MD Baltimore County 74, Virginia 54
Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC
CHARLOTTE – For the first time in NCAA Tournament history, a No. 16 seed shocked a No. 1. The University of Maryland Baltimore County ousted Virginia 74-54 in Friday’s round of 64 action. The Virginia Cavaliers entered the tournament as one of the favorites to win it all but were stifled early and often by the America East Conference champions.
Senior guard Jairus Lyles scored a game-high 28 points on 9 of 11 shooting as the Retrievers shot 54 percent from the field against the nation’s top-ranked scoring defense.
“We just believed in each other, man,” Lyles said after the game on TNT. “That’s what we came with, the mindset of believing in each other and competing, and that’s what we did.
“We got the ‘W.'”
Virginia (31-3) entered the night allowing just over 53 points per game, the exact amount of points UMBC (25-10) scored in the second half Friday night.
The Retrievers were relentless on both ends of the court as they held Virginia to 41 percent shooting, including 4 of 22 from beyond the arc as the Cavaliers were forced out of their comfort zone. UMBC thoroughly dominated Virginia, handing the Cavaliers the third-largest loss by a No. 1 seed in tournament history, regardless of the opponent.
A slow start had plenty worried but many were still confident Virginia would weather the storm and not become the first No. 1 seed to ever lose to a 16-seed. That was not the case.
No. 1 seeds came into the game 135-0 all-time against No. 16 seeds in the tournament.
The two teams were tied at 21 at halftime as Lyles proved to be the deciding factor for the Retrievers. Only six players scored for UMBC, but five out of the six tallied at least eight points as the Retrievers shot 12 of 24 from the 3-point line.
Seniors Devon Hall and Isaiah Wilkins ended their Virginia careers on a sour note as they combined to go 4 of 16 from the field with nine points. Sophomores Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome scored 15 points apiece for Virginia.
UMBC will face No. 8 seed Kansas State in Sunday’s round of 32 for the right to advance to the Sweet 16 in Atlanta.
–Field Level Media