WHAT A WEEKEND! March Madness is officially in full swing and this weekend could not have been more entertaining. Not a single perfect bracket remains and that is all thanks to the amazing Cinderella stories. Teams like Buffalo beating a well established Arizona team. A team that a large amount of people had in their final four. Marshall also pulled an astonishing upset over Wichita State. Nevada overcoming a 22 point second half deficit and stunning Cincinnati in the final seconds. Syracuse was the last team to get in with an at large bid and they managed to win three games and go from first four to sweet sixteen. Loyola- Chicago has been one of the talking points of the tournament with their two buzzer beating victories on their way to their fourth sweet sixteen. Each and every one of these games and upsets have been amazing, but none came close to the historic pounding of Virginia.
The UMBC Retrievers stunned america with their 74-54 pounding of Virginia. UMBC came into the tournament as the worst ranked team. They were matched up with the best team in the nation. They were given less then a 2% chance of winning the game. They were a complete unknown. They had no reason to even be on the same floor as the Virginia Cavaliers. They were a 16 seed and playing a 1 seed. No 16 seed had ever won a game in the tournament. Yet they beat Virginia. No wait, they drilled Virginia and embarrassed them. It wasn’t even a game. Virginia didn’t even have a hope.
Virginia was supposed to be the best team in the tournament. They had had a 30 win season and only had a few losses. They were picked to win it all in a whopping 26.6% of brackets (CBS). They won arguably the best basketball conference in the nation, not only in the postseason tournament, but also the regular season title. They were supposed to be a final four team.
So how did UMBC do it? They weren’t the better team. They weren’t the better program. But none of that mattered because on that night they were better. They did it all on belief. They played like they knew they were the better team and the believed that they were. They strove to be the best and they become all america wanted to see. They gained respect and become the most well known team in the nation. America adopted names like U Must Be Cinderella for the team based upon their schools name(UMBC).
Through all the odds these teams prevailed and will go down in the books. Although teams like Buffalo, Marshal, and UMBC have since lost it doesn’t really matter. Their runs will go down as the schools history and show future teams what the goal of winning is like. They will forever be remembered as the teams of this years tourney.