CBS studio analyst Seth Davis has a tradition during the NCAA tournament, one that’s become fairly well known to college basketball. When a game’s outcome is no longer in doubt, Davis tweets out “Sharpie” to his hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers.
Friday night, he tweeted “Virginia. Sharpie” at exactly 9:36 p.m.
Which was something like two minutes after the game tipped off.
And so the gentleman running the UMBC Athletics Twitter account, at the start of a career-defining night, began relentlessly pestering Davis about his premature announcement, as the Retrievers turned what was supposed to be a blowout into a back-and-forth affair.
“5-3,” the account tweeted at Davis. “7-6 Seth,” it tweeted at Davis. “We are winning, 9-6, Seth,” it tweeted. “16-13,” it tweeted. And so on.
The score was tied at halftime, which is when the account announced its new obsession to the world.
And so this became A Thing, as UMBC turned this surprisingly taut game into a shockingly, remarkably, impossibly easy blowout win.
“My mentions right now lol,” Davis wrote, as the Internet zeroed in.
“Hi Seth, remember when you declared the game over at tip? We are up 14 with 14 minutes left,” the account tweeted at Davis.
“Should I sharpie UMBC? Asking for a friend,” Davis wrote.
“We are up 19 with 1:40 left. Seth Davis called game at tip,” the account noted.
“I’ve never been so happy to get so much grief. This is amazing,” Davis wrote.
And when CBS Sports Network posted a video breaking down the monumental upset, UMBC Athletics was back with one of its most liked posts of the night.
“Tell @SethDavisHoops, who sharpied in Virginia at tip, that we said ‘sup,’ ” the account wrote.
The inevitable conclusions of all this: that Davis went on the air with a very public apology for doubting those plucky Retrievers.
“First of all, put this thing on camera,” Davis began. “I want to give my sincere apologies to the University of Maryland Baltimore County — not too far from where I grew up, the Retrievers — for my early Sharpie tonight. I Sharpied Virginia right off the tip, so if you’re going to go down with the Sharpie, this is the way to do it. It was an inspiring performance and I have egg on my face. A lot of us do. And I appreciate what happened tonight.”
And the night ended, of course, the only way it could.
“UMBC,” Davis finally wrote. “Sharpie.”
“Seth is a good dude, and a GREAT writer,” UMBC Athletics noted well past midnight, after enjoying something like a tenfold increase in Twitter followers. “It was all fun and games tonight people.”