The first weekend of the 2018 NCAA Tournament is in the books and boy was it crazy. Here’s a look at the biggest losers from the first two rounds of this year’s tournament.
Well, Tony Bennett and his Virginia team are now the answer to the most dubious trivia question in college basketball history. Bennett authored an absolutely horrific meltdown, as his No. 1 overall seed Cavaliers were blown out by 16th-seeded UMBC, 74-54. I can’t remember a more inept performance by a top-level team in any sport.
Bennett won’t ever live this down unless he wins a national title. Virginia was 31-2 entering the tournament and its two losses had come by a total of eight points. UMBC lost to Albany by 44 this season. It was a supreme embarrassment for Bennett and his program.
Miles Bridges skipped the 2017 NBA Draft to return to Michigan State because he wanted to win a national championship. He didn’t. On top of that, his final collegiate performance left a lot to be desired. Bridges scored just 11 points on 4-of-18 shooting from the field and was 3-of-12 from 3-point range.
Sean Miller has had an awful few weeks and really an awful season. Despite loads of talent, Miller’s Wildcats were blown out 89-68 by 13th-seeded Buffalo in the opening round. On the one hand, it was an embarrassing showing, on the other, it mercifully ended a mess of a season.
Theo Pinson and Joel Berry
Theo Pinson and Joel Berry have been the backbone of North Carolina as the Tar Heels reached the title game in 2016 and won a championship in 2017. It was awful watching them go out like they did, in an 86-65 blowout at the hands of Texas A&M in the second round.
This year’s Auburn squad was the most talented team Bruce Pearl has ever had. Yes, even better than his 2007-08 Tennessee team. Yet, despite a ton of talent, Pearl and the Tigers got hammered by Clemson on Sunday in the second round. The 84-53 loss ended a tumultuous season that may even be Pearl’s last at the school due to the FBI’s investigation into the program.