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Teams who pulled off an upset

12/20/2010

Last week saw its share of upset city performances, baby!

Just look at what happened at the United Center in Chicago. The Flames of Illinois-Chicago came into its game against Illinois of the Big Ten with a 4-7 record and a four-game losing streak. Bruce Weber's team had just one loss, a tough one against Texas at Madison Square Garden.

Come on, how many people would have thought UIC would pull off an upset? First-year coach Howard Moore knew about the Illini since he used to sit on Bo Ryan's bench as an assistant at Wisconsin.

Illinois had not lost to the Flames in 20 years. UIC had not beaten a Big Ten team since 2005, knocking off Northwestern. Earlier in the season, the Flames lost by 43 to Pittsburgh.

My friends, Illinois-Chicago really scored a stunner. Illinois did not make a field goal in the final five minutes, falling 57-54.

Two poor in-bounds passes late in the game were examples of a bad day for Weber and company.

It was a wacky week in college hoops. UNLV was stunned by UC-Santa Barbara. Tennessee, which entered the week with momentum after beating Pittsburgh, lost back-to-back to Oakland and Charlotte. Louisville suffered a setback at home against Drexel before responding against Gardner-Webb.

There were other smaller surprises like Gonzaga over Baylor and UCLA getting past BYU.

That's the beauty of college basketball. On any given day, a ranked team can have a bad outing and end up suffering a big-time L. That is what makes the NCAA tournament so special; it is one and done, unlike the NBA where the four-of-seven scenario gives you fewer upsets.

Trust me, the Illini will bounce back and enjoy a very good season. For one afternoon, Moore and his Flames could celebrate a huge shock city result.