Ask Boswell: Redskins, Nationals and Washington sports

Mar 19, 2018

Washington Post Sports Columnist Tom Boswell answered your questions about the Redskins, Capitals, Nationals, Wizards, the NFL and more.

Past Ask Boswell chats

Well that was fun, and too bad they couldn't hang tougher against KState (wow was I mad when the KState guys went over to congratulate the UMBCinderella starters when they were being taken out toward the end, and the TV director cut to some sad girls in the audience; get with it!), but how about the intrasystem bragging rights with the Retrievers over the Terps?

That was one of the most fun games, in any sport, that I have ever gotten to watch. And, by a fluke, I got to watch every second of it. I think everybody will probably remember "where I was" and "with whom" when they saw that one. I was in Florida covering spring training, so except for a few minutes here and there, I hadn't gotten to see ANY of March Madness. Also, my wife has probably gone to fewer than a dozen of the events I've covered in the 34 years we've been together. That evening after finishing work and going to dinner, we got back to the hotel just as the UVA-UMBC game started. No reason to watch it. Except that, in '08 I covered the GU-UMBC first round NCAA game and kind of fell in love with the Retrievers, even though they lost by 18. I wrote about them because they were far more interesting than the Hoyas.

Like an "expert," I kept telling my wife that Virginia would make a run and that it would be close the last couple of minutes, but that UMBC looked so poised and smart that I thought they actually had a chance -- not a good one, but a chance -- to win. With about 1:30 left, UMBC scored again to go up by maybe 14 and I was stunned. I just said, "It's over. They did it." My wife enjoyed it as much as I did.  She'd say, "What are you doing?" I'd say, "Tweeting." As she should, she gave me that "Who cares what you are tweeting about UMBC, you can't even name two of their players" look.

Tweet: "UMBC, the tech and science-centric school so earnest that Chess Week is a big deal and the school president once had to tell students to stop studying so hard and 'have some fun' on the weekends. AMAZING!!!"

Tweet: "With all the stench over college basketball you could not pick a finer school to exemplify exactly the opposite than UMBC. Totally the school to pick to pull off the greatest college hoop supset ever. They not only smoked Virginia, they played headier ball."

To show you the impact that the UMBC win had on EVERYBODY, how it must have had the whole sports-watching country GLUED to TVs, those two tweets -- containing no real information (since I had none) just shared enthusiasm -- got 305,300 "impressions." Don't ask me what an "impression" is. All it told me was that EVERYBODY just wanted to SHARE that UMBC win, in whatever way they could, with everybody they knew.

Boz - last summer I asked you in this forum who was faster between Trey and Robles. You answered in a word: Turner. You went on to say that Robles looks faster because he was trying so hard to impress coaches and teammates (or something to that effect). In your column a few days ago you said Robles is faster. Has something changed to make you change your opinion? Just wondering...

They now have stats for everything and Robles home-to-third time on a triple was, I believe, the fastest in MLB last year, a hair ahead of Turner. So I said that he might be "a nanosecond" faster than Turner. But nobody knows. I asked Robles and he just grinned and said, "We don't know that yet. He has his tools and I have mine." It's a friendly competition.

Long ago, Mickey Mantle,, when still healthy, was the fastest player in MLB. The Senators Pedro Ramos, a pitcher, may have been the second fastest. Ramos was always challenging Mantle to a sprint across the outfield before a game to determine who was the better sprinter. The Yankees, according to the story, always told Mantle to ignore Ramos' challenge because they didn't want him to get hurt in a silly challenge race. I was going to ask Robles something along those lines, but our interpreter told me: "Victor says he has not heard of Mickey Mantle."

I did the math in my head. Me asking Robles about Mantle (who was challenged by Ramos about 45 years before Robles was even born), would have been the equivalent of somebody asking me about some obscure anecdote that happened in 1902. So, that told me that 1) the MLB generations are  connected over incredible lengths of time or 2) Man, I'm really old.  

