A UMBC team did not compete in Moment No. 29 of the #retriever50for50 countdown. However, the athletic department brought exposure to the campus like no other event had done before.
It took years of planning, but on March 16, 1995, eight men's basketball teams descended on the Baltimore Arena to compete in the First Round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championships.
UMBC did what no other local Baltimore local institution had done before and served as the host school for the tournament. Led by Director of Athletics and Tournament Director Dr. Charles Brown and Tournament Manager Marty Schwartz, the entire department staff mobilized to host a wildly successful event.
Once tickets went on sale to the public, it took a mere couple of days to sell out the arena.
In Thursday's first game, a Wake Forest post player by the name of Tim Duncan led his squad to a 79-47 victory over North Carolina A&T. Duncan was coached by Dave Odom, whose son Ryan just became UMBC's head men's basketball coach in March of 2016.
Saint Louis squeezed past Minnesota, 64-61, in the second game, but the game of the day was an epic battle between Alabama and Penn. The Tide outlasted the Quakers, 91-85, in overtime, as future pros Jerome Allen (Penn, 30 points) and Antonio McDyess ('Bama, 29 points) but on a show for the capacity crowd.
In the nightcap, Bryant "Big Country" Reeves Oklahoma State Cowboys defeated Drexel, 73-49.
Two days later, Wake bested Saint Louis, 64-59, and OSU edged Alabama, 66-52, to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. The Cowboys would upset the Deacons in the regional semifinals and advanced to the Final Four in Seattle, before bowing to eventual national champion UCLA.
UMBC received national exposure for the event, aided by the painting of the old UMBC shield logo on the court. That practice is no longer permitted by the NCAA.