What does the future hold for March Madness

As I’m sure many, if not all of you, know, history has been made in the 2018 NCAA men’s division one basketball tournament, as the 16-seeded University of Maryland at Baltimore County Retrievers defeated the one-seeded Virginia Cavaliers in the first round of the NCAA tournament 74-54. This is the first time that a 16-seed has defeated a one-seed and could very well be the biggest upset in the history of college basketball, if not sports itself. So, what does this mean for future number one seeds, that have been utterly guaranteed a spot in the second round?

It’s not as much the fact that a 16-seed has finally defeated a one-seed, it’s more this 16-seed has defeated this one-seed, according to Mark Titus of The Ringer. UMBC came off of a last-second shot to win the America East tournament over Vermont (who was overwhelmingly picked to win) and had an overall decent season before the tournament. UMBC hasn’t had that signature win to really put them at the top of the conference with Vermont, and in fact lost a game to Albany by a score of 83-39 less than two months ago. However, the Retrievers did heat up a bit at the end of the season, winning 6 straight, and went 8-2 in their final games before the NCAA tournament, losing to Vermont and Stony Brook at home.

However, on the other side of the court, the Virginia Cavaliers have been having a star season, where they could comparably be compared to some of the top teams in the history of the entire NCAA. The Cavaliers only losses came to a sweet sixteen-bound West Virginia Mountaineers, 68-61, and at home against arch-rival the Virginia Tech Hokies 61-60 in overtime. The Cavaliers went 17-1 in ACC conference play, which sent 9 teams to the NCAA tournament this year and has boasted one of the best defenses all of college basketball has seen in the history of the NCAA.

It doesn’t help Virginia that two days after UMBC defeated them by 20-points, they were eliminated by the Kansas State Wildcats 50-43.

UMBC’s shining moment is probably just that: a moment. Maybe UMBC can build themselves into a tiny Cinderella school year after year, but more than likely they’ll just have this moment to step upon. The effects on Virginia are more intriguing, as this will be an embarrassing loss that’ll stick with them to the end of existence. There is one thing we cannot deny, and that is that Virginia was exceptionally talented this year, 31 wins in the powerhouse conference of the ACC does not come easy.

We honestly could see another 16-seed defeat a one-seed, and who knows maybe next year will be the start of a trend, proving that no one-seed is safe. We know that two-seeds are certainly not safe, as we have seen four go down in the first round to 15-seeds over the past seven years.

We could see a new trend of crappy teams that get hot for a week or two make the NCAA’s and possibly go past the first round, but then get blown out once their hot streak ends. We could have had very solid teams that come into the tournament and have been good the whole season and do some real damage but can’t because they fall victim of the crappy team’s hot streak. However, I am not saying that the NCAA should change the tournament winner auto-bid.

The only way that Virginia can really erase a little bit of the damage done is to get to a final four and hopefully win a championship. Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, and UCLA hypothetically if they were number one seeds and lost in the first round to a 16-seed, yes, that would be embarrassing for them, but they have championships and final fours that they can back it up with, while Virginia doesn’t have much at all.

All in all, UMBC has taught us one thing, when dealing with the NCAA tournament, never say never.