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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.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Oakland coach Greg Kampe on CIT bid critics: They’re ‘full of crap’

After a second straight year losing in the quarterfinals of the Summit League Tournament, Oakland coach Greg Kampe held his team’s postseason life in his hands, although not the NCAA tournament.
After accepting a bid to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament for the second consecutive season, Kampe said naysayers who felt Oakland and its .500 record were not deserving of a postseason appearance were misguided.   
“When we offered that bid … it was offered with the idea if we don’t make the NCAAs or the NIT ... we were offered before we even played in the league tournament. It had nothing to do with any other team in the league. We were in their final four last year and they think we’re going to be pretty good next year. They’re rewarding us for winning 10 games,” he said.
“Three teams in our league were ranking in the top 25 of mid-majors, our league was considered a really good league, and we beat all three of those teams.
“It’s (College Insider’s) top 25 and we have that record against those teams, we’re going to get to play. Anybody that thinks we didn’t deserve it is full of crap … it was a no-brainer.”
Kampe was weighing the bid against the possibility of suffering a losing season for the first time since 2005-06.
“Seven straight non-losing seasons vs. five postseason appearances,” he said. “For me, it came down to we’re bowl-eligible. The kids deserved to go. I’m the one who put that non-league schedule in front of them. They won double-digit games in the conference for the seventh straight year.
“That was one of the factors in my decision.”
Because of its NCAA tournament hosting obligations at The Palace, there are not enough Oakland staff available to host a game at the O’rena, however.
The second round of the tournament is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday; the quarterfinals are March 26-27; semifinals March 30-31; and the championship game is April 3.
Organizers of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament base matchups on regional proximity. Some of the closer teams to Oakland participating are:
  • Kent State (which Oakland defeated in the 2009 CIT)
  • Evansville (Ind.)
  • Green Bay*
  • Bradley* (which defeated Oakland in the 2009 CIT on a nearly full-court shot)
  • Chicago State*
  • Illinois Chicago*
* — Two of these teams will be eliminated after the first round 

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