Kansas State Ends the Dream for UMBC Sunday Night

Saturday, March 17, 2018 5:07 PM UTC

Saturday, Mar. 17, 2018 5:07 PM UTC

In Charlotte, Cinderella tries to slip on the glass slipper once again. At this time, the most improbable matchup in NCAA tournament history can be viewed on truTV.

South Region: (9) Kansas State vs. (16) Maryland-BCFree Basketball Pick: Kansas StateBest Line Offered: Intertops

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No, this will not be an episode of "Impractical Jokers", but it will feel that way. For the first time, a 16-seed will play on the weekend of this event, with Maryland - Baltimore County taking on No. 9 Kansas State. In theory, the Wildcats path to the Sweet 16 just got easier. But that is what Virginia thought two nights ago and they will be forever remembered in history. And so will UMBC, as no matter the outcome of this contest, what they accomplished will probably go into production either for a Disney movie or ESPN 30 for 30 documentary or both beginning Monday.

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The odds say the Retrievers are 10-point underdogs, but that is for those generating college basketball picks because the real story has already been told. Nevertheless, UMBC players, coaches, fans, and alumni want this dream to continue.

Kansas State Has To Play In the Moment

Coach Bruce Weber and his staff have to grab their players attention immediately. Kansas State (23-11, 15-16 ATS) players might feel like they are headed to the Sweet 16, but Weber will explain to them in detail, MD- Baltimore County did not just upset Virginia, it was a Rece Davis "woodshed beat-down".

His point will be the Retrievers scored 53 points in a half against a Virginia defense that allowed that many points per game over 40 minutes. Weber will point out the world will be rooting for UMBC and that K-State is the real underdog here, at least in the world of perception. That is why the Wildcats have to play with the same purpose as they did against Creighton, in holding down their mighty offense to 59 points.

In coach-speak for the Kansas State side, it does not matter if they were playing the Cavaliers or the Retrievers because you would have to beat either one to keep playing in this tournament.

The Retrievers Have to Keep Making and Retrieving Missed Shots

Even now, we are shaking our heads in disbelief what UMBC (25-10, 5-1 ATS) accomplished and in the manner they did it. Ending a 23-game losing streak at Vermont to earn the tournament bid was enough to comprehend, but this, words are hard to come by knowing they ended a 0-135 record for the ultimate underdog.

I have come to accept this, having watched, but here are two facts I'm struggling with. UMBC covered the closing the spread by 41 points as an underdog and on Jan.21st they lost at Albany (you know, the Great Danes) 83-39.

So how does coach Ryan Odom make it two straight? The formula is essentially the same. UMBC has to convert on half their shots and make 10 or more deep shots (they average 10 at 39% accuracy).

With Kansas State, a mediocre rebounding team (-3 differential), Odom's club has to have +6 or better edge in rebounding and have close to 10 offensive boards which can be converted into points.

The Slipper Does Not Fit

Kansas State knows what they are up against and priority one will be to frustrate UMBC. If they can accomplish this and build a working margin, they start to take away the belief from these underdogs that they can retrieve another victory. Once disappointment sets in, the Wildcats will end up winning by 13.

Check out SBR’s college basketball odds page for updated lines. Also, head over to the March Madness Betting Headquarters for vital handicapping information, picks, and a list of the best sports books and live betting options for the tournament season.

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