Tony Bennett is an amazing coach and UVa would do well to lock him up long term. He has transformed UVa into a force in the ACC and now has three national coach of the year honors, which puts him in pretty elite company. That said, Tony _really_ needs to figure out how to get his team to show up in the NCAA tournament. If he worked for the Lerners, he'd be looking for a new job today. Think back to the Cavaliers' previous six trips to the NCAAs: - 2018: first number 1 seed to ever lose to a 16 seed, and decisively (by 20 points). - 2017: blown out in second round by Florida - 2016: blew a 16-point second-half lead with a chance to advance to the final four - 2015: lost to Michigan St. in the second round - 2014: lost to Michigan St. in a hard fought game. That's quite a string of failure and things have trended from a respectable exit in 2014 to the most humiliating loss in the history of NCAA basketball (surpassing their previous record of losing as the top ranked team to Chaminade in 1982). Where do you see the UVa program going from here? Will the University stick with Bennett until he becomes the next Coach K, or will they kick him to the curb like Dusty Baker?

Very interesting.

For the last couple of chats I've pointed out that Virginia plays a style that may be excellent in regular season but just BEGS to be upset in March Madness by a team that makes threes, stays close and gets a shot at an upset in a low-scoring game. So, I didn't particularly like UVA's chances, despite their two-loss record. But I had no idea that they could lose to UMBC which was a 10 1/2-point underdog in the final game of their America East conference tournament. UMBC won that game on a shot from the top of the circle with 0.5 seconds left to play!

I'm afraid the Bennett-Rizzo comparison doesn't work. The apples-to-apples would be to measure Bennett's lack of success to similar problems for an MLB MANAGER, not GM. You might compare Bennett's issues (somewhat) to Dusty Bakers streak of losing 10 (TEN) straight post-season games in which his team might have advanced.

Which Nats' player had the best looking swing in the golf competition the other day?

Max Scherzer, of course, took it more seriously than anybody, but also was the funniest. Excellent swing, good golfer, I assume. He'd listen for the air horn from the field 100 yards away where the "bullseye" was located -- over four fences, two sidewalks and 12 pitchers mounds. You go 1, 2 or 3 blasts on the horn depending on how close your shot landed. I think it was 10, 20 and 40 feet, but I could be wrong (like anybody cares). Max would just "pose" after a good shot waiting to hear the air horn, then would high-five if he got a "three-horn."

Strasburg has a good swing. So does Tim Collins, the 5-foot-7 lefty who has a (slim) chance to make the Nats bullpen. (From '11-through-'14 Collins had a 3.54 ERA with the Royals in 228 games and was a small, but useful part of their trip to the '14 World Series in which Collins pitched three times. Davey Martinez keeps mentioning how well he is throwing after not pitching in the majors since '14 due to arm surgery.)

The golf challenge came down to the final shots. There five teams. Each got 21 balls. At the end, Scherzer's team was tied, 26-26, with another team. Joe Ross (good swing) hit the last ball for Team Max and got a "three-horn." I forget who took the last shot for the other team, maybe Murphy, but Ross' shot was the winner. I stayed for most of the competition, which was pretty funny but took a LONG time; but I didn't see the end. So, I wouldn't take this Winning Ross Shot to the bank. I'm sure the Nats will be talking/teasing about it all season. Lotta golfers on this ballclub. 

Bos, As we await the beginning of life in ten days, was wondering about your opinion of the life of sports in College Park these days? Very disappointing seasons for the major programs---football and both men's and women's basketball. While lacrosse always looks good and Brenda Frese will likely rebuild quickly, what's your level of confidence in Durkin and Turgeon to turn things around? Certainly injuries were a factor for both, but with no AD, with schools like Penn State recruiting heavily and successfully in the DMV, and with Under Armor worth about $13 billion less than two years ago, where do you see things headed?

My son the MD grad -- who's a pretty decent barometer as an alum who graduated almost 10 years ago -- was on a mini-rant about Turgeon a couple of days ago. You know -- supposedly good recruits, definitely poor results. I said I thought Turgeon was a good coach who was having a rough patch in his career and it was always easy to fire, but hard to replace with somebody better. But I assume that Turgeon is a coach who's approaching "double secret probation" and needs to show some results. It's way too soon to judge Durkin, especially after the flood of QB injuries last year. I like what I've seen of him. Of course, Brenda Frese is one of the "gold standard" coaches in the women's game. No issue there.

But it is hard for me to remember the last time that MD came up this dry in all three of these sports.

I think Natalie Butler of Mason (and a Lake Braddock alum) deserves a shoutout for breaking the women's D1 single-season rebounding record on Friday night. She finished with 563 rebounds and also had 32 straight double-doubles this season. I'm a Mason alum who's been going to men's games for years, but I started attending some women's games because of Butler. I've become a fan of women's bball in the process!

