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March Madness Is Here!

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March Madness Is Here!

Nick Lorensen, Staff

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March is back, and it’s time for the greatest part of the year, March Madness. Many Baltimore area teams are looking to make it back to the tournament, but they each still have work to do. 

 First of all, UMBC is coming off their historic year with another over 500 season. The Retrievers were a defense-laden team this year, ranking 17th nationally in scoring defense and 31st nationally in steals per game (as of February 22) 

Last Saturday, UMBC overcame an 18point deficit against New Hampshire. Postgame Coach Ryan Odom got on the microphone and yelled “March is here! Let’s Go!” This was the Retrievers biggest comeback victory in six years and was great momentum heading towards the playoffs.  

The Dawgs finished the regular season with a 19-12 record and will host at least one America East playoff game as they hold the three-seed. UMBC is looking to make it back to the tournament for the second time in a row, and it all begins Saturday at 1:00 against Albany.  

 UMBC beat the #1 team in the America East in Vermont twice this year and would have to go back up to Burlington if they play in the conference title game.  

 A DC/Maryland-powered league, the Patriot League tips off their tournament on Tuesday. Local teams American and Navy face off in the quarterfinals on Thursday, and 9 seed Loyola will visit Boston U in the first-round play in game. Loyola is the 9 seed and finished the regular season off with a great win against 3rd placed Lehigh, 92-73. 

 The Greyhounds are led by 1st team all Patriot League player, Andrew KosteckaKostecka is averaging 21.5 points per game and is the leading scorer for Loyola by 11 points. If Loyola wants to go anywhere during March, they will have to play through them.  

 Towson struggled to end their already sorry season, with a four-game losing streak. The Tigers have secured the 9 seed in the 10 team CAA and finished their season with a 10-21 record.  

TU lost their top 6 scorers from a year ago but are led by freshman Brian Fobbs. Fobbs is a deadly shooter once he gets hot, scoring 32 against rival UMBC in a double overtime victory for the Tigers.  

Towson begins the CAA Tournament on Saturday at 4:00 against 8 seed James Madison. The winner will then go on to play Hofstra in the quarterfinals. 

Maryland MEAC’s teams are really struggling this season with a combined record of 20-66, and each are in the bottom half of the league. 

Morgan State is led by head coach Todd Bozeman who is in his 13th season at the helm of the Bears. They are currently in 9th place in a 11team league and are projected to have their worst season since 2015-16. 

 Juan Dixon’s Coppin State has had a solid conference season with a 6-9 record, but have didn’t win a single nonconference game. The Eagles are in the best place out of all the MEAC teams, currently in 7th place in the league. The 2019 MEAC Tournament starts on Monday March 11 and is as wide open as ever. 

The Terps are back! Maryland is currently projected as a 5seed in Joe Lunardi’s bracketology (as of March 4), the Terps are in 4th place in the Big Ten and are in prime position for a double bye. Maryland is one of the youngest teams in the country, led by 5 underclassmen and a Junior in Anthony Cowan. 

 If Mark Turgeon returns everyone next season, the Terps are contenders for the National Championship. This year they’re in contention for the Sweet 16. They are a lock for the tournament.  

As of now only Maryland is projected into the tournament. UMBC is the only local team to have somewhat of a chance, with Loyola, Towson, Morgan and Coppin all being longshots. Let’s hope for another successful Baltimore March Madness! It’s the best time of the year! 

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March Madness Is Here!