No. 16 UMBC upsets No. 1 Virginia for historic NCAA tournament win

By Alex Butler  |  March 17, 2018 at 12:35 AM
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March 17 (UPI) -- The University of Maryland, Baltimore County scored the first upset of a No. 1 seed by a No. 16 seed in NCAA men's basketball tournament history by beating Virginia.

UMBC pulled off the 74-54 stunner Friday at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C.

"Obviously, it was a historic game for UMBC," Retrievers coach Ryan Odom told reporters after the game.

"Unbelievable. I'm so proud of these kids. Take so much joy in watching them smile. Not just at the end there but throughout the game. I think it's pretty easy to tell, everybody in the arena, that these guys have passion. These guys love to play this game. This game means a lot to them. It was just a special, special effort."

Senior guard Jairus Lyles scored a game-high 28 points for the Retrievers. Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome each scored 15 points for the top-seeded Cavaliers. Arkel Lamar also had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Retrievers.

"We started getting constant stops in the first half and that gave us the confidence to get going on offense," Retrievers guard K.J. Maura said. "The first half was a low-scoring game, but we knew we were getting the shots we wanted but we just weren't making them in the first half. The second half we shot the ball with more confidence and that gave us the win."

The Retrievers (25-10) shot 54.2 percent for the game and 50 percent from 3-point range, while the Cavaliers (31-3) shot 41.1 percent from the floor and 18.2 percent from 3-point range. UMBC also out-rebounded Virginia 33-24 and had a 16-5 edge in assists.

"I think at halftime -- when we were tied at 21 -- and we hadn't shot particularly well and we made some silly turnovers," Retrievers junior forward Joe Sherburne told reporters. "I think we really felt that there was no way we're not going to win this game. All we have to do is start hitting shots."

No. 16 seeds are now 1-135 against No. 1 seeds in NCAA tournament history.

"Hats off to coach Odom and his staff and UMBC," Cavaliers coach Tony Bennett said after the game. "They played a terrific game. They thoroughly outplayed us. They did a heck of a job. Very hard to guard offensively and they defended us well."

UMBC battles Kansas State in the round of 32 on Sunday for a chance to go to the Sweet 16.

"I told these guys in the locker room," Bennett said. "A week ago, we were cutting down the nets at the ACC Tournament, and how good that felt. And they had a historic season, they really did...in terms of ACC wins and an ACC Conference Tournament championship."

"And then we had a historic loss. Being the first one seed to lose. So, that's life. We talk about it all the time, with the adulation...the praise. It comes. We got a lot of that this year. And then on the other side, there will be blame and people pointing that out. But that can't, in the end, define these guys and our team or us. Because it was a remarkable season, but we got thoroughly outplayed and that's the reality of it."

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