Lesson to be learned from RMU shocker
By Marty Stewart
Published: Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
If any of the coaches of the spring sports teams at Fox Chapel High School and Shady Side Academy need to convey to their teams that anything can happen on any given day, they need only tell them what transpired at Robert Morris University a week and a half ago.
The big, bad Kentucky Wildcats came into town to play the Colonials in the first round of the NIT.
Now, granted, these Wildcats aren't as big and bad as their predecessors but they're still Kentucky. The reigning national champions. The team with the fabled history dating back to the days of Adolph (Baron) Rupp. They're a team that is so talented that none of the Robert Morris players would make the squad as a walk-on.
None of that mattered, though. The Colonials upset Kentucky and their coach, John Calipari, who grew up a mile away from the RMU campus.
After the game, Calipari said that it would have been a shame if his team's last-second desperation shot would have gone in. When's the last time you heard a coach say that? I'm sure the folks in basketball-crazy Kentucky didn't like hearing that.
But Calipari acknowledged that the Colonials deserved to win. I was stunned that the Wildcats were only 4 1/2 point favorites.
If I were a betting man, I'd have put the house on Kentucky to cover with ease. I figured that the Colonials would get run off of the floor by these basketball bluebloods.
But the underdogs pulled it out.
As underdogs who stunned us, they rank right up there with the New York Jets in Super Bowl III, the Miracle Mets of 1969, Jim Valvano's NC State team that shocked Houston in the 1983 NCAA basketball championship game and one of the biggest underdogs of all, Lyle Lovett, who won over Julia Roberts and provided hope to homely guys everywhere.
The sad part is that I forgot that the game was on ESPN2 and didn't find out about the win until the next morning. I felt happy for RMU and coach Andy Toole. For one night at least, they were the toast of the college basketball world.
The upside to the win is the exposure. Maybe some undecided high school hotshots will give a second glance at Robert Morris.
You have to figure that Toole may be a hot commodity in the coaching ranks, just like Mike Rice was before him. Let's hope he sticks around.
A message to FC and SSA athletes: Whenever you are going up against a team that people are saying you don't have a chance against, ignore them.
Block them out completely and just think about Robert Morris.
Think about the Kentucky Wildcats swaggering into town figuring that RMU would consider it a privilege to be on the same floor with a storied team like Kentucky. Think about the Wildcats coming in swaggering and going home staggering, tails firmly entrenched between their legs. And believe that you can do the same.
Did you ever in your wildest dreams believe that you'd see headlines saying “Robert Morris University Puts An End To Kentucky's Season.”
Believe it. And believe in yourselves.
You'll be surprised what you can accomplish.
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.
- Analysis: Kesler remains on Penguins’ radar as Shero looks bring back ‘Big 3’ formula
- ‘Un-American’? That’s Harry Reid, the Senate’s lowly smear artist
- Starkey: Steelers know when to say goodbye
- Pirates’ big risk with pitch-heavy draft focus might soon pay off
- Ex-Colts executive Polian: Approach free agency with caution
- With so many needs, Steelers can ill afford to miss in draft
- Penguins GM Shero’s deadline deals: Addition by subtraction
- Air force chief: Malaysia jet may have turned back
- Expats renounce citizenship over U.S. tax hassles
- SUV flips onto its side on Parkway East
- Penguins minor league report: Defenseman Dumoulin optimistic for home stretch