UMBC makes history pulling off miracle for the ages vs. #1 ranked UVA

David has conquered Goliath! I repeat, UMBC has conquered Virginia!

“UMBC’s season is over.”

“God help them against Virginia.”

“No chance a team like UMBC beats Virginia.”

3.4% of brackets picked UMBC to win this game.

Barack Obama picked UMBC to lose this game.

Remember the doubts? Remember the hate? Remember people feeling sorry for the Retrievers because they had to face the #1 ranked team in the country?

Who’s feeling sorry for who now?

The 16th seeded UMBC Retrievers just made history in Charlotte. The Retrievers capped off one of the biggest upsets in sporting history becoming the first 16th seed team to beat a 1st seed team in NCAA history as they defeated the #1 ranked Virginia Cavaliers 74-54.

From the start, the Retrievers were toe-to-toe with the Cavaliers. Tony Bennett, the best defensive coach in the NCAA had no answer for the Retrievers three-point specialists.

All seemed calm as the first half came to an end tied just at 21.The Retrievers held the Cavaliers to a season-low 21 first-half points. And that’s all UMBC needed as this gave them the mental edge and confidence as the Retrievers came out as confident and as composed as ever.

The Retrievers came out swinging the rest of the game, on their way to outscore Virginia 53-33 in the second half.

The Retrievers forced 74 points on the nation’s best defense who haven’t given up more than 70 points all season.

A big part of the Retrievers overall success was unsurprisingly, Jairus Lyles’ big and efficient night with 28 point night shooting off 81% shooting from the field and 78% from the free throw line playing through cramps in the second half. Lyles also set the all-time school single-season scoring record tonight.

Big men, Joe Sherburne and Arkel Lamar also put on impressive performances, Joe putting up 14 points and grabbing 6 big rebounds and Lamar pulling off the 12pt., 10 reb double-double. The two were also big from beyond the arc for the Retrievers combining for 63% shooting from range.

Senior guards Jourdan Grant and K.J. Maura were big on defense for the Retrievers limiting the three guards to just 32 total points. The two combined for 20 points of 50% total shooting on the night.

As surprising as it may be, UMBC played better on all sides of the ball.

The Retrievers shot 54%FG while holding Virginia to just 41%.

The Retrievers shot 50.0% 3pt while holding Virginia to just 18%.

Yes, you read that right.

UMBC has done the inevitable against the nation’s best college team on the biggest stage they have ever experienced. The Retrievers went from a school of just 14,000 to the one night kings of college basketball and champions of the heart of the nation.

If the Retrievers managed to score 74 points on the nation’s #1 defense, if the Retrievers made history by being the ONLY 16th seed to take down the 1st seed, if the Retrievers beat the #1 team in the nation by 20; what’s stopping them from making a run in the tournament?

The Retrievers will now move on to face 8th seed Kansas State this Sunday in Charlotte.

Nahom Nega

I'm a current freshman at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, majoring in Media and Communications and Finance. I'm a huge Ravens, Wizards, Arsenal, Retrievers, Blue Devils and Lebron Fan. I've been writing for MD Sports Blog since October of 2017.

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