Maryland outlasts Belmont 79-77 for first tournament win since 2016

On Thursday afternoon the Maryland Terrapins started their 2019 NCAA tournament run with a 79-77 win over the Belmont Bruins. It was a slug fest of a game, with both teams trading punches down the stretch. In the end, the Terps pulled out the win to advance to the second round for the first time since 2016.

Coming into this matchup Belmont was a trendy upset pick across the country and probably even a favorite in the state of Maryland due to chronic pessimism coming from Terps fans.

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Podcast Episode 43: Terps enter March Madness, projecting Orioles starting lineups, and is Ngata a Hall-of-Famer?

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BREAKING: UMBC defeats Virginia 74-54, becomes first 16-1 upset in NCAA Tournament history

CHARLOTTE, NC — For the first time in NCAA tournament history, a #16 seed defeated a #1 seed, and it was the University of Maryland – Baltimore County (UMBC) Retrievers that did so, taking down the top-ranked Virginia University Cavaliers 74-54.

The two teams went into halftime all knotted up at 21, but UMBC outscored Virginia 53-33 in the second half to seal the biggest upset in the history of March madness.

The Retrievers scored the first six points of the second half, three of them coming on a three-pointer made by junior forward Joe Sherburne, and there was no looking back from there. Graduate student guard Jarius Lyles made three free-throws in a row, and followed it up with a jumper that extended UMBC’s lead to 12 points.

By the time the Retrievers reached 50 points, they already had a commanding 16-point lead with 8:36 remaining in the game. The Cavaliers came within 12 points a few times after that point, but that would be as close as they got before the Retrievers pulled away, jump-started by a Lyles layup at the 3:55 mark.

As UMBC’s lead continued to grow, the Cavaliers started to foul. The Retrievers handled this well, going 4-for-5 in free-throw attempts in the final three minutes. The last points scored in the game came from a layup by Sherburne with 46 ticks left. After Nigel Johnson of Virginia missed a three-point jumper, the Retrievers ran the clock out as the history of March Madness was changed forever.

Lyles led the way for the Retrievers, scoring 28 points and going 3-for-4 from the three-point line. Sophomore forward Arkel Lamar notched a double-double, totaling 12 points and 10 rebounds. Senior guard K.J. Maura and Sherburne also reached double figures; Sherburne scored 14 points and Maura tallied 10. Lyles, Maura, and Lamar all tied for the team-lead in assists with three apiece.

As a team, UMBC out-shot Virginia in both field goals and three-pointers. The Retrievers went 26-for-48 in free-throw attempts (54.2%), while the Cavaliers went 23-for-56 (41.1%). UMBC only shot 50% from the three-point line in 24 attempts, but Virginia could not make anything. In 22 three-point attempts, the Cavaliers made just four three-pointers.

The Retrievers are back in action on Sunday against the #9-ranked Kansas State Wildcats. Kansas State topped #8 Creighton 69-59 on Friday. Start time is TBA.

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Image Credit: WCNC