Stephen Curry's thoughtful gift to NCAA's Cinderella team can't prevent its loss

Carla Harmon
March 21, 2018

"It gives me a few more days to heal and recover". "I've got to hit those free throws". Clemson drubbed Auburn, winning by more than thirty. Their teams have played a couple of times and even scrimmaged during the preseason this year, because they both learn something about their teams when going against one another. You know, the ones from Kentucky. This article could have just as easily been a long list of statistics proving how Virginia really defeated themselves by playing sloppy basketball. The talent is there, and has been.

Next year's roster returns Hunter, Guy and Ty Jerome, as good as any Big Three as anybody will have in the ACC next season, plus former four-star recruits Mamadi Diakite and Jay Huff. But that was the regular season and nearly nobody watched it as it actually played out.

Could anyone in a similar setting handle a gut-wrenching loss with the class and poise that Virginia's Tony Bennett did nearly immediately after the loss?

Below you'll find information on how to watch or stream the game.

UMBC's improbable run through the NCAA Tournament was brief. "It's a very special moment for them right now, making history as a team, but I'm also making history for my country".

As golden as they were Friday night, the team's not named for that type of retriever, but after the Chesapeake Bay retriever, the state dog of Maryland.

Even if it was about time for an unprecedented upset to occur, Virginia looked like one of the least likely potential victims. They finished 6 of 22 from 3-point range two nights after lighting up Virginia. She said around halftime, some of her roommates started to believe UMBC could pull it off.

UMBC didn't zone Virginia, but in effect out-Virginia'd Virginia, with heavy ball pressure, post doubles and aggressive approaches to screens.

A Tony Bennett timeout couldn't stop the bleeding, as Lyles hit two more threes and Sherburne hit one more to extend UMBC's lead to 14 with about 15 minutes left. "We deserve it. We're going to show what we can do".

Statistically, Virginia was defensively phenomenal and offensively average.

How dominating was UMBC, consider this, the Golden Retrievers scored 53 points in the second half - one shy of how many Virginia scored in the entire game.

"Can't say enough about our guys", Weber said after the Wildcats' second-round win over UMBC, an ugly 50-43 victory in Charlotte.

Even in the other loss this season, the December 5 defeat at West Virginia, the 'Hoos were stifled by ball pressure, WVU closing down passing lanes off the screen action in the Mover-Blocker, resulting in a flurry of rushed, contested threes.

The fantastic 1983 championship game, with the Wolfpack winning on a buzzer-beating dunk, was a more resounding upset because Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler and the "Phi Slama Jama" Cougars were considered invincible.

Adding some flexibility in terms of something like the postup for Jerome, iso plays, some basic pick-and-rolls on different spots on the floor, some more sophisticated sets, whatever the case, would give the coaches some more ammunition to use in in-game situations where an opponent has success in taking away the base offense.

"It just gave us a lot of energy and a boost to show we could win this game", said the 6-foot-5 Sneed said of his dunk, where he elevated so high the top of his head was nearly level to the rim.

I'll see myself off to drifting out to sea.

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