CBS Sports brought to our attention this morning that some of you might not remember UMBC’s 74-54 win over Virginia in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
Did you know: No. 16 UMBC defeated No. 1 overall seed Virginia 74-54 in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament.— CBS Sports CBB (@CBSSportsCBB) June 28, 2018
March was a long time ago. We get it. You may have forgotten about the greatest upset in the history of March Madness. So let’s take a look back at some of the best moments from the first ever 16-over-a-1 upset.
There are a couple things to remember about this game. The first is that even though the game was close in the first half, Virginia was never comfortable. In fact, despite Virginia’s vaunted defense holding UMBC to just three points over the first seven and a half minutes, the Cavaliers were only able to build a 7-3 lead. Rather than witnessing that methodical, efficient, mind-numbing Tony Bennett offense that we all know and love, we saw things like this:
And while Virginia (rightfully) got all the credit in the world last season for stifling other teams defensively, UMBC was just as good that at forcing turnovers, low-percentage shots, and basically frustrating the hell out of the Cavaliers.
You’ll notice K.J. Maura was at the center of it all in those last two clips.
But everything that happened in the first half had happened before, even if it was unexpected. We’ve seen it a bunch of times — an energetic, upstart 16 seed hangs with a 1 seed for a half, then the 1 seed’s talent takes over in the second half for a slightly closer-than-expected ho-hum win. You get one of those every couple years.
Only that’s not what happened. UMBC struck first on a three-point play from Joe Sherburne 25 seconds into the second half. Then he hit a three a few seconds later and UMBC went up six.
As crazy as it might sound, that’s when the game ended. Virginia was rattled. It manifested itself in simple breakdowns that you never see from the best defensive team in the country. Like here, when Maura beat his man and three white jerseys were late to recover:
Then a minute later, Sherburne had a wide-open three, no one boxed out Arkel Lamar, and then no one found Sherburne again...
...and another breakdown, leading to a layup from Jairus Lyles:
You know the rest.
UMBC played a phenomenal game and Lyles was unbelievable in the second half. You can’t take anything away from a team that was unintimidated, executed well, and outplayed the competition. But Virginia didn’t do itself any favors.
So, anyway, there’s your refresher. You may have forgotten about it, so just reference this page if you’re ever struggling to recall which team was the first 16 seed to ever beat a 1 seed.