In the wake of Chaminade University's 77-72 upset of No. 1-ranked Virginia in Honolulu last week, local college basketball powers are looking at opponents in holiday season tournaments even more warily than usual.
"People think it's just some coaching spiel but it's not -- anybody can beat you at any time," said Georgetown Coach John Thompson, who is preparing his team for Tuesday night's opening-round matchup with the University of Wisconsin in the Winston Tire Classic in Los Angeles.
"Just about anybody can be good at this point in the season. Ask Virginia," said Thompson. "Most of the time no one believes it. And when a Chaminade comes along -- and they are a very good team -- everyone says what a big surprise it is."
After a month of play, his team's biggest weakness is still experience, Thompson said, despite the pressure of its highly publicized game with Virginia, which the Cavaliers won, 68-63, Dec. 11..
"It was just one night," said Thompson. "You can't play one ball game and expect to grow up right away."
If Georgetown beats Wisconsin, it will play the winner of the Alabama-USC game on Wednesday.
Virginia will try to rebound from the Chaminade loss against Richmond Wednesday night in the opening round of the Times-Dispatch Invitational in Richmond.
"We can't worry about the upset," said Virginia Coach Terry Holland. "Every time we play instate teams, they have a lot of motivation against us and play us well, But our guys normally respond well to pressure situations and I assume they will again.
"Against Chaminade, we had a lot of good shots and just didn't make them. You can't do too much about that except hope it gets better the next game."
The Virginia-Richmond winner will play Old Dominion or Virginia Commonwealth in the tournament final Thursday.
American, whose recent upset of Georgetown has made it the focus of more area attention, is playing in the Cable Car Classic in Santa Clara, Calif. The Eagles open Wednesday night against North Carolina-Charlotte. Santa Clara plays Texas in the other game.
The same night, George Washington plays Iona in the Shawmut Worcester County Classic in Worcester, Mass. Holy Cross and Davidson meet in the later game.
The University of the District of Columbia travels to Erie, Pa., to play in the Gannon University Tournament. Wednesday night, UDC opens against Monmouth, to be followed by the Gannon-Bloomsburg State game.
Lefty Driesell's Maryland team will continue to savor its double-overtime upset of UCLA with a week of rest.