UMBC's Historic Run Was Short-Lived, but the Retrievers Won't Ever Be Forgotten

UMBC's K.J. Maura left looks to pass the ball around Kansas State's Makol Mawien right

UMBC's K.J. Maura left looks to pass the ball around Kansas State's Makol Mawien right

The players hugged at midcourt. From there, the party was on as chants of "UMBC" rang through the arena.UMBC will face No. 9 seed Kansas State on Sunday in the second round.

The unexpected 74-54 victory Friday night left students at the No. 16 school stunned, but filled with pride. The Retrievers shot 14-47 (30%) from the field, including just 6-22 (27%) from 3-point range in the loss to the Wildcats. "When you just get in, like now, I'm a great coach".

Then Barry Brown ramped up his play, and he set the tone for his teammates. The Wildcats are also 2-6 ATS in their last eight neutral-site games and 1-3-1 ATS in their last five versus the SEC.

Makol Mawien added 11 points.

"Maura, despite being just 5'7", 140 pound, led the Retrievers through their games, playing all but two minutes, insuring that fans who may not have known the Retrievers when the tournament began won't forget the team now.

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UMBC hung around and made K-State's Wildcats earn it despite getting only 12 points from Jairus Lyles, the senior whose 28-point night led the way against Virginia.

Units for this year's tournament are worth approximately $273,000, according to the NCAA, but their value ends up being greater than that. Maybe not the way Texas Western and Loyola of Chicago are remembered, as small schools who won it all, but still as giant killers who did what was beginning to seem impossible.

Units are what the NCAA calls its revenue distributions from the basketball performance fund, which rewards teams for tournament performance.

Cincinnati never trailed until Hall's tiebreaking basket but watched its lead disintegrate as it failed to make a basket in the final 5:45. K-State would bury 13-of-18 overall, missing a couple in the closing seconds with the game already in hand.

Xavier Sneed made the biggest plays. Cane Broome briefly lost control of the ball, then passed toward Gary Clark as the final seconds ticked away. For years, the biggest upset in college basketball was considered to have taken place on December 23, 1982, when the team from the lower-division Chaminade University beat Virginia in front of thirty-three hundred fans in Honolulu.

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The Boilermakers led by as many as 10 points in the second half, but Butler cut the deficit to two and had the ball in the final minute.

Kansas State: Brown defended Lyles extremely well, holding him to 12 points on 4-of-15 shooting.

But they exceeded nearly all expectations - at least, those outside Manhattan - by finishing fourth in arguably the toughest conference in the country, despite playing much of the season without injured guard Kamau Stokes. UMBC falls to 25-11, ending with a single-season school record for victories. The Talmud emphatically states that "even when the sharp sword is resting on your neck, never hold back from [asking] for mercy" and salvation can come "in the blink of an eye".

The fantastic 1983 championship game, with the Wolfpack winning on a buzzer-beating dunk, was a more resounding upset because Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler and the "Phi Slama Jama" Cougars were considered invincible. Haarms, a redshirt freshman, started for the first time this season.

The jumper felt like a back-breaker, as it gave the Wildcats a 46-41 lead with 1:08 remaining. Not only did it represent their first ever NCAA tournament win, but it would mark the first time in men's hoops that a No. 16 toppled a No. 1.

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