Bracket IQ

BACK TO Bracket IQ
basketball-men-d1 flag

Daniel Wilco | NCAA.com | March 17, 2018

Breaking down the crazy numbers from UMBC's historic win over Virginia

It's hard to quantify just exactly how crazy UMBC's 75-54 win over 1-seed Virginia was. 

But there are quite a few numbers that can put the game in perspective. We'll start with the most stark:

135 — Winning streak that the 1 seeds carried into Virginia’s matchup with UMBC, spanning 33 years from when the 16 seed was introduced in 1985. You could say history was on the side of the Cavaliers.

RELATED: Did the data predict UMBC's historic win? Have 1-v-16 games been getting closer?

11,401-8,058 — Total score over the 135 games between 1 and 16 seeds before UMBC-Virginia. That’s essentially an average score of 85-60, for a margin of 25 points per game, for a total of zero 16-seed wins. Here's how the scoring margin of every 16-1 game looks since 1985. Try to find UMBC:

6 — 1 seeds for the Cavaliers, who have never reached the championship game.

2 — NCAA tournament appearances for the Retrievers, who lost by 19 as a 15 seed in 2008, their only other trip to the Big Dance. 

2.18 — Percent of Capital One Bracket Challenge Game users that picked UMBC to beat Virginia, which wasn’t even the most confidence in a 16 seed this year.

MARCH MADNESS SHOP
That would be Penn over Kansas — a result picked in 3.28 percent of brackets and, like every time a 16 seed had been picked to win in the past 33 years before UMBC, wrong in every one.

16.65 — Percent that picked Virginia to win the championship — the second-highest percentage for any team. Somehow, the 0.15 percent that took UMBC to win the title have a better chance.

MORE: So, how many brackets actually picked UMBC to beat Virginia?

18.9 — 3-pointers Virginia took per game this season. Against UMBC, they missed 18.

34 — Games in a row that Virginia had held its opponent to fewer than 70 points. Before the Retrievers scored 74. The last team to put up 70 on the Cavaliers: 12-seed UNCW in the first round of 2017’s NCAA tournament.

54.2 — Field goal percentage for the Retrievers against Virginia. The Cavaliers had held opponents to 37.5 percent from the field all year, the best mark in the country. 

363 — days between 20-point losses for UVa. On March 18, 2017, in the second round of the NCAA tournament, the Cavaliers fell 65-39 to No. 20 Florida. That was 33 games ago.

4 — Games that UMBC lost by 20+ points this season. The biggest came as a 44-point blowout against Albany, where the Retrievers failed to score 40 points, and lost 83-39. 

3 — Games in which a 1 seed has lost by 20 or more points since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. All came in the Elite Eight:

  • 1992: UCLA lost 106-79 to No. 2 Indiana
  • 1994: Missouri lost 92-72 to No. 2 Arizona
  • 1998: Arizona lost 76-51 to No. 3 Utah 

0 — Perfect brackets after the game. There were 25 left through 28 games, but every one had the Cavaliers winning. Whoops.

0 — NCAA tournaments that will ever be the same.