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Tar Heel Year in Review

What went well? What didn't? Here is your catalog of some of the moments in UNC athletics we covered on Tar Heel Blog.

Giovani Bernard's punt return for a TD against NC State stands is the most memorable moment of 2012.
Giovani Bernard's punt return for a TD against NC State stands is the most memorable moment of 2012.
Grant Halverson

January 14th - Following two rather nondescript games to open the ACC season at home, UNC embarks on a road trip to Tallahassee and suffers one of the more humiliating defeats in UNC history. Nothing went right from the outset resulting in a 90-57 loss to at the hands of FSU. As if the loss were not enough, Roy Williams made the controversial decision to have the team leave the bench area with 14 seconds left in the game but not the five walk-ons on the court creating some blowback a couple of days later.

January 19th - UNC bounces back with a win against Virginia Tech at Blacksburg but at great cost. Dexter Strickland tears his ACL and is lost for the season which ended up being a much bigger problem two months later.

January 26th - The Heels win their 11th straight over NC State in impressive fashion. Tyler Zeller announced his presence in the race for ACC Player of the Year with 21 points and 17 rebounds.

February 9th - The first Duke game which saw UNC blow a ten point lead late in the contest with some help from questionable officiating and a cold blooded three pointer from Austin Rivers.

February 19th - UNC runs its home winning streak versus Clemson to 56.

February 21st - UNC faces NC State for a second time and wins for a 12th straight time. This game marked the emergence of Kendall Marshall as a viable offensive threat. The sophomore point guard took advantage of the Wolfpack game plan to make him beat them by doing just that. Marshall scored 22 points, dished out 13 assists and did not commit a turnover. Marshall took exception to the N&O calling NCSU's Lorenzo Brown the best PG in the ACC and stated his case during the game.

February 23rd - Tyler Zeller named Academic All-American of the Year. The first of many accolades to be bestowed on senior from Indiana.

February 29th - Kendall Marshall breaks Ed Cota's single season assist mark versus Maryland. By the end of the season, the record would stand at 351.

March 3rd - Revenge is exacted on Duke when a very pissed off looking group of Tar Heels show up at Cameron Indoor Stadium and lay wood to the Blue Devils. The win clinched the ACC Regular Season title for a second straight season.

March 5-6 - Harrison Barnes, Tyler Zeller and John Henson are named first team All-ACC, Kendall Marshall is named second team. Zeller wins ACC Player of the Year and Henson repeats as Defensive Player of the Year.

March 8th - UNC faces Maryland in the ACC Quarterfinals. During the game John Henson lands awkwardly and injures his wrist. Henson would return briefly but not play again until the NCAA Tournament. Kendall Marshall breaks the ACC single season assist mark in the 85-69 win over the Terps.

March 9th - The win streak over NC State hits 13 but not without much controversy. With Henson out and NCSU playing some of the hotter basketball in the conference, the semifinal game was a back and forth affair. With the game tied at 67, Kendall Marshall drove into the lane and hit a jumper with the Pack's Alex Johnson falling to the ground attempting to draw a charge. There was no call. On the subsequent possession, Justin Watts made the biggest play of his UNC career when he intercepted interior pass at the baseline then made the heads-up play to toss the ball to the other end of the court killing crucial seconds NCSU needed. UNC escaped after a last ditch effort by the Pack failed.

March 10th - UNC loses the ACC title game to FSU after following behind by as much as 16 before rallying to within two in the final seconds.

March 12th - The NCAA releases its final report on UNC's football scandal. The Tar Heels receive a bowl ban, three years probation and the loss of 15 scholarships over a three year span.

March 18th - John Henson returns to action in the NCAA Third Round game against Creighton which ends up being a testy affair. The Heels respond to an early Creighton run and a Blue Jays player baiting Henson by hacking at his wrist to ultimately dominate the game. Unfortunately, an awkward fall by Kendall Marshall on a drive to the basket resulted in him breaking his right wrist.The loss of Marshall along with the previous injured Dexter Strickland left UNC depending on Stilman White who was brought in as a last resort PG reserve.

March 23rd - UNC needs overtime to knock off #13 Ohio in the Sweet Sixteen. Harrison Barnes struggled mightily but Reggie Bullock stepped up to bail the Heels out. It is clear that Kendall Marshall's absence is extremely problematic for the Tar Heels.

March 25th - The season ends in a loss to Kansas in the Midwest Regional Final. Harrison Barnes finishes the regional round going 8-30 from the floor. Stilman White plays well in Kendall Marshall's stead but the lingering wrist injury to John Henson plus the general disruption caused by Marshall's absence was simply too much to overcome. Despite beginning the season ranked #1, UNC would miss the Final Four and a potential rematch with Kentucky.

March 29th - Kendall Marshall becomes the third UNC point guard under Roy Williams to win the Bob Cousy Award. Marshall, Harrison Barnes and John Henson all enter their names in the NBA Draft.

April 20th - The ACC formally reprimands UNC over its nine NCAA violations in football. According to various reports, UNC came within one vote of being fined $100,000.

May 2nd - ESPN analyst and former Tar Heel player Hubert Davis joins Roy Williams' staff as an assistant replacing Jerod Haase who left to become head coach at UAB.

