A look at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County campus
A look at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County campus (Doug Kapustin / Baltimore Sun)

UMBC made headlines Friday night, becoming the first-ever No. 16 seed to win an NCAA tournament game. The Retrievers upset No. 1 Virginia in the opening round of the tournament.

And while UMBC rolls off the tongue around Baltimore, the acronym college might befuddle college basketball fans.


So here’s a little explainer.

Welcome to University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

The Catonsville school is home to about 14,000 students.

UMBC is part of the University System of Maryland — you’ve probably heard of the flagship school. The University of Maryland, College Park won the 2002 NCAA championship.

But the smaller school situated just outside of Baltimore’s beltway has been making a name for itself lately, too.

President Freeman Hrabowski has been raking in honors, himself.

NCAA tournament: UMBC pulls off a historic upset of Virginia, and the internet loses its mind

One of the most incredible upsets in sports history deserves some of the most incredulous reactions in internet history.

He has has propelled UMBC from a small, regional college 25 years ago to an institution known for its excellence in math and science, as well as for the high numbers of students of color who go on to earn doctorates and medical degrees.

And the chess team is legit.

Friday’s victory was just the second tournament appearance for the school, which lost in it’s debut in 2008.

But the internet was going crazy about the school Friday night.

Case in point: UMBC.edu was down for a bit.

So, UMBC — University of Maryland, Basketball College. That has a ring to it.