# 16 Finally Does It

A #16 Seed Has Finally Done It!!!

Every time we turn on a game, there is always the possibility of witnessing history. That’s the lure of sports and competition, you just never know, especially during the NCAA tournament where teams are matched up against one another and they have a matter of hours to find film on an opponent, in which they might have never heard of, even if that opponent might be less than a three-hour drive away.

Welcome to March Madness, where the top seed in the South, the Virginia Cavaliers were matched up with the # 16 seed University of Maryland-Baltimore County Golden Retrievers.

The Cavaliers, of the rugged ACC who won 31 games on their way to the top seed, were playing a Golden Retrievers team that beat Vermont for the first time in 23 tries at the buzzer in the championship of the America East conference to qualify for the tournament.

Virginia had just lost sixth man DeAndre Hunter for the season, but was still the favorite to advance to the Final Four in San Antonio.

After a rugged first half that left the two teams tied at 21, which is exactly the style of game Virginia loves to drag their opponents into, the Golden Retrievers came out in the second half and shot a blistering 67.9 percent from the field, while holding the Cavaliers to just 33 points in the second half on their way to a 74-54 opening round victory in Charlotte. Virginia, which came in as 20 ½-point favorites had no answer as the Golden Retrievers gave the Cavaliers a dose of their own medicine and physically whipped them inside and out in racing out to a 16-point second half lead.

Senior guard Jairus Lyles led the way with 28 points, as the Golden Retrievers made history by becoming the first No. 16 seed to topple a No.1 seed in NCAA tournament history.

Coming into the game UMBC was 0-25 all-time vs ranked opponents, including 0-3 all-time vs Virginia. It was the most lopsided victory by a team seeded 14-16 in tournament history.

Virginia was a 1-seed for the third time in five years under Coach Tony Bennett, who has only taken a team as far as a regional final. Virginia’s only two losses on the season were to tournament teams West Virginia and Virginia Tech.

Virginia played the second half looking like a stunned team, as they repeatedly forced shots and never got into a rhythm, as they were a team built around holding leads, very rarely having to overcome large second half deficits, as their grind it out style often suffocated opponents.

The beauty of this tournament is that a team may make history on a given night, but there is less than 48 hours between games in the first two rounds. The Golden Retrievers will play No. 9 seed Kansas State on Sunday. Regardless of the outcome, they have already written a chapter of history, could they add another chapter?

 

 

 

 

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