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Friday, March 16, 2018



Tony Bennett after historic loss: ‘We got our butts whipped’

Even after what was probably the toughest loss of his coaching career, Tony Bennett was incredibly professional. The Virginia coach gave an interview to TNT’s Tracy Wolfson after his team’s 74-54 defeat at the hands of UMBC, which marked the first upset by a 16 seed over a 1 seed in NCAA Tournament history. Bennett…Read More

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10 biggest takeaways from Friday’s NCAA Tournament action

KJ Maura

If you had any doubts about whether or not March would truly go mad, Friday answered those doubts with authority. We saw close games up and down the slate of games, highlighted by a historic upset.

For thirteen consecutive hours Friday, the NCAA Tournament treated fans to non-stop action. While some fans may grumble about how that action affected their favorite team or their bracket, the drama could not be topped. From a neutral perspective, Friday’s collection of games were as juicy and as rich as any viewer could have hoped for.

The 16 games on Friday had vast implications for specific teams, the rest of the tournament, and college basketball as a whole. Here are the ten biggest takeaways from the crazy day.

1. UMBC delivers biggest upset in college basketball history

There is no storyline from this day or this tournament that will match UMBC’s upset of Virginia. It was the most shocking result in college basketball history. Not only did a 16 seed beat a 1 seed, but they blew out the top overall seed.

Once the Retrievers started sinking shots in the second half, the game never felt close. Virginia fans, disciples, and defenders always mention the Cavaliers’ leads and point out how their pace makes the margin even more insurmountable. The same turns out to be true when the tables turned. Virginia, facing its largest deficit this season, did not have the time or patience to run its normal offense. The Cavaliers forced shots and failed to get into a rhythm.

That’s not to take anything away from UMBC. The Retrievers were spectacular, led by Jairus Lyles. The scoring point guard won the America East Tournament final with a game-winning three at Vermont and then outdid himself versus Virginia. Lyles had 28 points on 9-11 shooting from the field. Even against the best defense in college basketball, he did everything he wanted. If he continues to play like that, there’s no reason the Retrievers road ends here.


UMBC coach Ryan Odom used to be Virginia ballboy

Ryan Odom

As if everything about UMBC’s upset win over Virginia weren’t already awesome enough, there is this extremely cool anecdote to add to the mix.

Ryan Odom, the head coach of UMBC, was once upon a time the ballboy for Virginia’s basketball team.

Odom’s father, Dave, was an assistant coach at Virginia from 1982-1989. So Ryan would come hang out with the program every day and absorb everything he could.

“Every day, when school got out. Ryan would go back to the house, he’d change into his basketball clothes and would get on his bike, cross over the viaduct on Alderman Road and drive right onto the court,” Dave Odom told the Roanoke Times this week.

“He’d park the bike behind the bench, walk over and sit down next to J.J. and they’d watch practice and dribble the ball between their legs. [Jones] talked more about basketball with him than I did.”

Jones is Jeff Jones, the former head coach at American, Virginia, and Old Dominion.

Ryan, now 43, later graduated from ballboy to towel boy. He clearly picked up a ton during his times around the coaches and team. This is his third full season as a head coach. Some bigger programs are probably going to come calling following this historic win.

Tony Bennett after historic loss: ‘We got our butts whipped’

Tony Bennett

Even after what was probably the toughest loss of his coaching career, Tony Bennett was incredibly professional.

The Virginia coach gave an interview to TNT’s Tracy Wolfson after his team’s 74-54 defeat at the hands of UMBC, which marked the first upset by a 16 seed over a 1 seed in NCAA Tournament history. Bennett credited his opponent and did not mince words about how one-sided the game was.

“We got our butts whipped. That was not even close,” Bennett said. “Their offense was very hard to guard. They shot it well. We kept getting broken down and did a poor job. … We got thoroughly outplayed. Did not play well. We had a hard time with their mobile forwards and their guards. That was a thorough butt whooping.”

It sure was. The game was tied at 21 at the half, but then UMBC opened up a lead in the second half and just expanded on it.

