How did UMBC shock the world and beat a number one ranked Virginia Cavaliers team? Well it helps to make 12 three pointers, but more importantly it helped to make 12 three pointers AND have your opponent shoot an abysmal 4-22 (18%!!) from three. Virginia got outplayed and it was evident – showing no signs of life with the game still within reach during parts of the second half.
Virginia made it’s mark this season.. And similarly in previous seasons, on defense. With a middling offense it shouldn’t have been surprising for Virginia to face adversity early on in the tournament. After all… if a team gets hot and is cooking, are you going to be able to keep up with them? Do you have players that can go get buckets? On this night, Virginia showed absolutely no ability to score for shit. The best defensive team in the country faced a team that got hot at the perfect time – in the perfect moment- and just lacked the ability to score.
None of this is meant to take anything away from UMBC. They came out in the second half and took the game away, leaving absolutely no chance for Virginia to stage any comeback. Jairus Lyles, arguably UMBC’s best player finished with 28 points on 9 of 11 from the field. So yeah, if you wanted a blueprint on how to beat the shit out of the number one seed it’s make every shot and knock down 12 threes as a team. UMBC now has a chance to make even more history as they’re set to take on a Kansas State team in the second round. Matchup wise it couldn’t get more favorable for a 16 seed to make a nice little run, and when a team gets hot there’s generally no stopping them. Let’s go UMBC!