Written for your enjoyment by: Raff
On the National level it will never get the attention. Heck even within the NEC they aren't paired as rivals.
But make no mistake about - there is a heated rivalry between Mt. St. Mary's and Robert Morris. The two schools are the last two NEC tournament champions - and the representatives in the NCAA tournament. As far as that tournament goes - one team has eliminated the other in each of the last four seasons. So it is that familiarity that has led to the intensity between the two schools.
And let's be honest, Robert Morris has owned the series of late. The Colonials won all three games last year - including the NEC championship game in Moon Township - and clipped the Mount at the Sewell Center earlier this season.
The rivalry renews on Saturday afternoon at Knott Arena. The game will be broadcast on NEC-TV - and let's hope the Knott is rocking for the festivities. This will be the third straight year that the schools have met in the final game of the regular season. And yes, the Colonials have won both of those previous meetings. But Saturday's game has a lot at stake. The Colonials are still trying to wrap up a third straight NEC regular season championship. A loss and a Quinnipiac win and the Colonials will share the prize and hand the home court advantage in the postseason to Bobcats.
The Mount, which has won nine straight games, will play for third place in the NEC. The Mount has assured itself of a first round home playoff game. But getting the third seed could help in the future rounds - and the Mount certainly would like to do everything it can to keep Robert Morris from winning that regular season crown.
During this recent stretch, the Mount has found the form that many expected this talent laden team would exhibit all season. The recent play looks a lot like the NEC championship run from a few years, and possibly even better. The defense has been a little bit better than it was in that stretch and the inside scoring of Shawn Atupem and Raven Barber has been more consistent.
Robert Morris owns a win over the Mount earlier this season. That win helped put them in the position they are in now - and the Colonials have evolved a lot since that December meeting. Karon Abraham a freshman guard is going to be a thorn in the Mount's side for many years - and his role has expanded since the early season. In addition, Rob Robinson who always seems to play well against the Mount isn't likely to miss most of the first 30 minutes of action as he did with foul trouble the first game.
This is another challenge for the Mount. Another chance to show that they are the team that many expected to see at the start of the season. The play of the Mountaineers down the stretch has been the most impressive of any team in the league. It is that team that I expect to see on Saturday.
It will be full of intensity. It will be a championship type atmosphere. It will be the Mount and Robert Morris. And as far as the NEC goes, it doesn't get any better.
Save $50 on Craftsman 154pc Mechanic's Tool Set on sale $99.99 2/26-3/4