What’s the deal with Chaminade?

I am writing this post as UNC is down to Butler by 13 with 3 minutes left to go in the first half.  They are playing in the Maui Invitational tournament and at this moment being totally manhandled by the Butler Bulldogs.  Butler, by the way, is a team that I had picked to watch when asked for my preseason picks (but I don’t want the Heel to loose to them).  This team went all the way to the end of the big dance and lost to Dook.  They have graduated a lot of that talent and taken some growth time, but Coach Brad Smith is an excellent coach.  I like his style and the amount of work he is able to get out of his athletes.

****side note, Roy needs to call a timeout and get the Tarheels’ heads back in this game.  They are looking to go into half time with less than 20 points for the first time since 1998****

By WHY is there a Maui Invitational Tournament  at all? That is a great question and I am glad you asked:

Other than the fact that playing basketball in Hawaii over Thanksgiving break sounds like an awesome idea, there is a great story that created this tournament.  In 1982, when the University of Virginia Cavaliers were the top ranked team in the nation, they lost to the NAIA school Chaminade.  This is a small Catholic school who at the time had 900 students and paid their coach only $10,000/ year (he held down a day job as a counselor at the local middle school).  UVA had 7’4″ Ralph Sampson and Chaminade had a team that was made up of 6 returning seniors.  (In the same year, NCSU won the national title, so it was a year of surprises!)

There was less than 4,000 people  at the game and no major media to document this feat.  This tiny school had taken down a Division I powerhouse.  The news was slow to get to the mainland media and because of the Christmas holiday it took a while to break.  That is pretty hard to think about in today’s connected world.  I get texts of bball updates of my favorite teams right to my phone.  This was, by some accounts, the ushering in of the modern era of college basketball where seeming underdogs take down the big teams, but it was also a big reason that ALL games are covered and videotaped.  EPSN would never want to miss the chance of another huge story like this, so virtually all college games are covered to the max.  The UVA coach mentioned, after his loss, that Chaminade should host a tournament. Two years later, it came to be.  Some think it is the best tournament in the basketball world, offering a neutral court for teams to play (did I mention it was in Hawaii). Chaminade is the only non-division one school that participates.

Yesterday, the Silverswords beat Texas (ouch to the Longhorns) and are set to play Illinois in the next round of this tournament.   Go Chaminade…how can you not cheer for this team?! This is a great start to the college basketball season (not for the Tarheels of course- we are in the second half and they are down to Butler by 25.  I love my Heels and they need to get it together! They will in the next 14 minutes!!!!)

There is a great article on the UVA-Chaminade game.  Perhaps it was the greatest upset we never saw and that is what I love about college ball!

*********** Nov 21, 2012*************

My mother, an basketball fan herself, has asked for an addition to this post, I will let her words be that addition:

in your blog say something nice about PJ Hariston (from greensboro) trying his best to get them back in the game 10 points in a short time. Was the high scorer for UNC!

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