They made 54.2 percent of their shots, including 50 percent of their threes. Guards Jairus Lyles and KJ Maura seemed to make every shot they attempted. Once they knocked Virginia on the ground, they stepped on their throats and did not let them back up.

It was exactly how Bennett described it — a thorough butt whooping.

Baseball team will give away $10,000 thanks to UMBC upset

UMBC win

Someone is about to be $10,000 lighter in the pocket.

Derek Sharrer, the GM of the independent St. Paul Saints baseball team, will now have to give away $10K after a promotion he was running backfired.

The Saints announced on Twitter Monday that Sharrer would give away $10K if a 16 seed beat a 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

16 seeds had never won against a 1 seed entering the tournament, so the probability of it finally happening was very low. But that was until UMBC took out top overall seed Virginia in a convincing win on Friday night.

Following the upset win, the Saints said they would make good on the giveaway. They also got in a plug about their tickets going on sale for the upcoming season.

Independent teams like the Saints are no strangers to running odd promotions for publicity, so this comes with a territory. At least the one they did several years ago probably cost them far less money than this one.

UMBC Twitter account dominates during upset win over Virginia


The play of 16 seed UMBC during its NCAA Tournament game against 1 seed Virginia on Friday was certainly special. What’s incredible is that UMBC’s Twitter account may have put together an even more impressive performance.

UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) made history by becoming the first 16 seed to defeat a 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. That’s only half the story; they beat the No. 1 overall seed in the entire tournament, and they beat them badly.

During the win, the UMBC Athletics Twitter account was on fire with its tweets. Take a look at some of these gems:

A well known MLB reporter asked who UMBC is. This was their response:

UMBC. On fire.

The rest of the internet had a great time with the upset win too. Take a look at some of the tweets.


Report: Big Baby Davis arrested with large amount of marijuana

Glen Davis

Former NBA big man Glen Davis is back in the news again, but it is definitely not in the positive sense this time around.

Brian Kuebler of WMAR-TV in Baltimore reported on Friday that Davis, famously nicknamed “Big Baby,” was arrested in February on drug charges after being caught at a Hampton Inn in Aberdeen, Maryland with a large amount of marijuana. Court records showed that the hotel’s owner smelled marijuana coming from Davis’ room on Feb. 7 and, upon knocking on the door, was told by a person inside to “f— off.” Police were then called and the former NBA champion gave his signed consent for the room to be searched.

“They recovered 126 grams of marijuana,” Aberdeen Police Lieutenant William Reiber was quoted as saying. “In addition to that there was a brief case that contained 92,164 dollars of U.S. currency along with a ledger that contained language which is consistent with someone involved in the sale and distribution of narcotics.”

Kuebler’s report adds that Davis, who told officers that he was in town visiting family in Harford County, Maryland, was arrested, then indicted weeks later on seven counts of drug possession and distribution. He is due in court early next month, but his attorney says Davis “adamantly maintains his innocence” and is looking forward to “clear[ing] his good name.”

Davis, 32, played in the NBA for nine seasons, winning a title in 2008 with the Boston Celtics. He has been out of the league since 2015 however.

Davis was also involved in another dubious hotel incident back in 2013 when he was with the Orlando Magic but was not arrested as a result of it.

JJ Watt sends perfect tweet about Tyrann Mathieu signing with Texans

Tyrann Mathieu

Tyrann Mathieu is heading to Houston, and JJ Watt loves it.

The Honey Badger agreed to a one-year, $7 million deal with the Texans, as first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Watt learned of the news and sent this perfect tweet featuring some honey pot emojis.

This is a huge addition for the Texans. Mathieu remains an excellent playmaker and was dropped by the Cardinals after he declined to take a pay cut.

Mathieu, who turns 26 in May, had 78 total tackles, a sack, and two interceptions last season. He was spectacular in 2015, making 89 tackles with five interceptions in 14 games.

The Texans are clearly prioritizing their secondary this season, as they’ve signed Aaron Colvin in addition to Mathieu.

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