The Mount went to Robert Morris yesterday in search of the #2 seed in the NEC playoffs. They got it. But only because Quinnipiac beat Central Connecticut. The Mount fell to the Colonials 66-63 in a very entertaining basketball game. The two teams would meet again if the seeds hold in the NEC Tournament back at the Sewell Center a week from Wednesday.
But there is lots to do between now and then. Both teams must win twice. The Mount must first defeat Wagner, who has been beating everyone down the stretch and seems to be firing on all cylinders. The Mount fell to the Hawks on Staten Island just two weeks before Thursday's NEC tourney opener.
Robert Morris draws St. Francis NY in the conference playoff opener. A team that beat RMU in the conference season opener several months ago.
Yesterday, RMU just made more plays down the stretch - and at the same time slowed the Mount's transition attack. There were only 59 offensive possessions in the game. So both teams were fairly effective, mainly because they both did a pretty good job of keeping possessions alive and rebounding offensively.
Ron Robinson was a key factor in that for the Colonials and his tip in late was probaly the key bucket of the game. The Mount limited Colonial wing Jeremy Chappell and he was never really a factor. Kind of makes you worry about what he might do if the two teams meet again.
The Mount did get a long-range effort from Jeremy Goode to try to tie the game with around 8 seconds left but it was not to be.
So now 29 games into the season, where finally where everyone wanted to be three months ago. Playing three games to decide your fate and your NCAA tournament worthiness. The Mount played well enough in stretches during the regular season to believe that it can win three games in the NEC Tournament. RMU played well enough for awhile to believe it couldn't lose.
The Colonials, by virtue of the NEC regular season crown, are guaranteed an NIT bid. I would think that the Mount would likely earn a CBI or Collegeinsider.com berth if it fails in the NEC Tournament, but certainly nothing is a guarantee if you don't win three in a row.
It will be interesting to see it develop.