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Maryland politicians want you to know they were UMBC fans before it was cool

Before UMBC’s men’s basketball team showed up for tipoff against No. 1-seed Virginia on Friday night, few would have picked them for an upset, much less even known what the acronym stands for.

What a difference a day can make.

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The Retrievers shocked the world by running away from the ACC champion Cavaliers for a 74-54 surprise victory for the ages — the first time in men’s college basketball history that a No. 16 seed beat a No. 1 seed.

A game like this is bound to attract scores of bandwagon fans. But some Maryland politicians want you to know that they had faith in the Retrievers early on.

Gov. Larry Hogan and U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen had both previously announced they were picking UMBC to win it all. They were faced with doubts about that prediction — unfounded ones, in retrospect.

In Annapolis, where the House of Delegates was in session Saturday, Speaker Michael E. Busch led off the day’s proceedings with a shout-out to the home state team.

“How about them UMBC Retrievers!” he crowed, setting off a long standing ovation.

Speaker Pro Tem Adrienne Jones, an alumna of the Catonsville school, led a chant of “UMBC! UMBC!”

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