When a basketball team like No. 12 Marquette schedules a team like Utah Valley, the high-ranked team likes to think it’s scheduling a win. Sometimes it happens that way, and other times it turns into a shocker.
That’s why they play the games.
Of course, Utah Valley isn’t just happy to get on Marquette’s schedule; the team wants to go for the SportsCenter-making upset.
Utah Valley coach Dick Hunsaker said, "It doesn’t mean much just to get on the schedule. When we start competing and winning these games, or getting these teams to come here, then that’s something."
Well, Marquette isn’t about to play Utah Valley in a home-and-home format, so the Wolverines have to take what they can get, play hard and see what happens.
It’s a long shot to hope for a Wolverine win but not as much of a long shot as Gardner-Webb taking a 14-0 lead against No. 22 Kentucky in Lexington. Yeah, Gardner who? Where are they from?
What if Gardner-Webb beat Kentucky? They did, and it counted.
I’m speaking of that Gardner whose team thumped those Wildcats and all their dreams of starting the 2007-08 season with some easy games to break in the new season.
Needless to say, it was the biggest win for Gardner-Webb, ever. Their coach, Rick Scruggs, said his team felt like they won the national championship.
Before Gardner-Webb, there was Grand Valley State taking Michigan State to two overtimes and winning, even though it was exhibition. Findlay beat Ohio State in an exhibition game also.
What is this, college football all over again?
Thus far, Utah Valley’s biggest win is a pretty nice one against Arizona State in 2005. Richard Troyer is the only player on the team who played on the team that stunned the Sun Devils.
If Ryan Toolson, Jordan Brady and Joe Walker can help Troyer to another upset of big-time college basketball team, Arizona State will be the second-best win.
With all the upsets in college sports these days, the Golden Eagles better take Hunsaker’s group more seriously than the scrimmage they probably planned on having to get everyone off the bench.
It will take Toolson’s scoring, Brady’s rebounds, Walker’s defense, Troyer’s intangibles — and more for the upset.
Utah Valley’s starting five should be ready, but the question then becomes, what the bench will do?
This is Utah Valley’s game of the year. Utah State is close, but the nod has to go to a game against a ranked team. A win would mean that the school should move Homecoming to this week.
If Utah Valley is even in the game, the bar will be raised for the rest of the season. With the schedule loaded with mid-majors, Utah Valley will be feeling good.
And if they just go and play stick figures for the Golden Eagles to run around, it could be a long season.