Scheduling conflict grants RMU first-round NIT home game

The Robert Morris men’s basketball program should be traveling to Lexington, Kentucky’s historic Rupp Arena to battle the UK Wildcats in the first-round of the National Invitation Tournament.

But as fate, or a scheduling conflict would have it, Moon Township native John Calipari will be returning to his former stomping grounds on Tuesday night in a nationally televised contest.

Kentucky, who should be entertaining the tournament’s opening round game, was unable to do so due to the fact that the school is hosting second and third-round matchups of the NCAA Tournament later in the week.

Therefore, the Colonials were rewarded with home court advantage.

“It’s not like we haven’t played high-major schools, it’s not like we haven’t played future pros before,” Andy Toole told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We’ve had those kinds of experiences. Our guys won’t be wide-eyed.”

Robert Morris students are ecstatic knowing that last year’s NCAA Tournament champions will be coming to campus.

“I am so pumped for RMU to host Kentucky in the Sewall Center. Its sports history in the making and the students are going to be able to witness it first-hand,” said senior Alan Buehler. “In just the first hour after it was announced that we’d host Kentucky, Facebook and Twitter blew up with people talking about the game. It’s just amazing that RMU is going to get this opportunity and that so many people are going to be on our campus for the game.”

Senior Daniel Zimmer believes that the university will benefit from being in the spotlight.

“I think it’s a great chance for the university to get some good national exposure. However I don’t think our facility will be able to hold everyone,” he said. “We need to have classes cancelled for the evening so no one misses this opportunity!”

Toole said that it will be a memorable outing for the program no matter the outcome.

“It will be an incredible environment, a great experience and it will be an experience that our players will remember for the rest of their lives.”