Best First Round ever

Submitted by M-Dog on March 17th, 2018 at 11:42 AM
Best First Round ever.
Why do we love the First Round so much?
The upsets.  The buzzer beaters.  The backstories on people and places you never heard of.
This year's First Round had it all.
We should have known we were in for something special when the very first game went to overtime.
The upsets:
A Sixteen beats a One for the first time ever.  Not just any One, but the #1 One.  
And they didn't just beat them on a prayer shot or a stupid error or a bad ref call.  They dominated them.  This didin't look like one of those once-in-a-lifetime-out-of-their-minds games where if they played it 1000 more times, UMBC would lose big 999 times.  They looked like they could do it again.
Overshadowed by that was 13 Buffalo beating 4 Arizona which would have been the big upset story any other year.  Or 13 Marshall over 4 Wichita State.  And don't forget 11 Darlings-for-a-day Loyola Chicago over 6 Miami.  It got to the point where we didn't even bother paying attention to Play-in 11 Syracuse over 6 TCU by the time it happened.
The Buzzer Beaters:
Loyola Chicago gave us a two-fer with a classic Big Dance buzzer beater, that also gave them the big upset over Miami.  SDSU just misses a last second shot that would have given them the surprise unlikely win over a Houston team that had them under their thumb all game.
The Backstories:
The whole world is Googling UMBC this morning.  Quick, go to Google and just type "U".  You will never see that again.
I live in Maryland and know several people that go or went to UMBC.  I didn't even know they had a basketball team.  I just thought it was a branch commuter campus of Univ. of Maryland.
I also didn't know that Chesapeake Bay Retrievers or the America East Conference were a thing.
Other fun backstories:  We got to meet the 98 year old nun that is the inspirational leader of Loyola Chicago and made me feel immediately guilty for not picking them in my bracket to upset Miami.  She also knows her stuff.
Finally, a hidden backstory is the impending brawl between Marshall and WVU for State Champs of West Virginia.  Both programs have (legitimate) chips on their shoulders, so that game should get, uh, chippy.
First Round 2018, I sing your praises.
Let's keep it going!



March 17th, 2018 at 11:53 AM ^

I'm not so sure UMBC could do that again on any given night.

On so many possessions in that game, UMBC took awful shots but the ball just kept going in.

Not only were they lucky with low percentage circus layups, but they also shot 50% from downtown which means their team average for the game was higher than any of thir individual averages for the entire season. Meanwhile UVA shot 18% from downtown.


March 17th, 2018 at 12:21 PM ^

The result from last night is included in those rankings.  Before the game, I'm fairly sure UVA was #1 and UMBC must have been a lot lower.  (Only subscribers can view prior versions of rankings.)

UMBC was a 20.5 point dog.  One astute bettor profited handsomely from an $800 20-1 straight-up bet.


March 17th, 2018 at 2:47 PM ^

Charlottesville has a sad this morning...  I feel a little bad for them because they had a legit shot and they don't cheat.  At least, I can't imagine UVA cheating.  But I feel absolutely fantastic for little UMBC!!  That's something everyone involved in that team will tell grandkids with a beaming smile - and they should!


March 17th, 2018 at 3:05 PM ^

My favorite part of round one was my friends new basement for two days with a 90” projector, two 50” and a 40” flat screen, fridge of beer tons of food. My least favorite part is that now it sucks watching at home on my one 50” screen...


March 17th, 2018 at 3:19 PM ^

Don't forget about the Texas vs. Nevada game. Great comeback win and a very exciting ending with a lot of chaos. Wasn't really an upset, but I had Nevada so I was pretty into it.