RALEIGH, NC (WRIC) — No #16-seed has ever beaten a #1-seed in the NCAA Tournament, but that is not stopping the Hampton Pirates from feeling very confident about their match up with the Virginia Cavaliers.
Moments after the brackets revealed the Thursday afternoon game, Hampton Guard Reginald Johnson, Jr. said of all the number one seeds, UVA was “most beatable.”
“Honestly out of all the number one seeds, I feel like they’re the mot beatable number one seed,” Johnson said. “They’re not overly athletic. You can play the game with them, so I feel good about it.”
Hampton won the MEAC regular season and conference championships. The Cavaliers finished second in the ACC in the regular season behind North Carolina and also lost to the Tar Heels in the ACC Conference Tournament Championship Game.
Most of the history in this game sides with Virginia, but Hampton did make some Cinderella history of its own earlier this century. As a #15-seed in the 2001 NCAA Tournament, the Pirates knocked off #2-seed Iowa State. At the time, they were just the fourth #15-seed to beat a #2-seed. Since then three more teams have done it, but that makes #15-seeds just 7 for 124 since the tournament’s expansion in 1985. #16-seeds are 0 for 124 in games against #1-seeds since 1985.
Hampton Coach Buck Joyner says his team has played well this season but must play its best game of the season to beat Virginia.
“Everything that we’ve done we’ve been a good — we’ve been great in transition. We’ve been great rebounding the ball. I think we’re number one in the conference rebounding the ball. We’re one of the top of not the top, top two or three defenses in the league, “Joynr said. “We gotta do all that and do it ten times better.”