12-Seed Richmond Took Down 5-Seed Iowa For The First Real Upset Of March Madness

The first game of the 2022 NCAA men’s basketball tournament featured an 11-seed beating a 6-seed, but given that was Michigan taking down Colorado State as a betting favorite, it was hard to call it an upset. Overall, favorites steamrolled through the early window of the first day of the tournament and through our first set of games, people were wondering when the madness would truly begin.

The Richmond Spiders heard the call, as the 12-seed in the Midwest region strolled into Buffalo and stunned the 5-seed Iowa Hawkeyes, 67-63, to advance to Saturday’s second round against Providence.

Richmond was battling from the beginning, taking a 29-28 advantage into the half, and had the normally high octane Iowa offense out of sorts, while taking advantage of some questionable defense from the Hawkeyes on the other end. In the second half, Richmond took control midway through, taking their largest lead at eight points with 6:13 to play on a Jacob Gilyard three, as the upset started to feel very real.

Gilyard led the Spiders with 24 points, six assists, and six rebounds, doing a bit of everything and looking like the best player on the floor for much of the night.

On the other side, Iowa simply could not buy a bucket from deep, shooting a dreadful 6-of-29 from three-point range and 24-of-66 from the field overall, as Richmond’s defense swarmed and took away the airspace from Iowa’s shooters.

Iowa star Keegan Murray was rather quiet for much of the second half but tried to pull the Hawkeyes back into it late, as his and-1 bucket pulled Iowa to within one with two minutes to go.

Richmond had the answer, pulling back ahead by six thanks to a tough and-1 finish from Nathan Cayo, who was 7-for-11 from the field for 15 points in the win.

The game wasn’t without a bit of controversy, as an apparent missed call on what should’ve been a foul on a three-point shooter with Iowa down three with a minute to play allowed Richmond to keep the Hawkeyes at arm’s length.

It was an impressive performance from a Richmond team that came in riding high thanks to an A-10 conference tournament win over Davidson to make the Big Dance, and now they’ll get a date with Providence for the right to reach the second weekend and the Sweet Sixteen — a place Iowa still has yet to see under coach Fran McCaffery since he took over in 2010.