UMBC pulls off second-largest NCAA tourney point-spread upset

Kezirian: UMBC upset is what betting is all about (1:26)

Doug Kezirian describes the magnitude of No. 16 UMBC's historic upset of No. 1 overall seed Virginia in the first round Friday. (1:26)

A bettor at Las Vegas sportsbook operator CG Technology on Friday placed a $20,000 money-line parlay on three heavy favorites in the NCAA tournament for a chance to win a net $870.

The bet: North Carolina, Purdue and ... Virginia.

The Tar Heels and Boilermakers delivered. The Cavaliers did not.

Virginia became the first No. 1 seed ever to lose to a 16-seed, when UMBC upset the Cavs 74-54 on Friday in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

UMBC was a 20.5-point underdog to Virginia, the top overall seed, making it the second-largest upset by point-spread standards since the field expanded in 1985.

Norfolk State defeated Missouri as a 21.5-point underdog on March 16, 2012, six years to the day of the Retrievers' shocker.

With Virginia's loss, teams favored by 20 or more in the NCAA tournament are 155-3 straight up since 1985. In addition to Norfolk State's win over Missouri, Santa Clara defeated Arizona as a 20-point underdog in 1993.

UMBC was 25-1 to win straight up at several Las Vegas sportsbooks. It was one of those games with such a heavy favorite that some books chose not to even offer a money-line price.

CG Technology offered the Retrievers at 20-1 and took an $800 money-line bet that paid a net $16,000.

Coming off the historic upset, UMBC gained a little respect heading into Sunday's game against No. 9 seed Kansas State -- the Retrievers opened as 10-point underdogs at Westgate LV SuperBook.

William Hill US took 134 bets on UMBC to upset Virginia at 25-1 odds. The largest six were each $100, producing $2,500 net wins.

While there were a few believers in the Retrievers, there also were some unfortunate folks who were willing risk a ton to win a little on the heavily favored Cavaliers, including the $20,000 parlay bettor.

"The $20k 3 teamer to win $870 bucks is the most March Madness bet ever," tweeted Jason Simbal, vice president of risk for CG Technology.

At William Hill, which operates at more than 100 locations in Nevada, there were 25 money-line bets on Virginia at -10,000 (1-100). The largest? A $1,294.40 wager with potential net payout of $12.95.

Before the tournament started, Caesars Palace took three bets on UMBC to win the tournament at 5,000-1 odds.

UMBC wasn't the only team to pull off a big upset on Friday. No. 13-seed Marshall knocked off No. 4-seed Wichita State as a 13.5-point underdog. Amazingly, one bettor saw both of Friday's big upsets coming. On Friday morning at William Hill, a bettor placed a $40 two-team money-line parlay on UMBC and Marshall. The bet was placed on the book's mobile app and paid $7,280.