It had never happened before.
Since 1995, when the NCAA Tournament field expanded to 64 teams, the No. 1 seed was 135-0 against the No. 16 seed.
Until Friday night.
UMBC pulled off the most remarkable and historic upset in tourney history when the America East champs snuffed the NCAA Tournament’s top overall seed, the University of Virginia, 74-54.
Jairus Lyles scored 23 of his 28 points in the second half and the Retrievers made the Cavaliers look like a hastily organized AUU squad.
UMBC vs. Virginia: Jairus Lyles could not miss in the Retrievers’ historic upset
Jairus Lyles (28 points) Highlights against the Virginia Cavaliers, 03/16/2018 Watch highlights, game recaps, and much more from the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament on the official NCAA March Madness YouTube channel.
The University of Maryland, Baltimore County jumped out to an early lead and played the type of ziplock defense that it’s more highly-ranked opponent was known for. Shockingly, the outcome never seemed in doubt as the game wound down.
“I just can’t wait to get to bed and think about it,” said UMBC’s 5-foot-8 point guard K.J. Maura after the game. “I went to Coach [Ryan Odom] and said, ‘I told you.'”
“We’re talented, we’re everything every other team is,” guard Jourdan Grant said. “Coach just told us to go out there and take the shots.”
UMBC blazed out the gate in the second half, outscoring the Cavs in a fierce 17-3 blitz that sunned the top overall seed. The Retrievers dusted Virginia off for the entirety of the game, scored 53 points in the second half.
The 74 points were the most Virginia had allowed this year.