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Beth Maiman | NCAA.com | July 7, 2017

Best NCAA.com stories from 2016-17 sports season

Another college sports season has come to a close. 

There were many exciting moments, thrilling games and new champions crowned in the 2016-17 NCAA sports season. From August to the end of June, college sports were in full force. 

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Before fall sports return, take a look back at some of the best stories from NCAA.com during the academic year:

A crazy two days for Michigan basketball 

Back in March, the Michigan basketball team endured an intense and scary few days. On the way to the Big Ten tournament, the team was involved in a plane accident while heading to Washington D.C. NCAA.com's Mike Lopresti interviewed coaches and members of the team to get insight on what that experience was like and how the Wolverines found a way to continue to play. Michigan went on to win the Big Ten tournament and made it to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament before falling to Oregon. 

Sportsmanship on display 

During the ACC women’s cross country championship in October, sportsmanship was truly demonstrated at its finest. About 20 yards before the finish line of the race, Boston College runner Madeline Adams fell to the ground exhausted right before finishing the race. Clemson’s Evie Tate came to Adams’ side and tried to assist her in finishing the race. As Louisville’s Rachel Pease came running down during her final push, she also stopped to help Adams, grabbing the left side of her body to assist Tate. The pair would eventually help Adams cross the finish line. 

Streak broken 

It seemed like it would never happen, but eventually it did. The UConn women's basketball team had its record 111 game winning-streak snapped at the Final Four in Dallas when Mississippi State defeated the Huskies 66-64 in overtime. The winning shot came from point guard Morgan William, who hit a last-second buzzer beater to send her team to the national championship. Click here to read more about the thrilling game

David vs. Goliath retold 

Yes, the 2007 Fiesta Bowl went down as an instant classic. Underdog Boise State made a statement when the Broncos defeated the Oklahoma Sooners 43-42. In case you've forgotten, the game-winning play was pretty epic. NCAA.com's Anthony Chiusano caught up with members of that Boise State team to look back at the historic game.

College basketball coaching trees 

Thanks to NCAA.com's Joe Boozell, here is a deep dive into the NCAA basketball coaching trees, which examines who has had the biggest impact on the game when it comes to grooming the next successful young coaches. 

Starting from scratch 

It's not easy to build a program. The Cleveland State men's lacrosse team had that challenge this year, when they participated in the Vikings inaugural season back in the spring. NCAA.com interviewed coaches, team and community members to find out just what it takes to start a program. 

How far will one father go?

Gonzaga's Przemek Karnowski's father traveled 6,000 miles from Poland to watch his son play in Arizona during the Final Four. Lucky for Bonifacy, Przemek's father, he got to see the Bulldogs beat South Carolina to earn a spot in the national championship game. Despite the loss in the title game to North Carolina, you have to think the trip was worth it. Read here to learn more about his journey

The best surprise 

Arizona softball junior Ashleigh Hughes was treated with a surprise prior to the Wildcats game against Oregon when her brother, senior airman Raynard Hughes, walked toward the pitcher's circle to throw the first pitch back in April. Get the tissues out for this one, folks. 

Assist to Flint

Monte Morris: Assist to Flint

From his days on the court of Flint Beecher High School to his senior year at Iowa State, Monte Morris has always put those by his side above himself. So it was no surprise when his hometown of Flint, Michigan was in trouble he reached out to help.

Sick GOOOOOOOOOOAL!

Add this to the highlight reel for sure. Back in September a long-range flip throw by Colorado senior Danica Evans resulted in a goal by Taylor Kornieck. Check out the video: 

Denver coach and left winger share a piece of history 

To help his Pioneers win a national title, Jarid Lukosevicius tallied three goals in Denver's 3-2 win over Minnesota Duluth. The last hat trick in an NCAA championship game? Well, that came from Denver’s head coach Jim Montgomery back in 1993 when Maine defeated Lake Superior State 5-4 to win the national title.

A perfect 10 

Alabama's Kiana Winston had one of the best performances in gymnastics this season. With the jam of Terror Squad's "Lean Back" blasting, she scored a 10.0 on her floor routine, a perfect score, to help Alabama beat Florida back in February.

March Madness in the Wooden Family 

John Wooden's grandfather, Cathleen Trapani, wrote for NCAA.com to talk about what March Madness was like for her and her family. She shares memories of her grandfather during his time at UCLA and during his retirement when he would attend many Final Fours. 

Dyer inspires 

Pepperdine Beach Volleyball: Heidi Dyer

Despite undergoing major back surgery at the age of 12 to correct her adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, Pepperdine beach volleyball player Heidi Dyer did not give up on her dream to play. Today, she is an All-American on the court and the sand, and an inspiration to young girls everywhere.

A grand old time 

This year in Omaha, the College World Series saw its 1,000th game in tournament history when Florida State played Cal State Fullerton on June 19. NCAA.com's Mike Lopresti shares more about the history and the many people behind what makes the college baseball tournament great. 

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