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Monday, January 28, 2013
No surprise with so-called upsets

By Dick Vitale

It was business as usual this past Saturday in college basketball.

Villanova knocked off Syracuse. Georgetown got past Louisville. Iowa State beat Kansas State. Wisconsin edged Minnesota. New Mexico lost to San Diego State. La Salle surprised VCU.

The Explorers won in Shaka Smart's backyard. What a great week for Dr. John Giannini's team, beating Butler and VCU back-to-back!

When people look at some of those other results, the term "upset" is overrated. Is it really shock city when you lose on the road in college basketball?

My friends, it is not easy to get a W in a hostile environment. The fans are rooting hard for their host school. There is familiarity on a home court. You feel the enthusiasm, energy and passion and feed off it. 

I know that Louisville has now lost three in a row, but all of those were nail-biters that could have gone the other way. In fact, Louisville is really just a few baskets from being No. 1 in the country. Losing to Syracuse, Villanova and Georgetown (the latter two coming on the road) is part of life in the Big East and reality when facing a rugged schedule.

Anyone who wants to write off Rick Pitino's team right now is wacky. This team will still be heard from come tournament time. Louisville fans can relax; the team will make a deep run in the Big Dance.

Kansas State losing at Hilton Coliseum, one of the tougher places to play, is not that surprising. It was a close game that could have gone either way. Give the Cyclones credit for a solid effort.

Minnesota has struggled a bit lately, but there is no shame in losing in Madison on a missed free throw in the final seconds. Bo Ryan's kids play so hard and with such intensity, the fact that it was such a low-scoring game is not a stunner at all.

This shows how competitive college basketball is this season. There are a lot of good teams but not a lot of great ones.

I really feel that the toughest thing in sports is to go on the road and win a college basketball game. We saw often that it was not easy last week and again on Saturday. I don't believe that will change.

Some may call it a string of upsets. I call it a dose of reality, baby!