Last year 16-seed UMBC shocked the world by defeating Virginia in the first round. Can another team in the 2019 NCAA Tournament field repeat history?
Each year when the Big Dance rolls around, one of the first things college basketball fans take a look at is who might be the next “Cinderella” to upset a favorite. In years past there have been many 12-, 13-, 14-, and 15-seeds that have done the unlikely and pulled off huge upsets that couldn’t have been predicted by some of the best minds in the sports. The 2019 NCAA Tournament will probably be no different, but what will be new how the focus will be specifically on one seed.
This is all because of the seemingly impossible upset that the UMBC Retrievers pulled off last year against No. 1 overall Virginia. For the first time in NCAA Tournament history, a 16-seed knocked off a one. Countless teams had tried, but none had ever been able to slay Goliath.
Now, as we are just a few days away from the tournament getting underway, let’s set out to see if there any teams capable of pulling off a similar feat. While it doesn’t necessarily have to be a 16-seed knocking off a No. 1, now that it’s happened once it could very well happen again and somewhere in the 2019 bracket there is a team preparing to do the unthinkable.
Who will be the next UMBC? Let’s take a look at the five most likely candidates to follow in the Retrievers’ footsteps.