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All politics is local pandering: Hogan, Van Hollen pick UMBC to win NCAA tournament

The Retrievers get ready to take on Virginia in the NCAA tournament.

Other than that person in your office who says they had to because they just love their three Retrievers, we now know of two other people in the world who picked the UMBC men’s basketball team to win the NCAA tournament.

Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, and U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat, came to a bipartisan agreement Thursday in their support of the 16th-seeded Retrievers.

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With Kansas’ win Thursday afternoon over Pennsylvania, No. 16 seeds are 0-133 all time against No. 1 seeds. Just 3.4 percent of all submitted brackets in ESPN’s Tournament Challenge have UMBC beating top overall seed Virginia on Friday night. Just 0.1 percent have the Retrievers winning it all.

Give Hogan and Van Hollen credit for pandering to more than just UMBC’s fan base, though. They’re also playing to the anybody-but-Duke crowd. Hogan has the second-seeded Blue Devils losing in the first round. Van Hollen picked Michigan State to knock them out in the Sweet 16.

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