We have heard in the past of fifteen seeds beating a two seed in the NCAA Tournament. Since 1991, seven fifteen seeds have upset a two seed. It all had to start somewhere and that was with Dick Tarrant’s Richmond Spiders.
According to College Basketball Talk, Richmond has decided to rename their court after Tarrant, who won 239 games in his twelve-year career with the Spiders and was the first coach to lead a fifteenth-seeded team to a win over a two seed in the NCAA Tournament. That was in 1991 with a win over Syracuse.
“I can’t fully comprehend why so many wonderful things are happening to me — 20 years after my retirement,” said Tarrant. “Coaches and athletes are normally soon forgotten at the conclusion of their careers. This tremendous tribute is often times reserved for Hall of Fame coaches such as Coach K, Lou Carnesecca and others. So, I am thankful to all those who were instrumental in this honor. I am flattered beyond words.”
That wasn’t the only success that Tarrant had with the Spiders. Three years prior to the upset, Tarrant led the Spiders to the Sweet Sixteen, this time as a thirteen seed. That run included big wins over Indiana and Georgia Tech.
Tarrant certainly deserves all the adulation he is receiving. In twelve years at Richmond, he led his team to nine postseason appearances and won two CAA Championships with the team. He was already honored before the court being renamed when the mascot was renamed Tarrant Tarantula as well as being named to the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports