Robert Morris draws Kentucky, Calipari ... at home
College Football Videos
Robert Morris didn't make the Big Dance, but the Colonials get a shot at defending NCAA champion Kentucky at home Tuesday in the opening round of the 76th National Invitational Tournament.
That's right: Moon Township native John Calipari is bringing his Wildcats to the 3,056-seat Sewall Center because Kentucky can't play host to a game. Rupp Arena, which seats 23,000, is the site of the NCAA second- and third-round games.
“I feel like Rocky in Rocky 1 who just got his shot against the champions in our home city,” Robert Morris coach Andy Toole said. “We're extremely excited.”
Toole said he wasn't alerted about the home game until the selection show.
The game is 7:30 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.
If Toole felt he'd have a problem getting his team ready for the NIT game, that all changed.
“It's incredible,” Toole said. “It shouldn't be hard to get the team prepared. It's going to be a crazy, crazy event.”
Robert Morris junior guard Karvel Anderson tweeted: “This can't be real. Wow, this game bout to be crazy.”
Velton Jones tweeted: “Really? Why can't I breathe right now?”
Because Robert Morris won the Northeast Conference regular season, the Colonials earned an automatic berth in the NIT if it didn't win the conference tournament.
Robert Morris (23-10) played in the NIT in 2008, losing at Syracuse, 87-81.
Kentucky, Southern Mississippi, Alabama and Virginia received the No. 1 seeds in the tournament.
Calipari, 54, was born in Moon. He was a Pitt assistant coach (1985-1988) and head coach at Massachusetts, Memphis and Kentucky.
Following their stunning 69-60 loss to Mount St. Mary's in the conference semifinals on March 9, the Colonials didn't practice for three days. Toole, his staff and players needed time away from the court to recover from the loss.
“We're not over it, but we're dealing with it,” Toole said. “I felt the team competed well at practice Thursday and Friday and then again on Sunday.
“There are only 100 out of 350 teams that play Division I basketball getting a chance to continue in either the NCAA tournament or the NIT. We have to take advantage of the next opportunity we face. If we're going to be in the tournament, why not try to compete at your best.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Woman shot at Kennywood Park
- McCutchen, Pirates hitters increasingly in crosshairs
- Philly’s new vibrancy lures crowds
- Don’t remove history’s lessons
- Pirates minor league report: Ramirez more mindful while at plate
- Starting 9: Pirates missing out on young bat
- Locke pitches 8 scoreless innings as Pirates edge Indians
- Grandmother of boy dropped at Uniontown Hospital says he’s in ICU
- State-owned universities spend millions in race to snare students
- Starkey: Bring back the Brawl!
- Apollo-Ridge’s Tipton, Connellsville’s Wiltrout are Pittsburgh Trib’s Athletes of the Year