The last 10 days looked to be a tough test for the Oakland University basketball team. But Greg Kampe's Golden Grizzlies made an excellent showing of themselves.
Against No. 17 Illinois, Oakland built an 11-point lead (perhaps aided by the accidental use of a women's basketball) before the Fighting Illini came back strong in the second half and eventually won, 74-63.
The Golden Grizzlies took No. 8 Michigan State down to the final buzzer last Saturday at The Palace of Auburn Hills. But thanks to a last-second Kalin Lucas free throw, the Spartans had just enough of a margin to escape with a win.
But Tuesday night in Knoxville, Oakland finally broke through. Facing No. 7 Tennessee, center Keith Benson showed his NBA potential with a dominant 26-point, 10-rebound performance that fueled a stunning upset and made the Grizzlies the talk of the Wednesday morning sports news cycle. ("24 hours of fame," as Kampe put it.)
So what is Michigan in store for when Oakland visits Crisler Arena on Saturday afternoon? The Wolverines aren't ranked, but have won their last five games. John Beilein's team likely won't underestimate the Grizzlies after their showing against three Top 25 teams, however.
But Michigan has had trouble against good big men recently. Harvard's Keith Wright scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Concordia's Rocko Holmes muscled his way to 29 points. So what kind of damage might Benson inflict on the Wolverines' frontcourt?