The Kansas State-UMBC second-round NCAA Tournament game was a horrible, horrible basketball game, with the Wildcats ultimately coming out on top, 50-43. It was fun, because it included a 16-seed (UMBC) for the first time in the history of the second round. But it was very bad basketball.
this game is so bad that it's actually good
— Dr. Saturday (@YahooDrSaturday) March 19, 2018
— Matt Hayes (@MattHayesCFB) March 19, 2018
I think we can all agree that this UMBC-Kansas State game is fun because of UMBC but it's not good ball at all.
— Edward Aschoff (@AschoffESPN) March 19, 2018
Kansas State – a 9-seed — went 1-for-12 on three-pointers and had 18 turnovers. But UMBC shot just 29.8% from the field (14-for-47), made only 50% of their free throws (9-of-18), and scored zero points off Kansas State’s 18 turnovers.
You can credit some of it to the Wildcats’ defense, but UMBC bricked plenty of open shots, and again, shot just 50% at the line. The Retrievers looked much more like a 16-seed in this game than they did on Friday night in their shocking 20-point win over No. 1 Virginia.
Maybe Kansas State simply played down to the competition, and a win’s a win; they absolutely will take this victory regardless of how ugly it was. However, their effort and efficiency will need to be significantly better in order to take down a highly-talented Kentucky team in the Sweet 16 on Thursday.
As for UMBC, they’re surely disappointed to have their season end and had a very real shot to win this game. Heck, they probably should’ve won this game with all of the opportunities they were given in the second half. But UMBC will go down as the story of the tournament, and one of the greatest stories in the history of college sports.