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YouTube Gold: Chaminade Shocks The World

An absolutely amazing triumph seemingly out of nowhere

Ralph Samson and Richard Haenisch
Virginia’s Ralph Samson and Chaminade’s Richard Haenisch tangle under the basket

The late Terry Holland never really got enough credit for what he did at Virginia. He left Davidson to take over the program in 1974 when it had almost no tradition of success.

Two years later, Virginia shocked everyone by winning the ACC Tournament and three years after that, he landed the biggest recruit in Virginia history in Ralph Sampson.

It would be difficult to overstate Sampson’s impact on Virginia. He was an elite talent who played much like Victor Wembanyama does today, although Sampson was not a three point shooter.

Virginia was ranked #1 in December, 1982 and took the show on the road. Virginia played Houston and Utah in Tokyo, although Sampson did not play in those games due to a stomach virus.

Coming home, the original plan was to stop off in Hawaii to play the University of Hawaii, but that wasn’t possible.

So Virginia picked up the phone and set up a game with unknown Chaminade.

Chaminade was then in the NAIA and while the Silverswords were unknown, they were ranked fourth in the NAIA, they had experience and they had a semi-secret weapon: Tony Randolph.

Chaminade’s big man was Tony Randolph and he had grown up in Harrisonburg, playing ball with Sampson. He had even dated Sampson’s sister.

Late at night, the word trickled out of Hawaii that a remarkable upset had happened. Chaminade’s 77-72 triumph remains the single greatest upset in college basketball and perhaps the greatest in the history of all college sports.