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Maryland Baltimore County Retrievers

1. Retriever Fever. Every March, we are presented with a mid-major that you can't help but root for. This year, that team is the UMBC Retrievers. You have the fantastic nickname of "Retrievers." Then, you have the hyphenated university name, which unfortunately sounds like a school that you find advertised on the side of a bus. But don't let the fun names fool you, this team can ball. The Retrievers are 24-8 with an RPI of 89, boasting one of the most balanced scoring attacks in the nation.

2. This Retriever Will Bite Your Face Off. UMBC first caught our attention when they beat defending A-10 champs George Washington back in November, and they haven't let up since. UMBC defeated fellow tournament newbie American and A-10 teams Richmond and La Salle in the preseason, then dominated the America East with a 13-3 mark. They rolled over Hartford 82-65 (not as close as the score appears) to earn their first trip to the Dance in school history.


3. Balanced Dogs. The Retrievers have four players averaging at least 13 ppg, and that doesn't even include one of the most valuable players in 5'8 Jay Greene. Ray Barbosa is the leading scorer for the Retrievers, averaging 16.9 ppg and drilling 84 threes on the season. Not far behind him are big man Carvell Johnson (13.2) and guard Brian Hodges (14.1). A veteran squad with a balanced scoring attack is exactly the kind of team I wouldn't want to face if I'm a fading top seed. — Storming The Floor

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