9 Underdogs to Watch in the 2013 NCAA Tournament
Robert Morris Upset Kentucky in the NIT and Celebrated Like National Champions (Video)
The Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball team had a rough year by their standards. They followed up their National Championship by going 21-11 overall and 12-6 in the SEC, and missing the NCAA Tournament.
However, they were on the bubble for the Tournament. They finished ahead of Missouri in the SEC standings, and Missouri is in the Big Dance. It’s just that the RPI index ranks them at a measly 56, which is 21 spots behind the Tigers. So Mizzou was in, Kentucky was out.
But even though they aren’t dancing this March, they are still the Kentucky Wildcats, a legendary program with a famous millionaire coach and elite players. That’s why they got the #1 seed for the NIT Tournament. And that’s why the Robert Morris Colonials and their fans acted like they’d just won a National Championship after they upset the Wildcats in the first round last night, 59-57.
Take a look:
Now, maybe you think that celebration was over the top, but you have to keep in mind the context. Robert Morris has eight total appearances in the NCAA Tournament without a victory in the Round of 64. And coming into last night, they had also lost their only game in the NIT. So beating the Kentucky Wildcats? That was a big deal. It’s something that every one of those players will tell their grandchildren about. And the celebration was just a reminder of why college basketball is awesome.