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2012 in Review: April

Dec 29, 2012, 3:38 PM EDT

In April, the women’s basketball team kicked off the month with an exciting 83-75 overtime win against fellow #1 seed Connecticut in the national semifinal in Denver.

A late rebound and putback from Natalie Novosel, a block from Skylar Diggins (yes, a block from the 5’9″ Irish point guard) and a pair of key three-pointers in overtime from Brittany Mallory have head coach Muffet McGraw’s team right where they wanted (and expected) to be on April 2, 2012 – in position to play for a title.

Watching tonight’s game, reading fans’ tweets and friends’ Facebook statuses, and now, checking out ‘One Shining Moment’ montages on YouTube as I write this, reminds me there’s nothing quite like college basketball.

The emotion and excitement of March Madness is unparalleled. The refuse-to-lose mentality of Diggins, the leadership of Novosel, the clutch shooting of Mallory, and the character of this Fighting Irish team make us proud to say we’re all a part of the same Notre Dame family.

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After her basketball season ended, Mallory picked the lacrosse stick back up, joining head coach Christine Halfpenny‘s team for the final run of the 2012 campaign.

The softball team held its second annual Strike Out Cancer event to help raise money for the South Bend Memorial Hospital Pediatric Hematology / Oncology Program. The Irish defeated Syracuse on a walk-off wild pitch in the first game of a doubleheader at Melissa Cook Stadium.

It was all Orange this afternoon at Melissa Cook Stadium. And that’s not to say Syracuse got a big victory. In fact, it was Notre Dame that emerged with a 4-3 win in the first game of a BIG EAST conference doubleheader.

Orange was the color of the afternoon because Syracuse was decked out in it from head to toe, but also because the Fighting Irish uniforms were accented with orange for leukemia awareness.

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On the gridiron, the Fighting Irish wrapped up spring practice with the 83rd annual Blue-Gold Game.

A few days later, Michael Floyd and Harrison Smith were selected on the opening night of the NFL Draft, marking the first time two Irish players were selected in the first round since 1994.

Everyone knew former Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd was a sure-thing first rounder, but it was Minnesota’s selection at pick #29 that turned a good night into a great night for Irish fans.

It all started when Arizona chose Floyd with pick #13, making him the highest Notre Dame selection since Bryant Young was drafted seventh in 1994. Floyd will join fellow Twin Cities native Larry Fitzgerald, setting up what could be a very impressive wide receiver tandem for the Cardinals.

About an hour and a half later, the Minnesota Vikings continued what is beginning to look like a push to be renamed ‘Notre Dame North,’ selecting 2011 Irish captain Harrison Smith with pick #29.

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