Kellogg: UMBC Win "Tops All Toppers, Shocks All Shockers"

"I thought it would never happen," Kellogg said of a 16 beating a 1

Taz and the Moose
March 19, 2018 - 10:57 am

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March is known for madness, and the opening weekend of the 2018 NCAA Tournament was no exception.

No. 11 Loyola beat No. 6 Miami and No. 3 Tennessee on game-winning shots, No. 3 Michigan beat No. 6 Houston on a three at the buzzer, No. 9 Florida State upended No. 1 Xavier, and No. 7 Nevada rallied from a 22-point second-half deficit to stun No. 2 Cincinnati, among other opening-weekend theatrics.

But nothing beats UMBC’s 20-point win over over No. 1 Virginia.

“UMBC/UVA tops all toppers, shocks all shockers,” CBS Sports college basketball analyst Clark Kellogg said on Taz & The Moose. “The rest of it was just as drama-filled and surprising.”

UMBC became the first 16-seed to beat a 1-seed in the history of the tournament. The game was tied 21-21 at halftime, but the Retrievers exploded for 53 points in the second half to stun Tony Bennett’s Cavaliers, 74-54 last Friday.

Kellogg didn’t think a 16 would ever beat a 1.

“No, I thought it would never happen – and certainly not this year,” he said. “There are some that said it was going to happen, that it was inevitable it was going to happen. You wouldn’t have picked Xavier as a 1-seed that everybody thought may have been vulnerable – but not to a 16.”

Instead, Xavier squandered a 12-point second-half lead against Florida State, marking just the fourth time since seeding began in 1979 – and the first time since 2004 – that two No. 1 seeds failed to reach the Sweet 16.

Still, UMBC remained the darling of opening weekend.

“Seth (Davis) has been my parter for 11, 12, 13 years now, and he’s been on that train for a while,” Kellogg said of a 16 beating a 1. “He says, ‘It’s going to happen. It’s going to happen. It’s going to happen.’ He was one – and there were some others – that across the board felt like it would eventually happen. But I don’t know if anybody penciled it in for this particular year.”

Virginia has won 30+ games in three of the last five seasons but hasn’t reached the Final Four since 1984. The Cavaliers’ run to the Elite Eight in 2016 remains their deepest tournament run since 1995.