Introducing Cinderella: Andy Toole has Robert Morris dancing again

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Robert Morris is heading back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2015 after a 77-67 win over St. Francis (PA) on Tuesday night.

The Colonials were the No. 1 seed in the NEC tournament, but they actually finished second in the league race behind Merrimack, who was not eligible to compete in March as a transitional Division I program.

Dante Treacy led RMU with 18 points and five assists in the win.

LEAGUE: NEC

COACH: Andy Toole

RECORD: 26-8, 14-4

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METRICS:

  • NET: 201
  • KENPOM: 208
  • TORVIK: 207

PROJECTED SEED: The Colonials are likely heading for a play-in game. If they get lucky and there are some truly awful teams that win their league tournament games, they’ll have a shot at ending up as a regular No. 16 seed.

WHO DID THEY BEAT?: RMU only has two wins over teams that rank inside the top 200 on KenPom, and both of those wins came against St. Francis PA. One on the last day of the regular season, and the other in the NEC tournament title game.

WHY ROBERT MORRIS CAN WIN AN NCAA TOURNAMENT GAME

One reason? The Colonials are a pretty good three-point shooting team. They have three guards that make them at a 40 percent clip, and as a team, they rank 36th nationally in three-point shooting.

The other reason? Bobby Mo is heading for a play-in game, which means that they could end up facing another No. 16 seed. That may be the most obvious reason.

WHY ROBERT MORRIS WON’T WIN AN NCAA TOURNAMENT GAME

Beyond that, I have a hard time seeing how this group will pull a UMBC and pick off one of college basketball’s best. UMBC was able to do it because they could shoot — which RMU can — but also because Jairus Lyles did not belong playing in the America East and was the best guard on the floor the night they played UVA. I don’t think the Colonials have a guy that can do that.

HOW DO I KNOW YOU?

Robert Morris is actually one of the better mid-major programs in the country. They were really good under Mike Rice, before he left for Rutgers, and they had a stretch from 2013-2015 where they won two regular season titles and reached an NCAA tournament under Andy Toole.

But what they are best known for is being the little school from John Calipari’s hometown that beat Kentucky at home in the first round of the NIT in 2013.

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I can’t see this team making it to the weekend.