Independence Bowl: 5 things to know


Independence Bowl: 5 things to know

Frank Beamer will coach in his final game Saturday as he leads Virginia Tech against Tulsa in the Independence Bowl. Here's what you need to know for today's game:

Camping World Independence Bowl

Virginia Tech vs. Tulsa

5:45 p.m.

Shreveport, La.

1. End of an era

The big story surrounding Virginia Tech is of course the retirement of their long-time head coach. Beamer has been at the helm in Blacksburg for 29 seasons, leading the Hokies to 10 or more wins 13 times, a bowl game in 23 of his 29 seasons and seven conference championships. Saturday will be his final game as head coach of a program he built into a national power.

2. Where it all began

Beamer has led Virginia Tech to a bowl game in 23 consecutive seasons so it is only fitting that his final game should come in the Independence Bowl, the same Bowl game that launched the bowl streak. Virginia Tech played in the Independence Bowl game in 1993, a 45-20 win over Indiana, and have played in a bowl game every year since. To celebrate, Virginia Tech will wear throwback helmets and the same jersey/pant combination they wore in the 1993 game.

RELATED: Navy's Niumatalolo and Reynolds look ahead to the Military Bowl

3. Three players suspended

The team announced Thursday that seniors Deon Clarke, Kevin Asante and Demitri Knowles have been suspended and will not play in Saturday's game. Knowles did not travel with the team to Shreveport after being late for meetings in Blacksburg, according to Mike Barber. Clarke and Asante were suspended for unspecified violations. Of the three, Clarke's absence will hurt the most as a starter. Tremaine Edmunds will start in his place.

4. A tough offense

The biggest obstacle to a win in Beamer's finale is an explosive Tulsa offense. The offense carried the Golden Hurricane to a bowl bid this season despite a weak defense. Tulsa averages over 35 points per game thanks largely to quarterback Dane Evans and receiver Keyarris Garrett. The offense did so well in fact that Texas hired away offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert and offensive line coach Matt Mattox. This game will largely be decided by what Tulsa's offense is able to do against Bud Foster's squad. Will Tulsa be as offensively dominant without Gilbert?

5. Virginia Tech heavily favored

Vegas is pretty confident in the Hokies. Virginia Tech is favored by 14 heading into this game which is the largest spread among all bowl games.


You can't doubt Virginia Tech's motivation heading into this game. When a big name program gets invited to a bowl game like the Independence Bowl against a non-power opponent, it's not unusual to see the power program mail it in. With this being Beamer's final game, that's not going to happen. Does that mean Virginia Tech will win by 14? Not necessarily. That's a really big spread for a team that has not looked dominant this season. Virginia Tech's offense has been inconsistent and the defense relatively weak, at least by Foster's lofty standards. Looking at their last five games, however, Virginia Tech is hitting its stride. They won three of those games with both of their losses coming in overtime. You also have to wonder how Tulsa's offense will look without their offensive coordinator.

A motivated Virginia Tech team was able to force overtime against Coastal champion North Carolina, they should be able to beat Tulsa especially with questions about the Golden Hurricane's offense.

Virginia Tech 31 - Tulsa 24

MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL: 4-star local lineman has Maryland in final list of three

March Madness 2018: Sweet 16 TV Schedule, Tip times, announcers, how to watch, live stream

USA TODAY Sports Images

March Madness 2018: Sweet 16 TV Schedule, Tip times, announcers, how to watch, live stream

The first and second rounds of the 2018 NCAA Tournament are in  the books.

We witnessed history, with UMBC becoming the first No. 16 seed in men's tournament history to defeat a No. 1 seed, beating Virginia 74-54.

We saw the Ramblers of Loyola Chicago make a Cinderella run, beating Miami and Tennessee on the final possession.

We saw No. 7 Nevada rally from 22 points down to stun No. 2 Cincinnati.

We saw great games, great finishes and great moments.

But now it's time for the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight.

The madness begins again on March 22, with the Sweet 16 taking place Thursday and Friday, with the Elite Eight taking place on Saturday and Sunday.

