Truly, Madness in March

Published March 17, 2018, 5:00 PM

by manilabulletin_admin

UMBC players celebrate a teammate's basket against Virginia. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
UMBC players celebrate a teammate’s basket against Virginia. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Jairus Lyles couldn’t suppress a smile, knowing that a school known more for chess than hoops had finally made it happen – a 16 ousting a 1 in March Madness.

The University of Maryland-Baltimore County stunned the sports world by pulling off the most surprising upset in college basketball history, trouncing Virginia 74-54 on Friday night to become the first No. 16 seed ever to beat a No. 1 seed in the men’s NCAA Tournament.

The Retrievers secured their underdog legacy in sports lore, alongside Buster Douglas, the 1980 United States Olympic hockey team and Joe Namath’s Jets.

Virginia entered the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 overall seed after going 31-2 in the regular season, including 20-1 in ACC competition.

Frankly, the question wasn’t whether the Cavaliers would win this game, but if they’d get to the Final Four and win it all.

But UMBC — an afterthought for fans who filled out brackets — didn’t just beat Virginia, it dominated throughout the second half, dismantling the 20 1/2-point favorites by 20 points. UMBC scored 53 points in the second half — 1 point shy of how many Virginia scored in the entire game.