March Madness in Full Swing as No.16 UMBC Makes History Defeating No.1 Seed Virginia
By Alan Zlotorzynski, Senior Editor // March 17, 2018
SPACE COAST DAILY BRACKET CHALLENGE UPDATE
ABOVE VIDEO: On Friday night, UMBC made sports history as the became the first ever No.16 seed to win an NCAA Tournament basketball game and beat a No.1 seed, the Virginia Cavaliers.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Former legendary Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully once said, ” Losing feels worse than winning feels good.”
There is no doubt the two-loss Virginia Cavaliers men’s basketball team would agree but the University of Maryland Baltimore County Golden Retrievers may feel differently about the winning part of Scully’s quote.
On Friday night, UMBC made sports history as the became the first ever No.16 seed to win an NCAA Tournament basketball game and beat a No.1 seed, the Virginia Cavaliers.
Virginia wasn’t just any No.1 seed, the Cavaliers entered the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 overall seed after going 31-2 in the regular season, including 20-1 in ACC competition and UMBC, a 20 1/2 point underdog, dismantled the Cavaliers by 20-points, 74-54.
How dominating was UMBC, consider this, the Golden Retrievers scored 53 points in the second half — one shy of how many Virginia scored in the entire game. No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament were 135-0, make that 135-1.
ABOVE VIDEO: UMBC’s Jairus Lyles scored 23 of his 28 points in the second half and the Retrievers cruised to an easy victory before racing off the floor together in their yellow-and-black uniforms, fingers pointed toward the ceiling.
UMBC’s Jairus Lyles scored 28-points, 23 of them in the second half and the Retrievers cruised to an easy victory before racing off the floor together in their yellow-and-black uniforms, fingers pointed toward the ceiling.
The Cavaliers boasted the nation’s top-ranked defense, allowing just 54.3 points per game this season but they couldn’t contain the American East Conference champions who got into the tournament by winning their conference tournament with a buzzer-beater over Vermont.
The 74 points allowed by Virginia were the most the Cavs surrendered all season and it’s important to note that they played teams like Duke and North Carolina. UMBC shot an improbable 67.9 percent from the field in the second half and held Virginia to 42 percent after the break.
UMBC will face No. 9 seed Kansas State on Sunday in the second round.
WHO IS UMBC:
UMBC stands for University of Maryland, Baltimore County. It’s located in the Arbutus-Halethorpe section of Baltimore County. As of the fall of 2017, it’s total enrollment was 11,234 undergrad and 2,428 graduate students.
Here are several facts about this year’s team:
- Lost to Albany by 44 points
- Ranked 338 out of 351 in Free Throw %
- Ranks 295 out of 351 in KenPom’s average height
- Needed a buzzer beater just to make the tournament over Vermont
- The Retrievers had seven straight single-digit-win seasons from 2009-10 to 2015-16 before Ryan Odom took over as coach.
The UCF Knights can relate to UMBC’s accomplishment and made sure they acknowledged the Golden Retrievers amazing win in a Tweet. UMBC’s director of social media Ian Piernp returned the pleasantry and Tweeted back acknowledging UCF as “National Champions”
Amazing what happens when an under “dog” gets a fair shot in an expanded playoff ?
Congrats on the history, @UMBCAthletics ✊
— UCF Knights (@UCFKnights) March 17, 2018
Coming from the National Champions, this means a lot. https://t.co/MuzR9iwycj
— UMBC Athletics (@UMBCAthletics) March 17, 2018
HOW BIG IS THE UPSET:
ABOVE VIDEO: Top 25 upsets in NCAA Tournament history.
The upset by UMBC is easily the biggest in the history of college basketball and there have been some huge upsets. Only seven times has a No.15 seed knocked off the second-seeded team as Richmond’s win over Syracuse in the 1991 Tourney was the first one of its kind.
Another Baltimore college, Coppin State was a 30-point underdog against South Carolina in the 97 Tourney and beat the No.2 seeded Gamecocks 78-65.
The most recent 15 over 2 came in 2016 when Middle Tennessee State took down Coach Tom Izzo’s mighty Spartans of Michigan State.
As an 11 seed, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) defeated Kansas in the Regional Final to advance to the Final 4. VCU’s ensuing date with eighth-seeded Butler was the lowest combination of seeds ever to meet in Final Four play.
Duke beating UNLV in the 1991 Final 4 was as big of an upset as there was at the time. Yes, that’s right, Duke winning was once an upset. The year before UNLV demolished the Blue Devils by 30-points to win the National Championship but Duke would get revenge the following year and go on to beat Kansas to capture their first-ever title.
ABOVE VIDEO: The Chaminade Silverswords of Chaminade University of Honolulu, then a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) member defeated 7’4″ center Ralph Sampson and his No.1 ranked Virginia Cavaliers, 77-72 in 1982 in Hawaii.
Who will ever forget Villanova shooting an astounding 78.6 percent, missing one shot in the second half and beating Patrick Ewings Georgetown Hoyas to win the 1982 title game.
Just one year later, college basketball fans were treated to another stunning upset as Jim Valvano’s NC State Wolfpack defeated Phi Slama Jama’s future NBA Hall of Famers Akeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler of the Houston Cougars in the 1983 Finals.
As big as those upsets were, unfortunately for Virginia, they were also on the losing end of many considered to be the greatest upset in college basketball before UMBC’s win over the program on Friday night.
The Chaminade Silverswords of Chaminade University of Honolulu, then a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) member defeated 7’4″ center Ralph Sampson and his No.1 ranked Virginia Cavaliers, 77-72 in 1982 in Hawaii.
That game took place in December, which is why UMBC moves to the top of the list of all-time college basketball upsets as they beat the 2017-18 Cavaliers when it mattered most, in the NCAA Tournament.
UMBC wins: 1
Perfect brackets: 0
— SB Nation (@SBNation) March 17, 2018
According to NCCA.com, there are no more perfect brackets left following UMBC’s win over UVA. Before the Retrievers’ win — through 28 games of the 2018 NCAA tournament — there were 25 perfect brackets left across all major bracket games.
The site was tracking tens of millions of brackets at five major bracket games, including the Capital One March Madness Bracket Challenge Game, ESPN, Bleacher Report, Yahoo, and CBS.
Only 2.18 percent of all BCG brackets picked the Retrievers to pull off the upset. For reference, 13.73 percent of brackets picked Virginia to win the championship.
In the Space Coast Daily Bracket Challenge, the first round results are in. Sammy Manguel is the leader. Remember, only the first four brackets entered by a contestant are eligible to win. Last years champion TJ McMahan is lurking in 10th place.
Of the 63 brackets entered into the contest, only eight players had Virginia winning the National Championship.
Stay tuned to Space Coast Daily for updates on the 2018 Bracket Challenge.
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