Busting Brackets

Oakland Basketball: Golden Grizzlies victory over Oklahoma State more than an upset

Oakland guard Jalen Moore (34) goes up for a shot during the second half of an NCAA men's basketball game, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020 at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette.Bkc Purdue Vs Oakland
Oakland guard Jalen Moore (34) goes up for a shot during the second half of an NCAA men's basketball game, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020 at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette.Bkc Purdue Vs Oakland /

The national headlines were that Oakland Basketball from the Horizon League upset Oklahoma State but the road victory over a Big 12 opponent doesn’t tell the whole story.

First and foremost, Oakland isn’t a mid-major team with little or no history off upsetting power five schools. After the Golden Grizzlies victory, Oakland head coach Greg Kampe wanted it to be known that his program has pulled off plenty of upsets in non-conference play.

In 2003, they defeated Texas A&M by a score of 90-58 in which they convincingly defeated the Aggies by 32 points. In 2007, the Golden Grizzlies upset No. 23 Oregon by a final score of 68-62, and the next year they went to Oregon and defeated the Ducks in overtime for their second straight win over a well-respected PAC-12 opponent. The upsets kept coming though.

Maybe the biggest upset in Oakland basketball history occurred in 2010 when the Golden Grizzlies went to No. 7 Tennessee and upset the Vols by a final score of 89-82. Just like they did against Oregon, the following year, Oakland defeated Tennessee again, 89-81 for back-to-back victories over a good SEC team. In 2015, they went on the road and defeated PAC-12 opponent Washington, 97-83.

In 2016, the Golden Grizzles continued defeating power five conference teams when they defeated Georgia by a final score of 86-79. Also, during the 2016-2017 season, Oakland in the first round of the NIT tournament, went on the road and defeated No. 2 seed Clemson, 74-69. The Golden Grizzlies have had other on-court success besides upsetting power five teams.

Also, even though it has been a while, Oakland has made it to the NCAA tournament multiple times and has had some success. They participated in the NCAA tournament in 2005, 2010, and 2011. They defeated Alabama A&M in the 2005 tournament before losing to North Carolina in the next round. The Golden Grizzlies have also participated in six other post-season tournaments from 2008 to 2017. Can this Oakland team get some more upsets, capture a conference title and an appearance in the NCAA tournament?

Kampe believes that Marquette transfer Jamal Cain has a future in the NBA and that Jalen Moore is an elite point guard. Oakland also has two rising sophomores in Trey Townsend and
Micah Parrish who continues to prove that there are valuable members of this team and are keys to Oakland achieving success on the court this season. The Golden Grizzlies also has a true freshman in Osei Price who doesn’t fill up the stat sheet but his defense and minutes that he has contributed this season are helpful while a key member Zion Young, is out.

Oakland next hosts Toledo before they travel to face No. 14 Alabama. The Golden Grizzlies look to continue to compete and win games in non-conference play before they get ready for conference play. The Horizon League from top to bottom will more than likely be the most competitive in years with some talented players and teams that have depth and experience. Kampe will have his team ready and motivated heading forward.

Early Bracketology Winners of Week 1. dark. Next

Oakland did make the conference tournament title game last season, so they have a good shot of winning the Horizon League tournament and earning a berth in the NCAA tournament. It is early in the season but the optimism and outlook for Oakland look bright this season.