UMBC captured the hearts of the college basketball world with its Goliath-slaying victory over top-seeded Virginia in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. "This game means a lot to them and, you know, just a special, special effort". They shot 54.2 percent from the floor, assisted on 16 of their 26 baskets and went 12 for 24 from 3-point range.
A second-half surge led UMBC ahead against Virginia, but the Retrievers failed to string together a big enough run in the second half to pull away.
"These are the moments that you dream of", Lyles said. "We made history the other night".
UMBC comes into this game healthy, with nobody listed on the injury report. Cara Walsh, University of Maryland Class of 2017, chose College Park over UMBC because she believed her quality of life would be better at her now alma mater.
"It felt like my soul left my body, man", Grant said. I play for them, especially after what happened with the hurricane. "And to look back and see my teammates going insane, too, man it's unbelievable". But as U.Va.'s three ACC regular-season titles in the past five years proves, it's anything but foolproof.
Kentucky's next NCAA Tournament matchup is set.
For UMBC, there will always be the magic of Friday night. After the game ended, players walked to the side of the court and gave their fans an appreciative wave.
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"Oh, I'm definitely a pest, but I have to do that for my team to be successful - and I try to do that at a high level", Maura said. "We made history, I love my guys and that's all I can say". Wade is the team's leading scorer with 16.5 points per game. The Retrievers left no doubt they deserved their shot at the Sweet 16.
"When I got here, first we were a four-win team that year, and then the next year we went on to win seven games", said graduate student Jairus Lyles.
He diced up Virginia's defense in the second half, getting to the hole easily and making easy layups. The entire arena began cheering "UMBC" minus the Kansas State contingent. "This is one of the reasons I came back".
Zach Seidel, who live-tweeted the game for UMBC Athletics, also scored points with sports fans with his witty posts. After Virginia made a foul shot, the shifty 5-foot-8, 140-pound Maura drove the lane for uncontested layup. He hit a mid-range jumper as the shot clock was expiring with one minute to play. One Shining Moment could just be scenes from just the first four days and no one would complain.
It was yet another early exit for the Cavaliers in a season that seemed to hold so much promise.
Hooksett, N.H.'s Max Curran scored five points in 14 minutes for UMBC. Virginia finished the season with a impressive 31-3 record.
With 10 seconds remaining, UMBC substituted in the bench players who worked hard to help their team get to where they are today. The Retrievers will meet No. 8 seed Kansas State on Sunday where they could advance to the Sweet 16 - where no 16 has gone before.