Thanks for the info.

The women's game has a "pure" feel to it. The best teams almost put on a clinic on the correct principles of the game. Both talent and fundamentals are always important in basketball, but the tilt in the women's game generally seems to be toward fundamentals for me -- which I enjoy.

If part of the resigning Bryce equation also decreases the likelihood that the Nats can also afford Rendon a year later, how much a factor is the position that both players play and the Nats ability to backfill. While the Nationals have some strong outfield prospects to potentially replace Harper, isn't 3rd base a more critical foundational position and the lack of an heir apparent to Rendon points to his being re-signed more important?

Yes.

As I've said many times, I'd love to see Harper's whole career played out in Washington, but I have also said an equal number of times that I think the balance of probability is against it. Clearly, the Nats have, as you say, back-filled their OF against the likely chance that he will move on -- perhaps somewhere West where he's closer to his family.

Rendon would be harder to "semi-replace" than Harper. You seldom truly replace players that good. But it would probably be easier to come up with a LHed-hitting OF with power who is 70-80% of Harper than it would be to find a GG-quality third baseman who is 80-percent of Rendon.

The last four years, Harper's WAR is 17.3, but Rendon's is 16.8, including years in which Rendon was 5th and 6th for N.L. MVP.Also, Rendon learned the gospel of launch angle last year and, once converted, he's never going back. That led to career-best stats across the board: 25 HR, 100 RBI, .301 and .937 OPS. He's still only 27.

I suspect that the Nats will let the Harper walk year play out and, if he leaves, THEN focus on Rendon. Since the same agent represents both, that might come into play a bit. But if I were the Nats and had a chance to extend Rendon at a market price (whatever the market is now), I'd do it every day of the week, then let Harper play out however it does. 

Rendon is very comfortable in DC and in the Nats clubhouse. He doesn't like attention or even praise. He's "left alone" now and likes it that way and is good friends with lots of teammates, like Trea Turner. Rendon is like Strasburg in that way -- sort of a humble homebody who plays with swagger but doesn't need limelight the other 21 hours of the day.

Bryce is also a really "centered" person from a strong family who is not at all flashy off the field, except for his "advanced" fashion sense. He's already married and has always seemed settled. But Bryce is also, absolutely, A Star and loves the limelight. He gets plenty of spotlight in D.C. But he may want to find out what it's like to get even more.He's got plenty of Las Vegas in him.

I'm always someone who believes that "the grass is seldom greener on the other side." My two cents is that Harper has it VERY good in D.C. and the odds -- not the certainty, just the odds -- that he'd be happier in five years if he changed teams are not good. I assume Rizzo will be extended -- though the Lerners (as usual) seem to have no sense of the proper was to do basic baseball business with key people. If so, that means Harper knows he'd be in a sane stable environment with a winning team, or perhaps an exceptional team with the Nats. Things can change fast with another team, although I think the Dodgers will be a stable team for a long time now.

Someone with Bryce's best interests at heart might advise him to think of his free agency options as 1) Dodgers, 2) Nats and 3) probably nobody else. The Angels could mess up a royal straight flush. In Chicago, as a Cub, Bryce might find out what a town with broad shoulders does to a guy when he's down on his luck in a slump or with an injury. That Big Contract would be thrown in his face constantly.

When you STAY in your original town where you are (justifiably) loved, the fan base remembers everything you did in the past for their team, like the '15 MVP, and The Contract isn't constantly debated. Look at how Nats fans always stuck with Ryan Zimmerman who it looked like his $100-million extension was a poor investment and then how thriolled they were when he bounced back -- after THREE poor worrisome years in a row --with 36, 108, 303 last year. I'm not sure how much Bryce thinks that anybody else's experience is relevant to his own. He thinks of himself, as a baseball player, as almost unique. So there may be some lessons he has to learn for himself, rather than learning by observing others.    

I am still puzzled by Cousins' match with the Vikings, as they had a more than capable QB in Case Keenum. Why rock the boat?

Despite all the Skins-official-party-line propaganda that Cousins can't win the big one and is just a "good" (24-23-1) quarterback, but nothing more, it is clear by their actions that the Vikings think that Cousins is an elite QB -- in the Top 10 in the league -- who can take them to the Super Bowl.If you invest >$80M guaranteed for three years of a QB, and move on from Case Keenum, that is a string statement about your evaluation of Cousins play. Remember, in sports, there's an old saying that often applies: Familiarity breeds contempt.

