Remember the date March 16, 2018: The day the the University of Maryland-Baltimore County and the University of Virginia made history. They made it together and in doing so they changed the NCAA Tournament, the greatest event in sports, forever.
UMBC, the No. 16 seed out of the South Regional, pulled off the biggest stunner — and now the most memorable upset — in the chronicle of this glorious sporting event with a 74-54 victory over the No. 1 overall seed.
March hasn’t gone mad: It’s lost its damn mind. Lunacy never felt so good. The final wall for single-game results has come down.
UMBC’s first NCAA Tournament win in school history is also the most historic win in NCAA Tournament history.
You’ll never forget that score: 74-54. And if you saw a legend in real time, you’ll never forget where you were as it happened or how it looked as it took shape. Unforgettable. Momentous. Dominant. UMBC didn’t beat Virginia, it eradicated it from the bracket and left a plume of smoke that will hover over the sport for decades. Every No. 16 from now on will have an idol. Every squad seeded on the bottom line can find a reason to believe thanks to four letters: U-M-B-C.
For Virginia, it’s pain and it’s embarrassment. The school that already had infamy attached to its name as a No. 1 team — it lost to Chaminade as the top-ranked school in 1982 — has two infamous losses that are so unlikely they are to become fable.
It’s a stain that will never be removed, a scarlet letter on the program.
No coach is better equipped to handle this kind of loss than Tony Bennett.
“A week ago we were cutting down the nets at ACC Tournament,” Bennett said. “The adulation, the praise, it comes and we got a lot of that this year. Then on the other side, there’ll be blame and people pointing that out. That can’t, in the end, you know, define these guys and our team or us.”
But for him, and for Virginia, it will. Forever.
SOURCE: Matt Norlander