It's the 'Most Surprising Upset in College Basketball History'

University of Maryland-Baltimore County trounced Virginia 74-54
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 17, 2018 5:36 AM CDT
It's the 'Most Surprising Upset in College Basketball History'
UMBC's K.J. Maura (11) celebrates after a basket against Virginia during the first half of a first-round game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, March 16, 2018.   (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Jairus Lyles couldn't suppress a smile, knowing that a school known more for chess than hoops had finally made it happen—a 16 ousting a 1 in March Madness. The University of Maryland-Baltimore County stunned the sports world by pulling off the most surprising upset in college basketball history, trouncing the University of Virginia 74-54 on Friday night to become the first No. 16 seed ever to beat a No. 1 seed in the men's NCAA Tournament, reports the AP. ESPN had given Virginia a 98.5% chance of winning, per 24/7 Sports. The Retrievers secured their underdog legacy in sports lore, alongside Buster Douglas, the 1980 United States Olympic hockey team, and Joe Namath's Jets. Virginia entered the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 overall seed after going 31-2 in the regular season, including 20-1 in ACC competition.

Frankly, the question wasn't whether the Cavaliers would win this game, but if they'd get to the Final Four and win it all. But UMBC—an afterthought for fans who filled out brackets—didn't just beat Virginia, it dominated throughout the second half, dismantling the 20 1/2-point favorites by 20 points. UMBC scored 53 points in the second half—1 point shy of how many Virginia scored in the entire game. Lyles scored 28. "These are the moments that you dream of," he said. "It's always exciting to make history." In a chaotic UMBC locker room after the game, players shouted: "All brackets gone! No perfect brackets! Put that in the news!" The AP has more, including details of the 1982 game that had long been considered the most remarkable upset in college basketball. Read that, or check out how sassy UMBC's Twitter feed was during the game.

(More March Madness stories.)

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