CHARLOTTE, NC – MARCH 16: Isaiah Wilkins #21 of the Virginia Cavaliers reacts to their 74-54 loss to the UMBC Retrievers during the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Spectrum Center on March 16, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
12:14 PM 03/17/2018
Virginia got rocked Friday night by UMBC, and it’s the first time in the history of March Madness that a 16-seed beat a top seed.
I was in complete and utter shock when this happened. I didn’t even think it was real. This is the only year in the history of my brackets where I picked Virginia to win the whole thing. I’d never even previously put them in a Final Four.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 17, 2018
I was disappointed, upset, fractured and unsure of how to progress forward. We deserve some serious answers. There is never a reason for a top-ranked team to lose in the opening round. Virginia got their butts whipped, and there’s no clear explanation for why it happened.
I’ll also admit that I’m a huge fan of Virginia coach Tony Bennett. We’re cut from the same cloth and are both sons of Wisconsin. Even that type of loyalty isn’t enough for me to excuse what happened last night. Bennett is a hell of a great coach, but it’s still not enough.
Having said all that, Bennett took his loss last night like an absolute man. He owned up to what happened, he owned up to the failure of his team and he acknowledged that in sports there are always highs and lows.
Tony Bennett postgame pic.twitter.com/PEZ0lW4i6F
— Kevin Marchina (@kg_holler) March 17, 2018
Humble in victory and gracious in defeat. He might have lost last night, but he still held his head high. That should make Cavaliers fans excited for the future.