Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What We've Been Waiting For

Coach Greg Kampe has alluded to it all season long. After every big game, he's said he has a team that can beat ranked teams on their home courts. They just had to get over the hump that kept blocking them from achieving such glory. Limit the mistakes. Make the tough shots. Finally, the Golden Grizzlies broke through with a program defining win against Tennessee in Knoxville tonight, on a home court where the Volunteers have rarely lost under Bruce Pearl. The final was 89-82. Oakland beat the seventh ranked team in the country.

We'll use this post to keep track of any insights and analysis we find about this game over the next 24 hours, and then we'll come back with our weekly analysis post after the Michigan game on Saturday. To start with, here's a video of Oakland celebrating the win at Thompson-Boling Arena. It's not the best quality, but hopefully the main point is still driven home.

Here's what we could grab of Coach Kampe talking after the game: link. You can tell that Coach was very excited about the victory, but he was also very proud of his players because he knew they could get this done. Coach Kampe also interviewed with Jay Williams following the game on ESPNNews, which can be seen here (after the highlights).

Here is an incomplete video of the highlights that led SportsCenter's 11:00pm show. My memory card gave up after the first 1:06 so it's incomplete, sadly.

Rivals.com has been keeping close tabs on Oakland since it highlighted Keith Benson in a feature story over the summer. The Oakland-Tennessee game was one of the site's highlighted games in its Weekly Watch post. Here's the game recap leading their coverage Tuesday night:

Here's Eammon Brennan from ESPN's College Basketball Nation with his take on the game:
Still, Oakland doesn't look much like your typical Summit team. Last week, the Golden Grizzlies hinted at that potential. On Tuesday night, finally, they broke through.

In other words, call it an upset. But don't call it a shocker.
Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo! Sports' The Dagger gives the program some love:
Defeating a Tennessee team coming off a win over Pittsburgh could improve Oakland's NCAA tournament seeding, but it won't be enough to push the Grizzlies into contention for an at-large bid. As a result, it's essential that Oakland maintains this level of play in the Summit League and avoids a letdown in the conference tournament.

Oral Roberts and IUPUI are both dangerous Summit League foes, but there will be a lot of people rooting for Oakland to survive both of them.

It would be a shame if a battle-tested team with a skilled big man and a solid backcourt doesn't get a spot on the big stage in March.
Jeff also wrote a post about the screen that leveled Larry Wright. Glad he bounced back. Major props to Jeff: this is the third article on Oakland on The Dagger in the last six days.

Paul Kampe from The Oakland Press with a great article on the victory. The headline: "Oakland Coach Greg Kampe on the upset: 'We belong'." Epic. Check it out here.

Rush The Court featured the game in its After The Buzzer several times. Check out the link for all of their thoughts, but here were two great mentions:
Larry Wright’s Shot Fake/Dagger Three. Just a phenomenally poised shot by the Oakland guard, and somewhat reminiscent of the dagger thrown by Ali Farokhmanesh last March against Kansas. Obviously not as big of a stage or at quite the same moment of the game, but definitely ballsy. When that went down… game over.

“Biggest in School History.” Greg Kampe’s quote about the Golden Grizzlies’ huge win at Tennessee tonight, and he would know. He’s been coaching at the school in suburban Detroit for 27 years and has led the program from D-II also-ran to powerhouse to D-I bottom-feeder to (now) annual NCAA participant. As he put it, beating the #7 team in the country on their own floor “isn’t part of the process.” Well said, sir. Enjoy this moment.
The team made the frontpage of ESPN.com's College Basketball section:

Keith Benson was on ESPN's First Take today in a phone interview:

Coach Kampe was also on the morning Sportscenter in an interview. Here's a video of it:

FOXSports.com's Jeff Goodman checks in, noting that not only did Oakland get a big win, it also got a nice paycheck from Tennessee.

Eric Angevine of ESPN.com's College Basketball Rumors blog also picked up the story regarding OU's 2-for-1 with Tennessee.

Solid analysis from Rob Dauster of NBCSports.com's Beyond the Arc here.

Very thoughtful piece from Great Lakes Hoops, written by an alum of Oakland University. Check it out here.

The always sharp Kyle Whelliston talks Oakland's Red Line Upset in his latest Stardate post here.

Coach Kampe had a chat with Shep and Shep of WDFN this afternoon, an .mp3 of which is available here.

Coach Kampe was also on the Dan Patrick show, which can be heard here.

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