After victories over Virginia in basketball and Albany in lacrosse, which No. 1 team will UMBC upset next?
If you're a college team that's ranked No. 1 in the country and has UMBC on your upcoming schedule, you've been warned.
Three weeks after the UMBC men's basketball team became the first No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, knocking off No. 1 overall seed Virginia by 20, the school's lacrosse team upset previously undefeated, No. 1-ranked Albany 11-7 on Friday.
It ended Albany's 31-game regular-season winning streak and marked UMBC's first win over the No. 1 team in lacrosse since 1998.
The win was arguably an equally improbable victory as the school's historic NCAA tournament win, since the Retrievers entered the game on a four-game losing streak with just a 2-7 record on the season. Albany won 19 of the 21 face-offs in the game and had more shots on goal but UMBC goalie Tommy Lingner saved 16 of the 23 shots he faced and midfielder Billy Nolan recorded three goals and two assists.
Remember how UMBC Athletics' Twitter account went viral during and after the Retrievers' win over Virginia? Well, the dog-loving, quick-witted account once against capitalized on the moment, this time calling out Alabama football even though the Retrievers don't have a football team.
What’s good?— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) April 7, 2018
We took UMBC's tongue-in-cheek tweet at Alabama and ran with it. Realistically, who is the next No. 1-ranked team in an NCAA sport that could face the same fate as Virginia men's basketball and Albany lacrosse?
With some healthy speculation on unknown fall sports schedules and all due respect to teams that earn a No. 1 national ranking, here are some candidates.
Stony Brook, women's lacrosse
UMBC's women's lacrosse team is 9-4 entering a conference game against Albany on Saturday. In two weeks the Retrievers will face No. 1 Stony Brook (11-0), which leads the nation in scoring offense (17.18 goals per game) and scoring defense (6.09 goals allowed per game), so beating their undefeated conference foe will be no easy task.
The Retrievers haven't beaten the Seawolves since 2011. Since then, they're 0-8 against Stony Brook with a 117-48 goal differential in favor of the Seawolves.
Six of Stony Brook's 11 wins this season came against opponents that were ranked in the top 25 at the time of the matchup and the Seawolves won by an average of eight goals, just so casual lacrosse fans understand how good they've been this season. But Stony Brook women's lacrosse is the next No. 1-ranked team to play the Retrievers in any sport, so they're worth mentioning first.
Western Michigan/Maryland/New Hampshire/TBD, men's soccer
UMBC's men's soccer schedule for next fall hasn't been released yet so this requires some speculation. But if the Retrievers' 2017 schedule is any indication, there won't be any shortage of talented opponents on their schedule this year.
UMBC played Western Michigan and Maryland as part of its non-conference schedule. The Retrievers lost to the Broncos 2-0 and tied the Terrapins 1-1 in double overtime. Western Michigan was ranked No. 12 in the United Soccer Coaches poll at the time of the matchup and finished the season ranked No. 9. Even more impressively, Maryland was ranked No. 1 in the country when UMBC played the Terps even through two overtime periods.
The Retrievers followed up those non-conference games with their America East home opener against No. 12 New Hampshire and they won 1-0.
We'll have to wait and see what UMBC's final men's soccer schedule looks like for 2018 but as the Retrievers proved last season, they're not afraid to play nationally ranked competition and on the right night, they're good enough to win.
Nebraska/TBD, women's volleyball
Like UMBC's men's soccer team and its schedule, we had to look in the past to try to predict the future. The Retrievers' women's volleyball schedule for next season isn't out yet but they played in the Ameritas Player's Challenge in Lincoln, Neb., last year and played then-No. 12 Nebraska as part of the event.
Guess who finished atop the AVCA Coaches poll in December? The Cornhuskers, after winning their fifth national title.
Nebraska swept UMBC 3-0 when the two schools met in September and there's no guarantee that they'll play again in 2018, but the Retrievers' willingness to travel across the country to play in events like the Ameritas Player's Challenge can lead to chances that the school's men's basketball and lacrosse teams capitalized on – upsetting the No. 1 team in the country.