The impossible took place on Friday night in the NCAA Tournament, as UMBC proved to stand for "U Must Be Cinderella" (yes, you've heard that one before). The University of Maryland-Baltimore County became the first 16-seed to beat a 1-seed as they blew past the top-seeded Virginia Cavaliers, 74-54, in the first round of the South Region. After the game was tied at 21 at halftime, UMBC went off for 53 points in the final 20 minutes, as they were led by Jairus Lyles' 28 points. The Cavaliers, who were the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament after going 31-2 in the regular season, including 20-1 in conference play, were 20.5-point favorites in this first-round matchup. This could become the biggest upset in college basketball history, beating out the previous, which also included a top-ranked Virginia team that fell to Chaminade of the NAIA in 1982 in Hawaii. It is no doubt the biggest upset in tournament history, as No. 1 seeds were previously 135-0 in the first round. UMBC shot 67.9 percent in the second half, while holding the Cavaliers to 42 percent after the half. Those numbers were put in to affect quickly, as they built a 16-point lead in the opening minutes of the half. They will now hope to keep this improbable run alive in the second round on Sunday afternoon against ninth-seeded Kansas State.
Raptors Get OT Win to Extend Win Streak
The Toronto Raptors were in an unexpected close battle on their home floor Friday night, but they found a way to escape with a win and extend their win streak. DeMar DeRozan had 29 points on the night to help the Raptors edge the Dallas Mavericks in overtime, 122-115, for their 11th straight win. DeRozan also had the game-winning basket in the extra period, as the Raptors matched their franchise-best win streak Jonas Valanciunas added a double-double of 21 points and 12 rebounds, helping Toronto to their 18th win in the past 19 games. They also improved to an NBA-best 29-5 on their home floor, despite playing without Kyle Lowry, who had the second night of a back-to-back off after a win over the Indiana Pacers on Thursday. They did get production from other sources, as Delon Wright had 15 points and Fred VanVleet added 14 in the win. The Mavericks did a nice job of keeping things close, having won three of their past four games coming in. Harrison Barnes had 27 points to lead the Mavs, who also got 19 from Dennis Smith Jr. and 18 from J.J. Barea. They stay on their east coast road trip on Saturday to take on the Brooklyn Nets. The Raptors will put their win streak on the line in a tough matchup on Sunday afternoon against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Predators Become First Team to Clinch With Win
The Nashville Predators' recent hot streak has pushed them to the top of the Central Division and has now made them the first NHL team to clinch a playoff spot. The Predators doubled-up the Colorado Avalanche, 4-2, on the road on Friday night to clinch a playoff spot. Colton Sissons and Filip Forsberg each scored twice to support backup goaltender Juuse Saros, who had 33 saves on the night. He was in for starter Pekka Rinne, who had the second night of a back-to-back off after leading his team over the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night. The win on Friday moves the Predators to 13-0-1 in their past 14 games, with their last regulation loss coming on February 17th against the Detroit Red Wings. Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog each scored for the Avalanche, who were coming off two straight road wins, more recently on Thursday against the St. Louis Blues. The loss snaps their nine-game streak with at least one point, as they will stay home on Sunday afternoon to host the struggling Detroit Red Wings, who have lost nine in a row. The Predators move on from this clinching performance to visit the last-place Buffalo Sabres on Monday night.