7 reasons why this year's tournament has been the craziest ever
The NCAA tournament is among the most electric events on the sporting calendar each year, but the 2018 version is setting a new standard through the opening two rounds.
From Thursday to Sunday, there were 48 games of madness, providing some incredible moments that will be remembered for years to come.
Here are seven reasons why it's safe to say the last four days have provided the best opening two rounds of an NCAA tournament ever.
A No. 16 finally beat a No. 1
A No. 1 seed had never lost to a 16-seed in 135 games entering the Friday evening matchup between top-ranked Virginia and No. 16 UMBC. But thanks to a shocking performance by the Retrievers, the streak is over courtesy a 20-point thrashing of the Cavaliers. The UMBC website crashed shortly after the win due to heavy traffic, which was probably the result of most people trying to figure out what UMBC actually stood for.
Loyola Chicago and the 98-year-old nun
Loyola Chicago may be a squad of college-aged athletes heading to the Sweet 16, but it's a 98-year-old nun who has become the face of the team. Sister Jean, the team chaplain, has become an "international" sensation for her celebrations as the Ramblers pulled off two wins in the dying seconds. The bracket has now opened up for the plucky underdogs, with just No. 7 Nevada standing in the way of an Elite Eight berth.
Nevada coach goes bananas after 22-point comeback
There's a little-known rule in the NCAA tournament: If your team erases a 22-point deficit in the final 12 minutes of a Round of 32 game, your coach must peel off his shirt and celebrate topless in the locker room. Good on Nevada head coach Eric Musselman for sticking to that rule after the Wolf Pack's incredible comeback victory over Cincinnati.
North Carolina suffers worst tourney loss since 1990
Defending champion North Carolina didn't just bow out in the Round of 32, it got absolutely hammered by Texas A&M in an embarrassing result. The 21-point loss is the worst for the storied Tar Heels program in the NCAA tournament since 1990.
Rob Gray did his best Steph Curry impression
Thanks to Poole's incredible buzzer-beater, Houston is headed home, but Rob Gray left his lasting mark on the tournament. The star guard exploded for 39 points in the opening round win over San Diego State, including the game-winning layup in the dying seconds. His 62 points in the first two games are the most since Steph Curry grabbed the national spotlight with Davidson in 2008.
Kentucky might have the easiest path to Final Four ever
John Calipari entered the tournament complaining about No. 5 Kentucky's draw, but there's no way the legendary coach has those feelings heading to the Sweet 16. The Wildcats handled their business in the opening two games, and thanks to upsets of No. 1 Virginia, No. 2 Cincinnati, No. 3 Tennessee, and No. 4 Arizona, Kentucky is left with a very winnable path to the Final Four.
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