We'll all be fascinated to find out. But, since the Vikes just went 13-3 -- and the Skins haven't had a 13-win team since '91 (14-2) -- I'll give the benefit of the doubt to Minnesota on their ability to evaluate QBs more accurately than the Skins.  

What, exactly, does a college or NBA player (especially Lebron!), have to do to actually be called for travelling?

Put the ball in a suitcase, carrying an airline ticket in the other hand and run to the basket. That's "traveling."

Ok, so if Boras and the Lerners work out an early deal, where are the Nats going to put all their outfielders? If not this summer, where do you put Robles next year? What about Soto? Does signing Harper mean you've got to trade for a third baseman?

Plan A: If you extend Harper, your future is Robles in CF with Eaton and Harper as the corner OFers. Others get traded -- and Soto, in a year or two, might bring good deal in return.

Yes, looking for a 3rd baseman would probably become a priority. But, remember, the Nats may lose two exceptional LHed bats this year in Harper and Murphy. One of the strongest arguments for trying very hard to extend Harper is that he bring instant "balance" to your lineup. Without him, the Nats are very "right-handed."

Amid the competition for the 5th starter role, I haven't seen Joe Ross's name mentioned. Is he expected back this season? If so, will the role be waiting for him, or will he have to earn it back?

He's expected back in mid-season.

But his golf swing is already back! (Maybe it's His Year.)

Bos, The current pace of play doesn't bother me at all, but I'll concede it's an issue with attracting new fans. I'm mostly OK with the things the commissioner is implementing, but he needs to make sure his attempts to lure new fans doesn't alienate old ones. I'm talking specifically about this nonsense about starting extra innings with a runner on second base. Extra innings games are not the problem, and frankly many of my most vivid memories is of things that happened in double-digit innings. Putting a runner on second is a gimmick and it fundamentally changes the way the game is played. I've been a fan my whole life and have had season tickets to the Nats since 2012, when I retired from the Army and was able to move back home to Virginia, but if this reaches the major league level, I'm out. Not because of that new rule for its own sake, but because it would signal to me that MLB has lost the plot.

Putting a runner on second base to start an inning is THE STUPIDEST IDEA ever put forward in any sport.

That the commissioner of a sport would even MENTION it, no matter what he thought of it, makes you worry about his judgment. Manfred is a sharp guy. I can't imagine what he was thinking. Must have had a momentary "mind-meld" with a demented marketer. 

Boz, I'm naturally inclined to side with players - there are a lot more multi-millionaires than there are people who can make an MLB roster and as George Will put it so well: nobody paid to watch an owner do anything – but I don’t think this year’s FA climate is a result of collusion. You’ve written extensively about it but there are two other things that I haven’t seen you mention (and if so I apologize). The first is that during the negotiations for the current collective bargaining agreement, the players focused more on (it appears from the outside) perks than dollars. In the agreement they got extra days off, a chef in every clubhouse, and two seats on every Spring Training bus ride, among other things, which cost the clubs basically nothing. Maybe to get those things they gave ground on increasing the luxury tax threshold or QA draft compensation, two things that are probably influencing this year’s FA market. The other issue, an indirect one, is the rise of travel baseball. The current crop of twenty-somethings grew up playing baseball and nothing but baseball year-round, so they finished high school much more polished than previous generations of players. They get to the Show younger, which I believe has added to clubs’ emphasis on building through the draft and concentrating on younger controllable players rather than on expensive FAs more so than in the past.

I've talked to former players who were player reps and central MLBPA figures in the Bad Old Days of players fighting to get their fair share. One of them said to me, "What did we (MLBPA) get in the last negotiation? What were we arguing for? Bleeping MEAL MONEY!!!!???"  

Can it really be called a "screw up" when you fail to see the future? That's a pretty high standard to set for anybody. But in the last CBA, the owners side either anticipated the future FAR better than the MLBPA or else they got very lucky.

I'm only surprised the downturn in 9-figure contracts didn't come sooner. Baseball is intrinsically a team sport in which it's hard for one superstar, no matter how spectacular, to be the difference between a winning team and losing one. If Bryce Harper can really draw $400 million, wouldn't it potentially be a better move to sign four good players to $100 million each? For that matter, our football team could take some lessons here. Feeling a QB away from the promised land has been their sense from Patrick Ramsey, to Jason Campbell, to RG3, to Captain Kirk, to indeed, Alex Smith.

