UMBC Men's Basketball NCAA Tournament Preview: No. 16 UMBC vs. No. 1 Virginia

UMBC Men's Basketball NCAA Tournament Preview: No. 16 UMBC vs. No. 1 Virginia

UMBC vs. Virginia NCAA Tournament Notes 

Charlotte, N.C. - The America East Conference champions will face the Atlantic Coast Conference champions as the 16th –seeded UMBC Retrievers (24-10) take on top-seeded Virginia Cavaliers an NCAA South Regional First Round match-up.


Tip-off time is slated for approximately 9:20 p.m. from the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C. Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery and Tracy Wolfson will call the action on TNT.


A Glance at the Retrievers: The Retrievers advanced with a dramatic 65-62 victory over top-seeded Vermont in the America East Championship game on Saturday. Graduate student guard Jairus Lyles (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha) drained a 23-footer from the top of the key with 0.6 seconds left to give the Retrievers a come-from-behind 65-62 triumph.


Lyles, who scored a game-high 27 points, was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. He averaged 19.8 points over the Retrievers' three tournament games. He was joined on the All-Championship team by teammates senior guard K.J. Maura (San Juan, P.R.) and freshman forward Daniel Akin (Eltham, England).


Lyles leads the team and is ranked 44th in the nation in scoring at 20.2 points per game.


UMBC enters the tournament on a season-high five-game winnings streak.   


A Glance at the Cavaliers: Top-seeded Virginia (31-2) defeated UNC, 71-63 to capture the ACC Tournament on March 10. UVA has won eight straight since a 61-60 overtime loss to Virginia Tech on February 10.


The Cavs are the top defensive team in the nation, allowing only 53.4 points per game. Virginia scores 67.5 points per contest and only turns the ball over 8.6 times per game.


Sophomore guard Kyle Guy leads a balanced attack with 14.1 points per game. He is the squad's leading marksman, hitting 83 treys on the year, shooting nearly 40 percent from long range. He has started 32 of 33 games, while four other Cavaliers have started all 33 contests.


The Series: Virginia has taken all three meetings versus UMBC, although the two squads have not tipped off since a 77-66 Cavalier victory in December of 2005. That contest was played at VCU.


Note: UMBC's men's lacrosse and soccer teams have faced UVA in NCAA Tournament competition. The lacrosse team lost a heart-breaking 10-9 decision in Charlottesville in the first round of the 2008 tournament. The soccer team had made a dramatic and improbable run to the College Cup in 2014, but the Cavs prevailed, 1-0, in the first semi-final in Cary, N.C. 


UMBC in the NCAA Tournament: The 15-seeded Retrievers lost to No. 2 Georgetown, 66-47, in Raleigh, N.C. on March 21, 2008. Darryl Proctor led UMBC with 16 points and tied a school Division I record with seven steals in the game.


UMBC is making its second appearance in the NCAA Men's Basketball Division I Championships. Their two America East titles and automatic bids have occured in 2008 and 2018. On March 10, 2018, the second-seeded Retrievers snapped a 23-game losing streak at top-seeded Vermont and defeated the Catamounts, 65-62 on a trey by graduate student guard Jairus Lyles with 0.6 left on the clock. Lyles scored 27 points in the victory.


Other UMBC Notes:   Under Ryan Odom, for the first time in 32 years of NCAA Division I play, UMBC has posted back-to-back 20-win seasons. They recorded back-to-back double-digit win seasons for the first time since the 2007-08 and 2008-09 campaigns. The 45 wins over the last two seasons has surpassed the program's previous best two-year DI total of 39 ('07-'08/'08-'09).  UMBC won a total of 41 games in the seven previous seasons.


The Retrievers (24-10) are 14 games over .500 for just the second time in 32 seasons of NCAA Division I competition. The other year was 2007-08 when the high water mark was +16 (24-8).


UMBC's current total of 24 wins knots the highest total wins in 32 years of NCAA Division I competition. The 2007-08 title team finished at 24-9. 


The America East quarter-final victory over UML snapped a five-game losing streak in the tournament dating back to a quarter-final win over Hartford in 2013. The appearance in the semis was UMBC's first since falling to Vermont a day after defeating the Hawks. It was the Retrievers' fifth appearance in the conference semi-finals, where they are now 2-3.


The 12 America East victories is the second-most in 15 seasons of league play. The 2007-08 title team posted a 13-3 record. The 6-2 conference road record equals the mark of that championship squad. 


UMBC set a school Division I mark with 11 consecutive home victories. The 11-0 start at home in one season sets a new school mark. The 15 home triumphs are the most-ever at the NCAA Division I level and the second-most in school history (16, 1979-80).  


The five consecutive road wins is the longest streak since an eight-gamer in 1998-99. The five-game overall winning streak is the most since a nine-game skein from Jan. 25-March 2, 2008.  


UMBC's defensive scoring average of 69.5 points per game ranks 101st in the nation, a far cry of the ranking of 288 (77.2 ppg) a season ago.


Jairus Lyles just became the first player in school history to record a pair of 600-point seasons. 


Lyles has moved into second place on UMBC all-time list with 370 free throws made...He just became the 8th Retriever to convert 500 field goals (592, 5th all-time) in a career... He has moved into UMBC top five in all-time steals (3rd w/171) and his 64 steals this season is third-most all time and the most since Dana Harris' 72 in the 1992-93 season. He has vaulted into third place on UMBC's all-time scoring list with 1,711 points.  


Senior guard Jourdan Grant (Bowie, Md./Archbishop Spalding) played in career game No. 123 vs. UMass Lowell and broke the all-time record of 122 set by Jay Greene (2005-09).


With his second field goal vs. Albany on Feb. 18, Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.) became the 21st Retriever to reach the 1,000-point plateau. He is the tenth player to hit the mark in his junior season and is currently in 19th place with 1,077 points. Sherburne is also the second player in school history to convert 60+ treys (Terence Ward, 1997-2001) in his first three seasons. Ward swished 215 in his first three years, while Sherburne currently has 203.


For the second consecutive year, Sherburne has been selected to the 2017-18 Academic All-District 2 Men's Basketball First Team by College Sports Information Directors of America. Subsequently, he became the first UMBC or America East men's basketball player to earn  Academic All-America® Division I Men's Basketball First Team honors.