No one thought it was possible. The heavy favorite. The unruly underdog no one thought would even make it this far. Pundits and prognosticators brimming with confidence. The outcome all but predetermined. Just a question of how big the final margin would be. Then the unthinkable happened.
The University of Virginia men's basketball team made history in 2018, becoming the first ever number one seed to lose in the first round of the NCAA tournament. And it wasn't even close. The plucky Retrievers from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, trounced the Cavaliers by 20 points. In the parlance of our times: It was humiliating AF.
Speaking of historic humiliations, Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 presidential election to Donald J. Trump in similar fashion. It was the sort of lopsided matchup you typically see in the preliminary rounds of national tournaments. Straight chalk, as they say. There was hardly any doubt. Hillary's campaign went ahead and booked a victory party venue encased by a literal glass ceiling, and rigged up confetti cannons to blast symbolic shards of glass into the air to celebrate her historic election as the first female president. Oops.
The good news for Hillary is that UVA's title run provides a blueprint for redemptive victory in 2020. She claims she's not running for president again. But many of the major Democratic candidates did the same thing before eventually entering the race. It would be unwise for her to tip her hand this early in the contest. Perhaps she's awaiting a final decision from Joe Biden, aka "The Scranton Squeeze Buff."
The resilient Cavaliers proved that no humiliation, however devastating and historically improbable, is too great to overcome. They kept their heads down, worked hard, regrouped, and marched valiantly to Minneapolis, where they were crowned national champions, and gulped liberally from the bejeweled goblet of sweet redemption. Hillary can do the same in 2020, although speaking of Minneapolis, she might want to consider actually visiting some of those Upper Midwestern states this time around.