Photo Via UMBC Athletics

There’s bracketology. Then, there’s hairology.

The NCAA has too many rules. Head coaches micromanage. It’s one of the last avenues of creativity for players.


The streak continues. It’s at 15 Ws for the mid-major Vermont Catamounts. It means a lot. It’s historic for the Catamounts program.

Then again, it also means squat.

The Cats have to win their conference (America East) tournament – no small task – just to play in The Dance. The Cats will definitely have to run the table to have a chance at a 12 seed.

In a Sunday matinee, the Cats beat the UMBC Retrievers – by a hair – 77-74. Retriever point guard KJ Maura’s last second hurl almost bounced in at the buzzer for the tie in regulation. Maura – who led the JUCO ranks in assists last season – is a player to behold and root for. Listed at 5-8 , Maura was and is always the smallest man on the floor – but he plays big, scoring 22 against Vermont. Maura also hit his free throws, something the Cats couldn’t do enough of in the second half. That and some other embarrassing Catamount miscues helped the Retrievers rebound from an 18-point deficit with less than seven minutes remaining.

Maura has no fear – and no shortage of hair. He wears a wide head band at the top of his forehead to harness his wild mane. It goes straight up in the air, a batch of stray weeds corralled in. Maura is the smallest man on the floor, but he has by far the highest hair. With his goatee, Maura could jam with the Counting Crows, and no one would blink.

UMBC takes hairology and the moral victory – though no one really believes in those in D 1 basketball. However, it just might empower the Retrievers to make a historic run in the America East conference tournament.