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Ohio guard Jaaron Simmons is congratulated by members of the O Zone after scoring 38 points during the Bobcats’ 85-70 win over Akron on Feb. 4, 2017. (FILE)

Column: OU's best sports moments this season

The Bobcats left plenty to smile about in 2016-2017. After revealing the five worst sports moments Tuesday, here's a breakdown of Ohio's top five moments this past year. 

5. Women's golf: Dolores Black Falcon Invitational (April 9)

For the past four years, Hailey Hrynewich has dominated for the Ohio team. In Bowling Green earlier this month, she won her fourth individual tournament of her collegiate career.

The bigger story, however, was that her team won too. The Bobcats won their first tournament since 2014, and all five competing Ohio golfers finished in the top 20 on the individual leaderboard. 

4. Ohio chooses Adidas as new partner (March 21)

Sure, Ohio didn't actually win anything here, but inking a guaranteed eight-year deal with adidas to be the new apparel provider is nothing but a positive. 

After using Russell for 10 years, the Bobcats switched to the three stripes after receiving a better deal. That should help everything, from moving product, to more breakthrough athletic technology and even another asset for recruiting. 

Let's be honest: Russell is synonymous for being the official supplier of your Sunday sweatpants. Adidas is cool, trendy and a brand that sponsors some of the world's best athletes and teams. That's a win-win. 

3. Kenny Kaminski's game-winner against Toledo (March 9)

Earlier in the season, Kaminski hit a game-winning shot at Buffalo — in an almost identical floor location as his shot against Toledo in the Mid-American Conference Tournament. 

After Ohio trailed and Jaaron Simmons led a late rally, the point guard found Kaminski, who buried his shot with eight seconds left to keep Ohio's season alive. Following the game, coach Saul Phillips said it was a moment most college basketball players never get, and those who do, don't always find success. 

It was a lifeline and the biggest shot of Kaminski's career, and it saved his team. 

2. Ohio beats Toledo to take lead in race for Detroit (Oct. 28)

The Bobcats entered the Glass Bowl looking for their first win at Toledo since 1967 — still a year before the program's last conference championship. That was literally a lifetime ago. 

The Rockets entered the game as one of the best teams in the conference, as Ohio was struggling under redshirt freshman quarterback Quinton Maxwell. 

But Ohio got out to an early lead and ultimately prevailed 31-26. The implications were massive.

With the win, the Bobcats were in the driver's seat to clinch the MAC East for the first time since 2011. Without question, the upset was one of the biggest conference road wins in coach Frank Solich's 12 seasons with the Bobcats.

1. Jaaron Simmons scores 38 in Akron upset (Feb. 4)

In many ways, Simmons' 38 points in Ohio's 85-70 upset win over Akron might be the shining moment of his collegiate career. 

After Antonio Campbell broke his foot the previous month, Simmons took it upon himself to lead Ohio toward a conference championship. His first standout game was this: a career-high against the Zips, who entered The Convo 12-0 in conference play. 

Simmons showed the Bobcats still had some fight in their season, and Phillips called his point guard one of the best in the nation. 

Then-Akron coach Keith Dambrot wasn't as excited, and later made a jab at Simmons saying that was an outlier performance. 

It wasn't, but even if Dambrot believed so, it was the best moment Ohio athletics this season. 

Here's to Simmons 40 up on Akron next year when former Ohio coach John Groce returns to Athens. 


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