The UMBC Retrievers bench celebrates a growing second half lead against the Virginia Cavaliers during the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Spectrum Center 
Jared C. Tilton/Getty
March 17, 2018 12:19 AM

It was the biggest upset in recent NCAA history.

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s basketball team, the UMBC Retrievers, surprised everyone by defeating the Virginia Cavaliers, the No. 1 seed in the NCAA on Friday night.

The team was ranked as a No. 16 seed and not expected to be victorious as they competed in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. However, when the buzzer blew, the scoreboard read a history-making 74-54.

The excitement was palpable enough that several team players couldn’t contain their tears of joy after their win, with Jairus Lyles telling reporters they won because “we believed in each other.”

No. 11, K.J. Maura, said, “It’s a dream come true.”

Jairus Lyles #10 of the UMBC Retrievers reacts after a score against the Virginia Cavaliers
Streeter Lecka/Getty

As UMBC celebrated, at least one of the Virginia players broke down into tears and had to be consoled by a teammate.

NCAA fans and curious viewers alike were enraptured but also intrigued by the relatively unknown school that defeated Virginia. The school’s website crashed, but their Twitter account was on hand to provide hilarious comebacks and commentary on their historic win.

UMBC Head Coach Ryan Odom, who is in his second season at the school, told reporters after the win, “The biggest thing I love about this is that I love seeing them smile. They’re great kids, high-energy kids… they deserve it.”

Several people on Twitter reacted to the upset making UMBC the top trending topic on the social media site. Veteran reporter Dan Rather tweeted, “If you’re not watching the UMBC Virginia game, you are missing the biggest Cinderella story since, well, Cinderella #MarchMadness.”

In an emotional post, the UMBC Twitter account reacted to their win as well, tweeting, “YOU JUST SAW HISTORY BEING MADE! We’re not crying, you’re crying (we’re crying). @UMBC_MBB @UMBCAthletics @marchmadness @ncaa #RetrieverNation.”

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