The Impossible Happens in the NCAA Men’s Tournament

I think it’s pretty easy to tell, everybody in the arena, that these guys have passion.


Team’s history: This is the second NCAA appearance for UMBC (They beat Vermont to win the America East Conference Tournament this year).

After Friday’s first half ended 21-21, UMBC fired out of the locker room with a 24-8 blitz fueled by a trio of 3-pointers and 11 points from Lyles. They came very close to covering the spread – in the opposite direction. This game means a lot to them.

The biggest upset in tournament history just got a little more delicious…

This would be big enough to make you forget the name Chaminade, if not for the eerie coincidence that the victim of the two most unexpected results in college basketball, ever, were different iterations of the same program.

In doing so, they became the first team to score more than 70 points against Virginia all season long.

Virginia was not mis-seeded on the top line, though. Virginia goes down, even while being ranked number 1 overall for the entire tournament.

Damontrae Jefferson led five Tigers in double figures with 20 points.

Coach: Ryan Odom, who is in his second year as UMBC’s head coach. “They had a historic season”.

With Virginia’s loss, teams favored by 20 or more in the NCAA tournament are 155-3 straight up since 1985. But that can’t, in the end, define these guys and our team or us. “They played a terrific game”. The most talented players on their roster were underclassmen. But that was an early regular-season game played multiple time zones away attended by fewer than 4,000 people, not a game on the brightest stage in college basketball. Virginia is shooting just 39 percent from the field, including 1 of 9 from beyond the arc. “He is a great student and I love him to death”, Odom said of Grant.

“Yeah, he tried to post me up”, Maura said.

And no one is going to give a damn about any of it.

It has finally happened.

The kids in that program know the reputation they have.

As such, fans are living in the moment – as they should. Not only that this could happen in the year 2018, but some believing this sort of upset would never happen in our lifetimes. Not only did Hogan predict UMBC would advance past No. 1 Virginia in the first round, he picked the Retrievers to win the national title.

What the Retrievers did was shoot 67.9 percent in the second half and what Virginia didn’t do was have any answer whatsoever.

Lyles scored 23 of his 28 points in the second half and the Retrievers cruised to an easy victory before racing off the floor together in their yellow-and-black uniforms, fingers pointed toward the ceiling.

Cincinnati 68, Georgia State 53 • Jarron Cumberland had 27 points and 11 rebounds to set career highs in both categories as Cincinnati recovered after blowing a 10-point lead in the second half to beat pesky Georgia State in Nashville.

The inconceivable became a reality. You can say that UMBC got hot from outside, that Virginia seemed tight, that the glacially deliberate Hoos were not built for quick comebacks, and so on.


“We just said we could be the one to do it”. “It’ll sting. Maybe a No. 1 seed will get beat again”.

NCAA Tournament: No. 10 Butler upsets No. 7 Arkansas