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Drew Ellis covers Oakland University basketball for The Oakland Press. His news and notes keep you up to date with Golden Grizzlies men's basketball.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Oakland on the upswing could have negative effect on in-state rivalries

Oakland is finally at the point where it expects to win big games, but there is a down side to that. After losing by one point to then-No. 7 at The Palace last season, Michigan State wasn’t on the schedule this season. However, coach Greg Kampe insisted after the schedule was released it was just a one-year hiatus for the Spartans.
There has been talk even before Oakland beat Tennessee (not in-state, but still a big name) last week that the three-year deal would be the end of that.
And now there comes word from Kampe himself that Saturday’s matchup with Michigan at The Palace could be the last time the programs meet for quite a while.
“He said they can’t afford to lose to us because we got too good, and it makes no sense to play us because their fanbase wouldn’t understand losing to Oakland,” Kampe said. “He complimented us and those types of things we can handle, when someone is honest.”
Honesty is key, as the saying goes. But the end of that comment is sort of vague and came shortly after he discussed refusing to play Detroit in the ESPN Bracketbuster on WXOU’s “The Greg Kampe Show.”
Oakland hosts Western Michigan Dec. 23 and Central Michigan was rumored to be on the schedule at one point. Eastern visited the O’rena, handing Oakland a loss in its home opener (my first game on press row) in 2009.
Beating Michigan would not only help Oakland’s status at large in the state, but the residual effects for the program are endless.
“Beating Michigan is a very good game to lay claim to what we’re trying to do here,” Kampe said.
The short of it is, as Oakland gets better, you’re more likely to see the M-A-C in the O’rena than the B-1-G.
The Palace is even offering $10 seats to Saturday’s affair with a special log-in and password (P1210, Pass: BASKET). Groupon was also sharing a deal on group tickets earlier this week. So, if you missed Tennessee, here’s your chance to see the Grizzlies on another big stage against a marquee team they probably won’t see for quite some time. 
WXOU - The Greg Kampe Show Dec. 6, 2011 by paulkampe


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