UMBC's historic NCAA tournament upset of Virginia is up for 'Best Moment' in 2018 ESPYS
By The Baltimore Sun
Jun 20, 2018 | 11:55 AM
UMBC’s one shining moment keeps going on and on.
The Retrievers’ 74-54 upset of Virginia in the first round of the NCAA basketball tournament, the first time a No. 16 men’s seed beat a No. 1 seed, is nominated for “Best Moment” in the 2018 ESPY awards. The nominees were announced Wednesday.
The awards are ESPN’s way of “celebrating major sports achievements, reliving unforgettable moments and saluting the leading performers and performances of the past year in sport,” according to a news release.
Voting has begun and will continue until the start of the awards show July 18. You can vote here.
UMBC will be up against a former Maryland football player in the category. One of the other three nominees is the “Minnesota Miracle” in an NFC divisional playoff game. The Vikings stunned the New Orleans Saints when Stefon Diggs caught a 61-yard touchdown on the last play of the game to give Minnesota a 29-24 win and a spot in the NFC championship game. Diggs’ catch is also nominated for “Best Play.”
The other two nominees for “Best Moment:” Notre Dame beating Mississippi State to win the NCAA women’s basketball tournament and the Vegas Golden Knights defeating the Winnipeg Jets to advance to the Stanley Cup Final.
UMBC and Diggs aren’t the only nominees among local athletes and teams.
Paralympic athlete and wheelchair marathon winner Tatyana McFadden of Clarksville has been nominated as best female athlete with a disability for the eighth time. She won the award in 2016. Local swimmers Jessica Long (three times) and Becca Meyers (two times, including 2017) have been multiple winners of the award.
McFadden has 22 world major marathon series victories with wins in Chicago in 2017 and Boston in 2018.
The Washington Capitals and star Alex Ovechkin are nominated for several awards: best team, best male athlete and best NHL player.
Stanford swimmer Katie Ledecky of Bethesda was nominated for best college athlete. Jockey Mike Smith, who won the Preakness at Pimlico Race Course en route to the Triple Crown aboard Justify, is nominated for best jockey.