Division II Chaminade pulled off one of the biggest shockers of the 20th century when they upset Ralph Sampson and Virginia a few days before Christmas in 1982.
Fast forward over 30 years later, and enter a transfer from “Dunk City”, Florida Gulf Coast by the name of Christophe Varidel. He rode the bench for three years, including FGCU’s Cinderella trip to last March’s Sweet Sixteen. I bet his world in the Twitterverse gained a lot of traction after scorching the nets for 42 points, which fell one shy of the tournament record set by Gonzaga’s Adam Morrison in a triple-overtime game in 2005. However, his 10 threes tied another tournament record.
Baylor survived a rough half to pull away in the second stanza, 93 to 77.
The bigger upset occurred overnight Eastern time as Dayton outlasted Gonzaga, 84-79. Jordan Siebert made some clutch shots by scoring 14 of his 23 points in the second half. The first half of the game got very physical and took nearly 55 minutes to complete. Both teams were shooting the double bonus with over 10 minutes to go in the first half. Led by David Stockton, the son of Basketball Hall of Famer John Stockton and steady junior guard Kevin Pangos out of Newmarket, Ontario (Canada), the Bulldogs refused to go away.
But it was tenacious Flyers defense and a bunch of missed shots from in close by the ‘Zags that proved to be the undoing for Mark Few’s crew. Once center Przemek Karnowski and Pangos rode the pines after fouling out, Dayton had made a major statement.
This is the kind of game the Committee looks at big time when it comes to figuring out who is worthy of possibly making the NCAA Tournament. Gonzaga was #12 in the nation going into Monday night. Couple that with a great barnburner in Kansas City as BYU outslugged Texas in the CBE Classic by a 86-82 led by Tyler Haws and Matt Carlino. Their opponent for the championship on Tuesday night will be Wichita State which easily took care of DePaul late on Monday night, 90-72.
FOR THE RECORD: Gonzaga did in fact win the fifth-place game over Chaminade on Tuesday afternoon, 113-81 led by Sam Dower Jr. and Gerard Coleman each scoring 19 points. Continuing the ‘Zags balanced attack was Kevin Pangos and Kyle Dranginis compiling 18 points each. Gary Bell Jr. had 16 and Drew Barham had 11. Rounding out the double digit Gonzaga parade of scorers was Przemek Karnowski, who had a double-double (10 points and 13 rebounds).
Elsewhere, Florida and Kentucky survived upset scares of their own against Jacksonville on the road for Billy Donovan’s crew, while John Calipari was sitting mostly in disbelief as well as the rest of Lexington as Cleveland State shot lights out for most of the game before falling gallantly in the closing minutes 68-61.
Meanwhile, the early games in Maui were not even that close–but California dodged Arkansas in the opener and Syrcause (the 1990 and 1998 Maui Classic champions) cremed Minnesota. A pair of interesting contents await later this evening on the Island–Cal vs. Syracuse in one semifinal, while Baylor tangles with Dayton, the 2003 Maui Classic champions.