It was going to happen at some point and tonight it did- a 16 seed beat a 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
The University of Maryland-Baltimore County defeated the overall no.1 seeded Virginia 74-54 in the opening round of the NCAA tournament tonight.
The game was tied coming out of halftime at 21 but UMBC was firmly in control in the second half, outscoring the Cavaliers by 20 and at times it was the Retrievers ,and not the Cavaliers, who looked like the number one seed.
Virginia’s vaunted defense, ranked number one in the nation offered little resistance to the America East conference champions. The Retrievers shot a sizzling 67.9 % in the closing half and scored 54 points, which is what the Cavaliers previously average allowing per game. UMBC was also locked in from beyond the arc, where they shot 50% from three-point range.
UMBC guard Jerius Lyles was a puzzle Virginia could not solve, as he repeatedly got into the lane in the second half for scores as he poured in 28 points on 9-11 from the floor.
Virginia was also a wreck offensively only shot 41.1% from the floor and a frigid 19% from downtown. The 54 points they score was a season low.
Virginia head coach Tony Bennett summed it up succinctly with this statement:
We got throughly outplayed and that’s the reality of it
Number sixteen seeds are now 1-135 all-time in the NCAA tournament.
UMBC will take on number nine seed Kansas State on Sunday.