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  • Issue # 3.1.2 “We are UMBC” (3/16)

    Posted on March 17th, 2018 - 3:50 am Scott No comments

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    FOR THE FIRST TIME IN FOREVER, A 16 BEATS A 1
    4-way tie for first in crazy day with six upsets

    Headline - UMBC v VirginiaEL SEGUNDO/CERRITOS, CA (smt)- It was bound to happen but never like this.  With top teams losing players year after year to the pros and smaller conference teams keeping and maturing their players, something had to give.  It was supposed to be MW-Penn catching Kansas off-guard (with Vegas money moving toward the underdog) or the fourth #1 seed W-Xavier to come short against Texas Southern.  Not the #1 overall team in the tourney.  Not in a blowout.  Losing by 20 when you were favored by 20?  I’m trying to figure out which is the more improbable scoreline:  S-UMBC 74, Virginia 54 or recently Albany 83, UMBC 39?  How does losing your 6th man (De’Andre Hunter) rattle a team’s psyche so much?  If this were soccer, Virginia coach Tony Bennett would be sacked for inexcusably not preparing his team and suffering the most embarrassing defeat ever as the first #1 seed to lose in 136 tries.  But oh, what a historical moment it was.  Starting with UMBC’s (that’s University of Maryland-Baltimore County) Jairus Lyles who seemed to make everything, even ones after the whistle in jest.  And he was cramping which will add to his legend to go with his 28 points on 9/11 shooting.  It was bad enough for the Cavs that game was tied at 21 at the half but Bennett’s halftime pep talk was probably piss-pour as well as UMBC came out blazing with a 17-3 run to start the half.  And amazingly, Virginia never did it back down to single digits for that one hope and a prayer.  The top team in the country had no answer and kept shooting threes, at one point missing 13 straight.

    So the two biggest hits to our pool were a #1 that lost by 20 points and #4S-Arizona team that lost by 21.  Sheesh.  Well, 15 other games were played and up to that historic upset, Read the rest of this entry »