Most Shocking Moments of March Madness 2018
Now that the NCAA Tournament is over, we can all look over the wreckage of our brackets and say “well, at least I had one of the Final Four teams.” Unless you didn’t, in which case you will have to live vicariously through the rest of us, who are only slightly less terrible at this. But fret not, because not only were we all surprised when our top picks got bounced, but so were most of the players and insiders. Here are our favorite shocking moments of this year’s March Madness.
UMBC Gets the Biggest Upset in All of Sports History
When the University of Maryland, Baltimore County got an invite to the dance, nobody expected much. After all, they were a 16 seed, and their odds of beating a number 1 Virginia team that many had picked to take the whole thing rounded to 0. But beat them they did, dominating them to the tune of 74-54. Not only was it the biggest upset in tournament history, but in all of sports history dating back to when the first cavemen used a rock as a ball.
98-Year-Old Nun Turns Fairy Godmother
You may be thinking that UMBC was the Cinderella story of the postseason, but that wasn’t the case. No, that prize goes to Loyola University Chicago, an 11 seed who made their first appearance in more than 30 years. They then proceeded to sneak past higher seeded teams for the first four rounds, including the 6 seed Miami Hurricanes, the 3 seed Tennessee Volunteers, the 7 seed Nevada Wolfpack, and the 9 seed Kansas State Wildcats before ultimately dropping to the eventual runners up, 3 seed Michigan Wolverines. But the most inspiring thing of all is that the team was led by none other than Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, a 98-year-old nun who served as team chaplain, and was a fixture courtside. The media darling inspired everybody with her positive message and great humor as she helped boost her team into the Final Four.
Arike Ogunbowale Drops Two Buzzer Beaters
Arike Ogunbowale became the hero of the women’s tournament when she drained a game-winning shot with one second left in overtime to lift Notre Dame to a victory over their longtime rival UConn Huskies. The shot itself would have cemented her in NCAA history for her heroics, but it wasn’t quite good enough. A few days later, she topped the feat with another buzzer beater to complete a comeback against Mississippi State, who had been effective at keeping her at bay. But though Ogunbowale finished the tournament shy of becoming only the fifth player in history to gain 150 points in one tournament, her last second heroics have ensured her a place in history.
Donte Divincenzo Dominates the Title Game
When Villanova took on Michigan in the finals, most were expecting some fireworks. But few expected them to come from rookie reserve guard Donte DiVincenzo, who had a productive, if quiet, season for the most part. On a squad that features top NBA prospect Mikal Bridges and National Player of the Year Jalen Brunson, DiVincenzo should have been an afterthought. But in the finals, it was the reserve player who came in and shredded Michigan to put some distance between them, scoring half of Nova’s points in the first half, and single handedly leading a 23-7 scoring run late.
Not only that, but his assist game was popping with some highlight reel no look passes, and his defense was on point too, making some stuffs that impressed even the great LeBron James. Best of all, this was the second time in the tourney he carried his squad, having shredded Alabama in the first half by scoring 18 points to the rest of his team’s combined 14. The best part is that he isn’t even considered the best player on his team–or event he best at his position–proving just how much Villanova earned the title this year.