The UMBC Retrievers made their March Madness 2018 footprint with a defying upset of No. 1 UVA and snapping one of the more impressive winning streaks in sports history.
UMBC upsets UVA in a smashing victory 74-54 Friday night in the first-round of the NCAA tournament 2018.
UMBC basketball ignited a fire throughout Retriever Nation and is bringing out the true underdog spirit in all of us.
More from Baltimore Sports
- Baltimore Ravens: Will this be Breshad Perriman’s last game as a Raven?
- Orioles Josh Rogers Expectations in his Major League Debut
- Former Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton returns to Oriole Park
- Baltimore Ravens have to make a decision on resting key offensive players
- The Baltimore Orioles Have a Pitching Development Issue
Well, it happened. UMBC made men’s NCAA tournament history by becoming the first 16 seed to defeat a 1 seed in men’s NCAA tournament history!
Among the biggest NCAA upsets, UMBC’s historic win not only tops all the biggest NCAA upsets, but also one of the biggest upsets in sports.
First Half: Defensive Juggernaut, Tied at 21
UVA is well known for their suffocating defense, but in every respect, UMBC played the best defense they have ever played on the biggest stage. UVA was unable to get into any offensive rhythm.
Virginia would set screens continually hoping to exploit mismatches but were unable to get many open looks. KJ Maura, the America East Defensive Player of the Year, was on the Cavaliers like a pest! He would not give any extra room and suffocate UVA guards.
UVA was able to prevent dribble penetration to the basket in the first half, which is why UMBC shot poor from the field. UMBC settled for tough shots from the perimeter.
Jairus Lyles was held to five first-half points, but that would only be a momentary set back for an avalanche of offense to come. The Cavs were unable to capitalize on key moments and broke the game wide open.
Finally, UMBC would start shooting the three and making baskets towards the end of the first half.
Virginia’s game plan was to make UMBC beat them by shooting it. However, that would prove to be a massive mistake as the Retrievers would catch fire!
Second Half: UMBC outscores UVA 53-33
UMBC kept this game within reach and represented the University of Maryland Baltimore County strongly.
UVA suddenly shifted gears and throw a humongous punch at the start of the second half. UMBC however, was the team to throw the hardest punch forcing Virginia head coach Tony Bennett to call a timeout.
Next, UMBC would get a 38-24 lead with still over 15 minutes left in the game which was still enough time. Remember, UMBC is one of the best three-point shooting teams in the nation and was quick to feed the ball down low. As a result, this would create an open three or drive to the basket.
UMBC’s dribble penetration was led by Jairus Lyles as he would finesse defenders and english his layups. By the second half, it was the Lyles show as he played through leg cramps and finished with a game-high 27 points.
UMBC was able to not only sustain solid defense but allow for them to execute their dangerous offensive game with quick, shifty guards ability to draw attention.
Maura, standing at 5-foot-eight inches, was able to outsmart the UVA defense and impressively escaped Virginia’s double teams and full-court presses. Maura and Lyles were simply unstoppable. Both who would score 23 second-half points for a total of 28 points.
Jourdan Grant provided all around significant bench minutes as he played 27 minutes and contributed eight points, four rebounds, and two assists.
Arkel Lamar provided an incredible rebounding effort as he collected 10 boards along with his 12 points. Sharpshooter Joe Sherburne knocked down three-pointers and had 14 points for the night.
Ryan Odom and the coaching staff executed a perfect game plan and did not let UVA get into any flow. Just as they did with Vermont, they shocked the world!
A group of friends and I had the privilege of watching this monumental game last night. The six and half hour trip was more than worth it.
The Creighton vs. Kansas State game was finishing up and UMBC students were assembling in Section 223 to cheer their hearts out.
The North Carolina based fans in UNC and Duke along with fans from non-UVA schools joined UMBC chants in unison as they kept pulling for the underdog to pull through. UMBC was the loudest crowd there, and the team played with a passion.
I like many lost their voice shouting at any moment we could to support. We watched UVA fans leave as the realization began to set in. Section 223 would empty with two minutes remaining to storm the lower sections in chants throughout the hallways and hope to storm the court.
Unfortunately, we were road blocked. Everyone Friday night was a Retriever. As a long time fan who has dreamed of this moment and to see the University of Maryland-Baltimore County capture the heart of a nation, I have tears of joy.