Brent Yarina, Senior Editor, December 30, 2014

Soon enough, it will be 2015.

[ MORE: Top surprises | Top freshmen | Top teams | Top individual years ]

Before we officially flip the calendar, though, I wanted to take a look back at the top 2014 moments in Big Ten football and basketball.

It's a daunting task to pick just five – trust me – but it's safe to say all five of these moments, for one reason or another, are ones Big Ten fans will be talking about for years to come or, quite possibly, will never forget.

My No. 1 moment? It has to be Lacey Holsworth. Her whole story, really, from meeting Adreian Payne to becoming best friends to bravely fighting cancer to the very last moment.

See my top 5 moments below.

1. Princess Lacey joins friend and Michigan State Adreian Payne on his Senior Night, one month before her death from cancer.

2. Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner leaves the sideline in latest installment of The Game to console to counterpart J.T. Barrett after his season-ending broken ankle.

3. Two-time plane crash survivor and Michigan freshman Austin Hatch scores his first official point on a late free throw vs. Coppin State.

4. Bo Pelini and @FauxPelini's cat at the annual Nebraska Red-White Spring Game. Pelini carried the cat in his arms during the team's famed Tunnel Walk, and then raised it above his head after he entered the field.

5. Melvin Gordon racks up a then-FBS-record 408 yards rushing, to go along with four touchdowns, in just three quarters of action vs. Nebraska.


Just missed the cut. Michigan State seals its first Rose Bowl Game title since the 1987 season on backup linebacker Kyler Elsworth's memorable leaping tackle vs. Stanford.