By Dave Reardon
Mark Rodrigues, who started in Chaminade's monumental upset over Virginia in 1982, has been leading an effort to get the Silverswords into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for several years, without success yet (today's column on the topic). Mark shared this letter of support from Terry Holland, who was the Virginia coach at the time:
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
1150 West Columbus Avenue
Springfield, MA 01101-0179
To the Hall of Fame Selection Committee:
It has come to my attention that the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame has received a nomination package to recognize the 1982-83 Chaminade basketball team as part of the Hall's stated mission to "honor and celebrate basketball's greatest moments and people."
Chaminade's monumental upset of our number one ranked University of Virginia team was most significant in that it was not a fluke. Chaminade was simply a good team standing toe to toe with one of college basketball's best teams. The Chaminade victory paved the way for the NCAA Men's Basketball Committee to strongly consider allowing relatively unknown teams to compete for at-large bids to the NCAA Basketball Tournament. These at-large selections spawned a true national tournament and some truly exciting upsets on college basketball's largest stage.
Another important result was the creation of the Maui Classic hosted by Chaminade and featuring some of the nation's best teams annually. In fact, there are many people who would choose the Maui Classic over a trip to the Final Four since many of the teams will be in the Final Four. And, in Maui, teams continue to play in the consolation round, so you get to see each team play three times in good seats close to the floor with a world class beach right outside if the score gets lopsided.
Chaminade's victory was therefore a catalyst that forced the world to acknowledge that "parity had arrived in college basketball."