March 17, 2018

UMBC Beats Virginia in First 16-Over-1 Win Ever: The UMBC Retrievers beat the Virginia Cavaliers in the first round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament, becoming the first No. 16 seed to ever beat the No. 1 seed. The score wasn't even close: 74 to 54.

posted by rcade to basketball at 12:02 AM - 15 comments

Holy cow. Guess it was bound to happen sooner or later, but my goodness would have thought it would have been a buzzer beater or a 42-40 grind-it-out game or something.

posted by holden at 12:07 AM on March 17

That was a spectacle to watch. Virginia will have to produce a monumental effort in some future tourney to counter the perception that they morph into mannequins in March.

Raftery's interesting comment was that the game was lost two days ago. It would be interesting to learn about Virginia's preparation for the game and whether or not they were thinking too much about the other heavies on their side of the bracket that they expected to face in the coming days.

Virginia looked like it was struggling against an unseen force and UMBC played in a magnificently loose and fearless manner. I had not realized that UMBC coach Ryan Odom is Dave Odom's son. Dave was highly regarded back in the days of the old ACC.

Now I want to see UMBC face Buffalo. That would be a ton of fun to watch. Nothing but Wildcats standing in the way of that happening.

posted by beaverboard at 01:29 AM on March 17

I think this is the best way for a #1 seed to lose in the first round.

If they had lost by a point or two, or in overtime, or blew a lead, then people would say they choked. They'd have to think about how close they came to winning, and they'd run through their heads all the different small things they could have done to win that game. It would haunt them for a long time.

Losing this way? They simply got beat and the other team was better that day. After the second half started, UMBC thrashed Virginia up and down the court, and there isn't any little thing that Virginia could have done to change it.

posted by grum@work at 10:10 AM on March 17

Great! I have a soft spot for UMBC athletics since I attended Retriever lacrosse camp as a junior high schooler.

Dick Burns was the head coach.

posted by Hugh Janus at 10:18 AM on March 17

And with that, this story got so much better.

posted by NoMich at 11:03 AM on March 17

This might end up being the year of dashing assumptions and playing with house money.

Federer at the Australian Open
Nick Foles vs. the Vikings and Pats
UMBC vs. Virginia

Could Tiger be next at Augusta?

posted by beaverboard at 11:56 AM on March 17

It might just be the depression of the morning after, but I have a hard time seeing how UVa survives that as a basketball program. If everybody stays with the team (which I'm not sure I expect to happen) they'll be pretty decent next year, but our incoming recruiting class is pretty lackluster and this will kill recruiting for years. Not that Bennett was bringing in one-and-done type talent, but he has been getting some pretty highly regarded guys (Guy included) lately. That well might dry up for a bit.

posted by LionIndex at 02:37 PM on March 17

Bennett needs a gunpowder guy to spark the team when things aren't clicking. Although John Thompson had an elite roster for several years, he couldn't win a championship at Georgetown without Michael Graham, who gave them that extra emotional and competitive gear they needed. If Graham had been on the team when Duke's Phil Henderson dunked over Alonzo Mourning, all hell would have broken loose.

You wouldn't want a player as problematic as Graham, but you would definitely want that intensity. It's a similar situation where the team is long on system and short on spontaneity. Sometimes you need to set aside the poise and discipline, step outside the system and just play ball more instinctively and freely. With passion.

Similar problem with the Peyton Manning Colts, another heavily scripted team. When the script ain't working, you need to be able to create and invent. Dungy's great Indy teams struggled to do that when they needed to.

I think there are a lot of families who would want their sons to play for Tony Bennett, and rightly so. He's a remarkable presence. But damn, coach, raise hell and throw your coat a little more often.

posted by beaverboard at 05:07 PM on March 17

I would think that guy would be Wilkins, although scoring hasn't really been his strong point. And Jerome shows some fire at times. Anderson used to fill that role.

posted by LionIndex at 05:09 PM on March 17

I'm worried that grum is going to work up one of his indirect victory chains in reverse to show how truly bad this loss was. We'll probably find out that Virginia lost by association to a parochial school field hockey team.

- UMBC lost to Army 81-70

- Army lost to Binghamton 71-66

- Binghamton lost to UMass Lowell 79-71

- UMass Lowell lost to Sacred Heart 87-80

I have to stop there. I don't dare look further. Where's the stout and cabbage?

posted by beaverboard at 08:41 PM on March 17

echoing bb's take here ..

Bennett is an excellent coach who needs to become a better recruiter. No other team from the ACC plays team defense the way that Virginia does. No other coach in that conference develops players defensively better. But Virginia needs to have a player they can go to on offense when they are having difficulty scoring.

I'm not saying to sell out and become yet another 1 and done factory. There are a lot of talented offensive players who may not be 5 star recruits that would fit well. Recruit a few then focus on how to get players looks on offense.

Above all do not forget that Jairus Lyles had a game for the ages. He did not sit outside the 3 point line and hit easy 3's ... every shot he took was contested. That was a performance that brought back memories of Kemba Walker and Danny Manning. Unstoppable. Did not matter who the opponent was, he wasn't taking the L.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:25 PM on March 17

I'm worried that grum is going to work up one of his indirect victory chains in reverse to show how truly bad this loss was.

Only because you asked...

Otterbein is a D3 school that went 1-24 this year.

From myteamisbetterthanyourteam.com

On 1/27/2018 Otterbein beat Heidelberg 78 - 69
On 1/17/2018 Heidelberg beat Ohio Northern 84 - 80
On 12/29/2017 Ohio Northern beat Lynchburg 84 - 64
On 11/13/2017 Lynchburg beat Norfolk St 83 - 80 (this is the big one...D3 beats D1)
On 12/30/2017 Norfolk St beat Stony Brook 74 - 68
On 2/21/2018 Stony Brook beat UMBC 64 - 57
On 3/16/2018 UMBC beat Virginia 74 - 54

posted by grum@work at 01:42 AM on March 18

Just for fun, we can add a single extra team, Albany, as Stony Brook defeated Albany (69-60) on 3/3/2018, and Albany defeated UMBC BY 44 POINTS (83-39) on 1/21/2018.

posted by bender at 11:46 AM on March 18

I had never heard of 1-24 Otterbein so I had to go to the linked page that grum so kindly provided.

Scrolling down their News Releases column, I came across the following entry:

Rob Purlee, who has coached Knox to nine wins in four seasons, is leaving to take a job on the Otterbein men's basketball staff

Once you have your standards and expectations set, you establish your continuity by hiring the right people.

I assume that it's a non-scholarship school and it costs over $30,000 a year to go there.

I can hear Warren Buffett now: "If you're determined to get educated on a spend-to-sweat basis, go to community college and get a gym membership".

posted by beaverboard at 03:00 PM on March 18

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