UMBC win the America East Conference tournament and advance to the NCAA tournament in an after Jarius Lyles’ buzzer-beater upsets Vermont
After 23 consecutive defeats, UMBC (24-10, 12-4 Conf.) finally is victorious against Vermont (27-7, 15-1 Conf.) to win the America East tournament and is headed to the NCAA tournament, aka March Madness for the first time since 2008.
With less than a second remaining, UMBC’s Jairus Lyles connected on a shot from beyond the arc to not only win the America East tournament but also secure a spot in the NCAA tournament.
Lyles, 22, is the ultimate hero in UMBC’s historic victory Saturday as he recorded a game-high 27 points, while the rest of the team combined for 38 points.
UMBC is scorching hot headed into March Madness by winning 11 of their last 13 games to end the regular season and conference tournament.
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Retriever Nation now waits for the Selection Sunday show on CBS to learn their seeding and next opponent for the NCAA tournament 2018.
According to ESPN’s Bracketology, Joe Lunardi has UMBC penciled in as a No. 16 seed with a first-round match against the 16-seeded North Carolina Central as they play-in game before playing the top-seeded team.
UMBC has only reached the NCAA tournament one other time in 2008 when they lost to the No. 2-seeded Georgetown Hoyas 66-47.
After reaching the NCAA tournament in 2008 for the first time in school history, UMBC suffered seven straight dismal seasons under head coaches Randy Monroe and Aki Thomas. The two coaches produced just a combined 41 wins over the seven-year span before current UMBC Head Coach Ryan Odom took over in 2016.
Since taking over, Odom has coached the Retrievers to two consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time in school history.
Odom’s coaching impact, coupled with UMBC star Lyles, has the Retrievers clicking on all cylinders and could find themselves with another upset win, this time in the NCAA tournament.