So you are waking up this morning and wondering what in the name of James Naismith just happened in the NCAA tournament?
A No. 16 men’s seed finally beat a No. 1, the University of Maryland-Baltimore County of the America East Conference, 74-54 over Virginia of the ACC.
So now you are wondering what exactly is a UMBC. Well, let’s start with chess. The school is known for its chess legacy.
The chess program has won a record 10 Pan-American Intercollegiate championships and six National Collegiate team chess championships. Although, according to The Washington Post, it ended a streak of 16 consecutive years in the collegiate final four in December 2015.
Other fun facts about UMBC:
• The school sponsors seven men’s and eight women’s NCAA programs (chess is not an NCAA sport). It does not sponsor football.
• The basketball team plays in the Retriever Activities Center (RAC) Arena, which according to the team website, opened in 1973 as the UMBC Fieldhouse. It seats 4,024.
• According to the America East website, UMBC has three former basketball players in professional leagues: one each in England, Germany and the Czech Republic.
• UMBC is located outside the Baltimore beltway with a fall 2017 enrollment of 13,662 (undergraduate 11,234, graduate 2,428, full-time 10,669, part-time 2,993, male 7,446, female 6,216), according to its website. The 2017-18 tuition, room and board and fees: Resident Tuition $11,264, Non-Resident Tuition $24,492, Room & Board $11,836.
• The athletic teams’ nickname is not just Retrievers but Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, and the colors are black and gold.
• The school president is Freeman A. Hrabowski, III. His research and publications focus on science and math education, with special emphasis on minority participation and performance.
• UMBC is part of the University of Maryland system and, in fact, lost to the Maryland Terps, 66-45, in December. Maryland did not make the NCAA tournament.
• Famous alumni include actress Kathleen Turner and Dan Patrick — not that Dan Patrick but the Dan Patrick who is Lt. Gov. of Texas.
• Want to watch their next men’s basketball game: It is Sunday against ninth-seeded Kansas State on truTV, after the conclusion of the 5:15 p.m. North Carolina-Texas A&M game.