Arizona coach Sean Miller knew UMBC had potential

The greatest upset in NCAA Tournament history occurred on Friday night. The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Golden Retrievers stunned the college basketball world by becoming the first 16 seed to beat a 1 in tournament history. And it wasn’t just any No. 1 seed — it was the overall No. 1 seed, the best team in the country, the ACC champs, the presumptive favorites to win the big dance.

The country, of course, couldn’t contain itself. Who is UMBC? What is a UMBC?

Where is UMBC?

It would be wrong to say that Arizona coach Sean Miller saw this coming. But he saw potential in the Golden Retrievers long ago.

Arizona played UMBC on Nov. 12, in the second game of the season. The Wildcats won handily, 103-78, but Miller was left impressed.

“If you like scoring, you saw it here,” Miller said at his post-game press conference. “I want to credit UMBC. Ryan Odom does a really, really good job with his program, coaches them very well, plays a style — and we knew this — that they can push the ball and play fast, and it’s easy for them to play at that tempo.

“In terms of guards, [Jairus] Lyles, is — he’s a heck of a player. You come into the McKale Center and get 31, 23 in the first half, you’re a very good player, and we knew that ahead of time. There are times when you have to give credit to the opponent. They tested us.”

And they more then tested Virginia, completing history with the most 74-54 win in NCAA history.

The post Arizona coach Sean Miller knew UMBC had potential appeared first on Diehards.

Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.

X