge Eckardt is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.