Here is a complete listing of TV channels, tip times and game locations.




Thursday, March 22

7:07 pm — No. 7 Nevada vs. No. 11 Loyola-Chicago (South/Atlanta, GA), CBS. Announcers: Brian Anderson, Chris Webber, Lisa Byington
7:37 pm — No. 3 Michigan vs. No. 7 Texas A&M (West/Los Angeles, Calif), TBS. Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner, Dana Jacobson
9:37 pm — No. 5 Kentucky vs. No. 9 Kansas State (South/Atlanta, GA), CBS. Announcers: Brian Anderson, Chris Webber, Lisa Byington
10:07 pm — No. 4 Gonzaga vs. No. 9 Florida State (West/Los Angeles, Calif), TBS. Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner, Dana Jacobson

Friday, March 23

7:07 pm — No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 5 Clemson (Midwest/Omaha, NE), TBS. Announcers: Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson
7:37 pm — No. 1 Villanova vs. No. 5 West Virginia (East/Boston, Mass.), CBS. Announcers: Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel, Allie LaForce
9:37 pm — No. 2 Duke vs. No. 11 Syracuse (Midwest/Omaha, NE), TBS. Announcers: Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson
10:07 pm — No. 2 Purdue vs. No. 3 Texas Tech (East/Boston, Mass.), CBS. Announcers: Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel, Allie LaForce



Saturday, March 24

Time TBD — Nevada/Loyola-Chicago winner vs. Kentucky/Kansas State winner (South Regional Final/Atlanta, GA), CBS. Announcers: Brian Anderson, Chris Webber, Lisa Byington
Time TBD — Michigan/Texas A&M winner vs. Gonzaga vs. Florida State winner (West Regional Final/Los Angeles, Calif.), CBS. Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner, Dana Jacobson

Sunday, March 25

Time TBD — Kansas/Clemson winner vs. Duke/Syracuse winner  (Midwest Regional Final/Omaha, NE), CBS. Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson
​Time TBD —  Villanova/West Virginia winner vs. Purdue/Texas Tech winner (East Regional Final/Boston, Mass.), CBS. Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel, Allie LaForce

 WANT MORE COLLEGE HOOPS? Troy Machir is spending all March chatting with some of the biggest names in college basketball. Listen to the March Only Podcast below and be sure to like, rate, share and subscribe on iTunes.

Not only did UMBC own Virginia on the court, they owned the Twitter world

USA Today Sports Images

Not only did UMBC own Virginia on the court, they owned the Twitter world

They said it could not be done, no No. 16 seed would ever beat a No. 1 seed. The odds would be too great and the obstacle too steep.

As we all know, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), just proved that all wrong.


All season the top-ranked Virginia Cavaliers dominated their opponents. They dictated pace, held opponents to less than 55 points, and smothered teams by forcing turnovers.

The roles filled on Friday evening and with an up-tempo 74-54 victory, UMBC proved the impossible.

The hardwood is not the only place that UMBC owned last night, they grabbed headlines, attention, and thousands of fans (literally) on Twitter.

Someone grabbed a hold of the UMBC Athletics Twitter account and took the upset by storm.

It all started when Seth Davis poked the bear:

and they were relentless.

Oh yeah, I forgot Seth Davis:

Then they started get snarky and owning everyone:

As someone who graduated from a commuter school, I can relate:

More Seth Davis:

Back to Twitter:

I guess that application wave actually was a thing or people wanted to know what ‘UMBC’ stood for:

Game. Set. History.

Now here come the shots against other schools:

Yeah, don’t jump on this bandwagon Terps fans. Stay in College Park:

I did not take long for other social media icons to start reaching out:

Oh and Seth Davis eventually did apologize:

Started the night at 5,588 and jumped up to 51.7 K. No one cares what you think Steven:

If you liked what you saw thank Zach Seidel, not an intern, not a student athlete who provided those tweets last night.

Zach, you just earned yourself a raise and we’ll see you in the Second Round.