Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Giantkillers UMBC bow out of NCAA tournament



Giantkillers UMBC bow out of NCAA tournament

Xavier Sneed of the Kansas State Wildcats dunks against the UMBC Retrievers during the second round of the 2018 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Spectrum Center on Sunday in Charlotte, North Carolina. AFP
Xavier Sneed of the Kansas State Wildcats dunks against the UMBC Retrievers during the second round of the 2018 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Spectrum Center on Sunday in Charlotte, North Carolina. AFP

Giantkillers UMBC bow out of NCAA tournament

The University of Maryland-Baltimore County’s whirlwind ride in America’s hugely popular NCAA collegiate basketball tournament ended on Sunday with a 50-43 loss to Kansas State.

Two days after UMBC authored a historic upset of overall top-seed Virginia – the first 16th seed ever to knock off a No1 – the Retrievers were on their way home.

Kansas State’s Wildcats took full advantage of UMBC’s shooting struggles to reach the “Sweet 16” for the first time since 2010 – when they made it all the way to the “Elite Eight.”

“Retriever Fever” had gripped US hoops fans after UMBC toppled Virginia 74-54 on Friday – an upset that busted bracket predictions across the nation and catapulted the unheralded team to prominence.

The UMBC website crashed during the game thanks to the number of people seeking information on the Retrievers and the 13,000-student campus at Catonsville, Maryland, located about a 10-minute drive from downtown Baltimore.

The UMBC Athletics Twitter account jumped from 5,000 to 43,000 followers thanks to its funny and passionate remarks about naysayers and non-believers.

By Sunday night, the Twitter feed had 109,000 followers, and Stephen Curry, superstar of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, teamed with apparel manufacturer Under Armour to supply the squad with limited-release edition Curry V shoes for the game against Kansas State.

Even without a fairy tale ending, UMBC’s story captivated the US sports world.

“Congratulations on a terrific season @UMBCAthletics,” the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens tweeted on their official Twitter feed. “You made all of Baltimore proud this week.”

“Well, it was fun y’all,” UMBC Athletics tweeted. “KState may have won (50-43), but we hope to have won your hearts.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration