Virginia coach Tony Bennett on NCAA exit: 'We had a historic loss'

Virginia coach Tony Bennett on NCAA exit: 'We had a historic loss'

It marks the first time in tournament history that a 16 seed has knocked off a 1 seed.

Virginia's Isaiah Wilkins (21) is consoled after fouling out during the second half of the team's first-round game against UMBC in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, March 16, 2018.

All of which is to say, if anyone claims they picked against Virginia in their tournament pool, you should feel comfortable not believing them. It was after the half, when the Retrievers started to build a lead, that things seemed to change for them.

Virginia's offense looked out of sorts from the opening tip, and when UMBC got hot to open the second half, it completely unraveled.

Moreover, they now inherit the relatively cushy path through the remaining early rounds of the tournament that had been intended for Virginia: they face ninth-seeded Kansas State tomorrow, and would play the victor of the game between fifth-seeded Kentucky and 13th-seeded Buffalo after that if they advance. Barry Brown can get buckets on his own better than anyone on Virginia and, importantly, he's one of the best defensive guards in the country.

"We got thoroughly outplayed and that's the reality of it", Virginia coach Tony Bennett said. That 84% winning percentage works out to a "3-14" upset occurring a bit more often than once every other year.

The Cavaliers had some improbable moments of their own this season on the way to a record-setting run through the ACC in which they became the first school to win 17 games in the conference and to go 9-0 on the road.

Senior guard Jairus Lyles scored 28 points and the Retreivers cruised to an easy victory before racing off the floor together in their yellow-and-black uniforms with one finger pointed toward the sky. I don't think there was any point in the game that we thought we couldn't play with them. They played well. We talked about it all week that they were going to get up in us and be physical on the ball screens and physical in the gaps and just be strong with the ball and come off ball screens.

The Creighton vs. Kansas State game was finishing up and UMBC students were assembling in Section 223 to cheer their hearts out. The stakes were huge, but the result was a little more fathomable. UMBC was the loudest crowd there, and the team played with a passion. Clarendon wrote. "Don't come at us with that "first team ever stuff people!"

The NCAA distributes a portion of NCAA Tournament revenue through the Basketball Fund, a multimillion pool made up of units. The Retrievers didn't miss many shots in the second half Friday night, but they missed more than Villanova's one. The Cavaliers have never played in a national championship game, but a lot of brackets said the time was now. We're talking Big East peers.

"It's the first time it's happened but this was a possibility", Bennett said. They busted everyone's bracket they least they can do is stick around for a little longer.

- It finally happened - a No. 16 seed ousting a No. 1 in March Madness. I have to give them credit.

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