Monday, 27 January, 2020


UMBC fights hard, loses by 7 in NCAA Tournament

Everyone’s favorite March Madness Cinderella runs out of magic UMBC fights hard, loses by 7 in NCAA Tournament
Bennie Garza | 20 March, 2018, 08:26

Ironically, the man who orchastrated that massive upset, UMBC coach Ryan Odom, spent one season as head coach at Lenior-Rhyne University in Hickory, N.C., a Division II school and a member of the South Atlantic Conference. After all, No. 16 seeds were winless in the NCAA Tournament until UMBC shocked the world by upsetting No. 1 Virginia on Friday.

Kansas State's Wildcats took full advantage of UMBC's shooting struggles to reach the "Sweet 16" for the first time since 2010 - when they made it all the way to the "Elite Eight". It was a 50-43 loss to Kansas State, and although it was an terrible game - UMBC shot less than 30 percent from the field, Kansas State shot eight percent from three, each team had seemingly a million turnovers - it was fun, because until the final minute, we could still believe that their most improbable dream was alive. The Retrievers were nowhere near as sharp as they were against Virginia.

Lyles finished with 23 of his points in the second half.

Brown got going late in the half, working his way into the paint for points to give the Wildcats a 25-20 lead at intermission. "I've watched these boys all year and it's unbelievable just to see them pour their heart out against a team like Kansas State". Wade is the team's leading scorer with 16.5 points per game.

A major factor was UMBC making 12 of 24 3-pointers (50 percent) while Virginia was Arctic cold, hitting just 4 of 22 (18.2 percent). The team lost in the second round to Kansas, and even the pride from their unbelievable win couldn't boring the sadness of the loss.

In the wake of UMBC's demolition of top-ranked Virginia, the campus bookstore, usually closed on weekends, logged special hours Saturday and Sunday to allow fans, old and new, to buy UMBC gear.

With just 9:42 left in the game, the score was 34-33, with UMBC working hard to keep the game close and push for a lead.

The Wildcats were even less careful with the ball, losing 18 turnovers, but they limited the Retrievers to three points off those giveaways. With just 1-minute remaining in the game, UMBC found themselves down by 5, playing great defense, but unable to shoot well, only shooting 30% from the field.

Weber's hair was soaked as he exited the locker room.

"I mean, it definitely puts a damper on it, man", Grant said. "Sharpie." Later, after UMBC took the lead, Seidel responded: "Hi everyone, in case you didn't see, Seth Davis tweeted this one minute into the game". "I think we'll be ready".

"Just very proud of these kids and what they've been able to do as the representatives that they are for our university", Odom said.

UMBC's time at the tournament has barely ended, but students are already looking forward to next year. They will be underdogs again, and even now few observers expect them to make the tourney's Final Four.

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