Virginia's Ty Jerome shakes head at reporter's question about UMBC upset

Posted March 18, 2018

Before his time in Charlotte, Odom was on Virginia Tech's coaching staff for seven years part of a team that went to the NCAA Tournament in 2007 and defeated IL in the first round.

To be fair to the reporter, the heart of the question had some validity to it: He basically wanted to know if Virginia overlooked UMBC due to the fact a 16-seed had never won.

All of which is to say, if anyone claims they picked against Virginia in their tournament pool, you should feel comfortable not believing them. UMBC scored 53 points in the second half - 1 point shy of how many Virginia scored in the entire game.

Few people likely pegged the University of Maryland-Baltimore County as the ones to pull off the feat.

Lyles was also just one free throw short of being a UMBC leader in another category, in single-season free throws made (139), UMBC athletics reported. I told these guys in the locker room, a week ago we were cutting down the nets at the ACC Tournament and how good that felt.

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They stunned all the analyst and the country by becoming the first seed in 16 in history to defeat a number one seed.

UMBC's game plan flows through a lineup with 6-foot-6 Joe Sherburne as one of the biggest players on the floor.

Jairus Lyles was held to five first-half points, but that would only be a momentary set back for an avalanche of offense to come. I play for them, especially after what happened with the hurricane. "If you play this game and you step in the arena, this stuff can happen".

So excuse them, then, for making a comparison that seemed a little ... unusual. Kansas State can use its collective length to control the glass - something Virginia failed to do, getting badly out-rebounded at 33-22 - and the Wildcats should be able to close out effectively on UMBC's dribble-drive kick-out for 3-point attempts.

Before Friday night, UMBC was better known for making runs at a different Final Four - in college chess.

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If video games weren't enough, the group made sure to give a shout-out to the six-time national champion UMBC chess team. UMBC stretched the margin to 41-27 with 14:57 to play on 3-pointer by Lyles.

Chaminade's 77-72 stunner over Ralph Sampson and then No. 1-ranked Cavaliers in 1982 in Hawaii was generally considered the most remarkable upset in college basketball history.

But UMBC didn't just beat Virginia, it dominated throughout the second half.

If you're like me, you were probably keeping tabs of this game while also following the other three games going on at the same time. "We have another big challenge ahead of us on Sunday".

Seton Hall, which tied for third in the Big East and is seeded eighth, scored on its first eight possessions and led throughout its 94-83 first-round win over North Carolina State. Four days after beating Duke, St. John's followed up by beating Villanova - a No. 1 seed powerhouse that may be even more talented now than its 2016 championship team. They knew they weren't going to get better looks against Virginia's pack-line by waiting. Maybe a (No.) 1 seed will get beat again, maybe not.

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