CHARLOTTE - The UMBC Retrievers (25-10) became the first No. 16 seed in the history of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship to defeat a No. 1 seed as they defeated top-ranked University of Virginia (31-3), 74-54, before 17,943 mostly-exuberant fans in a South Region First Round game played at the Spectrum Center.
UMBC will face Kansas State in the second round of the South Region on Sunday, March 18.
The Retrievers earned their first-ever win over a No.1 ranked team, posted its first win over Virginia in four meetings, recorded its first-ever win over an ACC team and first NCAA Tournament win. UMBC recorded their 25th victory of the season, setting a new school record for wins.
UMBC outscored UVA, 53-33, in the final 20 minutes after the contest was tied at 21-all at the break.
Graduate student guard Jairus Lyles (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha) scored 23 of his game-high 28 points in the second half, hitting 8-of-9 shots from the floor in the second frame.
"Obviously a historic game for UMBC, unbelievable. I'm so proud of these kids, I take so much joy in watching them smile not just at the end there, but throughout the game," said head coach Ryan Odom. "I think it's pretty easy to tell everybody in the arena that these guys have passion. These guys love to play this game; this game means a lot to them. It was just a special, special effort."
Three other Retrievers scored in double figures. Junior guard Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.), who started the UMBC engine in the second half with a personal 6-0 run, scored 14 points, while senior guard K.J. Maura (San Juan, P.R.) delighted the crowd all evening and finished with 10 points.
Sophomore forward Arkel Lamar (Bridgeport, Conn.) recorded a double-double with 12 points a game-best 10 caroms.
With the score knotted at 21-all at the break, Sherburne converted a traditional 3-point play and buried a trey in the first 52 seconds to give UMBC a lead they would never relinquish.
UVA briefly trimmed the lead to five, but back-to-back treys by Lyles and Sherburne and three free throws by Lyles extended the margin to double digits, where it would remain for the final 16:23 of the game. Lyles scored 11 consecutive Retriever points before a Maura trey extended the lead to 50-34 with 8:32 remaining.
UMBC broke Virginia's pressure late in the game and pulled off one of the most improbable upsets in collegiate sports history.
The Retrievers sank 19 of 28 shots from the floor in the second half (67.9 percent) and 7-of-12 from long range. For the game, UMBC shot 54.2 percent from the field (26-48) which was its third-highest shooting percentage of the season. It also shot 50 percent from outside the arc for the sixth time this season with a minimum of 20 attempts.
Lyles moved into second-place on the school's career scoring list with 1,739 points. He also set the UMBC single-season record for points scored with 653 points and the single-season record for free throws made with 377.
"I think we had the confidence coming into the game," said Lyles. "I don't think there was a point in the game that we thought we couldn't play with them."