During Selection Sunday, it was announced No. 16 UMBC will face off against No. 1 Virginia in the first round in Charlotte Friday. Now the Cavaliers face a new challenge: trying to earn a spot in their first Final Four in more than three decades as the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Carolina was the 6-seed in this tournament, and the Tar Heels will be playing their fourth game in four days.
The "Tobacco Road" nickname given to central North Carolina is thanks to the Atlantic Coast Conference teams who have enjoyed success for decades.
The top-seeded Cavaliers (30-2) got several crucial contributions from role player Jack Salt down the stretch and will play for the tournament title Saturday night in Brooklyn against 12th-ranked and sixth-seeded North Carolina, a 74-69 victor over second-seeded Duke. "But then you get your seeding and then it starts over".
The victor of the Virginia's first-round game will meet No. 8 seed Creighton (21-11) or No. 9 seed Kansas State (22-11) in the second round on Sunday, March 18. The South Region does not get easier from there: Cincinnati, Tennessee, Arizona and Kentucky are the No. 2 through 5 seeds, respectively.
1 in the country, outscored the Tar Heels in both halves to win both the ACC Tournament and regular-season titles. The South Region will play the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight at Philips Arena in Atlanta.
West Ham co-owner 'hit by coin' in crowd trouble
The Football Association said it "condemns the crowd disturbances" and "will be seeking observations from West Ham as well as awaiting the match referee's report".
"They were very aggressive, they're a good team", Bennett said of Clemson. He said it can be hard to transition from playing familiar conference foes for three months to preparing for an unknown opponent.
"[Salt] is all heart", Bennett said.
"Everyone was holding their breath and as soon as that swish happened, we just went insane!"
UVA (30-2) led 44-30 on a Kyle Guy layup with 13:06 left, but the Tigers (23-9) got the margin to five with 25.9 seconds left on a Gabe DeVoe layup, after De'Andre Hunter and Kyle Guy each missed the front ends of 1-and-1s that could have iced the game. The team's leading scorer sprained his knee last Saturday in the regular-season finale against Notre Dame, but had 19 points and a game-high seven rebounds Thursday in the 75-58 quarterfinal win over Louisville. Meanwhile, on defense, the Cavaliers held Clemson to 18.2 percent three-point shooting in the half.
"I have great respect for the family and Ryan, and he's done a heck of a job, only in his second year (at UMBC) in how he's turned it", Bennett said. "I do feel confident with our team".