NCAA

Virginia comes back from historic upset against UMBC to win the NCAA tournament

Virginia comes back from historic upset against UMBC to win the NCAA tournament

Shock and disbelief were carved onto the faces of the Virginia Cavaliers as they walked off the court from their lone NCAA Tournament game in March 2018.

The top-seeded Cavaliers had just lost, as is the case for 67 of the 68 teams that enter the big dance. But their loss was different. Their loss was unprecedented. 

They had just entered the record books for all the wrong reasons. The 2018 Cavaliers became the first-ever No. 1 seed to be upset in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to a No. 16 seed. 

The greatest upset in college basketball history belongs to the UMBC Retrievers for their manhandling of Virginia that day. However, that unlikely victory – as incredible and monumental the feat was – is not what is highlighted today. 

That UMBC victory sparked what would become a great comeback year for Virginia. A year later, the Cavaliers would squash their demons and take home the national championship.

Both years were exceptionally dominant for Virginia. The former being the No. 1 overall seed of the tournament. Combined their records were 60-5 excluding their NCAA Tournament games. To produce such an incredible mark, they rode on the back of their intimidating defense to get there. In 2018 they were fifth in adjusted defense according to KenPom. That rose to first the year that they won it. 

With such a good defense, it left some holes on their offense. Sure, they held opponents to only 53 points but they did not muster much better on the other end of the court. Their offense was a problem and it cost them by scoring only 54 to UMBC. 

Nothing changed for Virginia the following season. Their identity – a slower pace, defense-first mindset that many regarded as the sole reason for their loss to UMBC – did not waiver. Head coach Tony Bennett just had them improve in every aspect of their game. 

Most importantly, though, they got all their key figures to return. DeAndre Hunter, Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome were all there to avenge the loss.

It made the celebration for the Cavaliers so much more triumphant. It was easy to feel the relief that Hunter exhaled as he chucked the basketball to the rafters as the final seconds in the national championship game ticked away. A story tale ending was complete. One that was filled with chills and narratives that the best storytellers in Hollywood could not script.  

Current Dolphins RB and former Navy QB Malcolm Perry placed on COVID-19 reserve list

Current Dolphins RB and former Navy QB Malcolm Perry placed on COVID-19 reserve list

Current Dolphins running back and former Navy quarterback Malcolm Perry has been placed on the NFL's COVID-19 reserve list, the team announced on Monday.

The COVID-19 list is a designation for NFL players who have either tested positive for the virus or must quarantine after being in close contact with someone who had contracted coronavirus. The league's protocols require teams to not disclose the reason behind the player's placement on the reserve list. 

Perry, who was drafted in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Dolphins, rose to prominence during his collegiate career at Navy. Though he's now a running back in the league, Perry shined at quarterback for the Midshipmen. However, he rarely threw the football.

In three seasons as a starter, Perry rushed for over 1,000 yards during each campaign as he was the focal point of Navy's option offense. His 2019 season was something out of a video game as he ran for 2,017 yards and 21 touchdowns. Perry originally declared for the draft as a wide receiver but has now found a place as a runner with Miami. 

Positive coronavirus tests in the NFL don't come as a surprise, as the league has seen numerous players placed on the reserve list of the last week or so as teams report to training camp. Players have until Thursday, August 6, to decide if they want to opt out of the season.

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Maryland's Big Ten title hopes go through Iowa as star Luka Garza to return for senior season

Maryland's Big Ten title hopes go through Iowa as star Luka Garza to return for senior season

The Maryland Terrapins men's basketball program clinched a share of the Big Ten regular-season title this past season, the first time the team has accomplished the feat since joining the conference in 2014.

However, the task to repeat as conference champions became a lot more difficult on Sunday, as Iowa star Luka Garza announced his intention to return to the Hawkeyes for his senior season.

The center announced his decision on Twitter on Sunday, posting a highlight video announcing his return.

Garza, the Big Ten Player of the Year a season ago, averaged 23.9 points and 9.8 rebounds for the Hawkeyes. With the 6-foot-11 center returning to Iowa, the Hawkeyes are certainly the team to beat in the conference entering the season.

The Terps already had an uphill battle to repeat as Big Ten champs, as the team's two best players from a season ago are no longer with the team. Point guard Anthony Cowan graduated from the university after a stellar four-year career, while sophomore center Jalen Smith decided to forego his final two seasons and enter the NBA Draft.

"I'm very excited to be back with my teammates and look towards winning a National Championship, winning a Big Ten championship," Garza said. "We have big goals in mind."

The news is tough for Maryland fans, as Garza is one of the many players in recent years that played their high school ball in the DMV before heading to college elsewhere. Garza, who played his high school basketball at the Maret School in Washington, D.C. just nine miles south from College Park, was never offered a scholarship by Terps head coach Mark Turgeon.

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