Football is obviously king at Alabama, but Crimson Tide athletics as a whole enjoyed its most successful year ever, and many smaller sports had seasons filled with spectacular moments of their own.
Because of the nature of these other sports, many of them take place in the spring, meaning they are going on at the same time. If you followed any of the sports, you often found yourself watching one game while frantically checking scores of another.
Because the 2011-2012 season gave us many of those days, I’ve compiled a list of the top ten days of the season on which the football team was not playing:
10. February 16, 2012
In a season filled with disappointment, Alabama women’s basketball took down the Kentucky Wildcats, who were ranked No. 7 at the time, 77-75. It was the Tide’s first win over a top-10 team in 12 years.
9. October 28, 2011
With three minutes left in a women’s soccer match vs. Auburn and the Tide needing a win to secure a spot in the SEC Tournament, Alabama was tied 2-2 with its fierce rival. But Ashley Willis scored a stunning goal from 30 feet away to give the Tide a win in dramatic fashion.
8. March 9, 2012
Softball took down Kentucky 3-1 in extra innings, with Danae Hays and Courtney Conley both hitting solo home runs in the ninth.
Alabama gymnastics defeated Missouri in a special Tornado Relief Meet, which raised money for both communities, which were devastated by tornadoes just one month apart.
Alabama men’s basketball fell just short to Florida 66-63 in the second round of the SEC Tournament.
7. April 7, 2012
In one of the only high points of its season, Alabama baseball defeated Auburn on Taylor Dugas’ walk-off home run. The Tide would finish the sweep of the Tigers the next night.
Alabama gymnastics won the Seattle Regional and advanced to the NCAA Championships for the 30th consecutive year.
6. March 11, 2012
The NCAA Tournament selection committee announced that Alabama men’s basketball would be making its first appearance in the big dance since 2006 as a ninth seed. The Tide fell to Creighton 58-57 when Trevor Releford’s last-second shot fell just short. Tide fans will be talking about “the foul that should have been” for years to come.
5. November 18, 2011
Men’s basketball beat Wichita State 70-60, avenging its loss in the NIT last year and earning a berth in the finals of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
Only an hour later, Iowa State took down Oklahoma State 37-31 in double overtime to put the Tide back in the hunt for a national championship, turning a routine football weekend vs. lowly Georgia Southern into a campus-wide party. (OK, that might be cheating a bit, but the football team wasn’t playing until the next day, so it still counts in my book.)
4. June 3, 2012
Alabama softball clinched its first ever berth in the Women’s College World Series championship game with a 5-2 win over Cal.
Men’s golf came just short of the program’s first national championship when Cory Whitsett fell on the last hole at the NCAA Finals.
3. May 25, 2012
Alabama softball beat Michigan 4-3 to win the Tuscaloosa Super Regional and advance to the Women’s College World Series.
Just a few minutes later, women’s golf won the national championship when Brooke Pancake sank a four-foot putt to clinch the victory.
2. April 21, 2012
Ashley Priess stepped up onto the balance beam for the last routine of the NCAA Gymnastics Championships, needing a near-perfect score to clinch a victory. Priess scored a 9.5, giving Alabama its sixth national championship in program history and second in two years.
1. June 6, 2012
Alabama softball sang in the rain while Oklahoma sat in the dugout, and the Tide won its first ever national championship in softball in one of the most dramatic sporting events in Alabama history. The win unquestionably made 2011-2012 the greatest year in Alabama history, with a fourth national championship.