What’s it stand for? University of Maryland Baltimore County
Total Enrollment: 13,839
Location: 10 minutes from downtown Baltimore
Team’s history: This is the second NCAA appearance for UMBC (They beat Vermont to win the America East Conference Tournament this year). They lost to Georgetown in the first round of the Tournament in 2008 as the 15 seed.
Since the basketball team is not exactly a powerhouse, the school’s chess team gets most of the headlines. It had a streak of 16 straight Final Four appearances in the Pan-Am Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship broken in 2015.
Star players: K.J. Maura (10 points) and Jairus Lyles (28 points)
Maura, who is listed at a generous 5-foot-8 and is a pest on the defensive end, once drew two charges against Minnesota Timberwolves star Andrew Wiggins when they were in high school, according to the Baltimore Sun.
“Yeah, he tried to post me up,” Maura said.
Lyles at first committed to and attended Virginia Commonwealth University (which had its own Cinderella moment in 2011), but later transferred to UMBC. Both his parents attended University of Virginia, according to USA Today.
Coach: Ryan Odom, who is in his second year as UMBC’s head coach. He won the Joe B. Hall Award in 2017 as the top first-year coach in Division I, according to The Roanoke Times.
Ironically, he was the ball boy for University of Virginia for four years in the 1980s when his father, Dave, was an assistant under head coach Terry Holland. Dave Odom went on to become the head coach at South Carolina, and his son will likely get some better DI offers after this.
Mascot: The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is Maryland’s state dog and has been the mascot since the school was founded in 1966. He was named True Grit in the late 2000s and students rub the nose of his statue on campus for good luck. There must have been a lot of that going on in the week leading up to this historic upset.