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History Happens: 16 Seed UMBC Beats No. 1 Virginia


It actually happened. The one thing we were waiting for in sports actually happened. A 16 seed finally beat a No. 1 seed. UMBC – University of Maryland Baltimore County – defeated not just any No. 1 seed, but the No. 1 overall seed. That’s right UMBC beat Virginia .74-54.

It was an absolute domination, with UMBC hitting shots. I talked about that key in the preview game. Now, yes, I understand hitting shots is always a key, but doing it against the pack line defense is a whole different thing. In order to beat the pack line defense you have to hit shots and that’s what UMBC is wired to do. But, it was even more than that. KJ Maura and Jarius Lyles were able to beat Virginia off the bounce and get to the lane, Lyles especially. Lyles, the VCU (and one time Robert Morris) transfer showed his ability to not only score off the bounce but finish in a variety of ways once he got inside of 15 feet.

The scary thing here is UMBC beat Virginia at its own game. It was a defensive game. It was’t uptempo and it was UMBC making Virginia uncomfortable. But, this also showed part of Virginia’s troubles, especially once it lost DeAndre Hunter. Hunter is Virginia’s best pro prospect and best athlete. He could have helped on the ISO sets and possibly had a couple of possessions guarding Lyles.

Remember, UMBC got here thanks to Lyles hitting a three right before the buzzer at Vermont to complete a comeback. This was supposed to be an easy win for Virginia. Now, spare me the year of the dogs, everything like that. This is an absolutely crazy outcome. Virginia was a great team, granted not scary, but great. UMBC simply outplayed them. That happens and what makes the NCAA Tournament so great.

Now, while Lyles was the real star with 28 points on 11 shots, it was actually the UMBC social media account. I mean look at these murders:

I love this tournament so much. College basketball, folks. At least Virginia knows how to handle big time upsets, right? Paging Chaminade.