In spring training, I kept hearing people say that the CRASH in the free agent market was just a one-year aberration or that teams were "saving their money" to go after the Harper-Machado class.

My response was that I totally disagree. I said to one knowledgeable baseball person, "Next year at this time we'll know whether I'm 'full of it.'"

I think an analogy to the stock market is probably very appropriate here. When you see a huge trend  that feels like a mania, then the mania finally breaks, you see very shocking market corrections that have to run their full course. It could be the Nasdung market that crashed in '00-'02 or the sup-prime and derivatives markets that blew up in '07-'08 and led to '09's crash. Or it could be a 35-year trend like the fall in U.S. interest rates since 1982. When that trend finally reverses, it takes no prisoners. 

I think Jose Altuve will be very glad that he just signed a $151M/5-yr extension. I suspect that $30-million-a-year will be the ceiling, or very close to it, for ANYBODY, including Harper, a year from now. Stanton signed a $325-Million, 13-year contract a couple of years ago. If Harper gets $325M, I'll be pretty surprised.

This is such uncharted territory -- and it will be so easy to look like a fool evaluating it -- that very few people even want to touch the subject. As far as I know, my column on this last week is the only one that even tries to make an arms-around-it guesstimate. 

Even owners are in shock at the awful Arrieta and Moustakas contracts. The bar just kept moving lower. Moustakas, who helped the Royals to two World Series and hit 38 homers last year in homer-unfriendly KC, just got $6.5M for one year (a pay cut) instead of the $85M/5-yr deal that FanGraphs predicted he'd get after last season. Arrieta/Boras had stories of $200M floating around, which means that $150M was probably somewhat realistic. Arrieta signed for $75M/3-yrs. When you're past 30 and losing your raw stuff (like Arrieta), it's ALL about the guaranteed money because you don't know if there will ever be another significant contract. He got HALF what might have been expected, even if the average annual salary still looks good. 

I can't wait to see how this plays out. I'll probably have to change my mind about seven times. (But I'm used to that. The No. 1 Fatal Flaw for a columnist is to start believing that your opinion has some inherent value because it belongs to you. "Reality" will provide tons of new information constantly. Your job is to remember that the new info is what matters, NOT what you thought last week or last year.) 

My theory for the collapse, aside from atrocious shooting and UMBC's unusual quickness and fine shooting, is that Virginia was spooked by the absence of De'Andre Hunter, an exceptional athlete and highly-intelligent all-arounder, who may have been their secret heart and soul but a very special player regardless. Virginia seemed tentative from the start on offense and a step behind on defense. Do you think a zone defense would have worked better on UMBC, such as a 1-3-1?

The whole basketball culture is buzzing about how Bennett always refuses to use any kind of zone defense. For his teams, it's the "Pack Line" or the bread line.

A zone would probably have been effective against UMBC, cutting off all those drivers who either got to the rim or kicked it back out for open threes. But UMBC still shot .500 from beyond the arc; and the zone hasn't been created yet that defends shots from 2-3-4 feet BEYOND the arc like some that UMBC made.

It was such a fabulous game that I'm just sorry I don't have a tape of it. Maybe somebody will show it again. If any chatters see such a thing, please e-mail me at my Post address. (TIA)

It has been twenty years since SSSA won a football championship. A far cry from when they won every other year.

SSAS is a FAR better school in every imaginable way than when I went there eons ago. Just about the ONLY thing that has gone downhill, I suppose, is football. But the standard was mighty high.

Coach Al (Sleepy) Thompson had 29 winning seasons in 32 years. (In my small way, I contributed to one of the losing seasons -- we were probably 4-5. As soon as I graduated, removing my slight influence, Sleepy had 'em back at No. 5-6-7 in the area the next year.) How we had so many Top 20 teams in the whole D.C. metro area with such small players, and senior classes of 50 boys, I'll never know. My senior year we were down to an emergency third-string QB who had a few days to learn the position -- our All-Met QB Guy Smythe was injured and the mediocre back-up QB (me) had to go to his grandfather's funeral in Delaware -- and we beat Ft. Hunt, which had > 1,500 high school students.

But losing some FB games is a small price to pay for what I regard (now) as an exceptional all-around school. (Sorry for the commercial.)

It's really remarkable how vivid EVERYBODY'S memories are from about age 8-to-18. It's like you are living at double or triple intensity.

How do you explain the amazing number of upsets in this year's NCAA men's basketball tournament? The top five seeds in the South region are all gone; the first time in over 35 that no five or better seed makes the round of 16. And the upset bug has affected the other three regions almost as much.

No idea.

Except that there is probably some element of psychological contagion. "If they can do it, we can do it," is pretty powerful stuff, especially in close games in the last few minutes when, normally, the favorite pulls away to win. I suspect the number of close-and-late games is not terribly different. But the percentage of "Upset Conversions" is higher.

That's it for today, folks. I'm a little under the weather from spring allergies, etc., so we'll cut it off despite the ridiculous number of good subjects.

* Another strong week from Tiger just makes the Masters all the more intriguing.

* I felt that the Skins needed to get off the mark fast in free agency to balance out for the players they will probably lose as free agents. So far, it doesn't look like they have.

* Next week, more Caps and Wiz, I promise. 

See you next Monday at 11 a.m. Thanks again for your excellent questions.   

The craziest thing about the NCAA Men's was the size of the wins - Buffalo blowing out Arizona, UMBC destroying Virginia, and even A&M big over UNC. The wins were surprising enough, but the margins - wow.

Good point.

Do you think the other owners are a little upset by the 100% guarantee for his contract? That is not the way they have been doing business for some time and now everyone will start asking for it.

I don't know how the owners feel, but you can bet the players are elated. And especially since, at this point in his career, Cousins is still viewed as a normal very good QB, but not as some legendary figure that changes -- or may in hindsight -- have changed the NFL's salary structure. To what degree, we'll have to wait and see.  

Hey Boz, I'm not yet 30 but I can't remember a time I was ever this excited for a golf tournament than I am for Augusta! Rory, Phil, Jordan (loves Augusta), DJ, Ricky, the Brits, Reed, oh and some dude named Eldrick! Can you remember a tourney with THIS much hype??

There have been a lot of Big Threes in golf history.

With Justin Thomas, Jason Day added to your list, this is shaping up as almost a Big Ten!

Hi Tom....what do you think of the Wizards' players chances with a greater sharing of the ball, generally more focused D, better play from Morris as the season has went along, deeper bench, and the development of Satoransky ? It looks like the Wiz will play the Pacers in the playoffs who they match up well against and feel confident they could beat (or at least that's Beal thinks so). Again, this all assumes Wall is back before the end of the regular season and is close to his pre-injury self for the playoffs.

My optimistic self is looking for that scenario to develop. It's fun to think about. Wall's absence has allowed the Wiz __both the players themselves and coaches__ to realize that they have strengths they didn't realize they had or hadn't used. The shooting of Porter and Morris. The value of Satoransky, who is a really good third guard and backup at point. We'll see if they blend together. Or curdle.

It seems like a lot of the national pundits were ecstatic at UVA's meltdown on Saturday, as it validates their point that UVA's methodical style is "ruining" the game of basketball. But, UVA has had some bad luck in the tournaments...this year they lost their most talented player and best defender, DeAndre Hunter, in the week before the game. Last year they lose their defensive cornerstone, Isaiah Wilkins, after the opening round game due to illness. They lost Anthony Gill another year with a sprained ankle against MSU, and they lost to MSU the year before when MSU was horribly underseeded. Notwithstanding Hunter's injury, UVA should never have lost to UMBC. But, everything UMBC chucked up went in, and UVA didn't seem like they could throw the ball in the ocean. When doubt started to creep in, they panicked and things snowballed quickly. Still, despite the lack of a final four in the tournament, Tony Bennett is an excellent coach who has dominated an ACC that is packed with NBA talent. Plus, he's a first class guy. So, why all the hate from the national media?

When you are on the short end of the biggest upset in college basketball history __and this crushes the UVA-Chaminade game in '82 because that game wasn't in The Tournament and it didn't knock out the No. 1-ranked team in the country__ you are going to take a whole bunch of grief. UVA played hard. But UMBC played off the charts. And Bennett was certainly badly out-coached. His approach was "we do what we do and pretty soon we'll start doing it." That's not "coaching." That's "sitting." 

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Thomas Boswell
A Washington Post columnist since 1984, Thomas Boswell is known for the many books he has written on baseball, including "How Life Imitates the World Series" and "Why Time Begins on Opening Day."
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