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In the books: Re­view­ing the mem­o­rable sto­ries of 2012

Who were the top news­mak­ers this year in the world of sports? Amer­i­canS­tates­man writer Kevin Lyt­tle re­vis­its the year’s big­gest sto­ries — and the ath­letes, teams or coaches who made them so big this sea­son.

Score that Eli 2, Pey­ton 1. Eli Man­ning steps out of his older brother’s shadow once and for all by win­ning his sec­ond Su­per Bowl as the Giants edge the Pa­tri­ots, 21-17. Pey­ton Man­ning, de­spite all of his ac­com­plish­ments, still has just one NFL ti­tle. Eli, in out­per­form­ing Tom Brady, is voted Su­per Bowl MVP for the sec­ond time. He guided a team that was 7-7 in midDe­cem­ber to six straight vic­to­ries.

■ Mack Brown and the Longhorns al­ways own Fe­bru­ary, and they do it again by reel­ing in the con­sen­sus No. 2 re­cruit­ing class be­hind, nat­u­rally, Alabama.

■ Matt Kenseth wins a bizarre Day­tona 500 over Dale Earn­hardt Jr. Rain de­lays the event for about 32 hours and then the race is held up again when Juan Pablo Mon­toya runs into a safety truck, which catches fire and burns a hole in the track.

■ Texas exes Kevin Du­rant and LaMar­cus Aldridge play in the NBA Al­lS­tar game, the first time the Longhorns have two play­ers in the event.

■ Ricky Wil­liams, 34, who won the Heis­man Tro­phy at Texas in 1998, retires from foot­ball.

When Hall of Fame coach Jody Con­radt called it quits, Texas women’s bas­ket­ball got an es­tab­lished win­ner in Gail Goestenkors of Duke, but the seven-time ACC coach of the year strug­gled in the Big 12. Un­able to land the top play­ers in Texas, she re­signs un­der duress af­ter the Longhorns lose in the open­ing round of the 2012 NCAA tour­na­ment. De­spite be­ing one of the few mil­lion-dol­lar women’s coaches, Goestenkors won only one NCAA tour­na­ment game in five years. She’s re­placed by Karen As­ton, a former Con­radt as­sis­tant.

■ The New Or­leans Saints are ham­mered by Roger Good­ell for an al­leged bounty sys­tem that tar­gets op­pos­ing play­ers.

■ Tiger Woods wins his first PGA Tour event, the Arnold Palmer in Or­lando, Fla., since his sex-scan­dal trou­bles of 2009.

■ The Texas men join the women as first-round losers in March Mad­ness.

■ Tor­rey Henry drills a 3-pointer from the cor­ner with sec­onds to go as Dal­las Kim­ball beats Hous­ton Yates 78-75 in a Class 4A boys state fi­nal that rocks the Er­win Cen­ter.

YEAR IN SPORTS

MATT SLOCUM / AP FILE

Swim­mer Michael Phelps retires with twice as many golds (18) as any other Olympian, and his to­tal of 22 medals is eas­ily the best ca­reer mark.

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