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UAB beating Iowa State was more than just a March Madness upset

The fate of the Blazers' football team makes their surprising NCAA Tournament win even sweeter.

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

It was just December when UAB football players found out their football program would be shutting down indefinitely, due to what president Ray Watts called financial problems. The story behind it is a little more complicated, allegedly involving a long-held grudge between Alabama Board of Trustees member Paul Bryant Jr. (the son of legendary Alabama head coach Bear Bryant) and former UAB coach and athletic director Gene Bartow.

The Blazers' basketball program made the NCAA Tournament as a No. 14 seed after a surprise Conference USA tournament championship, and were rewarded with a matchup with No. 3 seed Iowa State, fresh off a Big 12 tournament championship.

The UAB faithful showed up to the game in Louisville, and made their voices heard.

The difficult past year for the Blazers' athletes made the result even sweeter on Thursday: UAB pulled off the tournament's first big upset, beating the Cyclones 60-59.

UAB's former football players are happy and defiant.

Let the Internet celebrate with you, Blazers.