May 4th - An internal review of the AFAM department finds academic fraud and other discrepancies with classes tied to department head Julius Nyang'oro.

May 23rd - Tar Heel legendary running back Mike Voight dies at 58.

May 26th - UNC defeats NC State in a meaningless game during the ACC Baseball Tournament. Despite the lack of meaning in the game it ended up being a 13-inning battle that was scoreless until UNC pushed across multiple runs in the final inning.

June 3rd - The Chapel Hill Regional ends...poorly. UNC loses a heartbreaker to St. John's to fall into the loser's bracket. After beating ECU, St. John's wins the next game to bring the Heels' season to an end. The two losses mark the first time in the Mike Fox era UNC had lost a game in a regional hosted in Chapel Hill.

June 8th - UNC basketball legend Pete Brennan dies.

June 28th - Four Tar Heels are taken in the first round of the NBA Draft. Harrison Barnes goes 7th to Golden State, Kendall Marshall 13th to Phoenix, John Henson 14th to Milwaukee and Tyler Zeller 17th to Cleveland.

July 3rd - UNC alum and North Carolina icon Andy Griffith dies in his hometown of Manteo at the age of 86.

August 5th - Former Tar Heel Shalane Flanagan finishes 10th in the Olympic Marathon.

August 6th - Former Tar Heel soccer star Kirk Urso playing as a member of the MLS Columbus Crew, dies suddenly.

August 13th - In the latest of a string of headlines concerning UNC's academic issues, former football star Julius Peppers' transcript in accidentally leaked on the internet and picked up by Pack Pride denizens. The leak raises additional questions about how far back the AFAM academic issues extend and whether UNC was simply floating athletes along in easy classes(Hint: They were, just like everyone else.)

August 16th - Facing mounting public and media pressure and three days after the Julius Peppers transcript fiasco, UNC confirms an independent review of its academic troubles would be conducted by former Governor Jim Martin.

September 1st - The Larry Fedora Era opens with a 62-0 win over Elon. Star running back Giovani Bernard injures his knee and would miss the next two games against Wake Forest and Louisville. The Heels would lose both when late drives in both failed to produced a game winning touchdown.

September 10th - Tar Heel Blog moves to SB Nation and merges with Carolina March.

September 17th - Chancellor Holden Thorp resigns effective at the end of the school year becoming the latest casualty of the ongoing academic scandal at UNC.

September 19th - Roy Williams undergoes surgery to have a tumor removed from his right kidney. The tumor is found to be non-cancerous.

September 22nd - Giovani Bernard returns to action in a 27-6 win over East Carolina in Chapel Hill.

September 29th - UNC tops 60 points for the second time in the 2012 season with a 66-0 win over hapless Idaho.

October 4th - A biopsy of Roy Williams' left kidney shows the tumor there is non-cancerous. The tumor was not removed.

October 6th - Giovani Bernard rushes for 262 yards and a school record 11.4 yards per carry as UNC wins 48-34 over Virginia Tech.

October 12th - Former UNC system president William Friday, who was instrumental in transforming the University of North Carolina during integration and the expansion of the system, dies.

October 27th - The long nightmare against NC State ends. UNC rallies from down 35-25 to tie the game late in the fourth quarter. After forcing a three and out with less than a minute left, Giovani Bernard cemented his place as a Tar Heel legend with a 74-yard punt return for a touchdown to give the Heels the win and break a five game losing streak against the Wolfpack.

November 9th - UNC opens the basketball season with a 76-59 win over Gardner Webb.

November 10th - The Heels defense fails to show up against Georgia Tech and surrenders 68 points on the way to a 68-50 loss at the hands of the hated triple option offense.

November 13th - Casey Barth's record setting career as UNC's kicker ends with an ankle injury. Barth leaves UNC as the career leader in field goals.

November 20th - The Heels take their first loss of the season against Butler after falling behind by 29, rallying to within six then falling by 11. UNC would finish third in Maui.

November 25th - UNC defeats Maryland to finish 8-4 on the year and 5-3 in the ACC. With the tiebreakers, UNC finished first in the Coastal Division but a postseason ban prevented the Heels from advancing to the ACC Championship Game.

November 26th - Four Tar Heels are named first team All-ACC.

November 28th - The Heels get throttled by Indiana in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge pushing the fan base a step closer to all-out panic.

November 29th - Associate AD for Compliance Amy Herman resigns as part of Bubba Cunningham's efforts to reorganize the athletic department.

December 2nd - The UNC women's soccer team wins its 21st NCAA title despite having a season that was rather average by Tar Heel standards. The Heels survived three tough games before routing Penn State in the final.

December 4th - Larry Fedora's name is attached to the vacant Tennessee coaching position but per his and Bubba Cunningham's policy refuse to issue a denial. That leads to 48 hours of speculation and rumors that included a UNC recruit offering the only thing close to any sort of confirmation Fedora was staying at UNC.

December 19th - UNC loses at Texas. The fan base goes into full panic mode.

December 20th - The Martin Report is released confirming the academic scandal extended to the late 1990s but was isolated to the AFAM department. Critics lambast the report for not asking certain questions and allies hail it as the final word on the long string of scandals which began with an NCAA investigation in 2010.

December 29th - UNC wins a hard fought game against UNLV drawing the fan base away from the ledge for the time being.