BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The celebration continues for the UMBC Retrievers’ historic NCAA tournament run as the team was honored by the governor in Annapolis.
Annapolis is going to the dogs with a ceremony for the Retrievers.
The history-making men’s basketball team arrived in good form to the state capital at the request of Gov. Larry Hogan on Monday.
The team was honored for what will be forever remembered as one of college basketball’s biggest upsets.
UMBC defined what March Madness is all about when the took down No. 1 seed Virginia, defying odds and busting brackets across America.
WJZ was on campus when hopeful students and fans watched the impossible become a reality.
“I can barely breathe, like I can barely breathe,” one student said.
During the special reception at Government House, Hogan chatted with players and Head Coach Ryan Odom before declaring he earned some bragging rights about the team.
“My bracket had you going all the way!” Hogan said.
After being honored, some of the players spoke with WJZ about what this journey has meant to them.
“It’s a dream come true and I’m just happy I got spend it with these guys,” UMBC guard Jairus Lyles said.
KJ Maura was also happy to talk to WJZ about the team’s historic run.
[Reporter: Did you, in your wildest dreams, believe that is what was going to happen when you took on guys took on Virginia?]
“Not really, but as soon as we knew we were playing Virginia, we set our mindsets to positivity and I think we believed in ourselves and that’s the biggest thing we had in our side,” the UMBC guard said.
Odom also made some news Monday night after announcing his intention to continue leading Retriever Nation.
“UMBC has been so good to my family and we’re so excited about the opportunity to continue to lead these guys,” he said.
UMBC’s president said he’s also excited about all the attention, but he’s also eager to remind the world their school is about so much more.
“They get to see the substance of the academics and they see great athletics, great academics, pride from the state, pride from the country, all over the nation people are calling saying, ‘What about those Retrievers?'” Freeman Hrabowski III said.
Well, for one, this is a celebration that’s been well earned.