The University of Maryland Baltimore County Completes the Greatest Upset in NCAA HistoryMarch 17, 2018
Before tonight, #16 seeds and #1 seeds faced off a total of 135 different times in NCAA Tournament history and in every single matchup the #1 seed won.
That all changed tonight.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County completed the greatest upset that the world has seen and will ever see. Facing off against the #1 seed, and arguably the #1 best team in all of college basketball this season, the Virginia Cavaliers, UMBC easily had the hardest path to the Round of 32, but against all odds they secured the win, and by a significant margin. UMBC didn’t just beat the Cavs, they absolutely crushed them by completely dominating on both ends of the court and closing out the game with a 20 point victory, 74-54.
Personally, I’ve always believed that the two most overhyped teams in college basketball are the Virginia Cavaliers and the Xavier Musketeers, however I would have never expected a Virginia team, especially one as historic as this year’s team, would be the first ever #1 seed to lose to a #16 seed in tournament history. This year’s Cavs recorded 20 wins against ACC teams (including the ACC Tournament), was the ACC regular season champs, the ACC Tournament champs, was the only team in the country to have just 2 loses all season, and was the #1 ranked team in the country and the practically undisputed best team in the tournament/country. The truth of the matter is that Virginia played slow, sluggish basketball and could not keep up with the Retrievers, as they were completely outplayed on both ends of the court. Virginia couldn’t get their offense going and ended up watching UMBC heat up on nearly every possession while the Cavs failed to record more than 5 assists all game; an absolutely abysmal stat to say the least.
It’s no surprise that the mascot of the first #16 seed to ever advance to the Round of 32 is something as fantastic as a Golden Retriever. What is surprising, however, is that UMBC was the 16 seed to pull off the win this year. Unless you follow the lesser known D1 conferences in college basketball, you probably missed how UMBC pulled off an upset against the dominant Vermont Catamounts in this year’s American East Tournament Championship. UVM were the undefeated in conference champs last year and this season they were equally as dominant. However, UMBC had a last minute 3 that stole the tournament championship and the NCAA Tournament #16 seed from the Catamounts. Although, despite great conference tournament run this still wasn’t enough for people to believe that UMBC had a legitimate shot at making history in the NCAA Tournament. Their tough matchup against Virginia and the fact that Penn was one of the best #16 seeds in tournament history all made it extremely unlikely for the Golden Retrievers to win tonight, but they did and now #16 seeds are 1-135.
Of course, when history is made there are equally as historic social media posts to pair up with these events, and the only thing better than seeing all of the golden retriever tweets after the UMBC win was seeing the UMBC basketball team talk about how much they love Fortnite. It’s safe to say I’m officially a HUGE UMBC bandwagoner for the rest of the tournament.
— Kent (@RealKentMurphy) March 17, 2018
Written by Erik Clark