The 2018 NCAA tournament was one to remember. From the dramatic game winners, the unforgettable moments, and the number of upsets; this will be remembered for years to come. There were many memorable stories in the dance this year, here are three that will last a lifetime.
NCAA Tournament Memorable Moments
UMBC Shock the Cavaliers, and the nation
UMBC started the tournament off with a bang. They pulled off the biggest upset in NCAA basketball history, defeating the top overall seed UVA. Defeating the top team in the bracket by 20 was an incredible accomplishment, and the internet went insane. Before the game, fans had to search what UMBC was and what it stood for. Within a 40 minute period, they were known all across America.
Unfortunately for the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Retrievers, Kansas State ended their season in a tightly contested game in the round of 32. UMBC became the first 16 seed to defeat a one seed, something no one ever thought was possible. They have forever left their mark on college basketball. They will forever be remembered for shocking fans everywhere, and busting brackets unlike any other Cinderella.
Loyola-Chicago’s improbable run to the Final Four
Loyola-Chicago, a small school from the Missouri Valley Conference, shocked the college basketball world with an miraculous run to San Antonio. With the support of viral sensation Sister Jean, the Ramblers went on a run of a lifetime before losing to Michigan in the Final Four. The Ramblers had three game winning shots to beat their first three opponents, Miami, Tennessee and Nevada.
In their first dance since 1985, Loyola had 1584 brackets picking them to head to San Antonio, according to the NCAA. Virginia, Arizona, and Kentucky were highly expected to advance farther from the south, even though some help came along the way Loyola Chicago did it in a more impressive fashion then others.
Loyola likely will not send any players to the NBA, unlike the Villanova and Michigan players who played in the championship. They don’t get the top recruits, yet still competed at the highest level and overcame powerhouse programs such as Tennessee and Kansas St.
Villanova continues their dominance, wins the championship in convincing fashion
The Villanova Wildcats won their second championship in three years, defeating Michigan, 79-62. This was a tightly contested game at the start. Michigan’s Moritz Wagner came out hot scoring nine of the first 11 Wolverine points. The Cats, however, went on a 22-7 run to end the half and never looked back. Donte DiVincenzo was the story of the game, coming off the bench with 31 points to lead all scorers. This was also the most points scored by a bench player in the National Championship.
Wagner struggled in the second half, only scoring five points and the ability to lockdown one of the top bigs allowed Villanova to add to their insurmountable lead. With the 17 point win, Villanova won each tournament game by double digits. This has not happened since North Carolina in 2009.
Overall, this was a tournament to remember and the 2019 Tournament will have some high expectations. Could a 16 seed win again? What about a mid major final four appearance? Only time will tell, but for now let’s remember one of the most memorable and exciting tournaments of all time.
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