Buckeyes, Flyers, Raiders, Votto and more: 2016 things that didn’t suck

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 26: Curtis Samuel #4 of the Ohio State Buckeyes scores the winning touchdown in double overtime against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 26: Curtis Samuel #4 of the Ohio State Buckeyes scores the winning touchdown in double overtime against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The year 2016 provided plenty of reasons to feel bad. Forget those for now, though.

We’re here to accentuate the positive.

Here are nine things from 2016 that definitely didn’t suck:

1. Dayton wins the Atlantic 10.

The Flyers outlasted VCU for a 68-67 overtime victory at UD Arena to claim a share of the conference title and the top seed in the league tournament.

2. Alter rules girls’ basketball again.

The Knights made it back-to-back Division II state championships with a dominant 74-48 victory over Ottawa-Glandorf. Braxtin Miller poured in 33 points and grabbed 10 rebounds en route to being named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament.

3. Wright State baseball sweeps Horizon League championships.

The Raiders became the first team since 2012 to win the regular season and tournament titles, piling up a school-record 46 wins before losing to Louisville in an NCAA Regional Final.

But that @WSUBaseball champion hardware though...

😏 i can't wait to get mine, it's going to look great on my hoof... wait a minute....

Explorepic.twitter.com/OzOk8CckAZ

— Gary Croswell (@GaryCroswell)

ExploreNovember 16, 2016

4. “The Block” leads to Cleveland’s title.

LeBron James signed another NBA Finals masterpiece with an amazing blocked shot that kept Game 7 of the series between the Cavaliers and the Warriors tied, setting up Kyrie Irving’s game-winning shot and the first major sports championship for Cleveland in more than 50 years.

5. Locals star at the Olympics.

The Miami Valley was home to multiple medal winners during the games in Rio de Janeiro in August.

Kayla Harrison of Middletown became the frist U.S. woman to win back-to-back golds in judo while Tri-Village High School graduate Clayton Murphy finished strong to claim the bronze medal in the 800-meter run.

6. The Reds bolster rebuild with strong draft. 

Dayton fans got to see up close two examples of why Cincinnati's June draft was rated the best of the year by Baseball America.

Tennessee's Nick Senzel, the No. 2 overall pick, raked for the Dragons throughout the second half of the summer while Chris Okey, a second-round pick from Clemson, showed he could be another option behind the plate in the future.

7. Joey Votto

As for the here and now, well things weren’t pretty in the Queen City – except when Votto was at bat.

He enjoyed his best season since 2012, finishing among the league leaders in on-base percentage and batting average while notching his highest OPS in four seasons, too.

MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 23: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a single in the fourth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on September 23, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
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MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 23: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a single in the fourth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on September 23, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

8. Kyle Schwarber

When it came time for October, Reds fans who didn’t mind rooting for the Cubs could live vicariously through one of their own.

Middletown's Kyle Schwarber started the game-winning rally in Game 7 of the World Series in Cleveland, capping amazing series in which he batted a team-best .412 for Chicago despite missing nearly the entire season with a knee injury and being unable to play in the Cubs' home games.

9. Miami’s resurgence

The story soured a bit with a last-second loss in the St. Petersburg Bowl to Mississippi State, but the RedHawks still made history by just getting there.

Coach Chuck Martin’s team rebounded from an 0-6 start to win its last six games and qualify for a bowl, something never before done in college football.

10, The Spot (was good)

Michigan fans (and their coach) have been bellyaching about whether or not J.T. Barrett made the line to gain for Ohio State in overtime in November, but was all academic when it went to review because there was no evidence showing he didn’t (mostly because he did).

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 26:   J.T. Barrett #16 of the Ohio State Buckeyes rushes for a first down during overtime of the game against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
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COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 26: J.T. Barrett #16 of the Ohio State Buckeyes rushes for a first down during overtime of the game against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Credit: Jamie Sabau

Credit: Jamie Sabau

Curtis Samuel scored from 15 yards out on the next play to win The Game for Ohio State and ultimately secure a spot in the College Football Playoff for the Buckeyes.