A crew of former University of Maryland, Baltimore County basketball players is officially headed to The Basketball Tournament this summer, with hopes of winning a $2 million prize reserved for the winning team.
Tournament organizers announced the bracket of 64 teams on Wednesday. Most teams needed to garner enough fan votes to secure a spot, but the Hilltop Dawgs fell short. Fortunately, a selection committee came through for them—four teams in each of the four regions are handpicked for the tournament—and put them in the running.
The team is made up Retrievers alumni spanning from 2005 graduate and international pro Andrew Feeley to three recently graduated seniors from this past season’s historic Cinderella run, in which 16-seeded UMBC blew out 1-seeded University of Virginia in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The 2017-18 team’s leading scorer, Jairus Lyles, is serving as a “booster,” but could join the team as a player; guards Jourdan Grant and K.J. Maura are both playing.
The Dawgs are in the Southern Region of the bracket, which kicks off play in Richmond at Virginia Commonewealth University’s Siegel center from July 13-15. They’re seeded ninth and will play 8-seeded Monarch Nation, a squad of Old Dominion University alumni.
If they can push through to the final four, the UMBC crew will be close to home, as Morgan State University is hosting the ESPN-televised semifinals and finals on Aug. 2-3.
Baltimore-born NBA star Carmelo Anthony is once again serving as TBT host here in town, according to a release.
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