After historic upset, UMBC braces for Kansas St.

Ruben Hill
March 19, 2018

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 16: The UMBC Retrievers celebrate their 74-54 victory over the Virginia Cavaliers during the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Spectrum Center on March 16, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. 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're in a smaller conference like we are, you see a lot of talk about, 'These small conferences shouldn't even be in the tournament, ' 'We don't need 16-seeds, '" the junior Joe Sherburne said.

The second half featured a rather extraordinary scoring drought.

The final score, Kansas State 50, UMBC 43, didn't matter in that moment.

The Wildcats (24-11) move on to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2010 when they lost in the Elite Eight to Butler.

The 6-5 sophomore from St. Louis was clutch as he rose over a crowd under the basket to slam home a dunk off a rebound and then he hit a jumper off the left baseline with 1:08 remaining to give Kansas State a 46-41 lead with 1:08 remaining.

UMBC scored 53 points in the second half.

The three viewing rooms exploded when the Retrievers got out to an early lead, chanting loud enough to make the commons building sound like an arena.

"With all the attention, it made sense for us to take care of it right away", Hall said.

He diced up Virginia's defense in the second half, getting to the hole easily six different times to convert layups. "We made history. Can't be mad at that".

The shots did not go in.

"It was very frustrating", UMBC sophomore Arkel Lamar said.

He warmed up for both games and was deemed available in case of emergency. That's not our basketball game.

West Virginia, and Carter in particular, look like they mean business with the way they played this opening weekend.

While longtime Knicks fans will generally share their frustration when asked about the team's recent struggles, the fans tend to share a sense of illogical faith that the franchise will quickly return to prominence. "We've got to be ready for them".

The Tar Heels were a very different team than last year's title victor, namely in the way they leaned on a small-ball lineup. They're athletic, they're big.

The good news for Kansas State is that it has won without Wade before.

9 matchup. Led by veteran coach Bruce Weber, the Wildcats were still favorites over the Terriers, despite their pummeling of Virginia. His injured foot hasn't healed to the point where the coaches are comfortable playing him yet, so he was relegated to cheering on his teammates. The Wildcats shot 18-of-44 from the field, 1-of-12 from three-point range. "I graduated and I'm still coming back here so that's pretty good", said Sarah Georgiou. "It wasn't pretty, but it's sure a hell of a win".

The longshot UMBC Retrievers, who made history when they toppled mighty Virginia in the NCAA men's basketball tournament, aren't the only ones bringing newfound attention to their Maryland school. Not just the players, but the fans in Charlotte and the whole school, too.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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