The end of 2012 is quickly approaching; as such, we have compiled a list of the top 12 Minnesota sports stories -- positive or negative -- from the year. We'll be counting them down every weekday from now until Jan. 1, when the top story will run.

The highs (and lows) of our basketball Olympians: The London Olympics had a different flair than past Summer Games because two of the marquee teams -- the U.S. men's and women's basketball squads -- featured heavy doses of Minnesota ingredients.

Kevin Love proved to be a key component for the men's squad that won a gold medal, doing much of the dirty work while more established and glorified teammates grabbed headlines.

The gold medal-winning women's team, meanwhile, had three Lynx players, including Minnesota's own Lindsay Whalen. She combined with Maya Moore and Seimone Augustus to help lead an impressive London romp.

The Olympic runs for both Love and the Lynx Trio might have been the highlight of any season for all four, but the rougher patches ahead only cemented it.

The Lynx again finished with the best record in the WNBA and again advanced to the finals. But unlike in 2011, when they won their first championship, they struggled this go-round and fell to the underdog Indiana Fever.

Likewise, Love hit a tough post-Olympic stretch. He broke his hand in the preseason, causing him to miss the start of the year.

And once he returned, he found himself embroiled in a mini-controversy over comments made to about the direction of the team.

They'll always have London -- as well as bright prospects for 2013.