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UMBC Star KJ Maura Will NOT Attend The Virginia Game

And that’s probably a good thing

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NCAA Basketball Tournament - First Round - Charlotte
CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 16: K.J. Maura #11 and teammate Jourdan Grant #5 of the UMBC Retrievers celebrate their 74-54 victory over the Virginia Cavaliers during the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Spectrum Center on March 16, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

As you probably remember, some Cameron Crazies did a fundraiser and invited former UMBC star KJ Maura to Cameron for the Virginia game. The basic idea was to use him as a human taunt to remind UVA of its historic loss to #16 seed UMBC in last spring’s NCAA tournament.

As it turns out, UMBC coach Lane Odom would prefer to move on from last year’s big win and apparently called Coach K to have the invitation rescinded, which it has been.

And that’s probably a good thing.

There was almost zero chance that that stunt would have had a serious affect on Virginia and it had a reasonable chance of backfiring.

Yes they lost to UMBC but if you haven’t figured it out by now, Virginia has become a great program and is not much affected by fan stunts. Cameron Crazies have historically had great success in finding weak reeds, isolating them and, well, breaking them. There just aren’t many of those on Virginia’s team and certainly not Kyle Guy, who was mentioned as the target of this idea.

The best way to get to Virginia? Loud, relentless activity. Cheer Duke on and focus on Virginia’s mistakes. You’re 1,000 times more likely to rattle someone after he’s screwed up in front of you than by reminding him of how he screwed up months ago.

Rather than being embarrassed by it, Virginia has used it as fuel. Having Maura front and center would just add more.

Having said that, since he was invited, the decent thing to do would be to invite him for the UNC game instead. He seems like a good guy and what UMBC did was incredible. Honor him for that instead of using him in a likely futile attempt to shake Virginia.

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