UMBC completes greatest upset in NCAA history.
University of Maryland Baltimore County is a small school near Catonsville and has been a great academic college. Being a Fan of UMBC for many years I’ve seen the up and downs of their basketball program. Last year they missed the tournament and struggled. This year I went to their new arena and during the open house the hype and excitement was real. UMBC had a great year this year and went into there conference tournament as the #2 seed. They played Vermont in the Championship Game. Vermont had beaten UMBC 23 times in a row and were favored to win a 24th time. Being underdogs gave the Retrievers the inspiration they needed. With seconds left in the game and UMBC down, Guard Jairus Lyles put up a desperation three at the buzzer and it went in. UMBC had clinched a spot in the NCAA tournament. UMBC had to wait to see what seed they would be given in the NCAA Tournament. When the brackets were announced, UMBC had to play Virginia, the best team in the nation.
UMBC sets out to do something Never Done Before
UMBC was given the 16 seed in the South Region. Going up against the #1 ranked team in the nation meant UMBC was considered the worst team in the tournament. No one game them a chance to beat Virginia. Wh? No 16 seed has beaten a #1 in the tournament ever. Teams have came close. in 1996 Western Carolina came 2 points short of Purdue. They had the chance to tie as time expired but missed and lost in overtime. Another example was in 2013. when the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers almost beat Kansas. There were only 600,000 brackets out of 17 million submitted to ESPN chose UMBC to win. During the game UMBC kept it close in the first half, 21-21. Then UMBC started to make shots left and right and were playing great defense. Virginia was also cold from the floor which didn't help them. UMBC was hitting a lot of 3 point field goals and started to pull away from the #1 team. When the clock hit triple zeros, UMBC had destroyed the best team in the country.
How they accomplished their feat
UMBC was very efficient all game. Shooting wise they were over 50% shooting field goals including threes. They out-rebounded their opponents 33-22, they out-assisted their opponents, and almost doubled the amount of takeaways that Virginia had. Jarius Lyles was the leader of this team all year long and he took over in the game. UMBC just played with more heart and determination than Virginia. Virginia thought they had this in the back, but Lyles and his teammates were not going to let the opportunity go. UMBC lost to Kansas State in the next round, but it was a close game. UMBC came to the tournament and made a name for themselves. They had the biggest upset of all time in college basketball and made sure basketball fans all over the country know about UMBC.