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What’s next for UMBC?

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Adapted from Mark Titus, The Ringer

UMBC stunned the world last Friday night, delivering the first 16-1 upset in the NCAA tournament. What will be the lasting impact of that game, both for those involved and for the sport in general?

UMBC’s moment under the sun was probably that: a moment. There is a possibility that the Retrievers can take advantage of this momentum and build a consistently competitive program, which is the ideal trajectory for a small school that has made a huge impact on the NCAA tournament.

However, UMBC is much more likely to enjoy the spoils of the Flutie effect(the American phenomenon of having a successful college sports team increase the exposure and prominence of a university-wikipedia.org) in the short term before finally becoming the answer to a trivia question in the future.

An upset in NCAA tournaments can happen instantly, but successful programs are not built overnight, so UMBC feels destined to become a modern version of NCAA Divison II team, Chaminade, a program whose personality is so intertwined with its surprising victory over 1 Virginia in the 1982 Maui Invitational that the only two sections throughout the athletic department’s Wikipedia page relate to this victory.

No one will ever forget what UMBC pulled off. Years from now, when a 16 is tied with a 1 at the half, they will show highlights of the Retrievers historic victory.

As Mark Titus from The Ringer put it:

“It’s conceivable that the sting of this loss will lessen over time, though, and that idea goes beyond people mistakenly brushing off the 2017-18 Retrievers as gimmicky, lucky, or fraudulent. It’s also possible that we could see another no. 16 seed win in the tourney, and perhaps sooner than most people think.”

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