You Win with Class and You Lose with Class

You Win with Class and You Lose with Class


In the history of the NCAA Tournament, no #1 seed had every lost their opening game to the #16 seed. So, Virginia, the overall #1 seed in the tournament had reason to feel confident going into their opening match against UMBC. However, UMBC beat them and beat them convincingly. It was a 20-point beat down. It was truly March Madness at its best. Every fan was so excited to see David beat Goliath… except, of course, for Virginia and Virginia fans.

To Virginia, the defeat was crushing. They had just won the ACC Tournament and were projected by most as a certain Final Four Team. However,Tony Bennett, their head coach, stood at the podium and praised the play of UMBC.

Joe’s Perspective: This is the prototype of how you should behave after a devastating loss. Bennett did not blame the officials or talk negatively about his players. He gave all the credit to UMBC. He praised their coaching staff and players. He acknowledged that his team was thoroughly outplayed. “That’s life,” he said. And, it is. I guarantee that if you play sports, you will win some big game and lose some big games. You will win some that you are not supposed to win and lose some that you are not supposed to win. Games are not won on paper. Sometimes the underdog plays with less tension, with more heart or simply makes more shots. That’s life. And, after the tough loss, you have to handle it with class. Tony Bennett did that.

Your Turn: What did you think of this loss and Coach Bennett’s post-game press conference?

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  1. I think that this is how you should react to loosing to a 16 seed when you are a 1 seed. You accept the fact that they outplayed you and you give them praise because thats the first time in history that anyone has been able to do that.

  2. I think that he responded to the loss very well. The way he accepted his loss shows how he respected the other school even though they were smaller. Bennett knows that he can’t win every game, so he accepted that fact. He didn’t whine and complain, but moved on. That shows why he reacted well in his press conference.

  3. I think his character is amazing. It takes a lot of courage to say something like that on live TV. It seems too me he’s doing all the right things in the right ways.

  4. I think that he handled it perfectly because said nothing about his team but just credited the other. Even if this was one of the most shameful things that could have happened he stuck by his team in the tough times

  5. i Think this is the best post game speech ive ever heard. most coach that lost like that would put the blame on the kids or something else but he didnt. He gave all the credit to the winning team and admitted they were out played

  6. It was well respected. He admitted defeat and did not put any blame on anyone he said the other team just played harder then them and that his team just needs to work on it. It was a great speech and more people should be humble like Coach Bennett.

  7. Coach Bennett showed so much class in that press conference when most not want to talk at all, or just say negative things about their team. I think this loss showed that 16 seeds in the future can win games and will pave the way for more 16 seed wins and even more March madness.

  8. I think he is outstanding. He is what the younger athletes should look up to and admire. Most coaches would find some excuse to as why the outcome was the way it was, but he showed integrity and how one should truly take any loss, especially that big of one.

  9. I think that what he said was a great response, because it showed you the kind of person he is, and that winning isn’t all that matters to him. He didn’t seem mad about losing, but happy that his team got the chance to actually play the game and get as far as they did. That to me is how I think everyone should respond to any game they win/lose.

  10. I think he has a lot of class. I think a response like that is perfect, some guys might come out and act uncivil and be really upset. They might start blameing other things for why they lost, but Bennet came out not angry and flat out said they outplayed us which was the truth. I think it’s great he handled himself that way and I think it sends a great message to his team.

  11. I think that the coach of Virginia had great integrity and was very humble. He did’t make up any excuses of why Virginia lost to the #16 seed. The coach just plain out said, “they just played better then us” and the 16 seed made history by beating Virginia.

  12. I think that the way that Tony Bennet handled this situation took a lot of character. Most coaches would most likely have freaked out and blamed everyone. They would have been super negative. Even though this team wasn’t supposed to lose, the number one seed still lost to the number sixteenth. Coach Bennet gave UMBC the credit they deserved for that which could only be done by someone with integrity

  13. I think it was the right thing he said he was supportive of his team, and he understand they lose and he doesn’t show he is upset about it understands that the team worked hard and try and he gets that no matter you how hard you try there’s always a moment, where your going to lose. but you should never give up ,and just try harder next time till you reach your goal. and I think that Coach Bennett is a really good coach cause he doesn’t put pressure on his players when they lose he is pretty much telling them to wipe off the pressure and it will be fine.

