Bet you didn’t expect to Google the difference between a golden, labrador, and Chesapeake Bay retriever.

But such is March Madness, when an acronym university, like UMBC, stuns the world and shocks Virginia, the No. 1 team in the country. It was the first time a 16th seed ever defeated a top seed. We all scrambled to find their name (Retrievers, of the Chesapeake Bay variety), game, and most famous alums, if any (Kathleen Turner is one, evidently). Did we even know Baltimore was a county as well as a city?

Folks say Virginia is used to this, since their 1982 juggernaut, led by the nation’s top player, Ralph Sampson, lost a game to Chaminade. But that game had no bearing on the season, other than the ephemeral egg on their face. Besides, none of the players on Virginia’s roster were close to being born in 1982.

To give you an idea about how bizarre this tournament already was after one round, that perfect, billion-dollar bracket faded into fantasy by the time the teams shrunk from 64 to 32. We all like to think our era is the best, even if it’s almost never true. But we can probably say with some certainty that no March Madness has been this unpredictable since the tournament expanded to its current form in 1985.

MAP

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Omny

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