“They say they were probably a 3, but they wanted them in Tulsa, so they moved them,” Kampe said after Oakland’s late comeback fell short in Texas’ 85-81 win Friday. “They say you can move a line either way for a home site. And unfortunately for us, this is a team that could win games.”
Kampe, who praised the Longhorns as a national championship contender, has now faced three powerhouses in his three trips to the tournament with Oakland. The Summit League champs lost to eventual champion North Carolina in 2005 and No. 1 seed Pittsburgh last year.
With Summit League Player of the Year Keith Benson at center, Kampe scheduled a difficult nonconference slate this season that included games at Purdue, Illinois and Ohio State. The Golden Grizzlies (25-10) lost by one to Michigan State on Dec. 11 and won at Tennessee on Dec. 14.
Kampe thought that was enough to earn a higher seed, but he wasn’t focused on that after Friday’s loss. Instead, he was looking at life after the departing Benson, who had 15 points and 11 rebounds against Texas.
“Is it another step? Yes, yes, it is,” Kampe said. “But right now doesn’t feel like it. Right now it feels like I’ve got to say goodbye to Keith Benson. How am I going to say goodbye? It’s like losing your wife or something.”
Instead, Proffitt elected to transfer to Morehead State. It’s a decision that’s turned out quite, well, profitable as the junior guard helped guide the 13th-seeded Eagles to a 62-61 win over No. 4 Louisville on Thursday in the tournament’s biggest upset so far.
“Very happy with my decision,” said Proffitt, who switched schools in 2008 simply so he could be closer to his hometown of London, Ky. “These guys would do anything in the world for me and I’d do anything in the world for them. I can’t be happier.”
Proffitt still keeps in contact with his former Irish teammates, exchanging messages with them on a regular basis. Notre Dame’s Tim Abromaitis even called to congratulate him after the Eagles won the Ohio Valley Conference tournament.
‘WINNING’ WITHOUT SHEEN: Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin is living his own real-life sitcom of sorts. At least, that’s the impression he gave when asked about the fine recruiting job done by assistant coach Darren Savino.
“He does a great job shopping for us,” Cronin said. “He lives in my basement. Takes the pressure off me at the grocery store. We’re ‘Two and a Half Men.’ I have a 4-year-old daughter. It’s just not quite as eventful (as the TV show). We’re not ‘winning’ every day.”
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