The Top 5 Sports Upsets
This week we pick up where we left off to finish our list of the top 10 upsets in the wide world of sports as we celebrate the inspired performances of challengers.
It’s the triumph of the underdog that excites the senses and energizes the imagination. When underdogs pull off the upset, they make hope look like destiny and the world cheers. Here are our top five favorites.
#5 — “History”
From the time the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball tournament went to a 64-team bracket in 1985, the question in every opening round was “could a 16-seed beat a 1-seed” and the answer, of course, was no. Every March, announcers worked hard to make the 16 vs.1 matchups sound competitive and, over the years, there were a few close calls. But for 32 years, Cinderella was nowhere to be seen in round one of March Madness. But you knew she wouldn’t wait forever.
In 2018, 16-seed UMBC found themselves matched up with UVA, the top overall seed in the tournament. That meant of the 64 teams in the bracket, the University of Maryland- Baltimore County was 64th and Virginia was first. The teams literally couldn’t have been further apart, and the game was a blowout. But not in the way that anyone outside the Retrievers locker room had expected.
From the opening tip, UMBC took it to UVA and, by the middle of the second half, the game was over. There was no buzzer beater. No miracle from half court. UMBC drummed Virginia 74-54 and even though they lost a heartbreaker to Kansas State in the Round of 32, they will forever be remembered as the first 16-seed to ever take down a 1 in the NCAA Men’s Tournament.
#4 — “Upset at The Big House”
At the beginning of every college football season, big schools like to ease into their schedule with teams that aren’t any kind of threat. Often, smaller schools that are just thrilled to play in a big venue where they get half the gate.