History was made on Friday night as Virginia, the No. 1 overall seed, lost on Friday night to No. 16 UMBC 74-54 in a 2018 NCAA Tournament first-round game at Charlotte, N.C. It is the first time in college basketball history that a No. 1 seed has lost to a No. 16 seed.
Virginia had lost just twice all season, and won the ACC, which got nine teams into the NCAA Tournament, perhaps making the loss even more stunning. Before Friday night, Virginia had not trailed by more than 13 in any game this season. Virginia also had the best defense in KenPom history coming into the tournament.
Perhaps the biggest beneficiary is Kentucky, which has seen the No. 4 and the No. 1 seed in their region lose as Arizona also got smacked by Buffalo on Thursday night. The Wildcats beat Davidson on Thursday night, despite not making a 3-pointer.
Naturally, Twitter took great joy in it being the first time a No. 16 seed has beaten a No. 1 overall seed.
It's happening. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. It's happening!
— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_SEC) March 17, 2018
Oh my goodness it’s happening. It’s really happening.
— Joe Mussatto (@joe_mussatto) March 17, 2018
— Steve Wiltfong (@SWiltfong247) March 17, 2018
This is happening. A 16 is about to knock off a 1 seed for the first time ever.
THIS. IS. MARCH.
— SEC Country (@SECcountry) March 17, 2018
EVERYONE HAS ARGUED WITH ME https://t.co/Fidl37Mtwu
— Stephen Asian Smith (@PabloTorre) March 17, 2018
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 17, 2018
With Virginia knocked out, the bracket really opens up for Kentucky. The top 4 teams in that half of the region are UMBC, Kansas, Buffalo and the Wildcats. And while No. 2 seed Cincinnati and No. 3 seed Tennessee in the region are still alive, Kentucky has beaten the No. 3 seed in Tennessee, when it did in last week’s SEC Tournament.
By comparison, the other No. 1 seeds all won their games by double digits. No. 1 overall seeds had been 135-0 since the tournament expanded to 64 teams. Before Friday night, it had happened only once on the women’s side.
Kentucky and Buffalo tip off at 5:15 p.m. ET on Saturday in Boise, Idaho. The game will air on CBS. UMBC will play Kansas State on Sunday.