UMBC, an anchor team, defeats number 1 college basketball team.
In the closing seconds of the first round game against University of Virginia, the 74-54 lead began to feel real for University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). Winning as the number 16 seed, last in the tournament, against the number 1 seed is a historic moment in men’s NCAA basketball history because it has never been done before. Minutes after UMBC’s win, celebrities from the NBA and basketball fanatics all across the globe sent their congratulations to UMBC. However, at the beginning of the NCAA playoffs, this seemed too good to be true.
According to ESPN reporters Ryan McGee, David Hale and Jeff Goodman, UMBC was a “sacrificial lamb” in the tournament due to the high probability of lower-ranked teams losing early. In addition, statistics overwhelmingly agree that top teams advance further into the playoffs. For example, Washington Post statistician, Mike Hume, said, “Higher seeds win 71 percent of the time as the bracket shrinks from 68 teams to one.” These odds clearly made UMBC seem insignificant to UVA’s inevitable advancement into the playoffs.
Post-game excitement led ESPN analysts, stated above, to conclude “UMBC wasn’t just on America’s radar, it became America’s team.” The overall feeling of excitement was boosted because the clear underdog won.
With UMBC in close proximity to Broadneck, many of our current and former senior students will and have applied to this university. About 48 students from Broadneck High School applied and seven were accepted from our 2018 class, a significant portion of the graduating class. The fame that UMBC received from this NCAA men’s basketball tournament could drastically change the amount of applicants in future years, and possibly increase the number of people accepted from Broadneck High School. According to Broadneck High guidance counselor, Dr. Gerardi, UMBC would “definitely” look more attractive to out-of-state students. However, he included “there are fixed percentages of admissions… [and] in-state students shouldn’t get impacted.”
The aftermath of a local university moving into national news gives rise to the popularity of the school, which may or may not affect admissions for Broadneck seniors. Other fields of interest that generate popularity for UMBC are computer science, social sciences, psychology, biological sciences, and visual and performing arts. According to Center of World University Rankings, “UMBC lands in the top 1.9% of higher education institutions worldwide.” In addition to UMBC’s varied and desirable academic programs, this victory is a giant step forward for Maryland athletics and the notoriety of a grand campus such as UMBC.