Rankings do not always tell the story in sports. So-called upsets are now more common and often less than shocking when they occur. However, there are times where conventional wisdom is considered a lock. In the case of the 1982 Maui Invitational, this was most certainly one of those times.
The Virginia Cavaliers were ranked No. 1 in the land, and with 7'4" Ralph Sampson in the pivot, they figured to stay there for a while. And Chaminade University? The tiny Catholic liberal arts school with only 800 students in Honolulu had a basketball team for just seven years. The Silverwoods' expectations for their showdown with the top-ranked Cavs were low.
"I felt that if we lost by anything less than 20 points to them, I would be happy," admitted coach Merv Lopes later.
They did a little better than that. In what is still considered the biggest upset in college basketball history, Chaminade beat Virginia 77-72. Virginia opened up a seven-point lead in the second half, but Chaminade ripped it away from them for good with 1:37 left in the game.
Said an ecstatic Lopes after the game: "I just told my guys they had nothing to lose, so go out there and play, that is was an honor for a school like Chaminade to play the No. 1 team in the nation."
Beating them? Icing on the cake.