  14. I think that the coach handled the loss very well. He was respectful and it showed his character when he said how well the team that beat him did. Because he just made history and not the kind of history that you want to make. He didn’t complain or anything he took it like a man.

  15. I think the loss was unexpected . I think what he said was the best thing to say after a loss. Because he praised the other team for outplaying them and not giving an excuse of why they lost and praised his own players for playing a great season.

  16. The way Coach Bennett handled his team’s loss was good. He did not complain at all and he dealed with it, he showed lots of integrity. Bennett gave all the credit to UMBC and he acknowledged that team on how good they played. The game is done and over with and all you can do is learn from it and get better as a player.

  17. I believe that he addressed the loss as well as he could have addressed it, he did a fantastic job summing it up. He didn’t blame people and he stuck by his team the entire time, he didn’t call anyone out for wrongdoing or making mistakes, and most importantly he wasn’t taking it extremely hard. We have to remember that basketball is just a game and most of the time it’s just going to be a good memory from high school or college, usually it has nothing to do with the path we choose to walk down in our life. Coach Bennett and his team may have lost the game, but they addressed it like winners.

  18. I think Bennett showed class by doing what he did. Instead of him saying the officials were bad or they were a dirty team he told the press exactly what happened they came in thinking they were going to win and they got outplayed. I think Bennett is a good role model to up and coming coaches.

  19. If there was a good way to handle this coach Bennett did it. He never said anything that was negative toward anyone and gave credit where credit was due. he is an amazing human being for being this way and should be respected by everyone.

  20. I think that Tony Bennett has a lot of integrity and he seems to have a lot of respect for the game of basketball. It was a historical loss, but I think he handled it well. With this response to their loss Tony Bennett and his team will be appreciated because it’s got to be hard getting beat by the 16th team. So the way that Tony handled it for his team was a great sign of integrity.

  21. If this were me I would not take this loss as well as he did. Something that bothered me is that it looked like he was happy that UMBC beat them. I dont get that? I like that he didn’t make any excuses and didn’t point fingers. I feel that he was humbled by the situation and that will make him and his team work that much harder next year. They have something to prove now.

  22. The way Tony Bennett handled this devastating loss shows exactly how great of a guy he is. He never placed blame on anyone and praised the other team more than he needed to. With a loss like that people might expect a negative reaction from the losing coach but Bennett did exactly the opposite. I believe he acted exactly how he should’ve and even better and handled this like every coach, small school or big school, professional or minor league, should. He is an excellent role model for his team and everyone else in the nation and I cannot wait to see what he does next season and later in his career.

  23. I think he did a great job by giving credit to the other team and not complaining or blaming other people for the loss of his team. He showed respect and courage to the other team by telling them how hard they worked and how much of an honor it is to beat a number 1 seed and a 16 seed.

  24. I think that if you win some or lose some you should be humble about it. Coach Bennett handled the loss with not being mad but saying that it happens.

  25. I think that coach Bennett put his image to the side and spoke honestly about what happened at the game. Rather than making it sound like UMBC just got lucky, he took the initiative of acknowledging their skill on the court. It takes great decency for a coach to be honest and say their team was outplayed, instead of making excuses for them. He showed integrity by keeping his morals in check and being honest, sincere, and taking account of his team’s actions. To do that, it shows that his reputation isn´t what matters most to him.

  26. if it were me who had lost i feel like i wouldve acted the same way, it is always better to be nice to the other team no matter if you won or lost.

  27. i think coach Bennett responded to his loss in the most professional way. He didn’t think about himself and put his feelings aside to speak the truth and not trash the other team. Bennett was humble and credited the team for how well they played which was great sportsmanship.

  28. Very humbling experience and the coaches didn’t make excuse. He admits the other team played better and they won because of it. He finished with class and respect

  29. I think he handled it exceptionally well. There was no BCD ( blaming, complaining, or defending) from the coach but praise for the other team. He will not let the loss define him or his team. You have to think What if you were on the other side and the one who beat a 1 seed. You would feel great so even as losers in terms of a score everyone can “win” in a different way. It doesn’t have to be defined by what society thinks of as winning and loosing.