Here’s something I’ve learned over the past, it’s that you can’t win all day all the time. This game is not going to be a part of the analysis since all the games are over. This game was a special one and it deserves it’s own post. This is also just in general a humbling opportunity for me which marks another year, in my 10+ years of doing this, that I will not win another bracket pool. No cash winnings, no gift cards, no loot, no nothing. For another year, I don’t get shit and for another year I’m gonna have to dwell on this. So what is this post about? why am I typing a sob story? Why am I hearing the familiar noises of a shredder?
Simple, because once again, like in 2016 with Michigan State, my champion got knocked out.
And my champion was Virginia.
Honestly knocked out doesn’t really describe it very well. Virginia straight up got their ass kicked. They got beat up, they got stomped on, they got F’d in the A. Whatever fits your imagination of a team losing, that team was Virginia tonight. Now I’m not going to blame everything on Virginia here. Yes their offense was awful and their defense, what they put so much pride in, was simply terrible but I’m going to level with you guys here.
UMBC wanted it more and my goodness they got more.
I was switching between this game and the FSU game and as I kept looking at the score expand in UMBC ‘s favor I kept thinking “Ok there’s no way this is gonna happen, Virginia will adjust and play defense like their usual.” But every time UVA would make a shot, the Retrievers would make one right back. And most of those buckets were wonder kid shots and I don’t think the term wonder kid justifies this man. Jarius Lyles made the floater from 5-10 feet away with 3 defenders around him look like a wide open layup. I was certain that the Retrievers would try to miss a shot and they would still make it.
And you can be a greater team than the Cavaliers but it won’t matter. With the double digit lead the Retrievers had, they never let off the gas. They finished them off and just kept heating up. That alone is extraordinary. I want to throw another stat at you:
(Gotta love the dog names right?) Anyways on January 21st the same Retrievers team played the Great Danes of Albany. Granted it was at Albany but there’s no excuse for such an L like that. Albany creams them before a crucial time of the season. Then they carve through the America East tournament and beat Vermont on a last second buzzer beater by guess who: Jarius Lyles as if you didn’t know.
Without that buzzer beater, they wouldn’t be in this tournament. And now they’re here. In Charlotte, North Carolina, creaming arguably the best team coming into the tournament. The regular season and tournament champions of the ACC. A team that didn’t allow 70+ points to anybody, not North Carolina, not Duke, not anybody until now. David kicked the shit out of Goliath and we all got to witness it.
So my bracket is busted and I’m happy. We all got to witness history in one incredible way. I remember in my prediction for this game and I mentioned that nobody knows where UMBC is.
Well guess what, UMBC stands for University of Maryland-Baltimore County and they came to play. Congratulations on a job well done. You earned every single bit of it! Now for those like me that picked Virginia to go far. Relax. Accept the L and enjoy the rest of the month because it’ll only get better from here! If anything you should cheer on Florida State.