Gardner-Webb receives social-media encouragement from UMBC as they tried to replicate historic upset
Gardner-Webb had a chance to replicate history on Virginia, trying to become the second straight 16-seed to defeat a No. 1-seeded Cavalier team. Of course, the odds were not in Gardner-Webb's favor—they were 22.5-point underdogs to the Cavaliers before the game, but after a huge scoring burst in the first half, Gardner-Webb found themselves up 14 at one point.
UMBC, who pulled off the historic first victory as a 16-seed in NCAA Tournament history last year, decided to tweet some encouragement over to Gardner-Webb during halftime, as the Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs went into the half up by six.
You could consider it a fantastic troll on Virginia, or just some friendly banter between underdogs. Either way, well played:
Virginia came out strong in the second half and extended the lead to double digits with a little over 10 minutes left before defeating Gardner-Webb by 15 in the Columbia, S.C. first-round matchup. Though it appeared Virginia was playing a little tentative in the first half, perhaps with last year's historic meltdown in their heads, the Cavaliers righted the ship in the second half.
For those wondering, Gardner-Webb is a private school in Boiling Springs, North Carolina. Never heard of 'em? You can be sure they had the full attention of Virginia basketball fans as the Runnin' Bulldogs were up by double digits early.