The University of Maryland-Baltimore County Retrievers’ 74-54 win over the Virginia Cavaliers in the NCAA Tournament Friday saw them become the first 16 seed ever to beat a 1 seed in men’s basketball, and it saw a whole lot of people learning about UMBC, the athletic department’s Twitter account repeatedly dunking on those who questioned them, and even Lane Kiffin getting involved for some reason. But Virginia got their own win over UMBC Saturday in…the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition?
It was a tight finish but in the end:
1st – University of Virginia
2nd – UMBC
3rd – Wilmington University… https://t.co/cIax23dGzE
— Mid-Atlantic CCDC (@MidAtlanticCCDC) March 18, 2018
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) March 18, 2018
Yes, this is a real thing, a tournament held since 2006 by the National CyberWatch Center (” a consortium of higher education institutions, public and private schools, businesses, and government agencies focused on collaborative efforts to advance cybersecurity education and strengthen the national cybersecurity workforce”), and one that’s part of the larger National Collegiate Cybersecurity Defense Competition. And yes, UMBC won just not the regional event, but the whole national competition last year (beating nine other finalists who qualified out of a field of over 230 schools that took part in the regional rounds). So Virginia beating them is pretty impressive. And this competition isn’t an easy one:
MACCDC, as part of the National CCDC, is unique in that it focuses on the operational aspects of managing and protecting an existing network infrastructure. Teams are physically colocated in the same building. Each team is given physically identical computer configurations at the start of the competition. Throughout the competition, the teams have to ensure that the systems supply the specified services while under attack from a volunteer Red Team. In addition, the teams have to satisfy periodic “injects” that simulate business activities IT staff must deal with in the real world.
So Virginia will be moving on to the national championships, and UMBC may not be; last year, the field was made up of nine teams that won their regional and one at-large team, and while UMBC could get that bid, that’s far from a sure thing. Thus, Virginia may well have ended UMBC’s chances of defending this national title. However, on balance, UMBC is probably good with a NCAA Tournament win and a MACCDC loss.
[Reddit CFB on Twitter]